Local Catholics bury their history

Above: Lee Hittinger, Gilbert Boddez, Simonne Chevalier and Father Martin Jubinville with the time capsule to be buried under the church steps by Lee’s husband Andy Hittinger in the next few days. Below: On Wednesday morning Paul Froment and Gilbert Boddez were applying the glue to seal the time capsule.

by Morinville News staff
photos by Lucie Roy

capsule2Forty-two years is not a common length of time for a time capsule to be buried, but Morinville Catholics gathered on the steps of historic St. Jean Baptiste Church July 9 to seal a time capsule to be opened in 2057. The date – 42 years down the road – coincides with the church’s 150th anniversary. The capsule is to be unveiled at the Feast Day of St. Jean Baptiste in June of 2057

The time capsule came about when contractor Andy Hittinger made the suggestion during recent work on the church steps. Hittinger saw a space where he believed a time capsule could be placed. The church liked the idea and Hittinger’s wife Lee, Simonne Chevalier, Gilbert Boddez and Father Martin Jubinville got together with the assistance of others to gather information and items for the time capsule.

Chevalier, who was instrumental in securing a grant from the federal government during the People for the Steeple Campaign, said she was excited to preserve some of the recent work done at the church for future generations to see. “I feel that today’s news is tomorrow’s history,” she said. “We put in what we felt in 42 years would be of interest to people.”

The capsule includes submitted items from the Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus and The Morinville News, the latter providing photos taken at various stages of the restoration project.

Additional pictures include one when there was no brick on the outside of the church and a hitching post was on the street out front. Other shots include those from when Joseph St. Laurent and sons Bob, Joe and Buster did a restoration project in the mid-50s atop a wodden scaffold. More recent pictures include shots of the engineered steps, a project that has just been completed.

A small plaque near the ramp indicating the presence of a time capsule and when it is to be opened will be placed once the sealed unit is behind the concrete.

“It is really important,” Chevalier said of the time capsule and the items inside. “We did make history when we raised those funds for the steeple. And there is no better way of preserving it than right below the work that we did.”

The time capsule is located not far from the Town of Morinville’s Millennium Time Capsule in St. Jean Baptiste Park. It is to be opened in July of 2100.


Above: Father Martin Jubinville holding the plaque to indicate the opening of the time capsule in June of 2057 at the Feast Day of St Jean Baptiste.

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