SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls congregation can empathize with the people of Paris in the aftermath of this week’s fire that damaged the Notre Dame Cathedral. A different “Our Lady” church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, has been rebuilding from a fire that damaged the interior of the building back in December. Since then, the church has been raising money for repairs while services are held in a gym next-door. The repair work will go on long past the Easter holiday.
Our Lady of Guadalupe has its own resurrection story to share for Easter.
“The resurrection is going to be very evident as we move back into this church,” Father Kristopher Cowles of Our Lady of Guadalupe said.
But that move is still weeks away as the church converts from a charred interior to a rebuilt and remodeled work-in-progress.
“As of right now, they’re putting in the sheet rock and redoing all the electrical, ventilation and a lot of other things inside the church,” Cowles said.
Thousands of dollars in donations from the community are helping pay for the repairs. An act of generosity that’s an inspiration in itself.
“While it’s been this heavy weight there’s been this sense that the whole community of Sioux Falls has come together has united around this mission,” church member Douglas Bonilla said.
Parishioners acknowledge a sense of loss at not being able to hold Holy Week services inside their church. But they also know the transformation, once complete, will fill them with a spirit of renewal.
“So we have to make do with our celebrations here in the gymnasium, making this an adequate location for these sacrifices,” Bonilla said.
The repairs are expected to be completed in June. So until then, members of Our Lady will embrace the Easter promise of new life awaiting their return to a restored sanctuary.
“Even though something terrible had to happen, something more beautiful has come of it because of that,” Cowles said.
The church has a GoFundMe for donations to pay for the repairs.