Guest column: St Jean Baptiste Church: historical facility, Catholic church or both?

Over the past several weeks some community members have made comments in several local newspapers and websites in respect to the above noted facility and the need for major repairs. Being involved with the Historical and Cultural Society for the past 10 years, I know that this facility is the first designated historical site in the province of Alberta recognized by both the federal and provincial governments.

This historical site also happens to be a Catholic church, a testament to the Francophone and German pioneers who, despite language and cultural differences, built the church over 105 years ago and whose descendants continue to contribute to the development and growth of Morinville as a community.

As a board member of Centralta Tourism, I also know that this site happens to be the facility that tourists and tour groups from across Canada, from the States and/or Europe most often request to see when they visit the Morinville area.

Federal, provincial and most municipal governments, including the Town of Morinville, have policies to address historical and cultural resources. Past and current Morinville councils have been very supportive in contributing to the heritage of Morinville within the framework of the History and Cultural Policy in place since 2005.

Section 3.2 of the policy – Building Community Partnerships states: “In order to ensure that funding is both consistent with community goals and is sustainable, funding for historical and cultural endeavours must favour partnerships with community groups or other funding partners, such as provincial and federal grant funding.”

A community group has stepped forward as they should. The federal government has stepped forward with funding. I am confident that the Town will also participate. I will continue to support and vote for council members who historically have made decisions based on Town policies including the Historical and Cultural Policy without consideration of race, language, cultural and/or religious affiliations.

Sincerely

Andy Noel

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2 Comments

  1. How much has the Federal Government contributed?

    How much has the Provincial Government contributed?

    How much is being asked of the Municipal Government? (The printed comment attributed to me was originally a response to another commentor who suggested the town reach into “excess spare funds” and didn’t want to hear any “arguments about equality to other groups or religions”)

    Finally, how much is the building owner (and this is indeed my point and always has been) contributing?

    Regards,

    Thomas Kirsop

  2. Okay Andy. No problem. Every time the church has leaking faucet, let us know, so we can fix it. An absolute must, for the thousands upon thousands of tourists who descend upon our town to see our church.

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