A Catholic Church in Antarctica

PPio-1.jpgIt was 5 years ago when WAP did launch the idea to build a Catholic Church in the area of the Italian Base MZS, at Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica.
Recently during a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo at the grave of  San Padre Pio, I noticed something that captured my attention. On the chapel at third floor of  “Casa di Sollievo della Sofferenza” (this huge Hospital is one of the Miracles done by Padre Pio the holy Friar  with the stigmata), there is al Altar surmounted by a big white wafer, which recalls Antarctica!Ant_ppio.gif
Compare the two images in this article: the one at left (the Altar at 3rs floor of the Casa di Sollievo della Sofferenza) and the one at right (Antarctica) and see how similar they are. Is it a sign? .. maybe it is…
We have never lost our hope , but I did pry San Padre Pio to help this dream to be materialized.
We strongly believe that one day, a great Cross will, stand up on our Catholic Church in Antarctica.
Read all the previous articles on this section to follow the story of our project.

Flat pack Church for Russian workers

Trinity Church r.jpgThe Russian Orthodox Church is so concerned about the spiritual well-being of workers in Antarctica that it is sending them a flat pack church and a priest. Here is the story:
– “In early 2002, the Chief of the Russian Antarctic Expedition was received by the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II. During the discussion they decided to commemorate all the Russians who gave their lives for the sake of study and exploration of the Antarctic. Arch Peter Anisiforov 1st L, project of the church_r.jpgSo the Patriarch proposed to build a Russian orthodox church at one of the Russian Antarctic stations. This choice was in full conformity with the Russian historical traditions. The place for construction of the church was selected at Bellingshausen station on King George Island. The Creative workshop of the Architect Anisiforov (First Left at the B&W pic on the R) designed the church.  A group of Siberian architects won a national competition to design the church. They built it out of Altay cedar wood, which is considered a precious material, and incorporated 30 types of timber into it – a feature of old Russian churches.
On August 18, 2003, the Patriarch of Russia issued a decree on establishing a Patriarchy podvorie at the Orthodox Temple in Antarctica. The Temple was placed under the Confessor of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra. The Bishop of Sergiev Posad, Deputy of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra was requested to designate a priest who will be the father of the temple in the Antarctic.Bellinghausen-Church_r.jpg
The church was then dismantled and its different parts numbered and transported to the Kaliningrad port. It took five cars nine days to reach the port, and the parts are now being loaded onto a ship bound for the Antarctic.
It will be more than two months before it reaches its final destination, the Bellingshausen research station on King George Island.The church’s architects will then fly there to help put it back together. Yevgeniy Morozov, who is heading the expedition to the south, said the church would provide extra support for workers there, who usually have only themselves to rely on. He said up to 64 people working in the area have died since Russia started occupying the region “So the Orthodox Church has decided to show some concern for their souls and build this little church.”
Aleksiy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, has given the project his blessing and Father Georgy, who has 20 years of experience in the Polar regions, will conduct the services in Antarctica.
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3154956.stm .
The Russians did certainly a great good job, with the bless of the Patriarch Aleksiy II. When the Catholic Roman Church will do the same at the Italian Base MZS in Antarctica?
Our hope and our prayers are always in that direction, sure that this dream will materialize one day.

From Diocese of San Jose, Silicon valley, California

Posted by Kimberley Ledwell

Church Banner.jpgMy name is Kim Ledwell and I am the IT Director for the Diocese of San Jose, in Silicon Valley California.
I found your website while I was looking for a Church I could contact
and ask for prayer requests.  I see that you are trying to get a
Church built and wanted to see if the efforts have been successful and
if so if the church has a website or e-mail address.
Thank you so much, Kim

Here is the reply from WAP side:
HI Kim,

I’m Gianni Varetto I1HYW,  the content Manager for WAP (Worldwide Antarctic Program). Thanks for writing and happy you found our proposal to build a Church in Antarctica something interesting for you and for our brothers at the Diocese of San Jose. Your prayer is always welcome.

