‘The $7 million needed to complete the cathedral lies in the pocket of every catholic’ – Monsignor William John-Lewis

The Catholic community in Dominica is being urged to dig deeper into their pockets to assist the church to raise the EC 7 million dollars needed for the completion of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Fair Haven in Roseau.

“We have the money; it is in our pockets, and we have to go find it,” stated Monsieur William John-Lewis. “It’s in the pockets of all those listening to us, and all of us who have a feel for this place and a love for this place and understand what this place means.”

His remarks came while addressing the launch of the fundraising activities at the cathedral building last night which coincided with the presentation of a new book on the life of His Eminence, Cardinal Kelvin Felix, written by Justice Irving Andre.

Monsignor John-Lewis expressed “regret” that the project which first started in 2013 has taken so long, but says that non the less, it will soon be completed.

“The money that has been spent has not been wasted. I don’t think that many of us have an idea of how much work has been done here…but what we look forward to is that the day will come and soon, where we will rejoice at the work done and to see an even more beautiful more accomplished renovated cathedral of our Lady of Fair Haven,” he remarked.

Chairman of the fundraising committee, Val Cuffy, stated that while they have been receiving support, there is a greater need for efforts to be advanced.

“We can all begin Sunday coming to increase the second collections, so if you used to put $5.00, you can put $10.00. If you used to put $10.00, then you can put $20.00. If you use to put $50.00 you can put $100.00, and if you can put a thousand may God be with you always,” Cuffy said.

Adding his voice,  Davis Letang of the Cathedral Fundraising Committee issued a call for Roman Catholics to recommit their energies to the completion of the Cathedral.

“It seems like a tall order, but believe me, if we recommit ourselves, each of us sitting here this evening, we can make some appeal to our other friends, our Catholic friends, as well as non-Catholic friends, and we can bring this place to completion in a very short time,” Lelang declared.

According to him, upon completion, the Cathedral is set to be one of the “most beautiful buildings in Dominica,” and reiterated his appeal for the public to recommit themselves to its construction.

In the upcoming days, Letang says the committee will be engaging members of the 15 parishes to help develop fundraising ventures which will aid in advancing the construction.

“We will also be targeting our business people,  to perhaps make a contribution on a monthly basis as their interest and enthusiasm have waned, so we’re going to rekindle it. We will be going to our Dominicans in the diaspora and our catholic school alumni to see how together we can bring this house of God to completion,” he further stated.

Diocese Engineer for the Cathedral, Tarik Rolle, revealed that the project which was anticipated to be completed in 2015 is currently at lot seven out of seventeen.

Currently, the team is working on the fabrication of the timber, shutters and doors at $332 thousand as well as the retrofitting of the bell tower and spire estimated at $1.6 million.

At a press conference on September 14, 2020, former Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire, revealed that just over EC$3-Million was needed to complete the renovation work of the Cathedral.

“When we decommissioned the church in 2012, we thought that it would have taken about three years to be completed and then we would be back in the cathedral but it has not been so. The actual renovation project was very evolutionary in a sense as we moved along we saw more things which needed to be done,”  Bishop Malzaire stated then. He went on to note,  “So we started with a project that was simply the removal of the termite ridden roof to replace it at a cost of about 2.5 million dollars and that would be it, well that’s what we thought.”

Based on the last update provided by the former Bishop, now archbishop of the Diocese of Castries, about nine million dollars has so far been spent on the project.

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38 Comments

  1. May 26, 2022

    Sorry Monsignor John-Lewis I sympathize with you; but according to the calypsonian “go read your PROVERBS”

  2. JAH KAL
    May 25, 2022

    Ask Malzair the crook, what happen to the money , skerrit and his goon’s use the Salisbury catholic church as shield to attack the people , and Salisbury being a catholic community he stood by and said nothing, Crazy T, once said ,boy doh worry man Malzair is our boy. The 500.000 skerrit give Crazy T, the six million skerrit tell Sam Raphael not to pay back , ask those so call catholic priest turn politicians to ask Crazy T , and Sam, to pay up, and ask skerrit for more donation he have million’s out there . Ask the Pit Bull he will tell you more .

