Closure of Canadian Martyrs

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Canadian Martyrs shut its doors July 2014 but it remained a church and wasn’t de-consecrated until February 19, 2015.(see story elsewhere on this site.) What took so long?

There were several groups that expressed an interest in using the building as a meeting place. Those interested had been meeting at the JPII Centre but nothing replaced that facility after it closed (and now sold to local developer Nicor). But nothing came of those discussions.

The building is in reasonably good shape but it does require maintenance and there are costs associated with heat and electricity and who is going to pay for that? As well, there was some interest expressed from potential buyers using it as a church. In the end the decision was made to put it up for sale, for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-million. There have been no announcements from the Archdiocese.

The interior has a beautiful mural that takes up the entire east wall behind the altar by internationally recognized local artist Wilf Perreault. He also created and donated the beautiful stained glass windows. Local artists and particularly former Canadian Martyrs parishioners expressed great concern about preserving the art work. The windows could be used in other buildings perhaps in other churches and the mural, it was said, could be dismantled and re-constructed elsewhere. However, if the building remains as a church the mural and stained glass windows will likely remain.

Churches have always been receptacles for beautiful art; paintings, sculptures, ceramics etc. Unfortunately, the interior of most churches constructed in the post Vatican II era have little of that and more is the pity. The next time you have occasion to visit Muenster, Saskatchewan, take a moment and visit St. Peter’s Cathedral. The interior contains the art of Berthold Imhoff, and, closer to home, this August when St. Peter’s Colony (Kronau) holds its annual pilgrimage check the inside of the chapel. The Stations of the Cross were painted by the first pastor, Father H. Metzger. Just a couple of examples of art work that exists in many of our older churches.

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