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.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

TC MEDIA PHOTO

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.

TC MEDIA PHOTO

St. Malachy’s Ro­man Catholic Church in Kinkora is shown.

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