Church to become rock-climbing centre

December 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

Parishioners at St-Raymond Roman Catholic Church in Gatineau will celebrate their last mass Sunday. (CBC) A Roman Catholic Church in Gatineau, Que., is facing a rocky future, but the archbishop of the diocese feels that’s not such a bad thing.

Archbishop Roger Ébacher will perform the last mass in the 65-year history of St-Raymond Catholic Church on Sunday. After that, a developer plans to build a rock-climbing wall inside the building. The church was on the market for two years before a recent offer was accepted from the developer, who plans to turn it into the rock-climbing centre.

Although rock climbers are a long way from the people for whom the church was designed, Ébacher is happy the edifice will still be a place for people to gather.

“For me, the important thing for this building is for good use — good for people. It’s possible to have very different uses, very different possibilities.

“Jesus liked to have fun, when he walked into the temple and started teaching the high priests, so he was having fun. So I’m pretty sure the people that are going to come into this church for recreational activities, I’m sure the Lord will be watching from above and say, ‘Yeah, I like this.’ ”

St-Raymond is not the only church in the area that is becoming something other than a house of worship. The diocese has sold two other churches. One is now a palliative care unit for cancer patients. Another will become a residence for the elderly.

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