Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Assumption Church saved for now

Friday, May 25th, 2007

There have been some new and positive developments regarding the matter of Saving Assumption Church and Parish. Assumption Church will remain open for the next number of years.

In mid April 2007, a letter was obtained from one of the Cold Lake City Councilors and this letter is directly relevant to Assumption School acquiring land to expand their building and sports field. The letter was dated October 16, 2006, has a City of Cold Lake letterhead, was addressed to the Board Chair of the Lakeland Catholic Board of Education, and was titled “Re: Request for Land–Assumption Junior-Senior High School”. The first sentence of the letter states: “At their meeting of April 25, 2005, City Council agreed to transfer the balance of the land behind the south arena together with the former curling rink land for the purpose of future development of Assumption Junior-Senior High School.”

A delegation of four Assumption Church parishioners met with Bishop Luc Bouchard on April 23, 2007, to present new information about land available from the city for school expansion. A copy of the City of Cold Lake letter was left with the bishop.

Meanwhile, a meeting with Bishop Bouchard on May 7, 2007, at St. Dominic Church was announced in the parish bulletin “to discuss the present and future standing of both churches.” At this meeting Bishop Bouchard stated that he received a letter from the Lakeland Catholic School Board dated April 25, 2007. The letter contained this proposal: The Catholic Board will purchase the south part of the Assumption church yard for a ball diamond (leaving the church and a churchyard of reduced size intact), and the running track and sports field would be located on the old rodeo grounds south of the arena. Three maps illustrating the proposal were circulated among the people attending the meeting.

The second subject of the bishop’s presentation related to the future of both Assumption and St. Dominic parishes. He proposed that the pastor organize “a study committee to set up a plan over the next three years for one church in the middle between Cold Lake South and Cold Lake North.” In support of this proposal, the Bishop cited the reduced cost of utilities with one church instead of two, and the costly repairs eventually required on St. Dominic Church. The Bishop indicated that Assumption Church and St. Dominic Church would remain in use until the new church is built, and he referred to the fact that this idea was suggested by the delegation from Assumption Parish who visited him.

Assumption parishioners were pleased to learn that their church is remaining open.

The Moderator

Alternatives to church demolition

Friday, April 20th, 2007

During recent weeks, some parishioners have learned that the closure of Assumption Church is not the only option to facilitate the expansion of Assumption School.

Original Proposal – The Lakeland Catholic School District indicated in February 2007 that a new school athletic field must be located on Assumption Church property. This proposal would result in the unnecessary demolition of Assumption Church because there are several other locations where a new running track and sports field can be located.

Compromise Solution – Assumption Church can be saved by locating the running track on the land to the south of the school and church. Instead of adding classrooms and educational space on the south side of Assumption School, there is ample room for expansion on the east side of the school. A bus loop entrance is located on 47th Avenue, which offers the same benefits as the original proposal. In this compromise solution, the needs of both Assumption Church and Assumption School are met.

Alternative Solution – The new athletic field can be located on land currently ownd by the City of Cold Lake instead of using only school and church land. Based on information received by some parishioners from City Hall, city land is available at no cost to the school district. This would increase the size of Assumption School property so it can more effectively expand its athletic facilities. One approach is to located the running track immediately to the west of Assumption School as shown by the map below. A ball diamond is relocated from city land to the land south of Assumption Church. This leaves sufficient space for school expansion, new parking lots and a bus loop.

The compromise and alternative solutions demonstrate that it is not necessary to demolish Assumption Church to help the needs of the students at Assumption School. More details about
the different alternatives can be found on the SaveAssumptionParish website along with several
maps.

The Moderator

Church to be razed for sports field

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Parishioners were surprised to learn that the Lakeland School District plans to replace Assumption Church with a sports field for Assumption School.

Bishop Luc Bouchard and the school board made presentations to parishioners and answered questions on Monday, February 12. Bishop Luc said that Assumption Parish has sound finances and has a community of parishioners who want to preserve their church. The school district approached the Diocese in 2005 and requested that Assumption School should have rights to buy church land in case Assumption Church happens to close. The goal was to demolish Assumption Church and fill church land with a large running track and sports field for use by students at Assumption School.

Members of the school board refuse to consider alternatives such as purchasing only a portion of church land so that Assumption Church can be saved. It seems as if there has been an ongoing effort behind the scenes to close Assumption Parish so that Assumption School can get a larger sports field.

