NORWALK - The second oldest parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is in the middle of a major renovation.

The work at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Norwalk started four years ago and is now entering its final phase.

About 50 years ago, a decision was made to remove a lot of ornate aspects inside St. Mary, but now the church is again undergoing a transformation.

The parish brought back the marble floor, added a marble altar rail, four marble statues and a new pulpit. In essence, they're going back in time.

The church was built and dedicated in 1871. Father Greg Markey is the driving force behind the $1.5 million renovation.

All the work is reminiscent of ages past, including the French blue ceiling dotted with gold stars that replaces the once white-washed walls.

Classical painter Leonard Porter is creating 13.5-foot tall altar piece for the church.

Father Markey says the scaffolding for the final phase of the renovation goes up inside St. Mary next month.

The goal is to have all the work, including the installation of the painting, done by Christmas.