Under a white tent on the street outside Our Lady of the Angels on a recent Sunday, the Rev. Adrián Vázquez led parishioners seated in pews and plastic chairs in celebrating 10 o’clock Mass, flanked by piles of rubble from the sanctuary left there by a deadly earthquake nearly five years ago.

To the left stood the still-broken church, with deep cracks in the walls, its half-collapsed dome supported by scaffolding and a leaning column. Behind the priest was a wax painting of the Virgin Mary, a replica of the one on the wall inside the building and all but out of sight for the faithful.

But Vázquez’s excitement was so great that it couldn’t even be hidden by his pandemic facemask as he delivered the good news: Just weeks before the anniversary of the Sept. 19, 2017, quake, work was finally resuming on restoration of the Catholic temple, which houses the treasured Virgin considered miraculous for having survived floods and earthquakes.

Source: AP News


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