Cathedral Church of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown, PA

Project Summary:

Rambusch’s commission was to restore the Church’s original chandeliers and then to improve their effectiveness by building uplighting units into these fixtures. The sanctuary space and visual comfort of the congregation was enhanced with downlighting, accent lighting and additional uplights. New liturgical furnishings and a golden mosaic further improved the space.

Project Detail:

Large scale commissions often span several years. Over a period of five years, the Rambusch Company completed commissions for the renovation of the Cathedral Church of Saint Catharine of Siena working closely with then Bishop of Allentown, the Very Reverend Edward Cullen. Lighting fixtures original to the building formed the basis for the design and fabrication of a complete, engineered lighting system. Beginning with the restoration of these sanctuary chandeliers, into which Rambusch incorporated uplighting units, the visual comfort of the congregation was enhanced with downlighting, accent lighting and additional uplights in the sanctuary space. All units tie into a multi-scene dimming system to provide support for Saint Catharine’s varied liturgies and church functions.

Monsignor DeSantis, whose vision for the church guided the project, asked Rambusch to sheath the back of the sanctuary in Venetian gold mosaic. Other improvementss included modifications to the cathedra and other liturgical elemnts.  Also, the Rambusch firm designed new bronze pilasters, cast in Italy, as part of the ambo ensemble consistent with the existing altar.

I want you to know how delighted I am with your work. Truly, you have made our Cathedral not only liturgically beautiful, but also ceremonially functional. The Catholic community is blessed to have you and the Rambusch family so dedicated to liturgical design and building.

— Most Reverend Edward P. Cullen, D.D.
Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania