On your first visit to St. Andrew, you will no doubt be amazed at the beauty and craftsmanship of the church. Laborers in Germany, France, Belgium and Italy labored painstakingly to prepare the items that are so strikingly beautiful and visible in St. Andrew church.
In Pietra Santa, Italy, workmen quarried the marble by hand. The marble, in many shades and patterns was fashioned by other craftsman into hundreds of intricate inlays, columns and soft lustered slabs for the church. Even the radiator covers under the side shrines are marble slabs. The marble radiator covers are enhanced with bronze grill work fashioned by Vatican workshops. The ultimate in craftsmanship is seen in many pieces of the statuary. A single piece may be composed of as many as 15 different shades, colors, textures and types of marble. Located on the far south side of the Sanctuary, a statue of Mary, Blessed Mother of the Gospels, is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Mary is depicted in a pose of teaching to the multitudes.
The statue next to the Blessed Mother Shrine is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His hands are extended in a pose of blessing. On the south wall adjacent to the Blessed Mother of Jesus is a mosaic depicting St. Anne, Mother of Mary. On the far north side of the Sanctuary is a statue of St. Joseph the Worker. The long saw he carried looks like polished steel. Actually it is a thin blade of polished marble.
The statue next to the St. Joseph Shrine is St. Andrew the Apostle, Patron Saint of the Parish. This statue depicts St. Andrew with his X-shaped cross. On the north wall, adjacent to the St. Joseph Shrine, is a mosaic depicting Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Other smaller shrines around the church include a statue of St. Francis of Assisi and a mosaic depicting St. Aloysious, both located on the north side of the church. Directly across from these shrines on the south side of the church are a statue of St. Anthony of Padua, a small plaster statue of St. Jude and a mosaic of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
On the back wall of the church are four statues of the writers of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. On the sides of the back wall are two shrines in Bas Relief form. One dedicated to the Infant Jesus of Prague on the south side of the wall, and on the north side is the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima and the three children to whom she appeared.
One of the largest and most-intricate shrines is dedicated to the Poor Souls in Purgatory. It was constructed entirely of marble quarried in Belgium. This shrine features a marble altar. Below the altar is an alabaster figure of Christ in the tomb. This work of art was copied by special permission from a statue in Spain.
Directly across from the Poor Souls Shrine is the Baptismal Shrine. This shrine currently features an oil painting of Our Lady of Czestochowa, more commonly referred to as the Patroness of Poland, or the Black Madonna. On the back wall, a mosaic depicts the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist in the River Jordan. The center of this shrine was the marble baptismal font. The font has been moved inside the Sanctuary. The two figures on the top of the marble baptismal font are small bronze statues of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, who brought Catholicism to Poland.
The stained glass windows were crafted in Munich, Germany. The windows represent the 15 mysteries of the Rosary. The five windows above the main altar symbolize the JOYFUL mysteries. The five on the north wall represent the SORROWFUL mysteries and the five on the south wall represent the GLORIOUS mysteries. The windows above the Sorrowful and Glorious Mystery windows are smaller stained glass windows representing the Twelve apostles.
Above and at the rear of the church is the choir loft. Centered between the organ pipes is a 20 foot stained glass window in a flower petal arrangement. In the center of the window is St. Andrew, patron of the parish. Around him are images of King David, patron of music in the Old Testament; St. Cecilia, patroness of Music in the New Testament; St. Gregory, who inaugurated the Gregorian Chant; and Pope Pius X, who fostered the use of the Chant, and music in the Church.
Two other large stained glass windows are located above the Poor Souls and Baptismal Shrines. The window above the Baptismal Shrine depicts the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the center of the window are images of the Holy Trinity. The window above the Poor Souls shrine depicts Jesus teaching the children. In the center of the window is an image of St. Joseph.
The main altar of the church is composed completely of marble. The alter features a marble statue of Christ crucified. At the right and left top of the alter are statues of angels. In the center, above the crucifix is a representation of God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Below the foot of the crucifix is the Tabernacle. On the ceiling of the sanctuary, directly above the Sacrifice Altar are images of the Seven Sacraments. The marble Communion Rail extends the length of the Sanctuary split in the middle by two bronze ornamental gates, and a single gate at each end of the railing. Embedded in the communion rails are symbols of the Crucifixion. Other points of interest in the Sanctuary are the pulpit, matching wooden kneelers and the sedilia (presider’s chair).
The fourteen Stations of the Cross, seven on the north and seven on the south walls of the church are oil colors painted on sheets of polished copper.
Points of interest in the vestibule are a statue of Christ crucified, the Papal Coat of Arms located above the cross and on the opposite wall an image of Cardinal Strich’s Coat of Arms.