On September 1, 2011, St Daniel’s Catholic Church of South Mountain, Ontario, burned to the ground. This weekend, parishioners and members of the local community are gathering to raise funds. Committee member Anne Caza fills us in on the details.
On the Local Community
In our parish we come from many different backgrounds, some of which are of Irish & Scottish descent, including several of our former priests. One of our parishioners who is proud to be from Ireland was our inspiration for the theme of this even – “Keys to a Celtic Christmas”. However, we are blessed with many Dutch families who for many years have been the backbone of our parish. Another family of Irish ancestry has participated in many Irish activities over the years. Some of our parishioners are from the neighbouring counties of Stormont-Dundas & Glengarry proud of their Scottish heritage; because of this we are so fortunate to have a piper and lots of tartan on display at our fundraiser. Planning this event certainly brought interest to our community. The members of our fundraising committee have always been involved with St. Daniel’s over the years in various capacities. We all consider our parish as our extended family and part of our home.
On the Fire
It was a devastating sight for all of us. Our priest was committed to supporting us through this difficult time. His first instinct as our church was burning to the ground was to see it rise again from the ashes. Conquering adversity, we all pulled together and celebrated mass the very next Sunday, in our cemetery to honour those who built our church. We were much comforted in the fact that our bishop was present for the occasion and there for us sharing in our loss. Since then, we have been worshiping every Sunday in our Community hall, where again dedicated parishioners set up and dismantle, as need be, on a weekly basis.
On the Fundraiser
Given the pivotal importance of our church to the faith community it served for well over a century, it was only natural that we would want to see it replaced. Mirroring what was done by our predecessors to build the original church, once again the entire community has come together to pool their prayers, their talents, their determination and their dollars to enable it to rise again – bringing our community together and keeping our church family alive. This, being our 3rd bi-annual event of such, the 1st simply called “Keys to Christmas”, the 2nd, “Keys to a Victorian Christmas” and now, this event “Keys to a Celtic Christmas” has been a well sought venue, having been basically sold out already three weeks prior the event. We have a wonderful evening of fun and fellowship, filled with Celtic flavour; a great meal, good music, (harpist, flutist, and a piper), a hall decked in Celtic & key themes. Silent and live auctions will be at the forefront of the event. For our guests’ enjoyment, there will be a Kilt contest, many door prizes, and of course the holder of the winning key to our Grand Prize, (a two night stay at the Wakefield Inn, in Wakefield, Que.) all this with help from real live leprechauns and… a certain “Saint” may even show up!
On the Response
The response has been overwhelming. People from our community at large have been so generous, buying tickets, donating prizes, time, auction items, and even monetary donations. We are asking everyone to pray for the success of our event and the building of our new church.