Church to lose full time priest

  • Jan. 15, 2007 11:00 a.m.

The Catholic church on the islands will soon lose its priest, Father John Smith. With only a dozen parishioners attending churches in Masset, Port Clements and Queen Charlotte, the church cannot raise enough money to keep a priest here full-time. Father John, who arrived two years ago, leaves at the end of February. The diocese in Prince George originally funded having a priest here, but now has no more money to offer. The group of local parishioners has raised several thousand dollars through garage and bake sales over the past two years to help keep their priest, but it’s not enough. “We’re sorry we’re losing him,” said Helen Kile of Queen Charlotte. “He married us in Prince George three years ago and we were delighted to find him when we moved here two years ago.” Once Father Smith leaves, a priest from Prince Rupert will fly over once a month to serve local parishioners and celebrate mass. The diocese owns a house at Miller Creek, which will be sold and the money sent to the Prince George diocese.