Anyone witnessing the transformation that has occurred at 325 Grand Ave. in Wausau is bound to feel a sense of awe at the architectural and decorative achievement. As a four-year renovation project nears its end, little remains of the old St. Mary Catholic Church, yet the renovated church is steeped heavily in the Gothic style of the original 1893 church, which was damaged in a 1953 fire.
The attention to detail on the interior of the church is particularly stunning.
“Many people have started to cry when they enter the church for the first time because they found it so beautiful,” said Monsignor Michael Schmitz of the Institute of Christ the King, the religious order that began celebrating Latin Masses there on Easter 1999.
…Inside, new altars were fashioned after the chapel in the Blutenburg castle in Munich, which dates back to 1497. A statue of the Virgin Mary, donated by an Austrian family, is now the focal point of the high altar. The statue was made in 1470 near Salzburg.
Other interior additions include intricate plaster arches across the ceiling, a marble tile floor, oak pews, ornate hanging lights, hand-carved statues and hand-painted ceiling decorations.
The Institute’s Brother Alexander Willweber oversaw the artistic design while Structural Systems of Wausau carried out the plans.
Bishop Burke gave St. Mary’s the dignity of a public Oratory and its care is totally confided to the Institute of Christ the King, whose Prior General also appoints its rector Here is their site. Looks promising. They currently don’t have any pictures of the new restoration but from the description it sound beautiful.
The Institute of Christ the King is a relatively new and was canonically erected on Sep 1, 1990.