Beverly Hills parish completes total overhaul of worship space

The worship space of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Beverly Hills is seen with new pews, flooring, baptismal font and more after the parish’s successful Changing Lives Together campaign.

The worship space of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Beverly Hills is seen with new pews, flooring, baptismal font and more after the parish’s successful Changing Lives Together campaign.

BEVERLY HILLS — With Bishop Michael Byrnes presiding, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Beverly Hills celebrated the rededication of its church Sept. 11 following improvement projects funded by the Changing Lives Together campaign.

The parish not only met its campaign goal, but nearly doubled it, raising more than $1.7 million in pledges and enabling the reconstruction of its parking lot and repairs to the gymnasium roof, along with a complete renovation of the church itself.

“In recent years we completed numerous projects because of the generosity of our family,” wrote Fr. Scott Thibodeau in his article in the parish’s Sept. 11 bulletin, celebrating the parish’s 65th anniversary.

“The parking lot was rebuilt; the gym roof and technology upgrades have been helpful to our growth. With our church renovation now complete, we look forward to upgrading the windows of our education building by the end of the year.”

During the renovation, the parish used items from three now-shuttered Detroit parishes, mostly from St. Gregory the Great Church on Dexter, including marble statues of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph the Worker and the Sacred Heart. A new crucifix and pillars holding the altar top are from St. Louis the King Church, and a larger Sacred Heart statue comes from St. Luke Church.

Other new items include the high altar, ambo, baptismal font and ambry — the repository that holds holy oils.

The parish bell tower was also refurbished and rings daily, announcing Our Lady Queen of Martyrs’ presence in the community.

“Our liturgical space and furnishing are a beautiful blend of the old and new,” Fr. Thibodeau wrote. “Some in our community are grateful to have these items of their youth back because they were raised in these different parishes. I’m very happy we could return these items of faith to you for prayer and reflection.”

While the remarkable transformation begins a new chapter of worship at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Fr. Thibodeau said the changes are meant for more than just nostalgic purposes, but for the greater glory of God.

“We were able to recreate a beautiful home fitting for the Lord Jesus in the process,” Fr. Thibodeau said. “The entire project went very well. We should be most grateful to all of the people who made this great work of art happen. I’ve not stopped giving thanks to God for them and their wonderful work.”