Dwena Winkler did not know what to expect from the Cathedral of St. Joseph’s renovation.
During her visit to the nearly completed Cathedral on Aug. 7, she could not believe what she saw.
“It’s just gorgeous,” Winkler said.
Winkler and other residents of Heisinger Bluffs Senior Living Community in Jefferson City toured the Cathedral on a Monday morning. Upon their arrival, Steve Meystrik, Cathedral of St. Joseph Parish’s stewardship coordinator, introduced them to the different features of the renovated house of worship.
He pointed out aspects of the stained-glass windows illustrating stories from the Acts of the Apostles; statues made of linden wood from the Black Forest; shrines to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe; a mural with imagery of Missouri wildlife; the altar and the tabernacle.
Around 20 people joined the tour, said Joe Schepers, administrator of independent living at Heisinger Bluffs. Senior residents had come up with the idea of visiting the Cathedral.
“It was their suggestion to come see it once it was renovated,” he said.
Susie Jones was another participant in the tour. Even though she’s not a member of the Cathedral Parish, she joined the visit after hearing a lot of friends tell her about the beautiful renovation.
“I’m just amazed by the whole thing,” Jones said.
While many of the residents at the facility are Catholic, Schepers said some participants of the tour are from different churches. As far as he knew, this was the first time many of the participants were ever in the Cathedral.
“One lady (told) me she has never seen the Cathedral in the time that she’s lived here,” he said. “She wanted to come just so she could say that she’s been in the Cathedral and seen it.”
Apart from Heisinger Bluffs, the Cathedral Parish offers tours to schools and other community groups, so that community members would have a chance to look at the renovations, Meystrik said.
His mother took part in the Aug. 7 tour.
This was the fifth large group to tour the Cathedral since its rededication in May.
“For many people, they would drive by and they would see all of the construction, and probably wondered what was going on in there,” Meystrik said.
Anyone interested in organizing such a tour can call the Cathedral Parish office at 573-635-7991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, he said.
Tours are free, but organizations should schedule well in advance because the Cathedral also hosts daily morning Masses, school functions, funerals and various prayer groups, Meystrik noted.
Heisinger Bluffs offers independent living and assisted living services to seniors. Residents from both those services went to the tour, Schepers said.
Apart from visiting the Cathedral, the facility schedules outings for its residents.
These visits include going to Freddie’s for frozen custard and different restaurants for lunches, he said, as well as Adrian’s Island when it opened.
The facility is also planning on taking its residents to tour the Capitol in the next few months, he added.
Schepers would like to turn the Cathedral tour into a more regular excursion for the residents, because of their interests and the turnout of Monday’s tour.
Meystrik said the tours would be a way for parishioners and other members of the community to learn more about one another and start conversations.
The “majesty beauty” of the newly renovated Cathedral is designed to bring people closer to Jesus Christ, he added.
“This is an opportunity for them to see the work that was done, and to see the beauty that is here,” he said.
Ms. Chan is a reporter for the Jefferson City News-Tribune (newstribune.com), which originally published a version of this article Aug. 8. It is republished here with permission.