LIMA, Peru — “It took a lot of time, sacrifice and effort,” said Christopher Dunn, OFM, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, “but we finally have an unfinished — but usable — addition.”
The parish, in the Mateo Pumacahua district of Lima, began using its new large meeting room during Holy Week, with construction continuing through the last weeks of Lent.
“On the Wednesday of Holy Week (April 20), the icon of Our Lady Star of the New Evangelization was placed in the large meeting room on the second floor of the catechetical center,” Christopher said. The icon was purchased in Rome more than 10 years earlier “for the large meeting room, which at the time was only a dream or plan on paper,” he added.
Plaster and Electricity Finished
“Ten and a half years later, after lots of work by the parishioners,” Chris said, “the icon has finally been moved into its intended place.”
In December 2010, the roof for half of the center’s second floor was poured. During Lent, walls, beams, and columns were plastered and a sub-floor poured. Electricity was installed April 18 to 20.
Chris said, “The new area gives the parish a large meeting room, a classroom, a music room, bathrooms and stairway to the future third floor. The additional space helps to alleviate the congestion in the original five meeting rooms.”
Painting to be Done
The space — financed almost entirely by fundraising efforts — still needs doors, windows, tile flooring, railing for stairways and painting to be complete, according to Chris, who has served at the parish since 1988.
He said the parishioners plan to paint the walls over the coming months. In July, members of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle, Va., the sister parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, will assist with this task.
“Building up a community of faith is a long-range project,” said Chris.
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.