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Archbishop, Vicar General visit Tortuga church restoration

The restoration of the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, Tortuga began on October 25, 2022, with great joy and celebration by the Shrine Committee and the parishioners of the Tortuga Parish.

Confirmation of a site visit by Archbishop Jason Gordon and Vicar General, Fr Martin Sirju on March 8 created great excitement for parish priest Fr Shijo Abraham MSFS, the Committee, the contractor, and project consultants as they excitedly prepared for the distinguished visitors.

March 8 was a swelteringly hot day, offset by the gusts of the Northeast Tradewinds that kept the restoration site cool. After the visitors had donned their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of helmets and reflector vests, they were escorted into the transformed site office.

They listened to greetings and introductions by Fr Abraham and an excellently crafted presentation by the project manager, Nigel Aqui. His Grace and Fr Sirju asked many questions, which led to a lively discussion on the restoration methodologies, the choice of timber and the structural engineering choices made on the project.

As the visitors toured the church, admired the newly installed greenheart walls and jalousies, and the partially completed roofing work, many more questions followed.

His Grace complimented the team on the near 40 per cent project completion and shared that he was excited to reconsecrate the Shrine at project completion. At the end of the hour-long visit, the visitors joined Fr Abraham for lunch before returning to their busy schedules in Port of Spain, contented that the project was in good hands.

—Diane Bertrand, Head of the Shrine Committee