If you are reading all the spots put on “Church in Antarctica” since the beginning,  you can have a full picture of the whole situation. Actually we have:

an Italian Architect who did make the project

an Italian building Company which did offer to build and donate the hardware.

a German shipping Company which did offer to transport the hardware in Antarctica at zero cost.

a young Italian artist who did offer to paint (for free), holy pictures for the Church.Church at Exhibition hall.jpg

What is still missed is the permission which has to be given by the Italian Antarctic Dept. (PNRA-Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide), that actually have the responsibility of the Italian Scientific Base at Terra Nova Bay (Antarctica) which is not too far away the US Base of Mc Murdo. 

We did involve several politics,  the Vatican State, the Pope Benedict XVI, and the Secretary of Vatican State Card. Tarcisio Bertone as well as the President of CEI Card. Angelo Bagnasco, but unfortunately so far we have got nothing back.

We are still hoping that the bless of Lord
will help the burocraters to take a decision and of course any help
from  anyone WW will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

With best regards 

Gianni Varetto I1HYW


Project of the WAP Church for Antarctica

Church_Project_at_MARC-2008.jpgShown at MARC-2008, Genova, Italy

Last May 17 & 18, WAP was present at the MARC Fair Exhibition in the City of Genova and there,  we did show the project WAP_&_Church_Project_MARC-2008.jpg for a Church to be built down in Antarctica in the area of the Italian Scientific Base.

Next week a group of pilgrims will go to Rome  to meet Pope Benedict XVI. They will bring His Holyness a letter with the up date of the situation, which actually, seems to be blocked into some bureaucracy !

Hope  Pope Benedict XVI will bless our initiative and the blessing can help to break the bureaucracy wall!

BIO-TECHNOLOGY and our CHURCH in Antarctica

La_Pancalera_febbraio_08_r.jpgThe use of bio-technology is more a modern need rather than a nowadays fashion. The project of building a New Church  in Antarctica is a proposal launched by WAP back in the year 2003, which unfortunately has not been approved yet by the Italian National Antarctic Dept. called PNRA.

On a local Italian Newspaper (la Pancalera www.lapancalera.it ) in its February 2008 issue, there is an interesting article  explaining about the characteristic of this kind of  bio-building material, well explained by Ing. Sebastiano Bertero, the man who will donate the building to the Italian Base MZS in Antarctica as soon as the PNRA will accept this donation. The Church will be fully built according to the bio-building techniques.

Help us to do it…. It is not an easy task but I’m sure we will accomplish it!

A Church in the icy Continent


Father João Sartori is a priest that lives in Coimbra, Portugal. I met him last April 2007 at Fatima during a pilgrimage and we did talk about the project of build a Church in Antarctica.

He is one of editor of the Famous Magazine called  “Messenger of San Antonio” ; he did share the initiative and written a great article about it.

Thanks though to Father João Sartori, the “Mensageiro de Santo Antonio” did publish in its January 2008 issue,  3 pages about the project of build a Church in Antarctica at the Italian base Mario Zucchelli.


Father João, said the “Mensageiro deMensageiro4.jpg Santo Antonio”
is published in 10 different languages, let’s hope it will be retaken
in other Countries and let’s hope the dream comes trough the bureaucracy
and became one day a reality!

On page 15, 16 and 17 of the magazine also are the pictures of the Chapel of the snows at McMurdo, the Trinity Church at Bellinghausen and Capilla Reina de la Paz  at the Chilean base Presidente Frei.

Thanks  to Father João .

Help us to reach the goal, stay with us and follow our dream!



The Chapel of the Snows and its history.

Part 2


To replace the chapel, volunteers converted a Quonset hut near the station’s main building. While they worked to complete this temporary
chapel, the Chalet served as the site for the community’s religious services. However, this building, which normally houses NSF and contractor offices, could not accommodate both Sunday morning services and daily administrative activities during the summer season. On Easter Sunday 1979, the temporary chapel was dedicated.

The current chapel was constructed over four summers and completed in 1989. Volunteers using salvaged material built the only know house of worship in Antarctica.

bluechapel1r.jpgThe McMurdo Station Chapel of the Snows sits on a knoll overlooking McMurdo Sound, the peaks and glaciers of the Transantarctic Mountains, across the bay from Mount Discovery. It is the world’s southernmost building constructed for religious services.

