Bahai News - Valley faiths pray, offer support for burned-out Catholic church

'One family in God'

Valley faiths pray, offer support for burned-out Catholic church

By William Hermann
The Arizona Republic
April 22, 2000

On a noisy downtown sidewalk before a burned-out church, quiet prayers of support were offered Friday by worshipers from the Presbyterian, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i and Catholic faiths.

"We have different religious points of view, but we are one family in God," said the Rev. Paul Eppinger of the Arizona Ecumenical Council, as traffic roared past Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

"And like a family, we must support one another in times of trouble."

Since Monday, when the historic church suffered a disastrous fire, offers of support from across the Valley have poured in to the church's pastor, the Rev. Saul Madrid.

On Friday, Eppinger led a short prayer service.

The Rev. Arthur Campbell, pastor of Mission Del Sol Presbyterian Church in Tempe, said, "We read about this fire in the newspaper and were touched. We're here to offer our help to Father Madrid and his congregation."

The fire did about $1.5 million damage to the church, which was built in 1928. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined, officials said.

"We have insurance, but we don't know yet how much of the damage it will cover," Madrid said. "We've had many offers of help and a very generous donation from Temple Beth Israel."

Rabbi Kenneth I. Segel announced this week that Temple Beth Israel in Scottsdale is donating $11,000 toward rebuilding the church.

"When we read about the fire, we were inspired to call a few congregants, and they immediately wanted to help," Segel said.

"We know what good work is done at Immaculate Heart. We want to help that work to continue."

©Copyright 2000, Arizona Central

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