A New Roof for Our Lady Queen of Peace

A view of the new roof on the parish hall section of Our Lady Queen of Peace.

For most missions in Canada, church buildings come at a high cost of maintenance and repair. In 2022, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Happy Valley-Goose Bay was faced with the possibility of abandoning a portion of their church due to critical failures in the structure of the roof. In the end, along with crucial support from Catholic Missions In Canada and the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador, the community at Our Lady Queen of Peace raised the funds necessary to repair the damaged roof.

Our Lady Queen of Peace was established in 1958. At that time, two buildings acquired from the previous business at the location were combined to make a single structure consisting of a church at the front and a rectory at the back. When the Our Lady Queen of Peace Mission House was built in 2000s (CMIC also supports the maintenance of the mission house) the rectory of the current church was renovated and turned into the annex. The annex, or church hall, serves many purposes included small group meetings, sacramental preparation, social gatherings, and church administration. The two separate buildings combined into one resulted in two differnt roof structures, one of which (the annex) was collapsing under the sustained weight of snow (imagine at least 4 feet of snow). At one point, it was necessary to even shovel snow off the roof in order to preserve its structure, this is both dangerous and time consuming and eventually even larger issues began to appear.

Watch this video to find out about what happened:

The saga of the damaged roof began in February 2018. Over the next four years, the Maintenance Committee worked to restore the annex to a safe and secure state. However, three engineering companies, in their inspections, discovered additional damage to trusses and support beams throughout the entire structure.

Led by the Finance Committee, a significant commitment from the building fund and operating account laid the financial foundation for the project. Ongoing fundraisers, such as the Grand in the Hand monthly event, showcased the sustained support from the community. The Roof Appeal Event, featuring special collections and local business support, further solidified financial backing. The community’s efforts received a significant boost when Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC) approved a grant of $75,000, underscoring broader support for the project. The goal was to replace the roof on the church annex so that the church could continue with its activites and not have to find another home.

Our Lady Queen of Peace serves approximately a population of 1500 Catholics and has a multi-cultural congregation that includes families from the Philippines, India, Africa, Nigeria, Labradorians, Newfoundlanders and the Innu Nation. From 2018 to 2021 the parish has baptized 27 babies and has confirmed 23 Youth. In 2022, the parish was preparing another 10 youth for the sacrament of Confirmation. Because of the seriousness of the condition of the roof these classes and all church activites were at risk of ceasing or facing the difficult challeng of finding affordable and reliable space.

The triumph of the fundraising efforts preserves not just a physical structure but the heart of the parish – an annex vital for diverse activities. The completion ensures the continuity of parish life. Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish is now not just repaired but ready for its ongoing role in the community.