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 Parish. 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 others.

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 16th July.


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Site last updated
1 April, 2019