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St. Mary’s in Canton selling two buildings

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CANTON - St. Mary’s Catholic Church is selling two adjoining buildings the parish owns on Court Street.

The St. Thomas More Newman Center, 33 Court St., and the house used for the St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift shop at 39 Court St. are both on the market. The parish has owned both properties for several years.

The Rev. Douglas J. Lucia, parish pastor, said church officials are in the process of seeking another location to provide campus ministry for area college students. Those programs have traditionally been held at the Newman Center, which contains two large conference rooms. `

An alternative arrangement for the thrift shop is also being pursued. Years ago, the two-story home was used as a rectory and convent. The St. Vincent de Paul Society moved from Powers Street to Court Street a year ago after St. Mary’s sold the Powers Street home.

The parish has received permission to sell both parcels from the Rev. Terry R. LaValley, bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

“In exercising good stewardship and in a desire to focus on people rather than buildings, the parish has been given the green light to sell the St. Thomas More Newman Center and the adjoining rectory/convent,” the Rev. Lucia wrote in a letter to St. Mary’s parishioners.

The 2,510 square-foot Newman Center also contains a full kitchen, restrooms, a garage and parking. It’s listed at $300,000.

The former convent house is listed at $100,000. Both properties are listed with Pat Collins Realty.

Closing the Newman Center does not mean the parish will no longer offer programs for SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University students, Lucia said.

“It is meant to help us redefine that ministry and respond to its current needs,” he said. “In the end we will have a building that meets our current needs, while downsizing both property and expenses.”

Parish officials are also trying to align its St. Vincent de Paul Society to work more closely with the Canton Church and Community Program, an ecumenical social program that operates its own thrift shop in a second floor Main Street building.

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