ST. JOHN’S, NL — There are still tough decisions to be made before the June 2 deadline for bidding on properties in the Archdiocese of St. John’s.
Ian Kelly, who is involved in the steering committee for the future of Corpus Christi on Waterford Bridge Road in St. John’s, said no decision had yet been made on whether the parish would make an offer for the property .
The parish has launched a pledge campaign and a GoFundMe, hoping to attract expats with ties to the church or anyone else who simply wants to support it.
The church and parking lot across the street are in a flood zone, making the church less attractive to anyone who might bid for a redevelopment.
In December 2021, when the Archdiocese filed its Notice of Intent for Insolvency Protection in response to a court order seeking compensation for victims of sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage during the 1940s to 1960s , the reserves of the parishes were taken.
Financially, Corpus Christi was secure and stable when it had its reservation, said Kelly, whose family has been with the parish for four decades.
Now it’s over, and the winter hasn’t been kind to the coffers of the oil-heated facility. Then the Omicron wave of COVID-19 hit.
Parishioners have been urged to dig deep to meet both rising running costs and the church’s redemption ground.
“It’s an extremely difficult situation,” said Kelly, who became involved in the process after the events of December 2021.
As to whether the offer will actually be made, he said there was still a lot of work to do before that decision.
“You can’t just step in and bid. You need to have a financial and operational plan to move forward,” he said.
“We have to make an informed decision. … There is a lot at stake, no doubt.
The outcome of the tender affects not just the church but the on-site Saint Vincent de Paul food bank, which feeds around 200 families a month.
The parish has also done other community work, such as sponsoring two Syrian refugee families, Kelly noted.
“Fifteen people … have safe and secure homes in Newfoundland and Labrador because parishioners have stepped up to help them,” he said.
The idea of the GoFundMe is that it is an easier way to contribute for the children and grandchildren of parishioners in other places.
“We’re happy to take pledges or contributions,” Kelly said.
Meanwhile, a group that intended to bid on the Roman Catholic church in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s changed plans.
The Arts, Welfare and Heritage (AWH) Committee of the PCSP said Thursday, May 12 in a press release that at the start of the project, it had made a number of inquiries to determine if an offer would be placed by Holy Rosary parish or whoever. another intending to maintain the property.
“Originally, no one was prepared to submit a bid to maintain the church building. However, on May 4, we were informed of a plan by a representative of the parish council to facilitate a bid submission on behalf of parishioners to purchase the church building and a small portion of the larger plot of land. .
The committee said it would move away from the church building part of the plot and allow the parish group to proceed with its proposal.
The AWH committee will instead bid on most of the land to build a cultural center, the committee said.