A meeting concerning the possible sale of the Saint-Antoine-Abbé Catholic Church took place on December 11. Around twenty parishioners gathered in the church sacristy to discuss the matter with Adolphe Bourdeau, the president of the Fabrique or church assembly and project manager, as well as Mathieu Vincent, the churchwarden and project manager.
During the meeting, Vincent presented several problematic issues facing the church, such as its structure, maintenance, insurance, and heating; however, the main concern for the place of worship comes down to money.
“We all agree that we are not rolling in money right now,” said Bourdeau. He explained that despite the budget in place and fundraising activities for 2023, the church will not be able to make ends meet.
Both Bourdeau and Vincent also pointed to the lack of a younger generation within the church organization. “I have been involved for 12 years now, and I am 70 years old. I need help; we need help,” said Bourdeau.
Their proposed solution involves the sale of the church to the parish and the creation of a partnership with the municipality to ensure the church’s future. “The process may take time,” explained Bourdeau, while confirming that all activities previously scheduled and approved by the church with continue to take place as planned.
Following a question period, which focused mainly on protecting the church’s heritage value, the chapel and its activities, as well as the involvement of the municipality in the project, the verdict was unanimous.
The citizens want to collaborate with the municipality to save their church and avoid arriving at a point of no return, namely its imminent closure and sale.
The Catholic church was built over 100 years ago, in the 1800s, and bears the name of a well-known personality to most Quebecers, Saint Antoine Abbé (Curé Labelle). Labelle was the first priest to occupy the presbytery as parish priest from 1859 to 1863.