.- The Church of the Holy Family in Barcelona, the unfinished work of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, will be ready for worship in 2008 and its construction will be finished in 20 to 30 years if projections are accurate. In order for the church to open its doors in 2008, project leader Joan Rigol, recently named to the post by the Archbishop of Barcelona, explained that will be necessary to finish the roof over several parts of the church that remain uncovered. He said the project committee expects this stage to be completed in the next three years.
Rigol said one of the objectives of the project is to strengthen the ties between the church and the city. Already the church receives more than 250,000 local visitors each year. It’s also the most popular monument in the entire country of Spain, with more than two million visitors in 2004.
Archbishop Luis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona underscored that the Church of the Holy Family “is not only a great work of art,” but also “ a great catechesis in stone where one contemplates the entire life and mysteries of Jesus Christ,” in addition to being a “witness to the transcendence of God and of the Beyond.”
The archbishop also noted that the cathedral encompasses “three centuries of history,” and its author, Antoni Gaudi, was “a man a God who knew the Scriptures” and “understood things through prayer.” For him, “God was beauty and he could give shape to that in art.” “He was a great architect and a genius,” the archbishop said.
The chief architect of the church, Jordi Bonet, revealed a new work of art to be featured at the church, which will be a 196-foot statue of the ascension of Jesus, designed by Josep Maria Subirachs, a same sculptor who designed the façade that displays the mysteries of the Passion of Christ.