La Crosse St. Joseph Cathedral restoration kicks off with hopes of repairing both building and parish

Deterioration shows on the stone of the St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral bell tower. The stone will be carefully remove and inspected during the restoration project.
The historic St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral will be undergoing restoration this year, a project that officials hope will not only save the towering downtown building, but also restore its Catholic community.

The $6.1 million project officially kicked-off Friday with a blessing from church leaders at the cathedral, a “living parish” which is the landmark church of the Diocese of La Crosse, and home church to Bishop William Patrick Callahan. The entire restoration is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“A 16 pound piece of stone, it fell from 130 feet, it hit the roof, and from there went 100 more feet down to the ground. It hit the ground with tremendous force, in the middle of winter, it was driven into the ground about six inches into frozen ground,” Mar-Pohl said, giving an example of the danger the crumbling infrastructure poses.

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