Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Ledgelawn Avenue in Bar Harbor has been undergoing renovations for more than a year. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Church wall nears completion



BAR HARBOR — Work on the plastic-wrapped wall of the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on the corner of Mount Desert Street and Ledgelawn Avenue is a few weeks away from completion, according to church leaders.

Father John Skeehan is pastor of the Parish of the Transfiguration, which includes the Catholic churches in Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Manset. He said that masons had to completely take down the outer wall, which was bowed from years of water seeping in and freezing during the winter months.

The wall repairs are part of a $2 million renovation that started in May 2016. Other parts of the renovation included painting, electrical work and a new public address system.

Skehan said last year that workers started taking down some of the stones on the upper part of the east wall to get access to where the roof and the wall meet. There’s an inner and outer wall there, both stone, he said. “The inner wall is in good shape. The plan is to fill the space between them with mortar to bind the two walls together to make it even stronger.”

The wall had to be disassembled and then rebuilt, according to Skeehan. The construction did not cancel church services, but it did put a set of pews close to the wall out of commission.

While the Ledgelawn Avenue-facing wall might be almost complete, Skeehan said the overall renovation project doesn’t have a definitive timetable.

“According to the head mason, it’ll never be done,” Skeehan said. “It’s an ongoing thing.”

Skeehan said that the repaired outer wall has been tied to the inner wall, which should prevent this sort of damage from happening again soon.

“We should be good for many years,” Skeehan said.

The masonry crew works for a construction company owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which covers the whole state.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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