The Roseau Cathedral Renovation Committee is hoping to re-instate a pledge system to help raise funds to complete the project.
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church Gabriel Malzaire revealed at a press conference on Tuesday 4 August 2015, that the church requires 6.7 million dollars to complete the project which commenced in 2013.
The Roseau Cathedral, which is 159 years old, represents historical, cultural and religious significance for the people of Dominica and is being done in phases.
The first phase involved the removal of items in the Cathedral and the preparation of St Gerard’s Hall as a place of worship, the second phase involved the removal and disposal of the asbestos material on the roof, while the third phase involved strengthening the foundations and construction of new concrete columns to support the weight of the new roof.
The fourth phase, which is currently under way, involves the installation of the steel frame to accommodate the roofing material.
Phase five will include the purchase and installation of a new roof cover, which according to Bishop Malzaire, “is presently estimated at 3.1 EC million dollars or 1.1 million US, while phase six involves retrofitting the main tower and the steeple which is estimated at 1.3 million dollars”.
“So while much work has been accomplished, we still need to raise an additional 6.7 million dollars towards the completion of the Cathedral. This is indeed a challenge for us,” the Bishop said.
As such, in an effort to obtain financial support, member of the Cathedral Fundraising Committee, Dr Valda Henry told the press conference that a pledge system will be relaunched.
Dr Henry said if the six thousand three hundred and fifteen Catholics pledged one hundred dollars a month, “we’d have more than sufficient money to build this church and to do all of the work that the parish needs”.
“One of the things that the committee really wishes and hopes is that that pledging system becomes, you know, part and parcel of our Catholic giving,” Dr Henry added.
She said while the Church would not ask its members to give ten percent tithing as most of the protestant churches do although “that would be wonderful, but a pledge of a hundred dollars a month to aid the church in its work would be tremendous”.
Dr Henry highlighted the importance of the pledge system in obtaining the necessary funds as “the Cathedral is ours to build, it is the seat of the Bishop of Roseau, it is really the seat of the Catholic Church in Dominica and for Catholics that has to be the pride of our worship”.
Dr Henry indicated that the Roseau Cathedral Renovation Committee has other fundraising plans to include a play written by Dr Alwin Bully and a concert featuring Jamaican Jimmy Cliff.
The committee has long wanted to stage this fundraising concert featuring Jimmy Cliff but was finding difficulty in reaching his manager.
“We have now reached his manager and so the Jimmy Cliff concert is nearer a reality than it is a dream. Again, when that concert comes through, we expect to be using the stadium because we expect a full house of Dominicans coming to patronize,” Dr Henry explained.
Meanwhile, the Committee will host a cocktail party in which Bishop Malzaire third book entitled ‘Christ & Caribbean Culture (s)’ on Friday 7 August 2015 at the grounds of the Bishop’s House on Turkey Lane, Roseau.
Tickets to the cocktail party cost one hundred dollars per person and include the cost of one book.