Church volunteers angry over decision
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.