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St Therese Church Torquay demolition threat

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 Contents - Oct 2007AD2000 October 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Australian Catholicism in the balance - Michael Gilchrist
Catholic Life: Sydney's Pastoral Plan ready for implementation in 2008 - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Events: Book Launch: Advancing the Culture of Death, by Rev Dr Peter Hung Tran
More of the same: Retired Sydney bishop calls for a radical overhaul of the Catholic faith - Michael Gilchrist
Queensland: Liturgy in Brisbane and the rights of the laity - Michael Apthorp
Sacred space: Sydney seminar promotes improved church architecture and art - John O'Brien
A Christian sceptic's challenge: why atheism has no answers - Babette Francis
Sacred language: New US liturgy head endorses revised Missal translation
Truth: And the Light shines in the darkness: the meaning of true ecumenism - Andrew Kania
Protect Our Children: New organisation to tackle doctrinal and moral child abuse - Fr John O'Neill PP
Letters: Bishop Robinson - Fr Edward P. Evans
Letters: Moral standards - Don Gaffney
Letters: More on Vatican II - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Catholic education - June See
Letters: Mass attendance - John Schmid
Letters: Nonsense - Frank Bellet
Letters: Teaching position available in France - Br John Moylan CFC
Letters: St Therese Church Torquay demolition threat - Charles Haber
Poetry: Mother to Son - Bruce Dawe
Books: JOHN HENRY NEWMAN: In His Time - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: SPANISH ROOTS OF AMERICA - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Events: Cardinal Pell to celebrate Latin Mass - 3 November 2007
Books: Books available from AD Books
Reflection: Archbishop Hickey on the Christian concept of marriage - Archbishop Barry Hickey

I bring to readers' attention what seems likely to happen to St Thérse Catholic Church, Surfcoast Highway, Torquay.

This beautiful 50-year-old church is a landmark on the main highway and no doubt many readers have attended Mass there during past holidays.

I have visited this church frequently over the last 20 years, as a daily communicant and there are no daily Masses any longer in the local area. It would otherwise involve a 100km round trip daily to attend Mass at St Mary's, Geelong.

St Thérse Church is situated on a large property (three blocks) with spacious parking available and is open daily for parishioners and tourists alike to visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

After speaking to some of the parishioners recently, it is clear they wish to retain the church for their Sunday worship, since it is the most centrally located for all of the Surfcoast communities, especially for the residents of Torquay. It would be a tragedy to lose a Catholic landmark like this church.

The proposed location of a new church building is off the main highway and hidden away from sight. According to the parish newsletter for 21 August 2007, it seems that recommendations have been made to move and build a new church in a location near the Catholic school.

One wonders why any new church could not be built in the existing church grounds, being such a large area of perfectly positioned land. Who initiated this move to another location and what is considered wrong with this beautiful church, which will be destroyed with the move, and most likely cause considerable division in the parish?

One gets the impression at times that the views of parishioners are misread by committees, surveys, leadership teams, directors of pastoral projects, feasibility studies, etc. A materialist perspective tends to override a spiritual one.

This is a very serious situation for all involved in this move, as failure will not only destroy the Catholic heritage in the area, but, more seriously, affect the faith of many parishioners.

If any readers have suggestions for saving this church from the bulldozer, and retaining an important landmark in Torquay, I would like to hear from them.

1 Kerrie Ct
Airey's Inlet, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 9 (October 2007), p. 15

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