Just days before Holy Week, artisans finished the sanctuary portion of the church at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Conewago, revealing the intricate patterns that were completed some 150 years ago and then were covered up in subsequent remodels over the past century and a half. What remains to be completed is the rear upper portions of the church, which will disclose the artistry that dates back to the church’s beginnings in the 1700s.
Scaffolding was removed in the sanctuary and with the beauty now apparent with the restorative work by a team of professional artisans, it is nothing short of magnificent. The ceiling art catches your eye immediately, and what makes the basilica the spiritually rich visual experience is how natural light spills through the beautiful stained glass and splashes about the centuries-old sacred space.
Father Dwight Schlaline, pastor, has diligently led the parish throughout the exhaustive, complex restoration process the past several years, and he expects the work to be completed this summer. On August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop Ronald Gainer will celebrate a dedicatory Holy Mass at the historic basilica.
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness