Cleansing Fire

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Quality Restoration Work at Saint Jerome’s

February 10th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie
In progress restoration painting work by Liza Barzac

In progress restorative painting work by Liza Barzac

Something like 28 years ago, Liza Barzac and her husband saw a man whitewashing over the pastel colored Stations of the Cross in Saint Jerome’s Church in East Rochester, New York. They thought he was putting a primer coat of paint on the Stations to prepare them for restoration. Then, the gentleman applied a second coat of white –and left them that way. The pastel colored stations were going to be white from then on, until a month or so ago.

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White washed station to be tinted during restoration work by Liza Barzac.

Liza Barzac is now restoring the stations to their pastel coloring. She was asked to do so by Father William Leone, the current pastor at Saint Jerome’s. Liza, has been painting since her retirement. She is a member of the Penfield Art Club and has had her paintings exhibited through that group. She also has been fixing broken statues and figurines for people. When she does those jobs she always has to repaint the arms or legs or whatever to blend the colors of the new with the old. She was doing the same kind of work in Saint Jerome’s basement, fixing up statues and such, when she restored a statue of Saint Joseph that was in a closet. Father Leone noticed how Liza had restored the statue of Saint Joseph and asked her to do the same kind of painting in restoring the stations in the church. And that is what she is doing.

Jesus meets His mother on the way to Gogotha. This station is also in the process of being tinted.

Jesus meets His mother on the way to Gogotha. This station is also in the process of being tinted.

They are not finished, yet, but we can see the approach she is taking in restoring the pastel colors to the white stations.

The Stations are not the only things being restored at Saint Jerome’s. The church has very fine stained glass windows in the nave that were restored by Godfrey Müller Studios which fabricates and restores fine stained glass (585-482-0251, 115 East Main Street, Suite 442, Box 17, Rochester, NY 14609).

The stained glass windows in the nave pair New Testament scenes with those in the Old Testament that prefigure them. Here we see, on the left the New Testament multiplication of the loaves and fish and Bread of Life discourse paired with the Old Testament story of the Manna in the desert.

The stained glass windows in the nave pair New Testament scenes with those in the Old Testament that prefigure them. Here we see, on the left the New Testament multiplication of the loaves and fish to feed the hungry following Jesus paired with the Old Testament story of the miraculous daily manna from heaven that fed the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness.

Here are more pictures of the nave windows.

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When I arrived to take photographs of the stations and windows I bumped into Jeffrey Müller who had just finished installing a new “Pieta” window in the narthex of the ground floor.

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It was the last of new windows he has recently been creating as part of the restoration of the front section of the church: the narthex on the ground floor and the narthex on the first floor where the entrance to the church is. Click on the following pictures to view full images.

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This window is in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

This window is in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

A mural is presently being executed of the “Transfiguration” that will be installed in the ceiling of the narthex to the church. I will return to photograph that work when it is installed.

This is all orthodox, quality work; a real gem in East Rochester and in the Rochester diocese.

Saint Jerome’s has adoration, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every Tuesday. I believe there is benediction in the evening on Tuesdays but you probably should call the parish office to check on that.

Saint Jerome’s parish website is HERE.

“Thank you!” to Glenna Steven for alerting me to the restoration work at Saint Jerome’s.

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4 Responses to “Quality Restoration Work at Saint Jerome’s”

  1. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Thank you for this post, Bernie (as well as your previous ones)! I love the stained glass windows at St. Jerome’s. Typology is clearly on display in those windows – I find it very interesting to see what NT stories are lined up the OT stories.

  2. avatar christian says:

    Beautiful restorative work! Perhaps Liza Barzak could start working to restore St. Mary’s Church Downtown Rochester next.

  3. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    Sr. Estelle Martin RSM, who worked as a church renovation consultant for the Rochester Diocese for years, just recently passed away.

  4. avatar christian says:

    http://www.stmarysrochester.org/about/history/

    The desecration of the beautiful artwork and interior of St. Mary’s Church Downtown Rochester, New York was orchestrated and begun in 1985. You can follow the brief history in the link above and find out for yourself who was there when this was orchestrated and set forth in motion, to make a beautiful worship space with inspiring artwork (especially on the ceiling) into someone’s unadorned living room.


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