From the March, 1989 Antarctic Journal..

New Chapel of the Snows dedicated at McMurdo Base

McMurdo Station once again has a permanent place of worship.

To commemorate this occasion, approximately 80 people gathered on Sunday, 29 January 1989 to dedicate the new Chapel of the Snows, which is the third chapel to be raised at the station. Just 840 miles from the South Pole, the Chapel of the Snows is the world’s southernmost building erected primarily for religious services. It also is the only known house of worship in Antarctica.
Situated on a knoll overlooking McMurdo Sound and the peaks and glaciers of the Transantarctic Mountains, the new chapel replaces the temporary building, a makeshift hut, that has been used for religious services and related activities for 11 years.

Chapel r.jpgPicture on the left

Stained glass window inside the Chapel of the Snows. The window overlooks McMurdo Sound. The Transantarctic Mountain Range can be seen in the distance on a clear day.

Dedication ceremony

The hour-long dedication ceremony attracted an overflow crowd from McMurdo Station and Scott Base, the nearby research station operated by New Zealand. The service included piano music, hymns, and readings from the Bible.

Lt. M. Brad Yorton, chaplain of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Support Force Antarctica, whose support includes religious services at the station, presided. Also participating in the ceremony were Ronald R. La Count, the senior U. S. representative in Antarctica at the time of the dedication; Captain Dwight Fisher and Commander John V. Smith, the commanding officers of the Naval Support Force Antarctica (NSFA) and the Antarctic Development Squadron Six (VXE-6); Neal Terry, personnel coordinator for ITT/ Antarctic Services, Inc, (NSF’s support contractor); and guest speaker Father Gerard Creagh from Hoon Hay Parish in Christchurch, New Zealand.

ChapelOfTheSnows at US Base Mc Murdo r.jpgMr. La Count described for the group the construction of the new chapel and recalled how volunteers had erected the station’s earlier Chapels
in their space time. He also cited official reports that documented over the years the significance of worship for those at the station, whose work took them far from their families and their home communities.
This service marked the second time that Father Creagh had participated in a ceremony to dedicate a site for religious services at McMurdo Station, as he was the invited speaker in 1979 when the community gathered for a similar service recognizing the makeshift chapel that has been replaced by the new structure.

In his address he praised those who built the chapel in just 4 months. “The result is truly deserving of the accolade found in the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation: This is God’s dwelling among people.

Continuing, he noted that “Another chapter in the history of a unique operation is about to begin-a unique operation in peaceful cooperation and coexistence on the only continent that has no weapons, has known no class struggles or wars, and from which nuclear explosions and waste are banned by treaty.”

Although the original chapel and the temporary building were built entirely by volunteers, the new building was constructed as part of the National
Science Foundation’s plan to refurbish the McMurdo Station.
The 2,016-square-foot wood structure contains office space, a central worship area that normally seats 63, and McMurdo’s only organ.

Materials to complete the building were salvaged from older structures that were ripped down during the several-year rebuilding of the station.

Thanks and credit to the following web sites and to the writers of this articles from which we did take part of this notes.




The Chapel of the Snows and its history – Part 1- .
Antarctica’s first church in this site, was built in 1956 by volunteers using surplus materials. This building was destroyed by fire in 1978. The only things rescued were the chapel bell, two stained glass windows, and various small religious items. In 1979 a Quonset hut was remodelled to serve as chapel, and the building was dedicated in December. By 1982 another Chapel of the Snows had been built close to the original site (again with volunteer labour using salvaged material).

chapel11 r.jpgEarlier chapels

Chapel of the Snows had not appeared in the 1956 plans for McMurdo
Station. Religious services were to be held in the mess hall. In
preparation for Antarctic research to be conducted during the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), U.S. Naval Construction Battalion personnel (Seabees) began building McMurdo Station during the 1955-1956 austral summer.
original plans for the station did not include a chapel; instead,
religious services were to be held in the station mess hall. However,
according to Admiral George Dufek, who commanded Deep Freeze I, “As
the construction of the buildings at McMurdo progressed a mysterious
pile of lumber, planks, nails, Quonset hut sections, and assorted
materials began to accumulate on a knoll overlooking the camp.”