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  3. Iamanidiot
    May 24, 2022

    It not in the pope pocket?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  4. mine
    May 24, 2022

    Am a catholic but the amount of money that was put towards the church it is sad 7 millions is needed to complete it. Was it wrong constructor ? Or the funds was mismanaged?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  5. D
    May 24, 2022

    piece by piece by piece… Instead of the church giving the poor malaway, it is now demanding that poor malaway remain poor and hungry and build church …. Yessah

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3
  6. Tt
    May 24, 2022

    Don’t give any religion money. They too wicked. Religion was taught to us by our masters. A religion of love was used to enslave, colonize and disenfranchise Many a people. Open your eyes people, stop sponsor these predators

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  7. Offerings
    May 24, 2022

    You all made Pope John Paul a Saint. So pray to saint Saint John Paul and he might tell all you where he have money hide. He knew the financial need of the church! So pray to him hear what he has to say. Catholics pray only to saints; never to Jesus. Now they ain’t hearing from the dead saints so now they are coming to living. Go back to your saints. How about pope Pius and Luis? They didn’t answer?😂😂😂 How about the “Virgin”? Did you all ask her? Since all say she didn’t have a husband (bread winner) I guess she must be broke as well. Good Luck 🍀

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4
  8. Pipo
    May 24, 2022

    Val, surely you are not implying that God will always be with you when you pay. That reminds me of the old days when the prominent elite in our society had their name plates affixed to to their reserved pews at the front of the church in the believe that it would bring them closer to God. This is a foolish idea Val, which only vain people believe in. God does not care about the vain only but He did send his son to feed the hungry. Remember?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  9. Eyes Wide Open
    May 24, 2022

    Leave the economically challenged Dominican parishioners and their limited coins alone. I am sure the resource rich Vatican state will have no problem dropping what amounts to be 7 million in chump change to them.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  10. The Calabash
    May 24, 2022

    These large churches are no longer useful to small populations. However, there is still romance in this cathedral and it could serve a role for special occasions and as a tourist destination. Here’s my suggestion: Sell the church and property in my village of Massacre and use the proceeds for the cathedral. That church is no longer suitable for the parishioners. The land is ideal for the government’s housing initiatives and other uses.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  11. BobD
    May 24, 2022

    Salvation will never come to those who make the Catholic Church their go to place of worship. All the denominations emanating from the Church, preach and practice the business of fellowship. The Catholic Church have historically been in the forefront of EXTERMINATING the Native people of this Hemisphere, Enslaving the Africans and Crimes against Humanity have been on the front burner of the Church from the days of Contanstine’ to the present, a span of only 1500yrs. Those perpetrating Dominica’ march for peace should include the Church. Reparations from the Catholic Church should be the discussion of every home and workplace. Today. The plate is passed at Funerals, even the dead is not out their reach. By the way, it was the Church who coined the concept of HELL as we now know it. In reality, The TRUE Church lives is in the HEART of Man and Woman, the Catholics have shackled it in a man made building..

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8
  12. Truth Be Told
    May 24, 2022

    In this hard economic times with rising inflation and increased cost of living? Monsieur William John-Lewis have a heart and show some compassion! Remember Jesus Christ did not build up temples, instead he tear them down! Jesus Christ never preached or saved anyone in a church or a temple! He preached on the mountain, in the fields, by the river, on the beach by the sea! You men are no men of God, just money, money, money all these religions are after money while they live well in palaces and their congregation go hungry! Sell the church to feed the poor, that’s what Jesus ordered, not for the people to sell their homes to feed the church! Why don’t you contact your Holy Father in Rome? Contact the Vatican which is worth billions of dollars by all calculations!

