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.