Calling all guardian angels
St. Malachy’s Church in Kinkora launches capital campaign in hopes of raising $375,000 over five years for much-needed repairs.
God’s house in Kinkora needs work — and a little divine intervention.
The 114-year-old St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church is showing its age.
And church leaders are looking to the congregation — parishioners past and present — and maybe even a few guardian angels for help.
Already, one such angel has come forward.
The anonymous donor has pledged to match individual donations, of less than $5,000, totalling no more than $25,000 — each year for five years.
“We don’t know who it is,” said Patrick McSweeney, the church’s Capital Campaign chairman. “There was an anniversary mass for a former parishioner and he was here attending that. Only for that, he may not have gotten the word and he may not have talked to this history buff (who was at the service).
“Somebody was looking over us.”
For McSweeney, a parishioner at the historic wooden Roman Catholic church since moving to the Kinkora in 1992, the building holds a special place in his life.
It’s where he spends a quiet hour of reflection each Sunday, where lives and love have been celebrated, and milestones, from baptisms to deaths, are marked.
“It’s like home,” said McSweeney. “You see your neighbours, you talk to your neighbours when you are leaving.” St. Malachy’s, he added, is the heart of Kinkora.
The hope is, via a mail-out campaign, that 200 or so families who attend St. Malachy’s will be encouraged to dig a little deeper, to help defray annual capital costs and to do much-needed repairs.
The church’s capital campaign committee is also targeting current and past parishioners who’ve gone on to have success, in the hope they may write bigger cheques in support of the campaign.
McSweeney said selling the parish’s manse and farmland, which would have fetched about $200,000, had been debated, something no longer on the table since a provision of the anonymous donor’s support was both remain St. Malachy’s.
He added that if, by chance, the church did close in the future, any funds raised would remain in the community, going to the church’s cemetery fund.
McSweeney said if all facets of the campaign are successful, every dollar donated by parishioners could be tripled. “We hope,” he added. Major work includes replacing the heating system, which malfunctioned this past winter, causing the church to close its doors for a month.
“Again, the community rallied,” said McSweeney, noting no services were missed, held at the nearby Kanata Club. “There wasn’t a complaint.”
Shingling the roof; replacing exterior cladding and painting; painting the interior; electrical upgrades; and parking lot and cemetery improvements also must be done.
The estimated cost of the entire scope of work is $375,000.
Other fundraisers will be planned in the coming weeks and months.
McSweeney is confident the close-knit community will again rally together.
“We are all family.”
Donna Shaw and Patrick McSweeney are hoping that the community digs deep to help raise the funds necessary for capital improvements at St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church in Kinkora.
St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church in Kinkora is shown.