Tag Archives: catholic chapel in Dominica

The history of two chapels in CALIBISHIE

by Bernard Lauwyck

Calibishie chapel hall 2007 July 4th 1972 was a festive day in Calibishie, as their brand new church hall or multipurpose building was official opened by Bishop Arnold Boghaert.  A large crowd gathered, “including truckloads of visitors from as far as Soufriere and Giraudel”, according to the Dominica Chronicle.

Calibishie chapel Hall 2006

The chapel in CALIBISHIE before hurricane Dean in August 2007

The building was adored with a mural done by Lennox Honychurch, based on a design of Gilda Thibaud Nassief, with the theme “casting the net” which was an appropriate image for a chapel dedicated to St. Peter.

Calibshie chapel mural 2007 casting net

“casting the net” mural in the Calibishie chapel before 2007

Frs. Henri Brennan FMI, parish priest and  Jean- Baptiste Villeneuve FMI, the builder, concelebrated with the Bishop.

This building sustained damage with each passage of a hurricane , in 1979, in 1980 and in 1995. Even as repairs were done after the damage the building kept deteriorating: the steel structure, exposed to a lot of seablast lost its structural integrity; concrete foundations were cracking; the roof developed more and more leaks; a branch of a breadfruit tree fell onto the roof; the chapel flooded several times. calibishie chapel without roof Nov 2007

As a result Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, in consultation with the parish priest at the time, Fr. Celsus Auguiste, decided that a new chapel building was needed.

Fundraising for this new chapel was in full swing when Hurricane Dean hit on the morning of August 17, 2007 and lifted & rolled up the roofing. The parishioners had no choice but to look for an alternative place to worship: first at the government school building and later, when that building was also declared unsafe for the public, a local restaurant.

On August 24, 2010  I presented my design for the new chapel  to Fr. Celsus Auguiste and his Calibishie Chapel Reconstruction Committee and it was accepted.

Calibsihie chapel new design approved August 24 2010

Rev. Fr. Celsus is very happy with the new design

Calibishie design for new chapel in Calibishie Aug 2010On September 26, 2010  Bishop Gabriel Malzaire performed a ground bearing ceremony with a large crowd in attendance. I had the opportunity to explain the design and its liturgical symbolism. Sadly Fr. Celsus could not attend this important event as his mother died a few hours earlier. Sept 2010 208Sept 2010 213

The technical drawings were approved by the Physical Planning Division on November 17, 2010.

Requests for tenders went out, but as the available funds were insufficient, only a section of the building could be started. The construction of the foundations and the erection of the galvanised steel frame were started in August, 2012. Once that was done, the works could only continue as funds were limited: the concrete floor was cast with volunteers between January 11-12, 2013; the concrete blocks were installed with self help in April 2013.

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Status January 2013 : concrete floor cast with coud de main by parishioners

It was slow going but the catholic community, under the leadership of Fr. Conan Shillingford and a hardworking building committee, was determined to finish their chapel.

Holy Mass in unfinished chapel in CALIBISHIE

Rev Fr. Conan Shillingford conducts Holy Mass in unfinished Calibsihie chapel

Finally all their efforts were rewarded when they moved into an unfinished chapel, still under construction, late 2013. The building at that time had no windows nor doors.

The Divine Mercy and patron Saints images and angel murals were installed in 2014. P1120806

Artist Caesar CATIN at Calibishie chapel Sept 2014

Artist Caesar CATIN at Calibishie chapel Sept 2014

The works and fundraising continued and finally, the chapel was ready for the official blessing on July 2, 2017.  Bishop Gabriel Malzaire in the presence of Fr. C. Sebastian Robert MSFS, parish administrator Deacon Alvin Knight and a large gathering solemnly dedicated the new chapel to Sts. Peter and Paul.

Sadly Fr. Conan could not attend this moment he had work so hard for, as he was on sick leave.

