The Restoration Workshop of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, West Orange, NJ started in 2009 during the Lenten season.  What began as a community building effort to promote alms giving, charity and prayer between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday became a vehicle to pay back deceased priests for their lifetime of serivice and pay forward candidates about to enter the priesthood.

The workshop involves repairing or transforming personal effects of priests who have died and creating a biography of their lives, including their date of ordination and place of service.  These items and biographies are then given to candidates for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey.

Members of the workshop share a meal with the candidates and give them their gifts personally.  It is hoped that this gesture creates a bond between past and present and priest and laity.

Some of the Restoration Workshop Members with items they restored
May, 2009
Msgr Bradley and Jean Kubilus. Msgr Edward Bradley was instrumental in this project. He gathered the objects for us and gave us the biographies of the deceased priests. In this picture, Jean is giving him a cross she made for him as a thank you gift.
Items restored by the Restoration Workshop. They were given to the candidates for ordination into the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey in May 2009.
Crucifix restored by Restoration Workshop. This crucifix came to us in pieces and we were able to fix it. On the back was a handwritten label with the name of the priest and the date of his ordination. The date was 52 years to the day of the candidates date of ordination!
Artwork made by the group. The group also made artwork for the candidates using found objects and decorating photograms of religious statuary. The gold frames were made from the foil from the potted Christmas pointsettias that decorated the church!