Purchase of the former Saint-Bernard Church in N.S.
Opening planned for July 2024
Bouctouche, New Brunswick, 28 July 2023 – Nation Prospère Acadie (Nation Prospère) and la Société Héritage Saint-Bernard confirm they have completed the purchase of the former St. Bernard's Church in Nova Scotia. The agreement was ratified by the Diocese of Halifax-Yarmouth today, July 28, Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval.
In April 2023, the two charities began the process of acquiring this imposing granite building, which was threatened with demolition at the time. A fundraising campaign to raise the sum of $2.5 million began in April and will continue until June 2024.
Nation Prospère was created in 2018 with the mission of playing a leading role in the protection of Acadian heritage in Atlantic Canada. "As heirs to this remarkable Acadian heritage, we are proud to undertake this new safeguarding project," says Michel Cyr, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
This majestic granite stone building has stood proudly in the Baie Sainte-Marie landscape for over 80 years. "A restoration project is in the works, with a projected opening date of July 2024, in time for the next Congrès Mondial Acadien," mentions Jean LeBlanc, president of the Société Héritage Saint-Bernard. "Over the next few weeks, minor work will be carried out, including restoring water and sewer services to the building."
The $2.5 million investment sought will be used primarily to re-roof in aluminium this mini-cathedral, modernize its heating system and repair water damage suffered in recent years. Other work planned for this first phase will be linked to programming for the 2024 Congrès Mondial Acadien. The fundraising campaign is ongoing, and details of this participation should be confirmed this fall.
The construction of the Saint-Bernard Church was begun in 1910 by Father Édouard LeBlanc, who became the first Acadian bishop in 1912. Built with great effort and sacrifice by the inhabitants of Saint-Bernard Parish, this masterpiece to the glory of God was only completed 32 years later in 1942. It is one of the largest stone buildings in Atlantic Canada.
- 30 –
Contacts : Michel J.C. Cyr, président, Nation Prospère Acadie (506) 389-2358
Jean Le Blanc, président, Société Héritage Saint-Bernard (902) 837-5750