Mayor Brown joins one of Buffalo’s oldest parishes as it tests the new exterior lighting of the St. Michael Church Bell Tower, located in the heart of Buffalo’s Theatre District
The new illumination will add to the pizzazz in downtown Buffalo which is coming alive with plenty of night lights
November 27- Mayor Byron W. Brown and Father Benjamin Fiore, S.J., the current pastor of St. Michael Church, were joined by representatives from St. Michael Church, Buffalo Place and members of the downtown Theatre District, to test the illumination of the Saint Michael Church Bell Tower in advance of a formal Illumination Ceremony of the Christ our King Bell Tower, scheduled for January 6, 2018. LED-based fixtures are being used for this special application, which will cast white lighting on the tower, with a focus on the cross.
Mayor Brown stated, “Buffalo has many historic church towers, steeples, and buildings. And, in the Downtown district, we continue to light up our landmarks, illuminating and accenting our City’s rich history and remarkable architecture. I’m pleased to join our ‘lighting partners’ in Buffalo’s Theatre District in welcoming another light show at night. Congratulations to St. Michael Church and its parishioners for adding more downtown pizzazz by brightening the bell tower and façade and shining a positive light on Buffalo, as well as the Jesuit mission.”
The new light enhancements at St. Michael Church complement the Theatre District’s expanding urban nightscape, which is getting bolder and brighter. Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo invested in new night lighting as part of the $8 million redevelopment of the 600 Block of Main Street, which was completed in 2015. Within that area, there are plenty of new and improved lights on facades.
“Everyone’s very excited that our spiritual center, located in the heart of the new Downtown Buffalo, will soon shine like a beacon against the night sky,” said Fr. Fiore, who described the coming illumination as showing honor to God. “We’re grateful to all those who have generously supported our recent efforts and invite all to come to our formal Illumination Ceremony on January 6th.”
At St. Michael Church, one of Buffalo’s oldest parishes, improved lighting will also cast a glow on newly renovated stained-glass windows, designed by Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich, Germany.
Fr. Fiore added, “In today’s fast-paced modern life, it’s easy to forget the beauty that’s around us. Our hope is that when people pass by St. Michael’s at night, they think love, peace and understanding.”
The new lighting and renovations mark yet another milestone for the downtown church, which has been ministering to the Buffalo community since 1848. Entrusted in 1852 to the administration of the Society of Jesus, the Parish continues to be staffed by Jesuit priests and lay men and women. In 1962, a lightning strike fire destroyed most of the 1895 windows. Shortly afterwards, new windows were commissioned by the same firm.
At the formal Illumination Ceremony on January 6, 2018, the sound of church bells will ring, signaling a new era at the church where the shimmering bell tower will be lit WHITE at the end of each day.