Pisani and O'Leary webThe resurrection of Holy Land U.S.A. in Waterbury began last December with the installation of a new 52-foot high cross overlooking I-84. Two weeks ago (on September 14), Holy Land opened its arms again and welcomed the public for a one-day glimpse of the former religious theme park.

Both the devout and the curious flocked to the iconic hilltop on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

After 30 years of neglect and crime and a constant state of disrepair, Holy Land is being cleaned up. Brush has been cleared, trees cut down. Waterbury mayor Neil O’Leary has pledged his own financial support to the cause.

Ivelisse Ramos – who speaks only Spanish – lives at the base of the steep hill leading up to Holy Land and is visiting this hallowed ground for the first time.

“It is peaceful and beautiful,” she says as she photographs her son, Ericsson Torres, and husband, Gilberto Torres.

Gilberto says he feels a certain peace on this day. Tranquility. “You forget about all your problems here,” he says.

Our goal is to restore and rebuild this great international landmark.