JACKMAN, Maine — St. Anthony Catholic Church will be torn down this fall and a new building constructed next year on the same location, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Saturday.
The 80-year-old building at 336 Main St. would cost an estimated $1.5 million to repair and upgrade. Demolishing the church and constructing a more efficient building is estimated to cost $500,000, the diocese said in a press release. The cost of maintaining, heating and insuring the current church building is $25,000 a year.
Parishioners made the decision in January to tear down the stone structure and build a new church, according to the diocese. It was endorsed by Bishop Richard Malone, who celebrated a special Mass at St. Anthony on Sunday.
The final Mass in the church will be held Sept. 20. Demolition is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, according to the diocese. Mass will be celebrated at the American Legion Hall in Jackman until the new building is completed.
Items from the old church such as the tabernacle, baptismal font and pulpit will be saved and used in the new structure, diocesan spokeswoman Sue Bernard said in the press release. The worship space will seat 120 people and include a meeting room that could double as an office, and an efficiency unit for a priest.
St. Anthony is part of Cluster 20, which also includes Holy Family Catholic Church in Greenville and St. Joseph Catholic Mission, a summer chapel in Rockwood. The three churches are served by one priest, the Rev. Richard C. Malo. He will continue to reside at the rectory in Greenville, according to the diocese. The rectory in Jackman is for sale.
About 220 people are members of St. Anthony, according to the diocese. Between 90 and 110 regularly attend Mass.