Meet the Shrine Committee

Meet the Priests

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The Restoration of OLM began in 2000 and ended in September, 2004. Although the concept of the restoration project was envisaged during the pastoral leadership of Father Ian Taylor, he was sent to shepherd the faithful in Moruga before the work of the project had actually started. In his absence, the parish was without a priest for seven years, and it was during that time that the Friends of Tortuga RC restoration work was completed.

In June of 2004, Deacon Steve Duncan was assigned to the parish of Our Lady of Montserrat, while awaiting his ordination a few months later. Upon his ordination, he was assigned as parish priest to the parish and he began the long and tedious task of rebuilding the parish structures and instruments which had crumbled in the absence of a priest. In 2009, five years after the end of the restoration project, “The Canticle of Our Lady of Montserrat Pilgrimage” led by Diane Bertrand (the present President of the Shrine Committee) set out to visit Marian Shrines in Europe, especially the Basilica of Our Lady of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain after which the Tortuga Church is named. Father Duncan was the spiritual director of this most significant journey. Upon meeting Our Lady of Montserrat “in person”, and after hearing of an ancient map housed in the museum in Catalonia which showed the Tortuga Shrine among other shrines named after Our Lady of Montserrat across the globe, Father Duncan was convicted in his intentions to focus his efforts on the Tortuga Shrine and the leverage the hard work that was done before his time by the hard working Restoration Committee.

On January 26, 2010, a newly commissioned Shrine Committee led by Diane Bertrand, met at the presbytery for its first meeting. This historic meeting was the first of a series of monthly meetings which has issued in annual fund raising activities (Afternoon Tea with Our Lady, Advent/Christmas Carol Service), shrine enhancement projects, team retreats, strategic planning workshops, the development of a museum, a bookshop, restoration of statues, maintenance of the church grounds, the paving of the church yard, the painting of the church inside and out, the completion of a documentary and the list goes on and on. The Shrine Committee is made up of a dedicated team of parishioners who dearly love Our Lady of Montserrat. This love keeps them focussed, committed, and united in their quest to make the intercession of Our Lady known throughout the world and to elevate OLM in Tortuga to a status of an internationally acclaimed Shrine.