Project to help rebuild the parish church in Río Chico, Ecuador.
The parish priest of Río Chico (Ecuador), Fr. Kevin Deakin, S.H.M., has started the project “Mission Río Chico” on behalf of the Diocese of Portoviejo. The goal of this project is to rebuild the Parish that was severely damaged after the earthquake that took place in April of 2016. Here, we offer you the text of the Diocesan project that can be found here.
At 6:58pm, April 16th, 2016 a devastating earthquake (7.8 on the Richter scale) shook the country of Ecuador to its roots. Many were left dead or injured underneath piles of rubble that they once called “home”. The inhabitants still tell of the horrors and fear they experienced that night and the days and weeks that followed.
The town of Río Chico is no exception. The earthquake brought down homes and businesses, and to the great dismay of its inhabitants, the chapels and the very parish church have been left inept for the celebration of the sacraments. While this past year has been marked by efforts to erect provisional homes before the winter rain season hit, we have been forced to celebrate baptisms, marriages, funerals the Holy Mass in small parish halls, patios, gymnasiums and the town square. The townspeople are enthusiastic about the rebuilding of their temple, but find themselves unable to cover the costs of such an enormous undertaking. Built over a hundred years ago of bamboo and wood, the church needs to be leveled and built to resist another earthquake.
This project is much more than the reconstruction of a church building. It contributes to the psychological and spiritual healing of the town and its roundabouts. The most important moments of their life are marked by the celebrations of the sacraments in the church of Río Chico: baptism, marriage, first Holy Communion, etc. All are eager to hear resound the church bells calling to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, celebration that sanctifies the life of the town in each stage of their lives.