July 28, 2004 Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church's rebuilding project moved closer to completion as church members on July 16 set the new building's cornerstone.
The congregation expects to celebrate Christmas in the new church. "It's a question of funding and organization," the Rev. Charles Crespo said.
The church wall around the cornerstone will be set with stone. Gabriel Hyacinth and Bernard Lascaris, local stonemasons, are expected to begin work on the stone facing within the next 10 days. The facing will be built from stones given by parishioners and church friends.
Crespo, who shepherds the flock at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, said that by collecting stones from the community, the members would make a contribution to the building's construction. He asked that residents drop off stones for the project at the church.
"Their simple contribution will far outlast our lifetimes," he said.
He said that drawings are in the works for an air-conditioning system, lighting and interior design. Doors and windows are due from Nicaragua in October.
Crespo said most of the money for the doors and windows came from donations by tourists who attended mass during the winter season. Meanwhile, the congregation meets for mass and other functions in the adjacent social hall.
After rebuilding the social hall and the rectory, contractors two years ago tore down the old church. The building had fallen into disrepair and no longer sat firmly on its foundation. Crespo said the church built as it got the money. This has sometimes been the cause of low morale among church members.
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