The Government of Dominica has been invited to play a greater role in the cathedral renovation effort.
Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau extended that invitation during his homily at the Feast Day Mass of Our Lady of Fair Haven.
The Cathedral Renovation Project which started in 2013 was initially meant to be a replacement of the existing roof structure.
According to the Bishop, after seismic tests were done on the structure, it became apparent that more extensive work needed to be done.
To date, what started out as a roughly EC$2.5 million budget has been inflated to more than EC$12 million.
While thankful for all the donations that have been given so far, he took the opportunity to remind the congregation that everyone must contribute.
“Everyone must contribute, including the government,” said the Bishop while delivering the homily, according to an August 18 online news source Dominica Vibes (www.dominicavibes.dm/).
“You will recall that a couple of years ago, the government gave a donation towards the project and that created a great stir among our people. So, tell me my brothers and sisters, why shouldn’t the government of the people contribute towards a national monument?”
He explained that the building is over 170 years old. He challenged the congregation to imagine the contribution that the edifice has made towards the national development over the years.
“I tell you that in many parts of Europe, including Belgium, parish priests and bishops are not even allowed to do any repair to church buildings and cathedrals. In these parts, it is the responsibility of the State.”
The Bishop went on to note the fact that after the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, it was the French president who spoke of its renovation.
“By this, I am not implying that the same should be done here in Dominica, but I am saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong in the State finding it fitting to make a significant contribution to a monument of such national import, in fact, I am hereby gracefully inviting them to do so while I take the opportunity to say thanks for the contribution that they have made in the past.”
The Mass ended with a presentation by the architects working on the cathedral, followed by a tour of the renovation site.