The Chaplain, Father John C. Condit, and volunteers from the construction battalion gradually gathered enough materials to build what was to become the first Church ever erected in Antarctica. All of the work was done by volunteers after their daily duties were finished.
Admiral Dufek  noted: “The
men, after a hard day’s work, would drift over to the church site.
Before the main camp was finished a tidy neat church with a steeple was
to stand on a ridge overlooking the camp. Later it even had a bell,
procured from a small gasoline tanker.”

builditr.jpgWhen the Chapel of the Snows was
completed, Father Condit had the world’s most southern parish. For 22
years this simple building provided a place of worship for personnel not
only at McMurdo Station but also from nearby Scott Base.

excellent Antarctic Journal articles document the history of this
structure, and its replacement after the 1978 fire that destroyed it… (From the December, 1978 issue…

Chapel of the Snows destroyed).

On 22 August 1978, a
fire, believed to have begun in one of the buildings heaters, broke
out. The fire began in the rear heater room of the building about 5 a.m.
The fire crew fought the blaze successfully in the interior of the
chapel, but a sudden flare-up indicated that the fire had spread between
the interior and exterior shells along the top of the building. The
crew moved outside, but despite their efforts, fire soon engulfed the
structure, the flames covered the entire chapel.

that the fire would spread to the adjacent structure, Building 108, or
destroy the communications cables strung between poles near the front of
the chapel, the crew brought a bulldozer to the building and pushed in
its front. With the bulldozer, they isolated sections that were still
burning and dumped snow on them to keep sparks from flying in the
By 7:40 a.m.
the fire was under control but the chapel was destroyed. When the roof
of Building 108, adjacent to the chapel, began to smoulder, volunteers
shovelled snow onto the roof and sides of the building to protect it
from damage. A front-end loader finally knocked down the rest of the
chapel and pushed the rubble away from the cables and Building 108.
a few religious objects , all damaged, along with the chapel bell were
recovered from the rubble, otherwise the building and all its contents,
including historic memorabilia from Deep Freeze One and subsequent
winter crews, were a total loss.

Thanks and credit to the following web sites and to the writers of this articles from which we did take part of this notes.


Going on, through the long and hard way, with the Bless of Lord!

Church at Exhibition hall.jpgOur project for a Church in Antarctica is shown at the famous “Restructura Exhibition” , held till Dec. 2nd 2007, at the large “Lingotto Fiere Hall” in the city of Turin, Italy.

Biotechnology and Bio-building materials are shown on a large scale  in this yearly exhibition and among that, there was our sponsors: the Companies who did chose to build and donate a Church in Antarctica to be assembled at the Italian Base Mario Zucchelli Station.

Saint Gobain & Bertero Technology, represented by Tosimpresa did carry on the challenge. The project of  our Church was officially exhibited at their show room in Torino.

Picture show Sebastiano Bertero  at the Show room with Sebastiano Bertero, Leader of the challenge.jpgthe poster of  the church, which will be first one ever built in Antarctica,  by the use of  bio-building materials.Bio-building example r.jpg

this is still a dream as, written permission have not yet been
granted. Picture at right, show a bit detail of this Bio-building
material made by full natural fibers particularly set &
assembled and than covered with a tickness of special concrete. Torino Polytechnic University did recently performed some tests to prove the huge resistance and life reliability of such innovative tecniques.

With the bless of Lord, we hope and are confident to accomplish this mission …! 

Bulgarian Church at St. Kliment Ohridski Station

Christian Ortodox Chapel at Bulgarian base r.jpg

St. Kliment Ohridski Base  is a Bulgarian Antarctic scientific Base on Livingston Island in the South Shetlands Islands group. The base, originally known as Sofia University Refuge, was named in 1993 after Cement of Ohrid, a prominent scholar and first Bulgarian bishop, whose work was commissioned and sponsored by Tsar Boris Ist of Bulgaria.St IvanRilski.jpg

An expansion program at St. Kliment Ohridski including the erection of a new multi-purpose building was carried out between  and  subsequently.

