Church vol­un­teers an­gry over de­ci­sion

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE 1 - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead Fitch Bay

Sev­eral vol­un­teers who have been work­ing hard for years, some for decades, to keep their church afloat, namely the

Notre Dame de la Merci Church in the Rock Is­land sec­tor, are both frus­trated and fu­ri­ous about the lat­est de­cree from Sher­brooke Arch­bishop Luc Cyr.

“We were told in Oc­to­ber that the four parishes, in Stanstead, Rock Is­land, Beebe and Fitch Bay, would be dis­solved to make one new par­ish which would be called “Cinq Trinités”. But the de­cree that was just sent to our church states that only the three parishes in Rock Is­land, Beebe and Fitch Bay will be dis­solved while the Stanstead par­ish will just have its name changed to Cinq Trinités,” ex­plained an emo­tional Suzanne Gre­nier, the sec­re­tary of Notre Dame de la

Merci’s board of ad­min­is­tra­tors. The board of the new par­ish would have three rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Stanstead Church,

Sacré Coeur, and only one rep­re­sen­ta­tive from each of the other par­ish boards.

“It’s very frus­trat­ing. We will lose all of our power and our bank ac­count will go to Cinq Trinités, we’ll have no more con­trol over that. We’ve spent so many years work­ing on this church; three gen­er­a­tions of our fam­ily has been vol­un­teer­ing for Notre Dame de la Merci,” added Mrs. Gre­nier.

Onil Caron, an­other vol­un­teer with the Rock Is­land church, is also up­set. “This fu­sion has been forced on us,” com­mented Mr. Caron who has been vol­un­teer­ing 15 to 20 hours a week, for about ten years, to or­ga­nize the Fri­day night bin­gos which are both pop­u­lar and a ‘life­saver’ when it came to the main­te­nance of the Rock Is­land church which is in good phys­i­cal and fi­nan­cial shape. “What’s mad­den­ing is that they didn’t even study the sit­u­a­tion. Here we have two new fur­naces and the church is in good shape. We wrote to the Arch­bishop two weeks ago and still we have not got­ten a re­sponse,” said Mr. Caron an­grily.

Mr. Caron will hold one or two more bin­gos but, with all the un­cer­tainty, isn’t sure if there will be any more af­ter that. The bin­gos were at­tended by an av­er­age of 70 to 75 peo­ple each Fri­day night.

Pre­vi­ous ef­forts to con­tact a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the church have al­ways gone unan­swered.

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