COAR’s Chapel-on-the-Hill in need of Emergency T.L.C

This beautiful chapel, the spiritual center of the COAR community, is in need of a bit of T.L.C. (Tender-Loving-Care).  The powerful summer storms and constant tremors that plague El Salvador do not take a detour around COAR’s school, foster care facility, clinic and chapel.  But, the chapel, sitting high upon the hill for all to see, is the most vulnerable to damage from the harsh Salvadoran climate.  We need approximately $25,000 to make emergency repairs to the roof, walls, electrical and drainage systems, paint for the interior/exterior and new bibles, instruments and a sound system.

As the 1,000 boys, girls and teens from around Zaragoza returned to COAR’s school in January and joined the children who live at COAR Children’s Village full-time, one thing was clear:  the center of spiritual life for the children was in need of repair.  Unfortunately, neither the parish of Zaragoza nor the COAR school can afford to pay for these much needed chapel repairs. 

The COAR chapel was built in 1989 under the oversight of Father Ken Myers (founder of COAR) and the Incarnate Word Sisters and with the support of COAR Peace Mission in Cleveland.  Since its creation, the chapel has become the spiritual heart for the COAR community.  Twice each week, all of the students from K-12 attend mass in the chapel.  Each weekend, all of the children living at COAR Children’s Village celebrate Holy Mass and Communion with their housemothers there.  Throughout the year, the chapel is used for baptisms, confirmations, first communion and spiritual retreats organized by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza who are in charge of the spiritual formation of the COAR children.

But, the chapel needs immediate repairs before the harsh summer storms turn moderate damage into a major structural catastrophe.  The estimates have been made and the work is ready to proceed.  We simply need your support to get the work done!

Your donation will fund repairs to the chapel’s roof, walls, and colonnade.  It will allow us to replace the damaged false ceilings and make electrical repairs.  We will be able to repair the damaged sewer lines and renovate the bathrooms which are unusable currently.  And, we will repaint the interior and exterior of the chapel.  In order to enhance the joy that comes from celebrating mass as a community, your donation will allow us to buy new bibles, musical instruments and a sound system. 

COAR Children’s Village is the only home that our children know.  Without COAR, these wonderful children would be open targets for street gangs or victims of abuse in overcrowded and underfunded government facilities.  COAR needs your continued support to be able to provide food, clothing, education, and medicine to the children.  And, although it is not glamorous, we need your support to pay the salaries of the housemothers, social worker, psychologist and other adults who keep the children safe and loved.  But, we also need your help to make these emergency repairs to the chapel so that it can remain the beautiful and safe spiritual heart of the community.  COAR was named after slain Archbishop Blessed Oscar Romero – in response to his call to protect the children.  As a Catholic institution, our chapel on the hill is a shining beacon to all of Zaragoza that Catholic Social Justice is lighting the way for all.