JACKMAN—For four years, many St. Anthony parishioners have waited for the opportunity to begin anew. Community members and invited guests representing the area’s rich Catholic history will participate in a long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at the site of the new St. Faustina Church of St. Anthony Parish on 370 Main St. in Jackman.
“When parishioners heard, many were very emotional, including some who broke down in tears and thanked God for answered prayers,” said the Rev. Kevin J. Martin, pastor of St. Anthony Parish.
In the fall of 2009, deterioration at St. Anthony Church was estimated to require in excess of $1.2 million in repairs. The damage and the projected rising costs of heating the building led to the parish’s decision to close the church building, which was demolished in October 2009.
Soon after, the parish community began worshipping at the American Legion Hall on 404 Main Street, a practice that will continue on Sunday when Monsignor Andrew Dubois, Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Portland, will be the celebrant at an 11 a.m. Mass at the hall. Fr. Martin, along with the parish’s former pastor, Fr. Richard Malo, will concelebrate. The groundbreaking ceremony will follow the Mass at the building site across from the Town Office.
While Sunday’s ceremony will most certainly be a joyous occasion for the parish community, the many people who have helped raise funds in recent years, and for the generous donors who have all worked and contributed towards the goal of a new church building, there is still work to be done. The parish has approximately $260,000 in available funds and donated building materials, and St. Anthony’s will receive a $200,000 mortgage from the Diocesan Savings & Loan. The estimated cost for the new church building itself is $575,000.
“I know that we have a long road ahead,” said Martin. “I remain hopeful that with continued contributions and efforts from our parishioners and many friends, the dream to move into our new church building will become a reality. We will be constructing the building shell and then work on the completion of the worship area so that we can move into our church building as soon as we can. The liturgical feast of St. Faustina Kowalska is Oct. 5. That’s a Saturday and it would be an added blessing if we could say Mass on her Feast Day in the new church!”
If individuals or businesses would like to make a contribution designated toward the construction of St. Faustina Church of St. Anthony Parish in Jackman, please contact Fr. Kevin J. Martin, Pastor, at (207) 695-2262, or mail the donation to St. Faustina Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 457, Greenville, ME 04441. Memorial donations can also be made in memory of a relative or friend, or in honor of a birthday or anniversary.