Dear citizens of the hamlet of Faust and surrounding area, I take this opportunity to write this message to inform you of the present state of the church building in Faust and the future presence of the Catholic church in this community.
The parish has not been abolished and the Catholics in Faust and the surrounding area who identify as parishioners belonging to this local church remain as such. St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Faust is the people, even if there is no physical building present. We hope to be able to use other facilities in order to celebrate weekend Masses and the celebration of sacraments.
The following historical points need to be known and understood.
- The church building was moved from Canyon Creek to Faust in September of 1977 after the roof of the former church collapsed due to an overload of snow in February of 1974.
- The building was placed on the same foundation as the collapsed building, though a concrete riser needed to be added to sit the smaller structure onto the existing foundation which had a larger footprint than the building moved in from Canyon Creek.
- On June 28, 2013, the Archdiocese hired the service of Hymark Home Inspection Services from Slave Lake to do a thorough inspection of the building, from top to bottom.
- The building was in a state of gradual deterioration and in the last couple of years became of greater concern for the Archdiocese. The cost of repairs needed for the age and condition of the building did not seem a reasonable expenditure.
- Of concern were the east and west walls pushing outward at the top due to the rot of floor-joists and beams on the underside of the building and by the weight of the roof.
- A significant bow was noticeable on the floor with the high point at the centre with a 6-8- inch drop at the walls on either side of the building.
- Due to the existing damage and the weakness of the building, it was deemed irreparable and an increased danger for the community.
- After consultation and on the advice of his advisors, the Archbishop decreed that the building should be demolished and the site cleaned and made safe.
- The church furniture and material possessions are presently in storage, earmarked for future use, hopefully in a church building in Faust or elsewhere.
- The bell from the steeple is also being kept in storage
Recently, a company was hired to demolish the church building along with the old garage that was on the property and haul the debris away. This demolition will include the removal of the concrete foundation as well. The lots owned by the church are not for sale.
The future presence of a church building in Faust will depend on the will of the people of the community and its surrounding area, on a willingness for active participation and with greater financial contribution.
Respectfully yours in Christ,
Monsignor Charles Lavoie PH,
Vicar General & Chancellor