CARBONDALE, Pa. — Fr. Jeff Walsh is taking his parish to new heights. Good thing he's not afraid of them. These days, when he's not leading his flock, he's climbing the scaffolding outside St. Rose of Lima Church in Carbondale.
"The very top is really the most fascinating part because it gives you the best birds-eye view of the city," Fr. Walsh said.
The scaffolding is there for the church's $850,000 restoration. Fr. Walsh took Newswatch 16 photojournalist Bonnie Frisbie to the top.
At 93 feet tall, St. Rose is the tallest building in Carbondale.
"The steeple has such a prominent place in the skyline of Carbondale. It's like a beacon of hope, I think, for the people of this area," said Fr. Walsh.
It's also a place of peace for the crews working to restore it.
"Nice breeze blowing through, you can't get better than that. Nobody bothering you, you just see the little cars and trucks going by on the street," said Donny Walsh of Walsh Sheet Metal.
Donny Walsh and his son Corey are working on the sheet metal.
"When they did it back in the 1800s, the scaffolding they would have used compared to the scaffolding now. We have material lifts that lift a couple hundred pounds for our tools. Back then, it was just two by fours and nails," Corey Walsh said.
The crews expect to be done with their work in August.
Fr. Walsh says he will miss the scaffolding a bit, but when it's gone. What it will reveal will be way worth it.
"Hopefully, go for another couple hundred years before another pastor has to raise this kind of money," Fr. Walsh added.