Parishioners of St Joseph’s in Riverwood are depending on the intercession of St Joseph the Carpenter, and the generosity of people, to help raise $500,000 in funds to pay for their church’s new roof.
About four months ago it was discovered that the roof of St Joseph’s church was deteriorating due to termite damage.
With the possibility the roof could collapse at any moment, the parish was forced to replace it immediately. Construction on the new termite-proof ceiling is already well underway, but the parish is struggling to raise the $500,000 needed to complete payment for it within three months time.
“We’re walking in faith and invoking St Joseph the Carpenter,” concerned Parish Priest, Fr John Doherty, told The Catholic Weekly.
“People have been very generous so far but we do need to re-double our efforts and ask more people to be generous.”
The parish has already spent $391,000 on the new roof and on replacing the floor, which was also infested with termites. Although the usual Mass schedule has not been interrupted, due to a temporary structure holding up the roof, the piety stall and choir loft had to be closed due to the damage to the floor.
A letter asking for donations went out in mid-September to every home in the parish. An updated version of the letter will be sent out again, Fr Doherty said. “It is an act of faith as our financial position means that we cannot guarantee finishing the work,” Fr Doherty wrote in his initial heart-felt letter.
“We cannot take out a loan for that much money as we do not have the capacity to repay it. The Church is first of all the Body of Christ but we Catholics believe that the physical Church is the house of God where we are in the realm of the divine.
“St Joseph’s Church in Riverwood has been here for generations for Catholics (and sometimes non-Catholics) at the key moments in our lives: baptisms, weddings, funerals, and the weekly and indeed daily offering of ourselves in memory of Jesus Christ’s offering of himself for our spiritual nourishment in the sacraments.
“If the Church is to be here for future generations, we all need to be generous now for our children and their children.”