The Lady Chapel is located in the crypt of the church next to the sacristy. The area was, since the new church's construction in 1988, been a store-room filled with Christmas decorations, boxes of old books and vestments. At times the room was also used to hear confessions by re-arranging the clutter and setting up a temporary confessional space.
A parish benefactor asked that a chapel for Our Lady be constructed in the parish crypt if some space could be allocated for it. As the parish had several statues of Our Lady not properly on display in the upper church - only one statue of Our Lady should be on display in the church - it was agreed that a Lady Chapel would be constructed to properly venerate the images of Our Lady that the parish had that were donated by various benefactors over the years. The parish also had one of the original statues of Our Lady of Fatima from the old church that warranted attention and veneration.
Work began with the dismantling of the outside wall of the store room and opening the space up so to better utilise the area and design a chapel.
The chapel displays a statue of Our Lady of Lourdesgiven by a benefactor. A statue of Our Lady of Grace, also a gift, is given a space together with the parish's original statue of Our Lady of Fatima which has undergone much wear and tear over a half century or more. She bears the title, "Our Lady of Bruises". Other historic Marian items and statuary are displayed.
A large portrait of a 16th century painting of Our Lady of The Rosary of Pompeii hangs over the chapel altar. This portrait comes to us from the Pontifical Basilica of Our Lady of The Rosary located at Pompeii in Italy. It was gifted to the parish here by The Reverend Guiseppe Ruggerio, a priest of the Italian shrine. (see information above on this shrine).
The chapel is used for small group prayer, especially the Rosary, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Mass for small groups.
The Lady Chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of The Rosary of Pompeii, is soon to be completed.
There are a few cosmetic touches to be completed and a change in lighting.
Some shelving is needed and a column upon which to place the original statue of Our Lady from the first church is also needed.
This portrait of Our Lady of The Rosary matches that found in the great Basilica of Our Lady of The Rosary in Italy. The painting was a gift to our parish from the Italian shrine through Fr Giuseppe Ruggerio, a priest of the shrine, who has visited Bimini. (see above)
OUR LADY OF BRUISES
This is not an official title for Our Lady, but this is the original statue of Our Blessed Mother that was venerated in the first church for over half a century. It has seen better days. It has been moved, stored, bandied about, carried here and there...and in the process it has been bruised, bumped, chipped and damaged.
There was discussion about simply placing it securely in a cupboard or attic. Others suggested it be painted over. However, Deacon Michael suggested we keep the statue as it is and display as it is. He said, "Our Lady herself had a life during which she experienced bumps and bruising -- we recall her seven sorrows -- and Calvary was so painful." He added, "We all have bumps and bruisings in our own life and we can look to Mary to share our pain and hurt because she knows all to well the pain and hurt that can come our way. She didn't always have an easy time of it. So, lets leave her as she is. When life gets rough and we're in stress, hurting, frightened, or in pain. We remember her. We turn to her. Our Lady of Bruises. She'll lead us, as she always does, to Jesus who brings and interior peace, inner joy, quiet calm and a great hope."
Our Blessed Mother loves us and wants us to share Heaven with her in the company of the angels and saints before the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - the One God.
Her prayers of intercession for us are exceptionally powerful.
THE LADY CHAPEL is in the lower church and is expected to be dedicated in early 2022.
The chapel is being funded by a private benefactor for the expressed purpose of having a chapel dedicated to Our Lady.
The small chapel contains several images of Our Blessed Mother but the central piece is a copy of the 16th century painting of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii which is found in the Basilica of our Lady of The Rosary in Pompeii Italy.
The copy of the image was gifted to the parish here by Fr Giuseppe Ruggerio, a priest of Pompeii.
Over the main altar inside the shrine at Pompeii is the famous 16th century image of Our Lady of the Rosary. A copy of this painting has been gifted to our Lady Chapel in Bimini by Fr Giuseppe Ruggerio of the Pompeii shrine.
The Basilica of Our Lady of The Rosary
at Pompeii in Italy.
Fr Giuseppe Ruggerio
Removing a wall to open the store-room space so the chapel could be extended