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Ps: This site is monitored but not actively posting on a regular basis. Mostly these are stories & some photos saved from a defunct site known as Verdun Connections which was on MSN Groups initially then on a social network called Multiply.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
The Bells , the Bells , the Bells shut the F %^7 up Quasimoto. It's in Verdun....lol
Verdun church's bells may soon ring again thanks to multimillion-dollar renovation
The church, at the corner of De L’Église and Wellington Sts., which celebrated its centennial last year, is undergoing a $6-million renovation to improve the building’s electrical and heating systems, fix windows, and restore its two bell towers. The church has maintained its stunning interior, but there have been leaks over the years through the windows and the exterior walls also need repairs.
“(The church) is the heart of Verdun,” said Louis Brillant, the architect for the renovation project. “All of the work done to create a community centred around this building.”
Monsignor Joseph-Arsène Richard, who established the parish in 1899 from which the church takes its name, advocated for a hospital in Verdun and served as president of the neighbourhood’s first school board. (A secondary school in Verdun is named after him.)
“Nearly everything was done by him and created by him,” said Georges Bossé, a former president of the church’s restoration committee and a former mayor of Verdun.
The church boasts a carillon of 18 bells, which have been largely silent for at least 10 years, Bossé said during a tour of the church with local media to provide an update on the renovations. The carillon bells have been out of commission partially because the bell towers are not stable enough, according to Bossé.
Bossé said he believes the bells could be ringing within the next two years. While the construction work on the bell towers should be completed by next summer, a specialist will have to work on the bells to get them ringing again.
Efforts to launch the renovation project started about 10 years ago with the work getting underway a few years ago.
Provincial programs and private donations are funding the renovations. “Since the church is in the provincial program for patrimonial value, they give us a small amount every year,” Brillant said.
The church received $300,000 for the restoration of the bell towers from the Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the conservation and enhancement of the province’s religious heritage, according to its 2013-14 annual report.
Forty-one other churches across the province received over $9 million during the same period, including 10 in Montreal alone.
In 2011-2012, Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs also received funding from the program for a new roof.
Though the renovations are partially funded by the Conseil’s program that explicitly recognizes the religious nature and value of the building, Bossé noted that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated by people who are not Catholic but are still interested in preserving a piece of Verdun’s heritage. The church has received nearly $800,000 in private donations so far, according to Bossé.
The borough has also provided some financial support, said borough mayor Jean-François Parenteau. “It is a central part of the community,” he said. “Everyone knows about this church.” Parenteau said he would like to see the church continue to improve, particularly by becoming more accessible to residents.
Parenteau said he was excited to see the result of the renovations and the prospect of hearing the bells ring again. “It will be beautiful,” he said.
“Every generation has contributed something (to the church),” Brillant noted, “whether it’s the organ, the stained glass, the decoration or the electronic systems. We’ve now reached the point where the most significant and important contribution we can make is to maintain it.”