[From Father Daniel Gunn] Tucked away in a back room for years, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, recently decided to put this gem of a reredos on display. Father Daniel Gunn, rector, employed the services of a local studio known internationally for restoration of church art. The Italian Red Oak piece revealed cracks on the reverse, some up to a quarter of an inch wide.
There was also somewhat of a mystery surrounding the reredos: Who were the two figures on either side of Christ? When the studio returned the piece the mystery was solved and the result of the restoration was stunning. The two figures were Stephen on Jesus’ right hand with a stone at his feet, and Paul on Jesus’ left hand. The craftsman believes that the three figures are over one hundred years old and probably originally part of a different piece.
The reredos was mounted on the wall behind the chapel altar. The next time you’re at St. Stephen’s take moment to meditate on the Christ present with Stephen at his stoning depicted in this beautifully restored piece.