I visited Sagrada Familia, our diocesan orphanage for older children, this morning. The progress is amazing! There are three floors; two are of concrete and brick construction and the third will be prefabricated on a base of bricks – see pictures. The third floor will contain a chapel, two big classrooms or workshops, a laundry area and a place for water tanks and a solar heating system for the water. The second floor will include five apartments (bedroom and bathroom) – some with only outside access so that “graduates” may continue to live with the community while pursuing higher education or vocational training. At least one will be for a resident supervisor. Each floor also includes two dormitory rooms, bathrooms with showers, toilets and washbasins and a tutor room with bathroom. One staircase has been completed in the main corner and another will be constructed at the other end of the building; only the landing can be seen in the pictures.
The old building is still not connected to the new for security reasons. The internal walls will soon be dismantled; the security grilles were being fitted as I visited this morning. The old building contains the kitchen and dining area and will connect to a large classroom or workshop (computers possibly). The old portable buildings where the children used to live are now dismantled and will be moved away and a large recreational area for the children will be created.
The pictures that you see above show the incredible progress. We hope to have a grand opening in July. Ricardo, who is managing the project, suggested this morning that a mural-painting team could decorate what will remain of the old sillar walls! Thanks be to Ricardo, Freddy the construction foreman, and Padre Juan Marcos who chairs the board of the Casas Hogares (Orphanages). Muchissimo thanks to all those whose financial contributions and sweat labor have made this project possible – Thanks be to God, and may God bless you.
Fr. Ian Montgomery