The renovations at St. Mary's, Danvers include a new new altar, ambo, tabernacle stand, baptismal font, and presider's chair. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
DANVERS -- The season of Advent is always a time of expectation and preparation. For the parishioners of St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in Danvers, this year's preparation included something special -- the dedication of their new altar and the inauguration of their new tabernacle by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley during a Dec. 18 Mass.
"This Advent, your parish has come together in great joy preparing for Christmas in a very special way," said Cardinal O'Malley, who celebrated the Mass at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church.
"You proclaim that there is room in the inn, and there's room in your hearts," he said.
Installed near the end of 2015, the altar was part of a larger renovation project that saw massive changes to the church.
Those changes included a new reconciliation room, dedicated meeting space, kitchen, storage area, and gathering space. A new altar, ambo, tabernacle stand, baptismal font, and presider's chair, all made of Italian marble, were added.
Additionally, new handicapped accessible entrances, walkways, ramps, and seating were constructed, and a parking lot was created next door.
The church was also repainted, a new floor was put in, and some architectural changes were made to make the interior more aesthetically pleasing.
In total, St. Mary of the Annunciation pastor Father Michael Doyle told The Pilot in the days before the Mass, renovations cost around 3.4 million, and took over a year to complete.