The Moderator

Meeting with the Bishop

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

There was an announcement in the parish bulletin this past Sunday:

There will be a General Meeting of Assumption parishioners on Monday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Assumption Church. Bishop Luc Bouchard will be there. If you have any comments or questions for Bishop Bouchard, you may submit them to the parish office. Write out your questions, seal them in an envelope and put it in the collection plate next Sunday. Alternatively, you may them drop them off at the parish office in Cold Lake North. All questions will be forwarded to Bishop Bouchard in advance of his visit to Assumption Parish.

You can also contact the Diocese Office in Saint Paul and school board members directly to express your concerns. For contact information, click here.

If you wish to make your questions or concerns public, post them to the forum or send an email to admin@saveassumptionparish.com. Bishop Bouchard will be contacted and will be presented with the information on the saveassumptionparish.com website.

The Moderator

Parishioners in support of Assumption Parish

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

During the past month, parishioners at Assumption Church have been working and praying to help save our church. Each Sunday, the Rosary is being said for the sake of Assumption Parish. During the prayers of petition, the possible closure of the parish is mentioned every week. Parishioners have been encouraged to write letters to the local school board members and Bishop Luc to voice their support for the parish.

Although the issue is on the minds of many in the parish, attendance at Assumption Church has not been a problem. For example, the pews were overflowing at Assumption Church during the Christmas Eve Mass. The size of the congregation each Sunday during the past few months has been above average. People in the community are rallying to help save a parish that has stood as a corner stone for almost fifty years.

The Moderator

Other church closings

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Assumption Parish remains open so far. It appears that no decision will be made until the new year. Parishioners are getting busy with other things because Christmas is fast approaching.

This is a good time to look back and learn about some other parishes that have closed during the past few years:

St. Francis of Assisi in Edmonton
Manitoba churches closing
Our Lady of Mount Carmel closing
St. Catherine of Siena Parish closing
Closure of Boston Catholic Churches

In some of these stories, the parishes appear to be small compared to the size of Assumption Parish in Cold Lake, so there is some hope that Assumption Church will remain open. These stories show that we should try our best as early as possible to prevent a Catholic church closure from occuring.

To conclude, here is a story with a positive outcome:
Save St. Augustine’s Parish
Let us pray that Assumption Parish will have a similar fate.

The Moderator

Why Does the School Need Our Church?

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Although some churches in North America have been closed in the past, it is very unusual for a large and active parish to lose their church due to population growth and progress.  That is, the future of Assumption parish is uncertain because of the expansion plans of a neighboring Catholic school.  

As shown by the these maps, Assumption Jr Sr High School in Cold Lake is located to the west of Assumption Church.  The school district has asked the bishop for the church building and the church land so that the school can be expanded.  No explanation has been given as to why they need the church building itself. 

One possibility is that the school plans to use the church building as a large auditorium and office space.  Even though the school district will receive government funding for the expansion, they want to take control of the church building as well.  The wealthy school district is acting without considering the needs of Assumption Parish, a community with volunteers who have worked hard to keep the church grounds and building maintained. 

We believe that the school district could expand the school without purchasing Assumption Church.  A portion of the church land could be sold to provide adequate room for the school to expand.  The church building could continue to serve its religious function without being sold to the School District.  For details about how this is possible, click on this link to view some diagrams. 

The Moderator

Spreading the word

Monday, November 13th, 2006

It appears that some parishioners are starting to discover this website.  In the past few days, several inquiries have been sent to admin@saveassumptionparish.com.  For example, I received a request for handbills so that more parishioners could find out about the efforts to save our parish.  Did you find this website because you received a handbill that was distributed at Mass on Sunday Nov. 13?  Or did you hear about it by word-of-mouth?

To answer my questions, people are welcome to post comments to this article.  First, you would need to register by providing an email address so that a password can be sent to you.  Then, you just click on the comments link below the news article to leave a reply.

Please keep watching this website for more updates and developments on a regular basis.  This website was created so that parishioners and other concerned individuals would have a means to share information to help save our church.

The Moderator

Welcome

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Welcome to the web log for SaveAssumptionParish.com!  

This is the first news article to be posted in this weblog.  From time to time, additional articles and updates will be posted as information becomes available. 

You might have already visited the main website, which is called saveassumptionparish.com.  You are currently viewing the news section of the website, which is known as a web log or “blog”.  You are welcome to register so that you can log in and post comments in response to a news article. 

That is all for now.  Keep watching this website for more information and answers to your questions.