  13. Just Saying
    May 24, 2022

    Every Catholic and not the Vatican?!!! The criminology of religion is unbelievable. Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion (Euro) to $15 billion (Euro) that equates to $43 billion EC dollars. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate. Dividends help pay for Vatican expenses. Unlike ordinary stockholders, the Vatican pays no taxes on this income. Call Pope Francis and as for $2.43 million, it will cover the $ million needed for the repairs of the Cathedral.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
  14. Jonathan Y St Jean
    May 24, 2022

    The modern Catholic Church in Dominica turned it’s back on the people, especially under the stewardship of Malzaire. The Pope constantly speaks up on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, and the victimized with the power of God, fearing no politician and political party. Yet the Catholic Church and many other religious denominations in the country choose to lie in bed with the harlot and the wolf regime and ignore the hopeless plight of their supposed flock. To ask poor, destitute people, some of who live in the shadows cast by the coming “most beautiful building in Dominica when it’s completed” without speaking out on behalf of the oppressed who live there is morally bankrupt. Does the church have any plan to assist those who live in dilapidated houses near the cathedral in the future? The church likes to tell us to pray when we have great needs, so my advice to the church is to do the same and pray harder unless they act as Christ did for the poor.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  15. Mr King
    May 24, 2022

    So question . When you all started the project you all didn’t have the funds ? so why even go ahead .. just repair what u think needs to be repaired .. Either this is a case of bad project management or somebody stole all the money. So i am going to destroy my house and say okay i will get money along the way . this dont make no sense to me. Who ever came up with the idea of this . Took the money . Since donkey years this is building . by the time my children have children this will finish i suspect

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 4
  16. Tt
    May 24, 2022

    A 4 billion dollar organization needs the congregation to pay 7 million to rebuild church. Ok …

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 4
    • Ibo France
      May 24, 2022

      They (the churches) exploit the poorest among us. These people give their last thinking that they are giving to God Himself, and they would be fully rewarded after their death on earth.. Giving to the church for many of these vulnerable people is like buying a plane ticket to Heaven.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
    • Follow the Money
      May 25, 2022

      The 4 bil$ figue is from since the 70’s, seems to be a generic number used to declare something.

  17. Toto
    May 24, 2022

    Well, count this catholic out. I’m sure God will hear my prayers in more humble surroundings all the same. Asking us to contribute so much money when our people are hungry and still under tarpaulin. Sorry but no. I sure My God does not want that.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 3
  18. AA
    May 23, 2022

    In these hard times I see no way people can dig into their pockets to build a church. Use the church as is and complete little by little.
    It is a struggle right now. I am catholic but the important thing right now is to keep the family going, just like everyone else.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3
    • Frank N Stein
      May 24, 2022

      Really? I thought DA was a a great country under Skerro? I see so many posts about struggling I am confused. Isnt the PM building a third mansion? ISnt he living in a 64k house paid for by happy tax payers? What is really going on here?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  19. dissident
    May 23, 2022

    Seriously an extra $5 to $10 ts taxing on the ordinary worker/ Catholic……. whereas alot of the money makers and movers also politicians are Catholics no one is bold enough to demand that they contribute according to their largese that they flaunt for the public to see.
    Perhaps they don’t see it as a lucrative investment
    On the other hand I know that Dominica has a diplomatic office in the Vatican!!!!!
    Help!!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
  20. Braindamage
    May 23, 2022

    The Vatican is one of the world’s richest organization to be existing..
    All Roman Catholic properties belong to the Vatican Church.

    So Mr. John-Lewis, express your concern to the pope and let him dish out a cheque of $8 million dollars and keep the change.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2
    • out of south city
      May 24, 2022

      Say it loud, my brother!!! We don’t need more religion anyway. That’s one of the institutions that the enslavers/colonizers used to divide and conquer us. Made us forget our African Spirituality and gave us religion. They have demonized our Spirituality and have us looking up to the sky for a white man who is not coming back for us. Stop using the people for monetary gain.
      UNAPOLOGETIC

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  21. give uo
    May 23, 2022

    wickedness!!!!
    real vampire system

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3
  22. Rat Race
    May 23, 2022

    What a joke! More and more people are running away from religion, towards spirituality.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3
  23. Ibo France
    May 23, 2022

    These people who are imploring the poor to give for the full restoration of the church building are stone hearted.

