French Catholic church to close

In this photo provided by the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, Sainte-Croix church on Anthony Street in Cornwall, Ont. will close on Jan. 7, 2017. The diocese cites fewer people going to church and a lack of French-speaking priests among the reasons for its decision. (Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – Citing a change in demographics, fewer people going to church and a lack of French-speaking priests, the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall will be closing one of its parishes this weekend.

The final Mass in the Roman Catholic church of Sainte-Croix on Anthony Street will be held Saturday (Jan. 7).

It’s one of three French language parishes serving the eastern section of Cornwall.

Followers will then go to Saint-Felix-de-Valois on Glengarry Boulevard. The third parish is the Nativity Co-Cathedral on Montreal Road.

In a statement, Archibishop Terrence Prendergast said it was a difficult decision to close the church, which was founded in 1954.

“Closing a parish is never an easy thing and causes pain to many,” Prendergast said.

“The parish church is where many of the most significant family events have taken place, baptisms, marriages, funerals, so it’s a hard thing to see the building close. It is my great hope that the reunification of these two parishes will allow for one vibrant parish with stronger evangelization and faith formation, as well as an effective administration and stewardship of the resources of the unified parish,” he said.

The church will take a few months to decide what to do with the Anthony Street church.

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