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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, 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 seeking another location to provide campus ministry for area college students. Those programs traditionally have been held at the Newman Center, which contains two large conference rooms.

An alternative arrangement for the thrift shop also is being pursued. Years ago, the two-story house 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 Bishop Terry R. LaValley of the Roman Catholic 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,” Father Lucia wrote in a letter to St. Mary’s parishioners.

The 2,510-square-foot Newman Center contains a kitchen, restrooms, a garage and a parking lot. It is 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 no longer will offer programs for students at SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University, Father 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 also are trying to align the 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 on the second floor of a Main Street building.

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