On June 27, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, local Members of the Order of Malta’s Western Association gathered to celebrate the completion of phase one of the handicap-accessible project at the mission church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help church is one of three churches within Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs.  The other two are Sacred Heart Church in Colorado Springs and Holy Rosary Chapel in Cascade.  All are apostolates of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

Dedicated in 1889, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.  The historic church has survived fires and many other challenges during its 125 years, and it desperately needs an access ramp and deck to accommodate those who are unable to climb the stairs at the church entrance.  The nearby Grotto, originally built in 1905, also needed work.

The Associate Pastor, Fr. Randy Rentner, CSC, blessed the newly renovated Grotto, and Bill Maggio, KM, gave a brief presentation on the history of the Order of Malta.

Attendees included the Colorado Springs and Denver location members who helped fund the project, Manitou Springs’ Mayor, John Graham, Rev. Suzie Merrin of nearby St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, priests and novices of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and many parishioners.

Phase two, scheduled for completion this summer, is now underway, with the construction of the ramp leading to the church and to the community building. If funds permit, an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible restroom will also be added in the community building, the Fr. Schultz House.