Lethbridge landmark closes
For the first time in 98 years the doors to St. Patrick's Church are closed.
The church is shutting down because it needs funds to restore the old building and also to keep it running on a daily basis.
Bishop Fred Henry made the closure announcement several months ago and it just isn't sitting well with parishioners.
"I've been going there for 60 some years and I just can't believe that they're gonna destroy it, well it's gonna get destroyed sooner or later I'm sure but I just can't believe it," said Bob Costanzo.
The Roman Catholic Church has plans to build a new 1200 seat mega church at the corner of 43rd St. and Highway 4.
For over a month, the newly formed Save Our Churches Association has been fighting the decision.
They say the construction of a single mega church to replace the three existing facilities is unreasonable, expensive, and unnecessary.
"This is very serious. It is very very serious and very sad that this has happened and that the bishop has allowed this to happen or has initiated for this to happen," said Barb MacLean, from the Save Our Churches Association.
The group says the Roman Catholic Church has not secured the land, the money, or the backing of the majority of its parishioners.
The pews at St. Patrick's Church were packed for weekend services as parishioners worshiped for what may be the last time.
Bishop Fred Henry says the church will remain shuttered for now so the two sides can take a deep breath. He says they will revisit the issue again in the fall.
The proposed mega church carries a price tag of about $21 million dollars.