Throughout the early 2000s it became increasing evident that the Moncton Cathedral originally built in the 1930s was desperately in need of major repairs and upgrading. In addition, it ran an annual deficit because of very low and diminishing attendance. The weekly collection business model no longer worked and hadn’t been working for quite awhile.
I started working on the Moncton Cathedral Campaign in January of 2013. After seriously considering demolishing this historical building under a previous administration, Archbishop Vienneau’s new administration called upon us and a group of volunteers to undertake a major capital campaign to renovate the cathedral and turn it into a profitable building.
The objective was to raise $7M. The funds were to be used the renovate many parts of the building that needed serious care inside and outside. Early on, a group of Acadian community organizations had mobilized to ask Archbishop to turn the massive first floor of the building into corporate offices. The idea was that upon completion, the Acadian community organization would become new long-term tenants of the Cathedral’s first floor.
In the end, the campaign reached $6M before it was closed down in the fall of 2015. The funds ended up being sufficient to restore the building inside-out. The Acadian community groups moved in as tenants in January 2017. Currenbtly, there is a waiting list to get in.
As a result of this initiative, the Cathedral generates a profit every month. The building still has scaffoldings around it as they are repointing the mortar and installing steel reinforcement plates around the seams of windows.