Assumption Church, Windsor’s historic Catholic landmark, is closing. Catholic Register file photo.

Landmark church closure a sad sign of the times

  • September 11, 2014

WINDSOR, ONT. - Last week I wrote about the impressive evangelical energy of young Chinese Catholics and how encouraging it was to be with them. Not two days later I was confronted with the grim reality of ecclesial life in Canada — the pockets of vitality are just that, pockets. 

In Windsor for the Queen’s Golden Gaels first football game of the season, I arrived on Labour Day morning at Assumption Church, Windsor’s historic Catholic landmark. It was not a happy day to arrive, for the day previous the Bishop of London, Ronald Fabbro, had told the faithful that Assumption Church would close in 64 days. The last Sunday will be All Souls Day — an evocative day to bury nearly three centuries of Catholic presence on the banks of the Detroit River. 

The trauma was more intense as the parishioners of Assumption learned the news in the Windsor Star, not from the bishop himself as had been the diocese’s original intention. The diocese then issued a hurried confirmation that the parish would close in nine weeks and the pastor would depart immediately. Bishop Fabbro came himself to deliver the news as a responsible shepherd the following Sunday, but despite the message being entitled “a new way forward for Assumption Parish” it felt like the end of the road to many. 

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