Before and After: St. Catherine of Siena in Trumbull, Connecticut

LAJ is pleased to present yet another example in our "Before and After" series, coming this time within the context of St. Catherine of Siena church in Trumbull, Connecticut. The project was undertaken by the parish in partership with Duncan G. Stroik Architect. From the parish:
Trumbull CT – February 14, 2020. The Parish of Saint Catherine of Siena (220 Shelton Road, Trumbull CT) joyfully dedicated its sanctuary beautification project, called Christ at the Center in a Mass of Dedication with Consecration of the Church on March 24, 2019. The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, served as principal celebrant.

“I’m excited that the architect for this project was Duncan Stroik,” shares Father Joseph Marcello, Pastor of the Parish of St. Catherine of Siena. “Mr. Stroik is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and the publisher of Sacred Architecture magazine. Professor Stroik is truly the leader in the field of ecclesiastical architecture in the United States, if not the world, and with him, we’ve arrived at a design which I think is truly beautiful and timeless, which both looks fresh, and also looks like it’s always been here: a design which will stand for the ages, to give glory to God, and to help us to pray, both now, and for all our future generations.”

The culmination of thousands of hours of planning, designing, building and praying, this project relocated the tabernacle containing Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament from the side chapel to the very center of the sanctuary, and significantly enhanced the sanctuary of the church by prominently featuring the statues of Our Lady and St. Joseph, and of St. Catherine of Siena, our patron saint, and St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests, before us as models and intercessors.

The project also provided a new Altar of Sacrifice, which visibly contains a relic of St. Catherine of Siena - an actual piece of bone taken from her body. It placed a magnificent new retablo, or high altar, to fill the space of the sanctuary wall, modeled on the altar which contains the icon of Our Lady, Health of the Roman People, Salus Populi Romani, at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

“Our goal,” says Father Marcello, “was to fill the sanctuary with beauty, and with layers of meaning, which is a manifestation of our faith, and gives glory to God; provides a noble and beautiful space in which to pray, and makes it easier to teach the Faith to our children and grandchildren – and all in a way in keeping with the already-existing architecture of our church. We are thrilled that the finished product looks so “right,” like it’s always been there.”

Several existing elements in the church were repurposed, including the corpus of the crucified Christ and the statues of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and St. Catherine of Siena. The dove of the Holy Spirit, which hung above the door of the narthex, has been relocated into the sanctuary, where it was in the church’s original design.
Here then, is a slightly expanded view of the before versus the after:



A few more images taken from the consecration of the new altar and sanctuary.

The relics are placed within the altar

The shrine of the Virgin

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.