Blessing of the newly renovated St. Paul Church

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St. Paul’s Church was originally built in 1894, then newly constructed in 1969. The Roman Catholic Parish of St. Paul-St. Ann was established in 2015 through the merger of St. Paul’s Parish in Congers and St. Ann’s Parish in Nyack. Renovations on the church building on Lake Road, Congers began Dec. 26, 2019. The church’s reopening was planned for June. COVID-19 interrupted both construction plans and in-person worship.

“This renovation was complicated by COVID-19 which meant not only relocating activities, but also closing, then reopening our temporary spaces with proper safety measures, and finally the long-awaited reopening of our beloved church,” said Rev. Vladimir Chripko, pastor of St. Paul-St. Ann parish and provost of the New York Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Sparkill.

St. Paul Assistant Pastor Father Roman Dominik Palecko said a key goal of the renovation was to bring natural light into the sanctuary. There is a new ceiling optimized for acoustics and six aisles instead of four. The renovated church has an elaborate stained glass window installed behind the altar. The color paint on the altar walls was chosen to represent the Blood of Christ. The parish serves more than 2,000 families. The church, when not under social distancing restrictions, can provide seating for 1,200 people.