    Look at most of the attendees station in life. They are jobless and penniless. Forced to ply a trade of mendicancy for survival. The Vatican has millions in reverse as many millionaire members contribute to it. EC $7M is like peanut change.

    My problem with the Catholic church and many other religious denominations is that they take too much and give too little. The communities of their members are not served too well by these churches. The relationship between the church and its members can be described as mostly parasitic.

    When was the last time anyone saw these ‘Fathers’ out and about in the communities doing charitable work or lending a helping hand? Hardly ever.

    The Catholic church is a huge edifice in the community but invisible to the parishioners. Their presence is not felt.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 3
  24. MAGWA CA
    May 23, 2022

    it lies in the pocket of the vatican . not the people of dominica. you cannot see the people them struggling to make ends meet? go ask the vatican . they have millions in banks ask them for money

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2
  25. Lin clown
    May 23, 2022

    DLP government gave $500,000,the UWP said government should never have made such a donation………………………They should ask UWP to make a donation the same way they are collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for Linton’s legal defence.I hope Skerrit do not ask his supporters to donate a cent.Ask the Rattlesnake Pastor another UWP puppet for help.Who is Irvin Andre?Edincort Peter St.Valle was the personal driver,security and a member of PJ softball team and homeboy of former PM Patrick John.St.Valle once lived at the home of PJ Andre wrote a book about Patrick John and never interviewed St.Valle.CROOKED.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 46
    • Robby
      May 24, 2022

      Do YOU make a donation? I rest my case! You don’t give you only take. Mainly begging from Skerrit in exchange for voting and making senseless propaganda. I just wish one day I will meet you. A bleeding nose will be the least of you worries then, fool.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • Ibo France
      May 24, 2022

      ‘DLP government gave $500 000K’. This was solely calculated to buy influence. After such a colossal donation, the Bishop turned a blind eye, and was stoically indifferent to all the wrongdoings of the serial law-breaker and his brainwashed disciples.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  26. If we knew better
    May 23, 2022

    You know what, best they just demolish that. Since 2008, them man playing with that building. Millions given on more than one occasion. But yet people cannot go to church at the Cathedral

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3
  27. Richard Swift
    May 23, 2022

    It also lies in the bank accounts of the Vatican!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3
  28. pal_lotte
    May 23, 2022

    The Cathedral should have never been closed in the first place. You all should have worked gradually…. and they have the guts are calling on the poor people to take out the last dollar they have (don’t give NOT one more cent. We want out online masses back then we will negotiate Cathedral completion. They doh have NO shame (sacway torné) The new Redemptorist’s Bishop when he comes will build it. We want no local (diocesan) bishop. They tout volé.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
  29. Pal_lotte
    May 23, 2022

    Lol….alu too hypocrite. Tell Gabriel to finish what he started. I am ashamed as a catholic.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3
    • If we knew better
      May 24, 2022

      To me he left the country to go back to St. Lucia. That is why Fr. Jno. Lewis is asking to have the job finished

  30. Roger Burnett
    May 23, 2022

    “If you used to put $5.00, you can put $10.00. If you used to put $10.00, then you can put $20.00. If you use to put $50.00 you can put $100.00, and if you can put a thousand may God be with you always.”

    But surely the blessing of God is the other way about, as in the nursery rhyme:

    Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
    Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
    If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
    If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2
  31. Winston
    May 23, 2022

    Including the one in the Vatican.
    John-Lewis obviously has myopia and doesn’t see much farther than his bourgeois congregation. If he did, he would see the terrible poverty and living conditions many islands are living under. This statement shows that he is completely out of touch with the thousands of Dominicans who can’t afford to cook lunch for him.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

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