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New church packed for dedication

by David Meyer

FERGUS - The new Roman Catholic St. Joseph’s Church here has seating for 515 people - and hundreds of chairs were needed to help with the overflow when it was dedicated on Sunday afternoon.

Parishioners, friends, and visiting guests packed the new church. It appeared at least 200 people found seats on folding chairs outside of the nave, and dozens more were standing around the inside of the church and even spilling out of the entrance.

It was a day of celebration for the parish and there was much laughter and applause as the years of work finally ended with a new church.

Hamilton Diocese Bishop Douglas Crosby officiated at the service, with a large number of church dignitaries.

He told those assembled that the opening of a new church is “a signature event in the community.”

Crosby noted he had visited the building a few weeks earlier and noted that one volunteer was working hard to remove a stain on one of the walls. He added, to roars of laughter, that day “I noticed another spot. So, Father [Ian] Duffy, the church is almost perfect.”

Crosby also noted that when he sought directions to Fergus, he was told it was “half way to Owen Sound.” Later, he said, he learned Fergus is “half way to everywhere in the diocese.”

Finally, he heard, “Fergus is half way to Heaven. As I look around, it is closer than that.”

He saluted all those who helped on various committees and helped to make the building a reality, and also parish priest Father Duffy “who has fine taste and a keen eye for beauty. Pope Benedict would appreciate this place.”

John Wheatley and Peter Landoni presented Crosby with the keys and plans to the new church, which he held over his head like a trophy.

There were a number of rituals, including anointing the alter and walls with oils, and burning of incense. There was also a tribute of remembrance for those who died ten years previously on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City.

 

 

September 16, 2011

 
 

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