In Iraq, ISIS is bulldozing churches and turned the Cathedral of Mosul into a mosque. Meanwhile, many thousands of miles away…
… in the National Post:
What’s happening to Montreal’s churches? Quebec finding new ways to preserve its heritage in a secular age
MONTREAL — Weight machines fill the space where once there were pews, and visitors sip nutritional green smoothies, not communion wine. But despite its dramatic transformation into a private gym and spa, the onetime Dominican St. Jude’s Shrine on Montreal’s St. Denis Street remains a temple of sorts.
“It becomes almost a religion for some people,” Sonya Audrey Bonin, general manager of the Saint-Jude Espace Tonus gym, said this week. “I see it with yoga, with taking care of yourself, being careful about what you eat, having a healthy lifestyle.” And in a secular age when people are more likely to hit the gym than attend mass on a Sunday morning, the upscale facility is being hailed as a model for preserving the religious buildings that constitute an important part of Quebec’s architectural heritage.
When the council did an inventory in 2003, it identified 2,751 places of worship in the province, the vast majority of them Catholic churches. Since then, about 400 have closed, and Mr. Boucher said the rhythm is accelerating. “A church closes every week. It is a huge phenomenon,” he said. “Everyone needs to make a compromise so the buildings find a useful life in society and continue to convey their historical significance.”
Read the rest there.
Some of the pics: