The History of Churches in the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Catholic Church “Our Lady of Divine Providence” on Providenciales is a brand new building, but its origins reach far into the past.
The old church structure was replaced in 2011. The new church is designed by an Italian. Interestingly enough, the very name of the church, which goes back hundreds of years, can be traced to another creator, also Italian. View construction pictures.
Located on the island of Providenciales, (spanish for “providential” or divine providence) the church is striking in its appearance with a sweeping roofline from which a steeple rises at one point. There is a pyramid shaped skylight with a golden cross atop it. It allows sunlight into the interior and onto a beautiful central marble altar. View pictures from Phase 1.
The new building is a modern design with modern conveniences like air conditioning. Gone are the days when visitors sat sweltering in the Caribbean heat.
“You used to sit on folding chairs in a building that had slatted walls to the outdoors with no A/C,” said one visitor.
The church interior is white with columns and trim in caramel shades almost mimicking the look of palm trees. There is lovely natural light coming in from windows and the roof skylight. The space is clean, open and inviting.
The church’s name “Our Lady of Divine Providence” refers to the Mater Divinae Providentiae, a painting done by Scipione Pulzone in the 1600′s. Pulzone, from Gaeta, Italy, depicts the Mother Mary cradling the baby Jesus while the Holy Child holds its Mother’s hand. This is a symbol of Mary’s power and place in the Catholic faith. Through Mary, people could bring their pleas for help, deliverance and consolation.
The words “our lady of divine providence” then are not unique in the Roman Catholic world. You can find many churches with this name, as the words are central to the basic beliefs. But this church on Providenciales is unique with its modern architecture and its very location in the Caribbean.
But what visitors seem to notice is not just the physical building but the atmosphere of the services held here.
“This church,” remarked one visitor, “has the most reverent and beautiful service. The music is fantastic and the priest is very uplifting.”
The church building is beautiful indeed, but its pastor is just as special. Reverend Monsignor Peter Baldacchino, received the title Reverend Monsignor from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. This title is usually given to a priest who has done outstanding work.
Our Lady of Divine Providence is a church with a deep history and now with a spacious, modern structure will continue to serve the Providenciales community long into the future.
Our Lady of Divine Providence
Turks and Caicos Islands
Saturday 5:30pm (English)
Sunday 9:00am (English)
Weekdays (except Weds.) 5:30pm (English)
For more information visit: Our Lady of Divine Providence Church