Lacombe demolishes old church, moves to build anew

St. Stephen's Church in Lacombe was demolished Feb. 16 as the parish moves ahead with plans to build a new church.

St. Stephen's Church in Lacombe was demolished Feb. 16 as the parish moves ahead with plans to build a new church.

March 7, 2016
MICHAEL MARIEN
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

LACOMBE - St. Stephen's Catholic Parish in Lacombe is turning a new and exciting page in our history, as we prepare to build a new church.

A 2014 investigation showed we would soon have to either completely renovate our current church or build a new one.

Building new made much more financial sense, and so we began a successful first campaign to construct a new church, which we imagined to happen five years from now.

But before we knew it, our schedule moved ahead at breakneck speed. This past summer Lacombe encountered a hailstorm, which caused major damage throughout the city.

St. Stephen's Church was not immune, and it became apparent that the roof could not be repaired without extensive cost. We needed a new home, a new campaign, a new design.

As always, God provides and, in keeping with all the "new," he gave us a new parish priest, Father Shimit.

With fond memories, and not a few tears, we celebrated our last Sunday Mass on Nov. 21, the feast of Christ the King, fittingly the last Sunday of the Church year. The St. Stephen's family pitched in and celebrated with a wonderful potluck lunch.

Thanks to the generosity of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Schools, we found a new home at Father Lacombe School and began Advent celebrations in the gym.

With the support of the school and the cooperation of all members of our parish, the transition has been joyful and smooth.

On Feb. 16, the reality of it all hit home as the demolition of St. Stephen's was completed.

There is much work ahead. With the help of the building committee, parish council, Father Shimit, our community stakeholders and parishioners, St. Stephen's Catholic Church will go and grow forward.

(Michael Marien is vice chair of the pastoral council of St. Stephen's Parish in Lacombe.)