St Mary's help
47% of the catholic churches in Chile, suffered damage as a result of the earthquake and tsunami on 27th of February 2010: this is according to the final report from the Office of Statistics of the Episcopal Conference in Chile (CECh).
12 of 27 dioceses in Chile were affected. 545 religious places damaged. This is
80% of the churches of the 9 regions affected by the earthquake.
El Carmen Chapel is in Estacion Central, a central district of Santiago, the
capital of Chile. The Chapel belongs to Our Lady of the Good Advice Parish in
Quinta Normal district. This Chapel was built in 1948 by the neighbors under
the supervision of Dutch Priests, who in those days were in charge of the
El Carmen Chapel serves around 500 people for sacraments, first communion
and confirmation preparation, bible workshop, exposition of the Blessed
Sacrament and painting, sewing, handcraft and dance workshops among
Although El Carmen Chapel doesn't have clearly visible damage, the building
in fact suffered a lot during the earthquake. The chapel has several cracks leaving the building in a very dangerous condition. At first the architect
thought that demolition was the only option. Miraculously it was possible to
repair without demolition but the costs are quite high relative for Chile.
On Wednesday 19th May 2010, the parishioners of St. Mary's Cadogan Street
put together a fundraising concert in aid of "El Carmen Chapel" and managed
to raise £1,270
Visit to El Carmen Chapel in July 2010
The picture shows the celebration after mass on the Feast of the Virgin del Carmen. Natalia, who is the connection between St. Mary's and El Carmen Chapel,
traveled to Chile in July and used the opportunity to give the donation to the
Chapel directly. The parishioners of El Carmen were overwhelmed with such
generosity from Catholics so far away. They can't thank St Mary's enough
for this great help and kindness.
The Virgin del Carmen
The feast Day of the Virgin del Carmen is
on 16 July, Chileans gather to honor their
patron saint and protectress of the nation
and the armed forces. Citizens show their
allegiance with folkloric processions and dancing in the surrounding streets.
El Carmen Chapel is named after the
patron Virgin. Unfortunately during the
earthquake one of the major losses for the
parishioners was the broken image of the
Madonna. But thanks to the contribution of
St. Mary's the parishioners of El Carmen
were able to use part of the donation to
buy a new image just in time to celebrate
the Feast of the Virgin del Carmen and
celebrate and bless the new image on the
Following the initial
laying of the new floor,
all Weekend Masses are now back in the Main Church !
Deo Gratias !