14ymedio, Havana, 3 August 2020 — The ceiling of the presbytery of the chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Havana, the mother house of the congregation of the Daughters of Charity, collapsed this Sunday afternoon. The church was empty, so there were no victims to regret.
On Monday, several workers could still be seen inside the chapel cleaning up, removing the wooden benches and removing the rubble.
Located on Calle San Lázaro, in Centro Habana, next to the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, the neo-Gothic construction dates from 1874 and part of it, known because the congregation offers anonymous alcoholic services and other activities, is under repair.
In 2015, regarding the perks received by the Bridgettines order from the Government, a nun from the Daughters of Charity told this newspaper that they had been waiting for a long time for a permit to repair their convent. “While we have spent years waiting for authorization for a capital repair of our convent, the Bridgettines manage to open a new one and even build a hostel for tourists,” the nun complained on that occasion, preferring to remain anonymous.
In the images released by instant messaging, one can see the extent of the damage suffered by a facility that is heavily visited by parishioners in the area, one of the densest neighborhoods in the Cuban capital. There is a large chapel in the building and from one side there is access to the convent of the Daughters of Charity.
The church provides help and support to the community in the surrounding area and has been an important humanitarian pillar for the collection of donations after the passage of several hurricanes or flooding by the sea that have affected that low area of the Havana coastline.
“Everyone who knows our chapel knows how many people enter each day to leave their prayers there, especially the patients of the Ameijeiras hospital,” wrote the Daughters of Charity on social networks. “We ask that you accompany us with your prayers and that we can fix this place.”
The collapses, increasingly recurring in Havana, do not always end without victims. On July 24, a 68-year-old woman died when the building where she lived in the Havana municipality of Cerro collapsed. It was second death in less than a week as a result of a collapse. A few days earlier, a worker from the Communal Services who collected the garbage in San Miguel and Belascoaín, died when part of the building wall fell down on him.
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