Father Jim McHugh

Father Jim McHugh

Trail Catholic parishes to unite

OLPH, St. Anthony's Church and the former St. Francis churches will be uniting under the name "Holy Trinity Parish".

The winds of change are blowing through the Catholic community in Trail.

On Sunday, the last two Catholic parishes in Trail, St. Anthony’s Church, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), will be canonically suppressed to create the Holy Trinity Parish.

Canonical suppression refers to the dissolution of a parish.

The church is being renamed Holy Trinity (Trinity defines God as three divine persons) to encompass displaced parishioners from St. Francis Xavier Church in downtown Trail, which closed some time ago.

“When St. Francis closed, those parishioners went to OLPH or St. Anthony’s,” explained Gary LeRose, chairman of the parish council.

“Now the three churches are coming together as one, hence the idea of Holy Trinity.”

The parishes refer to the canonical church community itself, said Father Jim McHugh, of OLPH.

“So right now, the two parish jurisdictions extend from Montrose to the cemetery on Rossland hill.

“Both parishes split that area as well as Highway 3 to Genelle, and down to the border,” he added.

Father McHugh explained that once Holy Trinity is created, that geographical area will be embodied under its one parish.

“It’s a great change, and it hasn’t been easy,” Father McHugh opined.

“But slow and steady the community has worked, and really tried hard.

“I am really proud of them and I get to inherit all the work that has been done before.”

This weekend will be a low-key affair, except for the reading of the letter that suppresses and creates, said Father McHugh.

“When the present OLPH church has been fully renovated, then we will have the official dedication of the parish with the bishop.”

Although the renovation details are being kept under wraps, he did hint at what to expect.

“There will be new flooring, new paint, and new alter furnishings.

“Basically a complete transformation of the church interior, including a baptismal font at the entry of the church.”

OLPH will celebrate its last mass on June 2, after which all services will transfer to St. Anthony’s until the renovations are complete later this fall.

“Nobody will see what happens until the day it (Holy Trinity) reopens,” said LeRose.

“We want it to be wow.”