Just to complete the description of the Churches in Antarctica , it is great to know that on this Bulgarian Base  there is one of the first churches ever built in Antarctica, and this gives honour to the Chiesa alla Base Bulgara1.jpgBulgarians for having no only thought about scientific matters, but to something more important ….. that’s Lord!

The St. John of Rila Chapel at Bulgarian St. Kliment Ohridski Base is an Eastern Orthodox chapel located further South. The St. Ivan Rilski Chapel built in 2003 is the first Eastern Orthodox edifice in Antarctica and the southernmost Eastern Orthodox building of worship in the world. 

Whalers’ Church (South Georgia Islands)

We are continuing our virtual visit to the Churches located far South, in Antarctic regions. Today, weare stopping by at:

grytviken_church rsd.jpg

Located at Grytviken, by the British Antarctic Base “King Edward Point”, on Sub Antarctic South Georgia Islands.

Grytwiken, was an old whaling site and port. In several whaling ports,  there was a building dedicated as a Whalers’ Church. This one,  however is a typical Norwegian church and is the only building at Grytviken that retains its original function. A box with candles show that services are still being held here every now and then.

Inside  there are memorials to Carl Anton Larsen and Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose funeral was held here. There are also two bells, which visitors are invited to ring.

Still in use, the Church was pre-fabricated in Norway and shipped to Grytviken for assembly. The Church was consecrated on Christmas Day 1913.Restored Whalers Church rsd.jpg

church’s wooden structure has deteriorated over the years, and storm
damage to the roof in 1994 prompted a major program of restoration,
which is now complete and the Church did reach its original

The first pastor of the Whaler’s Church at Grytviken, was Kristen Loken and the position has remained vacant since 1931.

Lóken, had to admit that “religious life among the whalers left much to
be desired”. The church has been used for a few baptisms and marriages.
The first baptism was on Christmas Day 1913, and 13 births have been
registered on South Georgia. There have also been four marriages – the
most recent in 1999 – but the church has been used more often for
funerals. Twelve men died in 1912 of typhus brought by ship.

Whalers Church rsd.jpgThe church cemetery contains many empty graves for sailors who perished at sea.

recently restorated whaler’s church can be reached by walking from the
cemetery, towards Grytviken, via a muddy path and over the former
whaler’s soccer field. Walking between the old buildings is not allowed

did launch in the 2003 a project to build a Catholic Church in
Antarctica on the Italian Base Mario Zucchelli Station. This is still
our challenge.
Stay with us and share with us the initiative!

Trinity Church, Antarctica

From: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russian Orthodox Church r.jpgTrinity Church is a small Russian Orthodox church on the King George Island near Russian Bellinghausen Station in Antarctica. It is the southernmost Eastern Orthodox church in the world.
The ambitious project to establish a permanent church or even a monastery on Antarctica surfaced during the 1990s. A charity named Temple for Antarctica was approved by Patriarch Alexius II and received donations from across Russia. They organized a competition for the project that was won by architects from Barnaul P.I. Anisifirov, S.G. Rybak and A.B. Schmidt.
church is a 15m-high wooden structure built in traditional Russian
style. It can accommodate up to 30 worshippers. The structure was built
out of Siberian Pine by Altay carpenters led by K.V. Khromov, then dismantled, shipped to Antarctica (by the ship Academician Vavilov) and assembled there by the staff of Bellinghausen Station.Trinity Church r.jpg

The iconostasis was created by Palekh painters. The church bells were paid for by the descendants of Sergey Muravyov-Apostol.
The church was opened on May 29, 2004, the Pentecost or Trinity day according to the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church. The church was blessed by Hieromonk Kallistrat (Romanenko), head priest of Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, who visited Antarctica for this occasion. The permanent priest of the church is Father Georgy, who has twenty years of polar experience and now lives permanently near his church.
Among his tasks is praying for the souls of 64 Russian people who died in Antarctic wiki.jpgexpeditions and serving as the spiritual needs of the staff of Bellinghausen Station and other nearby stations.


