on the New Bedford Standard-Times, October 8, 2000.
Ghost Museum inches closer to reality
Pedro M. Amaral
The Fall River
Holy Ghost Museum is inching a little closer to reality with the
appointment of a core committee to coordinate its development.
founder and organizer of the Great New England Holy Ghost Feast,
presided over a meeting at Comercial dos Açores, in Fall River. He said
he was very excited to see the project moving forward and he wants the
museum to open by next August.
already have the promise of support from the Portuguese government and
the backing of the diocese; therefore, we have to move fast," he
said. "I hope to see the museum already open by our next feast, in
August, even if it means to partially open it before it is complete. But
I am convinced we can do it, because we have a group of people with the
initiative and stamina to move forward, even in face of adversity."
proposed several names to head the project, including Jose Rocha,
current feast president; Clemente Anastácio and António Carvalho,
committee members; José Francisco Costa, a teacher at Bristol Community
College; and Caetano Valadão Serpa and Dionízio Costa, school
counselors in Cambridge and Taunton, respectively.
names included Rev. Jack Oliveira, of New Bedford; Rep. Michael
Rodrigues, D-Westport; Alfredo Alves, Fall River city councilor;
Francisco Cabral, director of SER-JOBS for Progress; and João Carlos
Tavares, a reporter for several Portuguese newspapers and news agencies.
remembered that the idea for the museum originated with Mr. Tavares.
four years ago, he wrote an article suggesting the museum in Fall River.
I called him a couple of days later and told him it was a good idea.
course, the Great Feast alone could not afford to have a museum
built," Mr. Sousa said. "When about two years ago, Dr. Jaime
Gama (Portuguese Minister of Foreign affairs) visited the area he knew
of Mr. Tavares' idea and mentioned it during a lunch at a local
restaurant, O Estoril. He said, 'We will help you as we are helping the
Whaling Museum in New Bedford and the Heritage Museum in Providence.'
But I fell ill shortly after, and the idea lay dormant for two years.
When Dr. Gama returned this year, he spoke of the museum and the help
the Portuguese government was willing to forward to us. But he was quick
to point out the need to have a committee that would include members of
the Great Holy Ghost Feast committee, the Fall River Diocese, the city
government, and the Portuguese consul in New Bedford."
Mr. Sousa said
many people who own artifacts related to the Holy Ghost feast plan to
donate them to the museum. In addition, he plans to have delegates on
every island of the Azores to collect and forward many original articles
to be exhibited at the museum.
Mr. Sousa said
Bishop Sean P. O'Malley has been very supportive of the museum in Fall
in August to discuss the museum and he proposed the St. Louis Church, on
Bradford Ave. as the site for the museum. I said to him, 'Bishop
O'Malley, I think the Holy Ghost is behind this idea. Had I not been
sick we would probably have built the museum by now, only God knows
where. But because I got sick two years ago and nothing was done, that
was enough time for the church to close and for you to propose it as the
site for our museum.' And it is the perfect site, spacious and close to
Mr. Sousa said
he is planning another meeting, probably this Thursday, with Dr. Carlos
Fazendeiro, the Portuguese consul; Mayor Edward Lambert, Jr.; and Rev.
Jack Oliveira to take another step on the way toward the Holy Ghost
Museum in Fall River.
with Rev. Oliveira and he is willing to be part of this committee,"
Mr. Souza said.
In fact, he
suggested the philharmonic bands and the folkloric groups be represented
at the museum as well. And he is right, because the bands and the groups
are traditionally part of the Holy Ghost celebration."
thing has to be made clear: we are planning this committee to help the
idea get off the ground, but the museum will always be administered by
the elected members Great Holy Ghost Feast committee," Mr. Sousa