|Good response to Appeal – Nov 28|
By Vernon Khelawan
Last Sunday, apart from celebrating the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, Catholics in our Archdiocese dug deep into their pockets to ensure that the first archdiocesan collection towards the renovation of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, was a resounding success.
While it is still a bit early to have true figures, information from around some parishes in the Archdiocese indicate that the response was good. The fact that finally a serious effort was being made to renovate and refurbish the minor basilica of the Archdiocese, will in itself prove to be a fillip to the New Evangelisation thrust.
A renovated Cathedral can go a long way in making people understand how Catholics feel about their places of worship and in this particular instance the Mother Church of the archdiocese.
This entire renovation exercise, which is expected to be completed in about 10 years, means that with a new and refurbished house of worship more and more people would want to visit to observe and pray in the Cathedral.
It is hoped that Catholics, including priests and religious communities throughout the country would, for the next year, pursue with a missionary zeal, all efforts to ensure that the Archbishop’s Appeal realises and even surpasses its first year goal of $3.5 million.
Many Catholics in Trinidad and Tobago are known to have a host of relatives and friends domiciled abroad and sourcing help for the restoration from these diaspora, could prove to be very beneficial to the funding exercise.
Readers would have seen last weekend that Archbishop Gilbert participated in a ceremony marking the rebirth of the mother church in the Archdiocese of Paramaribo. In this case that cathedral had been closed for 22 years. I am sure we would not like our cathedral to be closed for any part of the 10-year period it is anticipated to take to complete the renovation.
However, it must be noted that though the church had been closed for two decades, the actual refurbishing exercise took only four years. Can we expect something similar to happen in Port of Spain? Let’s just hope and pray.