Notes and references

World Wide Antarctic Program. A Catholic Church in Antarctica … a Challenge from WAP, 29 January 2006. Visited 15 April 2006.
2. The St. John of Rila Chapel at Bulgarian St. Kliment Ohridski Base is an Eastern
Orthodox chapel located further south and the Chapel of Snow at United States McMurdo Station is the southernmost religious building in the world. Whether a chapel is a type of church depends on the definition.

Other related links

In the year 2003, WAP did launch the iniative to build a Catholic Church at the Italian Base “Mario Zucchelli” located at Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica.
I’m sure we will (the Russians did it very well) accomplish our mission and we’re sure, one day our Church will be on down there as well!

Catholic Church at Chilean Base P.te Eduardo Frei

Catholic Church at Chilean Base P.te Eduardo Frei
(62°12’ South,  58°57’51” West)

Capilla base FreiChapel of  “Santa Maria Reina de la Paz” stands at Villa las Estrellas,  the most populated town of the South Shetlands , in the area where, the houses of personnel’s families are located, among the settlements of Eduardo Frei Base. Actually there are eight families with children living there; they are Regular Officers of Chilean Air Force, including the Chief of the base, Air Traffic Controllers of T.Te Rodolfo Marsh airport. These personnel and their families have  two years engagement, and live  at Villa las Estrellas.

The town, has also a school, an hospital , a Post Office and a bank.


The Chapel, is made by a large  metallic container, with electricity, heating system, voice amplifier  and inside, there are 12 pews which can locate  36 seated people.

Religious ceremonies are officiated from a  Deacon who lives  at the Base, and by priests, who are eventually  travelling around.
TNX Ricardo Verlasquez CE3HDI

When a Catholic  one … at the Italian Base MZS, Terra Nova Bay?


Following our virtual Antarctic Exploration , in finding  signs of devotion and faith, we are mcmourladysnow.jpgtoday stopping by the:
Vince’s Cross  and “Our Lady of the Snows” Shrine.


Immediately above Scott’s Hut on a small knoll overlooking the bay is Vince’s Cross, a wooden cross erected in 1902 to commemorate Seaman George T. Vince, the first man to lose his life in McMurdo Sound, following a fall into the water from a steep, icy slope nearby during a blizzard. Vince cioss.jpg

Also above the hut is the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, a Madonna statue that commemorates Richard T. Williams,
a Seabee tractor driver who drowned off Cape Royds near Ross Island, in
January 1956 when his D-8 Caterpillar (30- tons tractor) broke through
the sea ice. Near this shrine is a monument erected to commemorate Raymond T. Smith, a Navy petty officer killed during a ship unloading accident at McMurdo in February, 1982.

Pics by Alan Miller @ http://www.polartrec.com/node/228


TNX Alan Miller


V2_CHIESA r.jpgLast June 26-2007 , Cuneocronaca (www.cuneocronaca.it), one of the important on-line newspaper from the North Western part of Italy, did report an interesting article about the Church in Antarctica. This is still our challenge and everybody can share this initiative with us. 
Two companies from Cuneo (Italy) BERTERO TECHNOLOGY & SAINT GOBAIN did offer to build and donate the church.
Capt. Kai G. Lehmann , on behalf of a German Company ANTARTIDA Polarreisen GmbH, Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 59,

D-38440 Wolfsburg, Germany, did offer to donate transport facilities of the material, by air or ship to Antarctica.

A young italian artist Francesca Fogliacco did offer to paint the walls of the church for free.To read the article check:

What is still missed to accomplish our mission, is the permission from PNRA (Italian Antarctic Dept)! To support our goal, you can write a letter or a mail, addressed to: 


Ing. ANTONINO CUCINOTTA, Direzione Generale ENEA CR CasacciaLogo PNRA.jpg

PNRA ANTAR-SCI, Via Anguillarese, 301

00060 S.Maria di Galeria (RM) e-mail direzione@consorzio.pnra.it

Or to: Segreteria di Stato Vaticano

Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano,

Città del Vaticano 00120, Vatican State

and or to: Osservatore Romano , Vatican newspaper : ornet@ossrom.va

Radio Vaticana, Piazza Pia 3, 00120 Città del Vaticano

Vatican State sedoc@vatiradio.va

WAP, and you will join us with this dream!

