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Cardinal Bergoglio launches campaign to restore Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

.- During a Mass on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires launched a fundraising campaign to restore the historic church dedicated to the founder of Jesuits.

The restoration of the church is scheduled to be completed in 2010, as part of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of its founding.  It was built in 1675 by the Jesuits and inaugurated in 1722.

The $2 million project will be carried out by the National Architecture Management and the Catholic Church in Buenos Aires, which seeks to raise some $600,000 for the restoration.

After the Mass, Father Francisco Baigorri, pastor of St. Ignatius, said the collection totaled some $4,000.  “We are very thankful for your response,” he told parishioners.

“The parish carries out important pastoral and social work in a poor area,” Father Baigorri explained.  “It’s important to realize that our patrimony is the responsibility of all.”

Currently the restoration work is focusing on the main altar, built in the 17th century, and on the organ.  More information can be found at www.sanignaciodeloyola.org.ar

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