One of the conditions the bishop gave to mission churches, if they are to be upgraded to full parish status, is for them to construct a permanent church building and to build living quarters for the priests, often two, they would receive to run the parish.
I grew up in this area and at that time it was 15 miles to the parish and one of the largest mission. Today it is 9 miles to the nearby parish, St. Bruno. Because most people walk to church, 9 miles is very way to walk to attend mass.
I worked very hard with the help of friends to build the beautiful St. Bruno church which cost over $100,000 to construct. For the parish house (or priests’ house), the people in the area are supposed to collect rocks and sand and also raise money for its completion. Many of the people live on $1 a day and with inflation at nealy 40%, help is desparately need.
The foundation of the house has been completed but there’s still a lot to do:
- A bag of cement sells for $20 and they need some 600 bags.
- A piece of timber sells for $3-4 each and they need close to 400 pieces.
- For the roof, an iron sheet costs about $20 each and they need some 500 iron sheets.
- Labor is another big expense which will cost close to $10,000.
- A trip of sand (just transport) costs $10 and they need many trips of sand and stones.
It has been very hard for the community of some two thousand families to even raise $3,000. Yes, they have plenty of rocks and sand collected ready for transporting to the site, but they have no money to pay to transport it.
The total amount needed to complete this structure is $40,000.