Fr Leonard E Dollentas
The Cathedral Parish of the Nativity of our Lady opened its doors for the first time after months of renovations for the 6:00 pm Mass on Saturday, September 4, giving parishioners their first glimpse of its newly renovated interiors. After the reopening of the Cathedral was announced last August 29, the excitement was even greater for parishioners returning after its months-long. The Church of Santo Domingos in downtown Senado Square stood in for the Cathedral church over the past months.
Indeed, something more striking welcomed parishioners back: a transformed interior with a mission of its own. The inside has a more dignified ambiance, with more solemn enhanced interiors, a coat of fresh paint – restoring its original color palette and with quite elegantly designed lighting fixtures.
“It has been a long time since the Cathedral looked better, and I feel nostalgic. I feel I went back to my childhood when I saw its color. This was the color of the cathedral when I was a little boy. I think the color of the interior was really restored to its original hue,” said one old parishioner on the opening day.
Admiring the beauty of the cathedral, another local parishioner said: “This newly renovated cathedral will attract more people to come to Macao, especially those coming from our neighboring Asian countries. A space with a modern aesthetic could help draw people who might otherwise have little interest in the Catholic faith, particularly young people.”
The Cathedral’s three (3) communities comprising the Chinese, the Portuguese, and the English-speaking group are now better served with a newly renovated place of worship in the heart of Macau. Bishop Stephen Lee and the assisting priests of the cathedral are very grateful to the all-out generosity of the parishioners who supported the renovation project.
Meanwhile, the English-speaking community will continue their usual schedule in the cathedral. The 5:00 PM Sunday Mass will still be followed with the Our Lady of Perpetual Novena at 6:10 PM, after which the 6:30 PM Mass follows. The weekday Masses in English will still be celebrated at 6:45 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The community looks forward to a meaningful Christmas Novena Mass (Simbang-Gabi) celebration come December. (Photo by Ivan Leong)