KTSM 9 News

Altar construction workers make unique gift for pope

While many refer to the altar as the stage area where the pope will be during mass at El Punto, the altar is the table used for the Eucharist celebration. It’s being made by 7 workers from the Perches Funeral Homes in Juárez.

“This idea came about from a group of businessmen and women from Juárez and El Paso,” says Omar Acosta, operations manager for the altar.

The businesses from both sides of the border are funding the altar and the ambo, which is the stand or pulpit used to place the bible.

The stand for the bible will have a cross made from desert flowers, which is a cluster of accumulated sand from the Samalayuca Dune Fields, located south of Juárez. According to Acosta, the desert rose can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Another cross was made to give to the pope as a gift.

Acosta said the two-ton table is being made from granite that was imported from Brazil.

Pedro Campos is one of the workers that’s putting the altar together. He’s spent the last 18 years of his life working with granite.

“I feel really lucky and I feel happy working on this project,” said Campos.

For the last 8 years, Campos has lived in Juárez after being deported from Arizona.  “I left my family over there and it’s kind of hard for me,” he adds.

Campos says that when he called to tell his family about his latest project, they didn’t believe him.

“They were all happy. They’re like, ‘Really? Are you kidding?’ And I’m like, ‘no, I’m not kidding, I’m honest.’ They do not believe me but now they do because now I guess they saw me on TV.”

On February 17th, it won’t just be his family watching his work on television, but also millions of people from all over the world when they tune in for the mass celebration.