The new Sacred Heart Church, which is currently under construction in Strathmore, hosted an open house, Dec. 10, for both members of the church, as well as the public to explore the building. 

Formerly an IGA grocery store, the land and building were purchased by the church with intent to completely remodel the space into an adequate place of worship. 

Parishioners of the Sacred Heart Church have been without a formal meeting place for the last 15 years, following the decommission and demolition of their previous church.

“We are undertaking to transform the inside, and you will see the outside will look quite a bit different too, to make it usable for us as a worship space,” said Father Cristino Bouvette of the Sacred Heart Parish. “The speed at which (the space is being created), I think, is hopefully generating a lot of excitement among our parishioners who have waited so long that I think sometimes they wondered if they would ever see the day this church would be built.”

Visitors to the construction site were allowed inside the church to explore the space and see for themselves the progress that has been made on remodeling. Numbers were somewhat restricted for safety reasons so that the site would not be overcrowded, but everyone was allowed to see the inside of the building. 

The overall budget of the project, from the purchase of the land and building, to funding for its remodeling was set at approximately $10 million. Bouvette explained a total greater than 60 per cent of the total budget was required to be put down before the remodeling began.

“We still have a way to go and it’s not an insignificant way but I’m confident that we’re at least heading in the right direction. The people who have been leading and spearheading our fundraising effort are incredibly inspiring and sacrificial with their time and their effort,” he said. “That is only matched by the incredible generosity of the people in this community who have really stepped up and said, ‘Yes, I want to help however I can.’”

In addition to contributions to the project made by people within the local community, the Sacred Heart Church is a part of the Diocese of Calgary and is able to benefit from funding from the greater organization.

Current projections for the completion of the church and its grand opening suggest it will be open to parishioners and the public in June 2024.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 13, 2023 at 13:06

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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