Catholic Parish Prepares to Reopen With a Makeover

CLEVELAND, Ohio– It’s an exciting day for Catholics at one west side Parish. In preparation of its grand reopening, St. Barbara’s Church in Cleveland got a huge makeover.

On Tuesday, cleaning crews spent countless hours dusting, mopping and shining floors at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church on Denison Avenue. It’s all part of the finishing touches to restore the church. St. Barbara’s is one of 11 Northeast Ohio parishes slated to reopen after a Vatican ruling reversed the Bishop’s consolidation plan.

Cleveland Diocese Spokesman Bob Tayek said, “You really do have to respect the passionate level of the people who wanted their church to reopen. In that respect, we as the Diocese and Bishop are trying to give it every opportunity for it to succeed.”

Nearly two years after St. Barbara’s shut down, 120 statues and other items were removed from storage and returned to their original resting place.

“Everything was segmented by church. There was a computerized inventory, including pictures so when they came back they would know exactly where everything was supposed to go,” said Tayek. “The big spring cleaning took place today. Literally from the marble being polished to the pews being Murphy-oil soaped and everything else.”

Bishop Richard Lennon said he is planning to reopen all the parishes by August 1st. The specific opening dates will be decided by the individual pastors, some of whom are expected to be appointed in the next 48 hours. Tayek said the remaining pastors will be announced next week.