Things are getting slowly ahead

Church 1.jpg

la Guardia 2.jpgOur Church in Antarctica and its connected activities, are getting ahead even slowly.
Mons. Marco Bagnara from La Guardia’s Sactuary has written another chapter of this story on la Guardia Bulletin of March 2007.
Our Church in Antarctica should be built at the Italian Base MZS and it will be dedicated to the Virgin of La Guardia , who have already over 300 Sanctuaries in the world.la Guardia 1.jpgOur Church in Antarctica is a proposal arising in the year 2003 and WAP is trying to do his best to enlarge the share of this initiative.
Stay with us, we love Antarctica, the
studies and researches , the peace and the hard job done by personnel ….
but we also wish to remind that, such a treasure, is given us by LORD.
It will be emotioning to se a little church over there in a place so
remote and insulated which belongs as well to the creation of God;
that’s why we strongly believe that a Church over there is the best touch of our love to Him.

WAP non only science … not only Hams or QSLs!
TNX IZ1GJK, Maurizio Gentile

Church in Antarctica

The idea and project to build a Church in Antarctica did start in the year 2003 after having seen that just few Bases down there have their own Church for personnel and researchers. Some of them are: US Mc Murdo Base, Chilean P.te Frei Base, Russian Bellinghausen base,  Bulgarian St. Klimend Ohridski Base. and sone Argentine’s Stations.  Italian Base Mario Zucchelli Station which guests about 120-160 people does not have a site to feed spiritual needs of its personnel.

I did start to involve authorities, politics, media (newspapers and TV) and of course the PNRA (National Antarctic Research Program, which is the authority that holds responsibility and jurisdiction of the Italian installations and research programs in Antarctica), to sensitize the pubblic opinion and the institutions about this matter.

Bureaucracy is a huge problem, particularly in Italy and of course, we are still working in trying to convince PNRA to give the authorization. Also we  did involve the Vatican through the official channels such as The Secretary of State Vatican  and CEI Italian Episcopal Conference .

After a national TV interview, we have been called by Italian Companies who have offered to build and donate the Churc:: Saint Gobain and Bertero Technology located in the city of Cuneo in the North west part of Italy have developped bio materials for building industry and both Companies did offer to join together in building and pack the Church in a container ready to be shipped to Terra Nova bay in Antarctica where the Italian base is located.
Unfortunately every thing was jusr a great purpose …permission is not been given,  but we are still fighting to make the dream  a reality

Our Church in Antarctica, a great offer by “Antarctica Polarreisen GmbH”

Church Banner.jpgAnother  step on the long way to build our Church in Antarctica


I’m happy to share the following information with all our supporters.
Capt. Kai G. Lehmann from ANTARTIDA Polarreisen GmbH has just written us:
Capt.Kai wrote:
dear Gianni,
If you want to build your church in Antarctica, we would be glad to offer transport facility by plane or ship.
will donate transport facilities by air or ship. You can se from our
web site, what we are doing. Whenever you are ready you just let me know
with best regardsAntartida GMBH.jpg,
Capt. Kai G. Lehmann
Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 59
D-38440 Wolfsburg
Tel. +49 5361 8480688
mobile. +49 174 5158447

Just pay a visit to http://www.antartida.de and you will discover more !
Thanks immensely to Capt. Kai for such a GREAT offer!


The idea and project to build a Church in Antarctica did start in the year 2003 after having seen that just 4 bases down there have their own Church for personnel and researchers:
1. US Mc Murdo Base
2. Chilean P.te Frei Base
3. Russian Bellinghausen base
4. Bulgarian St. Klimend Ohridski Base
base Mario Zucchelli Station which locates about 120-160 people does
not have nothing to feed spiritual needs of its personnel.

