St. Mary’s church in Orono could have buyer

Posted Jan. 16, 2010, at 12:33 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:41 a.m.

ORONO, Maine — Someone seems to be interested in purchasing the former St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church building.

The identity of the person or business entity interested in the downtown landmark, however, remains unclear.

A “sale pending” sign was added recently to the for-sale sign outside the 89 Main St. buildings, which includes the church, rectory and convent.

A person who answered the phone last week at the office of ERA Dawson-Bradford Co. said Realtor Pauline Rock declined to comment, and Town Manager Cathy Conlow did not release any details.

The 6,932-square foot facility with two partial bathrooms is listed for $450,000, according to homes.com. Earlier listings had the price at $500,000.

St. Mary’s held its final Mass on Jan. 1, 2009. The Rev. Wilfred P. Labbe, St. Mary’s pastor, told the Bangor Daily News in late 2008 that the decision to close the church came because of declining attendance, an aging membership, its proximity to the Newman Center religious facility on the University of Maine campus, and extensive repairs needed on the buildings.

Repairs were needed to the heating system, the foundation and the stone facade, Labbe said in 2008. He estimated at the time that repair costs could run from $500,000 to $1 million.

St. Mary’s is now a member of the newly formed Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, which also includes the two St. Ann Catholic churches on Indian Island and in Bradley, Holy Family in Old Town, and Our Lady of Wisdom at the Newman Center.

A pipe organ that had been used in St. Mary’s for more than 100 years was transported in November from Orono to Holy Family Catholic Church in Old Town.

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