LETTER: Help keep Salmo church open

Reader Susan Flemming reflects on the state of the church and churchgoers.

I have been touched with God’s grace to gather the courage to proclaim fearlessly what I believe. I am a spirit-filled person, and I am going to speak from my heart.

Over the last three or four months I have been asking myself, “Am I doing more?” I am stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the initiative to seek and I’m hoping to ignite hearts out there!

Our almost 100-year-old building, Salmo Sacred Heart Catholic Church, one of the most historical buildings left in our town, temporarily closed over this last winter, and is contemplating shutting the doors permanently.

We have approximately 10 to 12 parishioners.

Some people have relocated. Age is a factor, as some are getting up there, some have passed away, and one has gone into a seniors residence.

Pessimism has crept in and like many other small churches throughout Canada, questions are asked such as “Can we afford to keep it open?” and “Can our Diocese afford this? No, so let’s close the church down.”

My response to our shepherd holding the staff was “My heart will be shattered if this takes place because this church goes back four generations in my family!”

Even the great saints got down and discouraged.

What caught my eye about Pope Francis was that in one of his first interviews, he didn’t say, “I’m a pontiff, I’m the pope, I’m famous.” No, he said “I’m a sinner.”

Right now young people are more than shining out there. It is so great to watch. I listened to one young lady who said “Get out there even though you might get bloody, bruised, misunderstood, hated, cause anger, and people judge you.”

Have you ever watched World Youth Day? It’s amazing. Thousands upon thousands of young people. The next one is in Krakow, Poland in 2016.

At the beginning of May, a young gentleman, and I were conversing and he said “I am willing to take care of the lawns at the Catholic Church in hopes that it will stay open.” He might be 20 years old. What a blessing — that is totally irreplaceable!

So when you hear the church bell ringing loud and clear at 1:30 p.m. on Sundays, it’s me doing the ringing, feeling honoured to be part of our Salmo Catholic Church, and when I come from behind the curtain, the other parishioners have the biggest smiles on their faces!

I have faith this flame is only going to grow!

Come and make your interior space with God at Salmo Catholic Church, Everyone is welcome!  With hope, Catholics come home.

Every time the church door opens, Jesus is waiting for you, and hoping you will come through the door!

Susan Flemming

Salmo

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