An abandoned church where the Apostle of Sri Lanka prayed some 300 years ago will have a new look when the Goan Church renovates it to mark the tercentenary of the saintly priest’s death. Goa and Daman archdiocese plans to restore the church and convent of the Oratorians, where Blessed Joseph Vaz lived. Joseph Vaz was a Goan priest instrumental in developing the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka before he died in 1711. “We want to restore it because the history of Joseph Vaz should live on,” said Father Eremito Rebelo, vice postulator for the Cause of Blessed Joseph Vaz. The priest said renovation work on the Church of Miraculous Cross, which covers 17,000 square meters on a hillock in Old Goa, will start in April. The initial project will cost around 80 million rupees (US$ 1.7 million), he said. The church and its parochial wing will be restored during the first phase. Father Rebelo said the restoration committee is looking to adopt a baroque style for the façade in keeping with the original format of the church. The church was built following a supposed miracle in 1619, but was abandoned in 1835 due to suppression of religious orders in Goa. ID13597.1644
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