Mount Calvary Church to open refurbished doors for Mass today

November 30, 2008|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,

Downtown Baltimore's Mount Calvary Church, with a renovated nave and sanctuary, reopens today after an eight-month, $1 million refurbishment, which features the restoration of an altarpiece by American artist John LaFarge.

A solemn high Mass beginning at 10 a.m. today will be followed by a reception and tours of the historic church at Eutaw Street and Madison Avenue.

Beginning in the spring, the 100-member Anglo-Catholic congregation moved into a temporary worship space so the church could be renovated.

Architect Brian Kelly, church renovator and contractor Chris Oktavec and stencil artist Barbara Thompson worked together to create an interior that plays up the building's Victorian origins. Conservator Mark West restored the 1883 LaFarge altarpiece.

Nineteenth-century painter and glass artist John LaFarge was a graduate of St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg. From his New York City studio, LaFarge established a client list that included Harvard University and prominent congregations in the Northeast.

Mount Calvary's congregation was formed in 1842, and the building was designed by Baltimore architect Robert Cary Long Jr. The Rev. Jason A. Catania is the rector.

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