The First Stone - excerpts taking from an interview with Fr John Anthony in 2015
Before placing the first Rock
The official government permits arrived on December 12, 2012 (12/12/2012), the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe X3. After the miracle of the permits, a large donation arrived from the family of Fr. Albert. This allowed for enough funding to build the foundation and construct the metallic infrastructure of the Cross. Next, we began to look for the materials that would cover the cross and begin the work to lay the first stone at the foot of the Cross.
Father Alberto, inside of the place where the excavation and placement of the first stone were done.
It was Sunday, December 30th, 2012 and Father John was praying with the Lord and said: "Please Lord, we have to find someone to fund the next steps of the construction, because tomorrow I have to make that deposit for construction to continue." The next day, Father John received a call from a benefactor that wanted to donate for the lining of the cross: "Good morning Franciscans - Father John I want to donate for the lining of the cross, how much do you need?
- I want to donate
The phone call continued and the interference on the call did not allow Fr John to hear the amount the donor committed to pledge. Father thought the donor said $2,000. He said, "this would be a help, but it would not be enough to complete the lining. Father explained to the benefactor that they needed $70,000. The benefactor replied, "Father John that is what I said." Then continued, "While listening to the Sunday readings, I was convicted by the Gospel when it said, you should not save your treasures for tomorrow, so I want to donate half of my inheritance." This benefactor opened the way for The First Stone to be placed on January 1, 2013, the day of Mary the Mother of God, a feast that is celebrated for Peace. The laying of the first stone was by Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of Matagalpa.
Father John finished the interview by saying, "After the construction of the Cross was funded, we still needed to construct Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her construction was similar to that of the Cross, we needed benefactors to commission Her. Through prayer and providence, God revealed His plan. The first quote from an artist, requested $70,0000, which I did not have. So, I waited on the Lord. The artist came back and decided to lower the price to $40,000 and asked for fifty percent in advance to start working. Again, I did not have it. I prayed and prayed again to the Lord, and the next day I received a call from a benefactor who wanted to donate half of his inheritance and pay for the Virgin of Guadalupe, which would be enough to start. Without a doubt, the Lord touches the hearts of these attentive and humble people to the Holy Spirit for whom He inspire to make the project possible. These stories seem unreal and fictitious, but it is the way in which God has woven the common thread of the project of The Mountain of Peace."
Fr. John Anthony
Taking from an interview 2015