133-year-old N.B. church closes doors due to declining attendance
SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Every pew was full at St. Peter’s church today, and there were tears all around.
It was the final time the congregation will gather for Sunday mass at the 133-year-old church in Saint John, N.B., as the church prepares to close its doors for good.
Many people in attendance for the final mass have been going to services at St. Peters for what seems like forever.
Rosemary Boudreau first started coming to the parish when she was just one month old, she even married her husband Dean Boudreau at the church.
But while many have remained committed to the church, many others have lost interest, and attendance has been declining dramatically.
“I feel that had this many people came here every Sunday we wouldn’t be here doing this interview, so if the parishioners supported the church more we wouldn’t be in this situation,” said Boudreau.
St. Peter’s church isn’t the only church facing this future, Rev. Donald Savoie says attendance is on the decline all over the diocese.
Just last year the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint John reveled in April that is would be closing nine of its 79 churches around the province of New Brunswick.
Savoie says it would have taken a million dollars to keep this particular building open, and he believes many more churches around the world will eventually meet the same fate.
“We’re very affluent. We might not think we’re affluent, and I think that erodes certain values of community, people are mobile,” he said.
St. Peter’s congregation will merge with another in September, but not all members are sure if they will be making the move.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.