The Pearl of Great Price chapel in St. Joseph building will undergo retrofitting anytime after September 10, after the work on the Blessed Sacrament chapel in St. La Salle has finished. The project is an independent project of the Lasallian Pastoral Office, and is not among those listed in the University’s campus renewal plan.
Only after the target design is approved will the cost be known, says University Architect, Sylvia Gonzalez. What is known, however, is that the chapel would be further lengthened, extending to the garden just outside the entrance of the library. The placing of multiple projectors in order for attendees to properly view the priest, songs and responses will also be considered in the target result.
Dr. Elis Maghirang, professor of the Biology department and an active member in chapel activities in the University, states that all areas of the Pearl of Great Price chapel need retrofitting, especially the drainage system. Water leaks are present, dripping from the ceilings and other parts of the walls. The floor will also be raised, since the low area is prone to floods.
He furthers that the gazebo beside the library and the entrance to the Cybernook are flooded immediately. The last Habagat flood resulted to water entering the chapel although the water only reached 2 inches at most, with no major damages incurred.
The biggest problem would be moving the congregation while the construction is taking place. Although the Blessed Sacrament chapel can accommodate a larger number of people, there would be difficulty with the setup, as certain equipment will have to be relocated. More maintenance personnel will be needed, especially during the chapel’s Sunday operations.
“More than anything else, It’s really a logistical issue, [especially] asking the [custodians] to help out in setting up [on a Sunday],” Maghirang states.
Increasing number of mass-goers
From a steady number of 140-180 attendees in the past four to five years, this school year has witnessed the most number of Sunday churchgoers, approximately 180-220 people. There are 240 attendees during peak season, such as midterms and finals week. Due to the chapel’s incapacity to host a large crowd, church folk stand by the stairs at the entrance of the library.
The number of Sunday mass goers in DLSU has increased as the years progressed. During 1973, it only ranged from 40-70 people, 80-100 from the late 1980s, 140-160 during the 1990s, and 160-180 during the early 2000s. This has to do with DLSU’s increasing student population, which is predominantly Catholic.
Maghirang furthers that some residents of nearby apartments and condominiums do not go home on weekends. Their respective families instead visit them in Taft. A considerable number of churchgoers are students who don’t have immediate families in Metro Manila and thus attend Mass on Sundays by themselves. Faculty members and alumni who live near the area are also regular mass goers.
Masses are conducted even on term break and on Christmas Eve. “It’s a mass of all Lasallian communities. The Brothers are here, the alumni, and everybody who [lives near the campus],” says Maghirang. The masses would then resume on the first Sunday after New Year.