St. Josephs parish getting ready for brand new church

It has been a long time coming, but St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church here is getting ready to build a new church.

Father Ian Duffy said in an interview that he hopes the work at St. David and Strath­allan Streets, within site of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic elementary school, will get started this year  and open sometime in the summer of 2011.

Duffy said the planning of the church has been ongoing since 1984. He explained that the Hamilton Diocese that oversees churches in this area has done population forecasts.

“When we look to the future of our parish with growth projections … our church is too small,” he said. “We need room for more people.”

He added that a shortage of priests also played a role in the decision to build a new church.

Duffy said the site prep­aration work is done, and he hopes construction can start at the end of March.

Duffy said he still has no idea what will happen to the old church building, because the diocese has not yet made its decision about that.

“The future of the property is not decided yet,” he said. “It may go up for sale. That will be decided in Hamilton.”

Duffy said the church is also making plans to deal with the cemetery near the current church.

“We’ve been aware for years there is a cemetery there,” he said. “We will be sensitive to it.”

He said church officials will work with the Hamilton Diocese Catholic Cemeteries to ensure everything is done correctly.

He noted that, by law, cemeteries must be respected, and that the church will follow all the rules to ensure that happens.

“By law, we have to,” he said.