Our Neighbour Parish, Sacred Heart

The beautiful altar at Sacred Heart Parish, Delaware, Ontario

One of our parish neighbours, Sacred Heart Parish, Delaware have experienced a terrible flood in their properties. Much damage has resulted.

The Holy Family community would like to indicate our support and prayers during these difficult times.

Following is a letter from Fr. Matthew Bedard, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish.

Please leave a comment of support below or contact Sacred Heart Parish through their website.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has been just over a week since the 40 year record flood occurred in Delaware.  You may have heard that it has had a devastating effect on the parish of Sacred Heart.

The waters around the church building began to rise quickly early in the morning of Wednesday, February 21st.  By 8:30 am it had become apparent that the building was in peril.  By 8:45 am there was already people who took action in order to seal the church and protect it from the imminent onslaught of water.  By 9:30 am there were at least a dozen people working furiously to prevent serious water damage.  By 1:30 pm the water had risen to such a level that it had overtaken the retaining wall (which was completed in 2010 after suffering loss by flood in 2009) prompting the abandonment of further efforts, as they would be futile and life threatening.  The result was roughly 7 feet of water in the parish basement, which includes; parish hall, kitchen, meeting room, washrooms, electrical/furnace room, supply room, elevator/lift room, children’s church room and storage room.  All of them containing the equipment and items you would expect.  There was great loss.

Shortly after, that is around 2:00 pm, water began to enter the basement of the rectory/office.  In the efforts to prevent loss at least 20 people (some of whom who had worked all morning at the church) valiantly defended the precious Sacramental records and parish files by moving them upstairs into the residence area, while others worked to remove the water before it had risen.  No more than an inch of water entered the basement of the parish rectory, however it caused damage to the drywall, insulation, floor, and some furnishings.

It is quite understandable that we are all upset over such great loss.  Bishop Fabbro and Bishop Dabrowski have expressed their sympathies and condolences and have offered prayers and support through the whole ordeal and continue to do so.  Many others have expressed sympathies, support and prayers as well.

We are very grateful to the many people who have worked tirelessly through the crisis and we offer them our thanks.

Since the building is unfit for use it has been closed to the general public until further notice.

In the interim certain measures have been taken;

All Masses and most liturgical events have been currently relocated to our cluster parish of St. Charles Garnier in Glencoe (We thank them for their hospitality) until further notice.

Other events will be rescheduled as outcomes become apparent.

This is where we are at;

In consultation with the Bishops, the Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General, the Episcopal Director of Administrative Services and Financial Administrator, the Construction and Restoration Manager, the Catholic Mutual Adjudicator, the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Finance Committee and Pastor, we continue looking at options and possibilities that can best serve the parish at this time.

We must remember that we are currently in this crisis.  We must be patient and we must support one another during this inconvenience.  We will have to endure the process until it is complete, whatever the outcome.

With that being said, it must be noted that no permanent decisions have been made, nothing has been finalized.  We are in the middle of the event.

During the chaos there have been some upsets.  For instance;  While it was not the intention to move the altar and many furnishings out of the body of the church, it did take place.  Looking back, it is probably better for the interim that the altar and much of the wood furnishings and valuable liturgical articles are safe from damage in a secure and climate controlled environment.

One of the possibilities that is being looked into arises from the generous offer of the Delaware/Kilworth United Church who graciously offered use of their currently vacant Delaware United Church building.  Some considerations before accepting are; the building has been vacant for a time so we need to know certain facts about ownership, safety, accessibility, whether it will serve our needs and such.

As an aside, the community of St. Jude Anglican church has also offered us use of their facilities, for which we are grateful.

In closing it must be recognized that it may be more of an inconvenience for some to join us at St. Charles Garnier due to locale and circumstances.  Please reach out to the community if you are in this situation.  If you know of anyone who would enjoy car pooling then please reach out to them.  Remember “…You will be able to tell them by their fruits…”  [Matthew 7:16]

We also have had received offers of gracious hospitality from neighbouring parishes; St. George, Holy Family, St. John the Divine and All Saints.

Let’s give witness to the strength of the Christian community.

Thank you again to all who have offered assistance, welcome and prayer.

In humble service,

Rev. D. Matthew Bedard
Sacred Heart, Delaware
St. Charles Garnier, Glencoe

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