Skip to comments.Whatís Happening to Montrealís Churches? Quebec Finding New Ways to Preserve Heritage in Secular Age
Posted on 07/26/2014 12:08:21 PM PDT by marshmallow
MONTREAL Weight machines fill the space where once there were pews, and visitors sip nutritional green smoothies, not communion wine. But despite its dramatic transformation into a private gym and spa, the onetime Dominican St. Judes Shrine on Montreals St. Denis Street remains a temple of sorts.
It becomes almost a religion for some people, Sonya Audrey Bonin, general manager of the Saint-Jude Espace Tonus gym, said this week. I see it with yoga, with taking care of yourself, being careful about what you eat, having a healthy lifestyle. And in a secular age when people are more likely to hit the gym than attend mass on a Sunday morning, the upscale facility is being hailed as a model for preserving the religious buildings that constitute an important part of Quebecs architectural heritage.
Quebecs Religious Heritage Council was created in 1995 with provincial funds and a mission to repair the provinces crumbling churches. Dwindling congregations meant that parishes were having a hard time paying for repairs, so the council identified the buildings with the greatest heritage value and subsidized their maintenance.
But after 18 years and $371-million invested by the government, the council recognized that it makes little sense to repair buildings simply to keep them standing. They need to be occupied, and churches are having a harder time doing that. The issue has changed, said Denis Boucher, a project manager with the heritage council. Today, we speak a lot more about finding uses for churches. In the past, the councils grants were reserved for churches still used as places of worship. Last year that was changed, and now the council can help non-profit organizations, municipalities and even private owners seeking to transform former churches.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalpost.com ...
Trudeau, who ironically considered himself a Catholic, bears a lot of responsibility for that.
If they are not being used for worship, they should be razed. To see them turned into yuppie health clubs makes me sick.
Boy, do I agree with what you’ve said.
Yes, but we will want them again some day. What was once ours will be ours again. Its just a matter of grace.
Characterized by Vatican II, which essentially destroyed the Church from within.
I like your way of thinking!
That is so true. The president, the leader, shows the way by example. That is the way we learn as children, by example.
SO sorry to hear that about Canada.
My travel agent and his wife went on a tour of the Maritime Provinces three years ago and I went along. I LOVED it. I plan on returning to Canada...maybe a train ride.
Just got back from the Thousand Islands area, Toronto and Niagara Falls, always loved Canada. Went to Banff a few years ago.
And I’ll take Canada’s current leader over ours’ any day.
And I am hoping to make the trip to Montreal, Quebec City and Newfoundland in the next few years.
“If they are not being used for worship, they should be razed. To see them turned into yuppie health clubs makes me sick.”
Here in NJ if they aren’t used for the religious purpose they become taxable properties. They may say Mass a couple of times each year in them, but otherwise they have to be sold.
You'll like Newfoundland. I urge you to avoid visiting Quebec and to avoid spending any of your hard-earned money there.
Indeed it makes me sick as well, though I would advocate razing all of the rest of Quebec instead. Millions of Canadians would be grateful.
My parish has bought a property for a new church, because the environmental regulators won’t let us build anything else on our current site. The new land is being taxed as undeveloped residential lots (its previous intended use), so we’re planning to “convert” it to religious use in the next few months.
A Boy Scout is going to build Stations of the Cross for his Eagle Scout project, and the Hispanic congregation is going to put in a water feature and a meditation garden.
“The new land is being taxed as undeveloped residential lots (its previous intended use), so were planning to convert it to religious use in the next few months.”
Nice; starve the beast. There is a lot of opposition to new churches in my area because the municipalities are desperate for tax revenue.