Our Lady of Victory Church has completed the second phase of its renovation project.

Our Lady of Victory Church has completed the second phase of its renovation project.

The work, which was completed in about five months, included renovations to the altar and sanctuary designed to make the space more comfortable and inspirational to parishioners, OLV pastor Monsignor Romano Ciotola said.

The improvements include relocating the seating that had been behind the altar to the north transept of OLV's cruciform design.

"No one wanted to sit there, so you wouldn't see many of those seats filled during mass," Ciotola said. "I think everybody's happy with the new seating arrangement."

With the seating moved to the north transept, "we now have a true cruciform design," he said.

A transept is one of the "arms" of a cross-shaped cruciform church design.

The sacristy, the room where vestments, sacred vessels and other church furnishings are kept, was moved from the north transept into an addition to the building.

New restrooms and an elevator were also added and the lighting in the sanctuary was also improved.

The altar area itself was shrunk a bit in width and elevated with the addition of a second step to make it easier to see, Ciotola said.

New appointments, including a tabernacle stand, ambo and baptismal font were added.

The appointments were all made in Carrara, Italy, a town known for its marble and the source of the marble Michaelangeo used for his sculptures, Ciotola said.

The copy of Michaelangeo's sculpture "Pieta" has been added to the church and the renovations include new paintings on the ceiling of the four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and Jesus and a new mosaic for the altar.

"These pieces of art are designed to provide inspiration for our parishoners," Ciotola said. "It is our hope that all of these improvements will help bring a greater spirit of devotion and piety."

The new altar was dedicated at the 11 a.m. mass on June 20 by Columbus Diocese Bishop Frederick F. Campbell.

The various elements of the renovation project, not including the works of art, cost just under $1-million and were paid for through a capital campaign, Ciotola said. The works of art were financed through memorial donations.

The renovations are the first major improvements to the church building since the 1957 addition was built, he said.

The first phase of the current project was completed in 2004 and included the construction of a new parish life center.