Sacred Heart Church to be reopened in December 2013

Sacred Heart Church to be reopened in December 2013

sacred_heartconstr(Demerara Waves March 30, 2013) – Parishioners of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church are eagerly looking forward to the reopening of the newly constructed building after it was completely destroyed by fire eight years ago.

 Chairman of the Sacred Heart Rebuilding Committee, Ramsay Ali, said from all indications, the church will be reopened in December of this year. “We are looking at December for the reopening. As things stand now, we need $20M more for the completion of construction works and an additional $25M for furnishing of the building.”          

Ali was optimistic that the remaining funds would be acquired in time to ensure the completion of the building by December. A significant part of the funding came from corporate businesses in Guyana, and donations were also received from parishioners, both in Guyana and overseas.

“The Bishop has agreed that the daily and weekly Mid-Day Mass will be moved from the Brickdam Cathedral to Sacred Heart, when the church is reopened.  We will also be able to restart our outreach efforts in the community, which has a positive impact, particularly on children, who benefit from our feeding programme and educational activities,” he added.

The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church was completely destroyed on Christmas morning 2004 as a result of a fire believed to be electrical in origin. Sixty five parishioners were in the building when the fire began. All managed to escape unhurt.

Speaking at the church’s annual cross-bun sale held on Thursday, March 28, several parishioners shared their views on what a return to the Main Street place of worship meant for them and the surrounding communities.

Melissa De Santos has been a member of the church for over 30 years and has been closely involved in the reconstruction efforts.  “Notwithstanding all the challenges over the years associated with the reconstruction of the building, we are at a point now where the reopening is merely months away. It will be very nice to have our own home once again,” De Santos said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Tessa Fraser said she is extremely happy to be returning to the place which has positively impacted her life in many different ways.

“It will feel great to be back together as a family. I was married through the church and was baptized right here. The return to our home will give us the opportunity to continue important activities such as our bible classes, and feeding programme that benefited the neighboring communities. Weddings, funeral services and so many other activities that members get support for from the church will now once again be able to happen, as we return to our own building,” Fraser, who has been attending Sacred Heart for 13 years, pointed out.

Michael Abrams, who was once an Altar Boy and member of the church’s choir, said he is overwhelmed with joy to see the building in its final stages of construction after the terrible devastation.

“I have been a member of Scared Heart for more than 30 years. I cannot find the words to describe how overwhelmed I am by the rebuilding of the church. I remember rushing down here on the day of the fire, not wanting to believe that it was true, that the building was really on fire. It was a really terrible feeling to see the whole church destroyed. The challenges we faced throughout the reconstruction process was, however, more than worth it. It’s a joyous feeling to be able to return,” Abrams said.

The adjoining Sacred Heart Primary School was also destroyed in the fire.

Persons desirous of making donations towards the completion of the church’s reconstruction are asked to do so at Republic Bank Guyana: 268-496-7; Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry: CIDA 802530; New Building Society: 134769, Scotiabank Guyana: 10006626 or visit them online at: http://www.sacredheart.gy.

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