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Procession to the new chapel July 2, 2017      (photo courtesy Deacon Alvin Knight)

What remains to be done is the construction of a tall bell tower, with toilet facilities and a vestry under neath.

see other articles on this chapel in this blog (below). P1230791

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The St. Martin de Porres church in CANEFIELD

The Canefield design watercolour1

The Canefield Church

canefield-church

interior design of Canefield church

Bishop Edward Gilbert consecrated the altar at Canefield

Bishop Edward Gilbert consecrated the altar at Canefield

Canefield church blessing

The dedication and blessing ceremony of the Canefield church

The dedication and blessing ceremony of the Canefield church

I have not been able to write up the history on the Canefield church, but I will certainly do this.

Dominica contains all types of churches from Romanesque to Neo-Gothic to modern styles.

Canefield church interior

THE OLD and BEAUTIFUL CHURCH in SOUFRIERE

By Bernard Lauwyck

One of our oldest and most beautiful churches in the Diocese of Roseau is the church in Soufriere. This small church is worth visiting as it is a real treasure.
soufriere tiling July 2008 007

Over the last 10 years a huge amount of work was done by several priests to preserve and beautify this church and I am honoured to have been part of every phase of restoration and renovation.

The Parish Church of the St. Mark’s Parish was built by Rev. Fr. Antoine Auguste VERGNE of the FMI congregation (Pères de Chavagnes, France). He became Parish Priest of Soufriere on the 21st of December 1876 and remained at Soufriere till his death, 30 years later, on 31st July 1906. His dedication and tremendous efforts in this parish were recognized in a memorial plaque in the church.

On his arrival in the parish in 1876, he met a dilapidated church building, which in his own words was “unworthy of the God of Tabernacles”. He first extended the sanctuary and constructed a new sacristy behind it. Then the existing Marian chapel , “Chapelle de la Vierge” was enlarged. To make the church cruciform, another side-chapel was erected on the opposite side. All walls of the old church building and the roof were raised to their proper height. But Fr. Vergne did not stop there : a choir loft was added and a magnificent belfry with winding staircases, all in concrete. He finally imported from France, three beautiful marble altars and a baptismal font to match them. The installation of brand new church pews and “artistically “ iron-wrought Communion Railings completed the beautiful church.Soufriere Baptismal font for article

Some of his works, especially the exquisite tabernacle and baptismal font and part of the communion rails can still be admired today.

Sadly the high Altar was broken up in pieces after Vatican II to create the present altar and the tabernacle stand.

The yearly pilgrimage of Our Lady of Lourdes was initiated by Fr. Henry Lorieau on February 11, 1914, with the approval of Bishop Philip Schelfhaut C.Ss.R, fifth Bishop of Roseau (1902–1921). This pilgrimage has met astonishing success every year since, up to this day.

In 1995, hurricane Luis removed part of the roof, which was promply repaired by Fr. Clement Jolly, C.Ss.R.

In 2004 Monsignor William John Lewis, with the assistance of DJ sister Jeannette Pelletier, started the renovation of roof and ceiling of the Soufriere church. These works done by a local team were conducted by foremen Peltier and Etienne. Electrical and painting works followed, the latter done by Diocesan workers.

The next phase in the renovation works was the tiling of the floor with marble tiles, donated by Food For the Poor (USA). I prepared a beautiful lay out with the diverse tiles. Francis Daisy did the tiling in July 2008.

tile design for Soufriere church in2008

tile design for Soufriere church in2008

New pews  were constructed in the SMA workshop as funding became available.

Since hurricane David, the once beautiful stained glass windows were in deplorable and damaged condition. Below are some of my photographs of the damaged windows.

In May 2014, Kelvin Cardinal Felix, Parish priest of St. Mark’s, installed three new Stained Glass windows, designed and produced by Vison Art Glass in Canada. It is the cardinal’s hope to continue the replacement of all the 18 windows.
Take some time off and visit this most beautiful church in Soufriere
 

Since hurricane David, the once beautiful stained glass windows were in deplorable and damaged condition.

