April 3, 2015

Center Chapel re-opens!

By Chaplain (Maj.) Vincent Manuel
Fort Irwin Religious Support Office
Photo courtesy of Fort Irwin Religious Support Office
Chaplain (Maj.) Vincent Manuel blesses the Fort Irwin Center Chapel sanctuary following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the chapel reopening after being closed for almost six months after severe flooding in August 2013.

The National Training Center and Fort Irwin Religious Support Office celebrated the re-opening of the Center Chapel Sanctuary with two ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Sunday services, March15.

The first one was held at the 9 a.m. Catholic Mass, with the second ribbon- cutting at the 11 a.m. General Protestant Service.

Excitement and jubilation were clearly visible on the faces of all people at the services. There was a conviction that we were “in the right place” to worship and desire to worship!

A year and a half ago, in August 2013, the Center Chapel – along with many other facilities across the Installation – was damaged by the mass flooding due to Tropical Storm Ivo. As a result, the chapel was unusable for almost six months when the pews and carpet were removed for repair and replacement, revealing the concrete shell beneath. During that time, services were held in the post theater, and due to the size of the venue, participation in different services started to dwindle.

Meanwhile, new tiles and carpet were laid, and the pews were restored and installed. With the furniture and fixtures in place, the chapel had a brand new feel.

We are grateful to all those in responsible positions, and those who supported them, as well as the contractors who did the renovation, for their hard work and for presenting the NTC and Fort Irwin community a beautiful place of worship.

In this place, people who seek the truth will find it, the broken-hearted will find healing, and, above all, God will be worshipped. Let us make the best use of this place. Come let us worship!

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