Our Church Today
THE COMMUNITY OF SAINT LAWRENCE A Beautiful Site
The 15-acre complex of St. Lawrence Church consists of the present church, rectory, school and cemetery. The parish grounds are located in the southwest border of the corporate limits of the city of Utica, bounded by Utica Road and Greeley Street. The church grounds are nicely landscaped and blend harmoniously with the surrounding area which consists of both residential and industrial but still has retained its local charm. Immediately to the south of the school is the St. Lawrence Knights of Columbus Hall (not a parish facility) which provides extra parking when needed as well as availability for social events. The church, rectory and school are all constructed in identical exterior appearance using the same type of brick and style of architecture. Its pleasing appearance has become a landmark in the community. (See Historical Site in "Parish History")

St. Lawrence Cemetery
The St. Lawrence Cemetery is on Auburn Road approximately one half mile from the parish complex. The land was deeded from George and Regina Arcenbroon to Bishop Borgess and in 1878 the cemetery was consecrated as St. Lawrence-Utica Cemetery. The oldest, legible marker is that of John Sullivan, dating back to 1887. Since then, adjoining land has been purchased; the cemetery now totals more than six acres, includes more than 3,000 graves and allows room for expansion. The parish cemetery is well cared for and is a source of early community history village landmark.

Original Construction -- the Church Itself
Saint Lawrence Church was built in Spanish-Romanesque style, corresponding to the buildings previously constructed. The structure is of fireproof construction, the walls being of solid masonry and the other structural members of concrete and steel. The beams are of fir, fourteen inches by twenty inches, reinforced at the joints with concealed steel plates bolted together with two-inch bolts. The ceiling of the church is three inches by twelve inch-grooved planking. The front of the church is of brick and stone. Above the clock an arch rises in which is hung a bronze bell, rung electrically from a switch in the priests' sacristy. Above the arch which houses the bell there rises a large stone cross supported by a rugged stone base. The tower is sixty-five feet high and the cross is visible for many miles. At night, the two large lamp posts at the entrance of the church deflect light upwards, shedding light on the tower.

The interior, like the exterior, is of various colored Harvard bricks with five-inch sandstone banding around the interior and exterior. The main altar is plain, of white Georgia marble. Rising in a marble frame eight feet by thirteen feet is a colorful imported mosaic of the Crucifixion representing Our Lord on the cross, and at each side His Mother Mary and the disciple, Saint John. These mosaics were imported from Florence, Italy. The two side altars match the main altar. They are of the same design in white Georgia marble. Above the side altar are the wood-carved statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. The carving of Saint Joseph is a rather unusual one representing him, not with the Christ Child but with the carpenter's square in his right hand and the lily in his left. These statues were imported from France.

The tabernacle and candlesticks are bronze, the tabernacle being veiled also according to the liturgical colors. The candlesticks and sanctuary lamp are ornamented to harmonize with altar and tabernacle. The original light fixtures of the church were of Swiss wrought iron in satin finish, suspended by chains from the wood planking of the ceiling. Later, in 1984, new chandeliers were purchased from St. Rose Church in Detroit.

The original Baptistry was located just off the entrance of the church, under the balcony on the north side of the church. The Baptismal font was located in the center of the room, and Baptisms were conducted there. The font was also made of white Georgia marble.

PROJECT INGREDIENTS

Asphalt Removal

48,000 square feet

Asphalt Paving

59,956 square feet

Underground Pipe

2,177 lineal feet

Concrete

2,376 cubic yards

Brick

96,390 bricks

Reused Brick

16,000 bricks

Steel

594,000 pounds

Glass

570 square feet

Drywall

6,405 square feet

Drywall Ceiling

1,878 square feet

Acoustical Ceiling

33,539 square feet

Wood Ceiling

5,500 square feet

Clay Roof Tile

6,880 tiles

Roof Insulation

30,560 square feet

Roofing

37,340 square feet

Carpet

45,567 square feet

Vinyl Floor Tile

17,210 square feet

Vinyl Wall Base

4,321 lineal feet

Ceramic Tile

7,310 square feet

Paint

470 gallons

Wall Covering

15,026 square feet

Plumbing Pipe

4,500 lineal feet

Electrical Wire

50,325 lineal feet

Lights

830 fixtures

Labor

58,970 hours



The Artwork of St. Lawrence Parish
One walk through the church building and you will appreciate its eclectic design and fine collection of spiritual artwork.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the interior of the church is the Crucifixion mosaic. It was originally commissioned for the former church building and imported from Florence, Italy. As present renovations began, the mosaic was carefully removed, stored and then refurbished. The mosaic stations of the cross were also cleaned and returned to their original splendor.

In the gathering space stands a wooden, carved statue depicting the patron of the parish. The deacon Lawrence wears a dalmatic, symbol of his office, and is seen carrying a gridiron or grill upon which he was martyred.

As you enter the church proper, under the balcony and to your left, there is a statue depicting Our Lady of Fatima. To your right is a statue of the Risen Christ carrying a furled standard. As you continue to approach the altar area, on the far left, you'll find a statue of Joseph the worker. He is depicted holding a carpenter's square in one hand and lilies in the other. Continuing to move to the right, there is a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both these statues are carved wood originally crafted in France. On the far right is a statue depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In the renovation of the church building two beautiful stained glass windows were revealed. These are located behind and to the sides of the marble baldachino and have become the backdrop for the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the tabernacle.

The original twelve stained glass windows remain untouched in the renovation. Starting in the northwest corner of the church and continuing clockwise around the interior they depict St. Lawrence, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Thomas Aquinas, Christ blessing the children, St. Christopher, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Edward, St. Peter, the Immaculate Conception, the Resurrection, the Trinity and the Nativity.

The altar and ambo have been carefully recreated in the style of the original design. They are crafted of beautiful white marble and are located in the center of the new sanctuary.

The new baptismal font is located near the entrance of the worship space of the church. It is rich in symbolism. Its location indicates that baptism is the sacrament of entry into the Church. The upper portion of the font contains a smaller pool appropriate for infant baptisms. Water flows from this pool into the large pool below reminding us that this is living water. The baptismal font is octagonal. The eight-sided design symbolizes that it was on the eighth day, the day after the Sabbath, that Jesus rose from the dead. The early church gathered on Sunday, the eighth day, to remember and celebrate the events of Christ's life and to look forward to his coming again in glory.

There are many other wonderful design features in the new church building. Our gathering space gives us a place to come together before and after we celebrate the Eucharist. We have a beautiful social hall suitable for many parish functions. Our choir has a dedicated room designed to be used on conjunction with the school music program. The new media center provides resources for both the school and the wider parish family.

We hope that as you look around our renovated building you will come to appreciate the blending of the new with the old - clearly a sign that as we move into the future we remain firmly rooted in our tradition.