|Fr. Patrick Corrigan LC and friends|
Fr. Patrick Corrigan LC, ordained in Rome, Italy, on November
1, 1970, has worked in Mexico for 43 years. He
has served on the Isla Mujeres at Immaculate Conception parish,
and in Bacalar, where he oversaw 52 local communities, including
the poor refugees of the civil war raging in Guatemala
at the time. He is now assigned to Chetumal, in
the state of Quintana Roo, south of Cancún.
Fr. Patrick is
a parish priest of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church, but
he is also in charge of the economy and chancellery
of the local diocese and is director of the boys
and girls section of the Regnum Christi and director of
the Christian doctrine organization.
In his “spare time” he manages the
construction of a new parish church called "Saint Joseph the
Worker" (San José Obrero).
Following, Fr. Corrigan tells us about his
parish work and the new building project.
How did you come
to be in charge of building the church?
There are few
priests to serve in our area, and the local priests
agreed that the established parish (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) would
take on this added responsibility to our already full program.
I am overseeing the new housing estate and I was
able to acquire sufficient land for a new church, the
bishop invited me to take charge of building the church
and the pastoral activity thereof.
How did the project begin?
efforts were to get the people together to make a
shaded area to protect the community from the sun and
the rain. Some men arranged eight posts, strong enough to
sustain a Mayan-fabricated thatched roof. They did an excellent job,
might I say.
Sometime later, however, a cyclone destroyed this magnificent
contribution. (That group of faithful men also assisted at the
Masses while I celebrated under a tree.) After that ordeal,
the thatched roof system was replaced with a tar macadam
How are things progressing thus far?
Thanks to the help
of an architect, I had a general plan made for
the land and the smaller facilities and buildings. I knew
that to round up the amount of money was going
to take many years.
I have been at the church for
seventeen years looking for ways to finish the project. I
celebrate Mass on Sundays on the ground story, which is
supposed to be classroom space, but because of the space
required for the Mass, these are not yet completed.
help out by giving donations, taking up collections, holding raffles,
dinner-dances, breakfast get-togethers, selling food rations in the make-shift kitchens
on Sundays after Mass and sometimes in the evenings.
difficult phase of the building project has been the roof.
With the contributions of so many generous people, we´ll go
as far as we can. The estimated cost for finishing
the church is $186,000 dollars, including the roof, walls, floor
and all the little details included.
Has this project benefited the
When we considered the length of time it would
take to get the money together and then to build,
we left planning the Church to last, so that we
could form the community first.
|Putting up the roof of San José Obrero.|