Demolition Becomes Donation
Published: October 15, 2009
Father Frank McNamee, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, addresses the crowd on hand for the Sept. 8 demolition ceremony. Once the buildings on the site adjacent to the school campus are demolished, the land will provide the school and church with a new area for green space. (Photos by Michael Alexander)
ATLANTA—When the Cathedral of Christ the King started the demolition of a property adjacent to the church as part of a renovation project, pastor Father Frank McNamee and founder of Mustard Seed Communities Msgr. Gregory Ramkissoon came together with a great idea for “salvaging and looting” to help others.
Demolition started on Sept. 13 and included 12 apartments and two houses, which were being cleared to make room for green space and a grotto for the Cathedral.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, far right, leads a prayer during the demolition ceremony. Standing with him in front of a building to be razed are (front row, l-r) parochial vicars Father Jorge Arevalo Alzate and Father Neil Dhabliwala, Father Richard Morrow, Christ the King School principal Peggy Warner, (back row, l-r) Tom Little, an architect with Surber Barber Choate & Hertlein and, building committee co-chairs Alan Carr and Bob Connelly and Father Frank McNamee, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King.
A team of 45 volunteers arrived the weekend before the demolition, and with a truck and donated warehouse space and some willing hands, the group was able to get two full truckloads of goods and more: tons of miscellaneous items, eight refrigerators, three new water heaters, 30 doors, 10 toilets, 12 sections of wrought iron railing, an elevator, and—of course—the proverbial kitchen sinks (eight). The value of the salvage was estimated at around $30,000.
Archbishop Gregory maintains a safe distance behind Christ the King kindergarten student Matthew Braun as he takes a whack at the bricks with the sledge hammer.
In addition to advice and encouragement from Father McNamee, Msgr. Ramkissoon and CTK’s Father Neil Dhabliwala, others sent prayers from home, while organizers Joe and Cecelia DeSanctis and Rich and Janice Givens led the work with the volunteers from the St. Peter Chanel Parish Mustard Seed group, the Cathedral’s Mustard Seed group, Cathedral parishioners, and Mustard Seed missionaries and supporters..
The donations are in the process of being inventoried and valued, after which Food for the Poor will provide a container for the goods to be shipped to Jamaica.
For information about Mustard Seed Communities, go to www.mustardseed.com.