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Status of the Sale of Saint Joseph Church in Laconia

July 8, 2019

Statement regarding the status of the sale
of Saint Joseph Church in Laconia

Saint Andre Bessette Parish, the Diocese of Manchester, and the potential buyers of the Saint Joseph property have mutually agreed to terminate the Purchase and Sale Agreement first announced in early May.

Bishop Libasci is fully aware of the strong sentiments expressed by many. With the sale of the property now postponed, the Bishop has directed the appropriate members of the Diocesan staff to work with the pastor and city officials to approach the matter and the property itself with those sentiments clearly in mind.

Currently, the church edifice, the rectory (also known as “the John W. Busiel House”), and the former Holy Trinity School building are all situated on one single parcel of land. One possible approach would be to subdivide the land into three distinct parcels, since the church edifice stands in between the rectory (Busiel House) and the school building.

By subdivision of the land, the church edifice and its designated property can be retained and its ultimate use be determined upon mutual agreement between the parish and Diocesan Offices. The two remaining parcels could then be sold without infringement on the church.

Representatives of the parish and the Diocesan Offices are planning to meet with city officials to discuss such a subdivision and to work out any zoning issues that might possibly arise. We remain hopeful that such a solution will allow the church edifice to remain.

About Saint Andre Bessette Parish: in 2010, Saint Andre Bessette Parish was formed from the merger of three parishes (St. Joseph, Sacred Heart, and our Lady of the Lakes in Lakeport and St. Helena mission church in Weirs Beach). In 2016, Fr. Drouin put forth a proposal to consolidate all parish facilities at the Sacred Heart campus, which received the unanimous backing of the parish finance and pastoral councils and the parish building committee, and the consensus of the parish community. That plan included the relocation of Holy Trinity School to the campus of Sacred Heart Church and the eventual sale of the St. Joseph property. Further details about Saint Andre Bessette can be found on the parish website at: www.standrebessette.org.

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of nearly 235,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.