Our Lady of Mercy Church. BlackburnNews.com photo by Aaron Zimmer.

Preserving Sarnia Churches

A fundraising campaign is underway to ensure three Sarnia churches, two of historical significance, can be used well into the future.

Campaign Chair Chris Doyle says they’re trying to raise $1.5-million to repair, and restore St Joseph, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Benedict Catholic Churches.

“We asking our parishioners to help us raise capital dollars,” says Doyle. “We also want to make the community aware of the historical nature of the buildings. I’ve heard stories about how mariners used to use the steeple at Our Lady of Mercy as a beacon as they travelled up or down the St. Clair River.”

OLM was once known as the Mother Church and was dedicated in 1857. St Joseph in south-end Sarnia opened in 1928 and St. Benedict opened in 1959.

The south cross-shaped stained glass window and outside walls need to be restored at OLM, the Rectory at St Joseph needs to be removed to make way for a new accessible parking lot, and Parish Hall improvements and meeting room expansions are proposed for St Bens.

Combined, the three churches have been part of the community for over 300 years and currently serve over 1,800 families.