Saint Joan of Arc Church is resuming service. Purchased by the Society of Saint Pius X, the building vacant since 2015 resumes its original vocation as a place of worship.
On December 8, the Society of Saint Pius X signed the purchase of a church in Sherbrooke QC. However, since early November, our priests have been able to use the building, which was blessed on November 9 by Fr. Couture.
In recent years, the Society chapel from Sherbrooke moved several times. The faithful have gone through many places, including a former garage. Now, as Fr. Couture says, “the Society is going to stay permanently at the location of Saint Joan of Arc Church.”
“The heart of the problem is that ever since the arrival of the Mass in French, the churches have become empty,” explains Father Couture. “We say the Mass in Latin and we buy churches. At the same time, there is a growing interest in traditional values that are more demanding.“
The objective of the Society of St. Pius X is very simple: “We want to fill up that church. Right now, we have one hundred faithful, but we have now a place of worship worthy of the Mass, we want to invite people to join,” says Fr. Couture.
On top of that, this church building seems in good condition, though some modifications may be needed. “it is in surprisingly good shape. There is certainly work to be done. Furthermore, we are trying to rent the basement out to community organizations who share similar values to ours. It will not be a rock-n-roll bar!” notes Fr. Couture.
Return of the Mass
The Masses have already started again in the church. Every Friday at 6:30 pm and every Sunday at 11:30 am, the faithful gather to worship God.
The Society of Saint Pius X is active in over 72 countries.
In October 2016, the Archdiocese of Sherbrooke sold the church to a local businessman, who re-sold it to the Society of St. Pius X.
After many rumors that the church was going to serve as a cinema, a circus and even a mosque, the building became again a place of Catholic worship.
Interview from Fr. Couture translated and adapted for sspx.ca from an article published in “La Tribune”, December 12, 2017