In May 2014, Kelvin Cardinal Felix, Parish priest of St. Mark’s, installed three new Stained Glass windows, designed and produced by Vison Art Glass in Canada. It is the cardinal’s hope to continue the replacement of all the 18 windows.

Take some time off and visit this most beautiful church in Soufriere Continue reading

THE BEAUTIFUL CHAPEL in PICHELIN

Many people are not aware that there is a beautiful catholic chapel in Pichelin, as it is located from the road. Pichelin chapel The idea for the chapel was proposed by Monsignor William John Lewis.  I had the honour to design it and carefully choose the materials for the building. The late Elliot Rolle (+2010) was the contractor. It was completed in 1991 and blessed on December 1, 1991 by the late Bishop Arnold Boghaert (+1993), while the late Fr. Jerome Moody(+2006)  was parish priest of Grandbay. The chapel feast is the Epihany

DEC 2013 178

Picture of St. Dominic and flowers around Our Lady

The newly re- dedicated St. Dominic chapel in Atkinson

On July 13, 2012.

design and supervison by Bernard Lauwyck

design and supervison by Bernard Lauwyck

TRUMPETS AND LIGHTS in ATKINSON

I am dedicating this short article to all the Catholics of St. Dominic chapel in Atkinson, who have worked tirelessly to bring their dilapidated chapel to the present beautiful Place of Worship.

This project, called the enlargement and renovation of the Atkinson chapel, took (7) seven years, a sacred period. Faith, perseverance, patience are words inscribed in these walls. Blood, sweat and even hardships !   IMG_1223

Despite a major lack of funds, this faith community continued to follow my master plan, a design and a 14 steps renovation plan of action.

The project was started with widening the chapel with 8 feet and the installation of a new roof structure and covering. This was done with a grant of Propagation of the Faith. Next were new windows and doors with a grant from Adveniat or the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Food for the Poor donated plywood for the ceiling free of charge. They also donated at a later date timber posts for the pews.

Then funds dried up and were no longer available.

But the people spirit was indestructible and indomitable.

Despite a lack of parish priest in the parish for long periods, the project moved forward. It was initiated by Rev. Fr. Sharplis , designed by me, started under Rev. Fr. Jacobs, continued by Monsignor John Lewis, administrator Nurse H. Thomas and finally completed under the present Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Elveau.                      I also recognize Sr. Pat’s (ICM Sisters) great contribution.

When the grants were exhausted, no effort from the local parishioners was too great, no donation in kind too small. Galba trees were donated, these were dried for 6 months and then boards were made, installed, varnished. Tiles and so many other items were donated by parishioners. Work was done for free. I just had to provide assistance and guidance. And when I fell sick, the project still went on till completed.

I can not single out persons to thank, there are too many names to call, too many I carry with me in my heart.

The driving back from many meetings over the years, at night, were very lonely journeys, but my heart was warmed by the spirit demonstrated in the Atkinson meetings. Meeting them was like a homecoming.

I just want to say that it was a privilege and honour to be part of this “building Church together” effort.      IT WAS SEVEN YEARS WELL SPENT!

Atkinson showed the way, many will follow, if just given the chance and guidance.

Bernard Lauwyck , Diocesan Engineer

TRUMPETS and LIGHT

“The singers were accompanied in perfect harmony by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, as they praised the Lord singing: Praise the Lord, because he is good, And his love is eternal. As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud shining with the dazzling light of the Lord’s presence, and they could not continue the service of worship.” 2 Chronicles 5:10

Blow trumpets and horns, and shout for joy to the Lord, our king.” Psalm 98:5-7

you are to gather for worship, and no work is to be done. On that day trumpets are to be blown.” Numbers 29:1-3

design presented to congregation at the beginning of the project in 2005

design presented to congregation at the beginning of the project in 2005

On the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me, and I heard a loud voice, that sounded like a trumpet, speaking behind me. Revelation 1:9-11