I did start to involve authorities, politics, media (newspapers and TV) and of course the PNRA (the National Antarctic Research Program, which is the authority having responsibility and jurisdiction on the Italian installations and research programs in Antarctica), to sensitize the pubblic opinion and the institutions about this matter.

Bureaucracy is a huge problem, particularly in Italy and of course, we are still working in trying to convince PNRA to give the authorization.
Also we have involved the Vatican through the official channels such as The Secretary of State Vatican (Mons. Tarcisio Bertone) and CEI Italian Episcopal Conference (Mons. Angelo Bagnasco).

After my last national TV interview, I have been called by Italian Companies who have offered to build and donate the church.
In fact,  2 Companies in Italy did offer to build the Church in Antarctica.
They are: Saint Gobain and Bertero Technologies located in the city of Cuneo in the North West part of Italy.
They have developed bio-materials for building industry and both
Companies did offer to join together in building and pack the Church in a
container ready to be shipped to Terra Nova bay in Antarctica where the Italian base is located.
Unfortunately every thing is actually still pending as permission is not been given yet!

A little piece of history …

Church pic.jpg

 As the readers know, WAP is trying since 2003 to get the permission to donate and build a little Church in Antarctica at the Italian base MZS.

It’s a spiritual need for the personnel at the Base, but also a tuch of glory and devotion to Lord.
The story of the Italian Base in Antartica his well recalled by Prof. Luciano Blasi (Amateur Radio operator IØJBL) one of the first Italians in Antarctica following of Italian scientific Missions since 1986.
Luciano did tell me that at Terra Nova Bay, there is a “Madonnina” inserted in the cliff, a gesture of faith and celestial respect, that it deserves of being known.
Luciano did say to me that:
…… the Alpines, when the head of the operations was the former-colonel (now retired General) Mauro Spreafico, did make a small altar under a full of rocks spur where a little statue of the Virgin (Madonnina in Italian language) have been located, so that people from the Base was usual to gather in prayer in front of Her.

Others have told me that the Madonnina is still there and nobody has never touched it.
I knew then, from Mrs. Rita Bartolomei (that was responsible of the communication at Dome C Base, but for years has worked to BTN/MZS) that on Sunday, in the only space of rest, there have been organized groups of prayer where, who wanted, could join and do it.
I did catch up Rita Bartolomei via email in December 2004,and she had written to me that as far as the Madonnina inserted in the cliff to BTN/MZS concern, she can confirms that it is still there.
Madonnina a BTN.jpgThe Lieut. Col. Angelo Romito Meteorologist from the IAF, just returned from XXII the Italian Expedition to Terra Nova Bay-MZS, did send me a photograph of that full of rocks spur, where the alpines built a niche and its small altar .
They are happy that the Madonnina is
still there, and are sure that in such a cold and dispersed place, She
will pour out moments of serenity to whom, there at the Base, it has
need. In the year 2003 we have begun this sort of campaign to sensitize
the people about to our idea to construct a church over there in Antarctica.
The way is still long to go because moving bureaucracies is not an easy
way. We are sure that with the aid of the providence we will succeed in
achieving this great dream.
Help us to materialize a dream, that’s what we are looking for.


Building a Catholic Chapel in Antarctica

… still our top Challenge

Church pic.jpg

Chasers and readers should be aware that since 2003, WAP has launched the idea of building a Catholic Chapel in Antarctica at Italian Base Mario Zucchelli on Terra Nova Bay , under the motto:

A Catholic Church in Antarctica … a Challenge from WAP.
Several magazines and newspapers have already published articles and picture about it and this let us hoping well.
On the WAP web site www.waponline.it , there is a special dedicated section , called “Church in Antarctica” where coming to read about what has been already done on this specific field in Antarctica.
We are working in several direction, and we are involving Institutions (and not only….) which have granted us their help in order to perform the ever best goal down there in the ice where, in spite of what is commonly thought … someone is living there!


WAP, our passion lives here!  Stay with us…. and  enjoy it