Sudbury

Lively's mould-ridden St. Pius X Church up for sale

The future of a Sudbury church remains uncertain a year after it was closed because of mould.

Unusual, but heartening, to hear of drive to build a new church while many are closing down, Bishop says

St. Pius X Catholic Church in Lively was shut down after health inspectors found mould in the basement. (Erik White/CBC)

A church in Lively that was closed two years ago because of mould is now up for sale — and the congregation is aiming to replace it with a new multi-million-dollar place of worship.

St. Pius X was shut down two years ago following an investigation by Sudbury's Health Unit, and the building is now on the market for $527,000.

Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe says it's heartening to hear of a drive to build a new church. (http://www.dioceseofsaultstemarie.org/)
Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe said the church is for sale "as is,” and the diocese has not pinpointed the exact reason why mould is forming on the church walls.

"It would be the challenge for us, as it will be for the buyer of St. Pius X church, to identify the [cause of the] mould,” he said.

Meanwhile, the congregation has been holding services in the gymnasium of nearby St. James Catholic School.

The parishioners are aiming to raise $4 million to build a new church in Lively.

Parishioner Mel Chomiak said there were hard feelings at first, but they've melted away.

"People have accepted what happened. We have moved on and everybody is looking forward to eventually start building a church."

While they lost members to other churches at first, he said the Saturday afternoon services now sometimes draw more than 100 people.

"You may put it this way, it's the Lord's house. And if you don't have that, you're not going to have a congregation."

Bishop Plouffe said it's unusual, but heartening, to hear of a drive to build a new church — especially when many of them are being closed, sold and torn down.

"All of this begins by building community around, really, what only a church can offer the people."

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