Madrid, Spain, Aug 31, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The parish of the Nativity of Our Lady in Valencia, Spain, as part of its 25th anniversary, is celebrating this week eight months of continuous, 24-hour service, made possible by more than 200 volunteers.
According to the administrator of the parish, Fr. Miguel Angel Vives, during the summer months, “we thought we were going to have problems keeping volunteers but it has been just the opposite.” He pointed out how gratifying it has been to witness “how so many people are willing to give a few hours of their vacation time to this endeavor.”
During the last eight months, the parish, which will remain open 24-7 for the rest of the year, has seen more than 35,000 people participate in its religious celebrations.
A large, electronic sign sits outside the church providing information to visitors. The sign displays everything from the current temperature, Mass times and parish activities, “to even inspirational phrases to get people to think.”
The parish has been open day or night since January 1, allowing access to the church “for those who wish to pray, reflect or mediate in an atmosphere of peace and silence,” said Fr. Vives. Likewise the church has provided a place for the homeless and people in need to find prayer and assistance.