Nouveau-Brunswick : une autre cathédrale a besoin de plusieurs millions $

Nouveau-Brunswick : une autre cathédrale a besoin de plusieurs millions $

La cathédrale Immaculée-Conception, principale église catholique du diocèse de Saint-Jean, au Nouveau-Brunswick, a besoin de rénovations dont les coûts sont estimés à 8 millions $. La toiture et le clocher nécessitent les travaux les plus urgents, rapporte le Telegraph Journal, mais plusieurs autres éléments de l’église sont également à restaurer.

Selon les architectes responsables d’évaluer la nature des travaux à réaliser, l’état de délabrement du clocher est tel qu’il faudra le rénover dès le printemps, sans quoi pourrait représenter un risque pour la sûreté des citoyens.

Les murs et les vitraux ont également besoin d’être restaurés. Des morceaux de plâtre se détachent tant des murs que du plafond à plusieurs endroits.

La cathédrale Immaculée-Conception a 154 ans. Ce n’est pas la première fois au cours des dernières années que d’importants travaux y ont lieu.

Cette annonce faite à la mi-janvier dans le diocèse de Saint-Jean rappelle que la cathédrale catholique de Moncton est toujours en quête de 7 millions $ pour effectuer, elle aussi, d’importants travaux de restauration.

***

Voici le texte de la lettre qui a été lue aux paroissiens du diocèse de Saint-Jean le dimanche 10 janvier 2010 :

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

If you have been in the Cathedral during the past several years, you have noticed that the roof of the Cathedral has greatly deteriorated. This fall, the Diocese engaged an architectural firm which specializes in historic churches and public buildings to determine options for a roof replacement. They conducted an extensive visual inspection of the whole envelope of the Cathedral: steeple, roof, walls, windows and foundations. Just before Christmas, the firm reported back to us on their findings. Although they recognize that the roof is in serious need of replacement, they pointed out that the steeple is in even more serious condition. They said it is a matter of safety that major restoration work be done to the steeple this coming spring and summer. They have also listed in order of priority the roof and other work that needs to be done over the next few years. The estimated cost of this restoration is in the range of $8 million.

In light of this urgent situation with our Cathedral, I met with both the Diocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors. Representatives of both bodies then joined me for a meeting I convened with a number of different persons with experience in such matters. It is my hope that some of the above will be interested in serving on a committee to work for the restoration and preservation of our Cathedral. We will have to raise the monies required and hopefully will be able to access some government assistance.

In the meanwhile, I will authorize the architectural firm to begin more detailed investigation of the work which is needed for the steeple. As I do that, I want to let you know about this major initiative as it begins to unfold. As the project moves ahead, I will keep everyone informed of the progress we are making.

We have a beautiful and historic Cathedral and we need to keep it safe, well maintained and preserved for those who come after us. I thank you for your support.

Sincerely in the Lord,

Robert Harris,

Bishop of Saint John