|L' eglise Notre -Dame de l'Annonciation, built in 1934|
The large brick house with the wrap-around veranda is the site of a garage sale organized by parishioners. The church ladies have all furniture, quilts, books, dishes and miscellaneous priced in an "everything must go" clearance sale. Their dilemma is a common one for dwindling congregations: the archdiocese will not permit the sale of the rectory, and the church cannot continue to maintain an empty building. Things are deteriorating and demolition looms. Next week the electricity will be cut off.
The rectory was built in the 1940s under the direct supervision of the priest, E. Azarias Masse. He was a college professor from Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec who took on the work of stabilizing the Pre-d'en-Haut community, improving economic conditions for its residents while enriching their spiritual lives.
|The Reverend Father E. Azarias Masse, c.s.c. (1898-1967)|
The building was not only his home base, but served as headquarters for the Pre-d'en-Haut Credit Union. In the front office there's a large commercial grade vault built into the wall that dates from 1944 when Father Masse established the bank in the rectory, providing reasonable loans for farmers. He encouraged the locals to cultivate strawberries, visited farms to bless the seeds and conducted a special high mass service when a lack of rain threatened the crop. The extra prayers worked, and the ensuing shower, specific to the immediate area, saved the strawberries in the dry summer of 1946.
|Oak office chair with leather seat|
|Set of Century Encyclopedia, published in 1899|
|The word "skean" defined and illustrated|