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ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador (LifeSiteNews) — Canadian Catholics have succeeded in saving an iconic cathedral and its buildings for their community.

St. John’s Basilica in St. John’s, Newfoundland has been sold for over $3 million to a committee representing three different Catholic groups. The joint purchase was made by the Basilica Heritage Foundation, St. Bon’s Forum, and St. Bonaventure’s College. 

“The joint bid committee … is pleased to announce that they have been successful in securing the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and its block of attached properties (pending final court approval),” the committee stated in a press release on Tuesday.  

“The group is extremely grateful to the community for its support and looks to a bright future for these properties for centuries to come.” 

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The Archdiocese of St. John’s in Newfoundland has been selling church properties in the attempt to gather enough funds to pay victims who suffered abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage. 

Last month, over a dozen parishes were listed in a bankruptcy sale to earn millions of dollars for compensation. When the need for extensive funding became clear, parishes in the diocese were given a deadline of June 2 for submitting bids to keep their places of worship.  

Saving the basilica was quickly recognized as an important cause as local Catholics came together to buy the property.  

The Basilica Heritage Foundation was founded as an organization devoted to the maintenance and restoration of St. John’s as a “National Historic Site of Canada”. When the property was put up for sale, the group partnered with St. Bon’s Forum and St. Bonaventure’s College to raise enough money to keep the site in Catholic hands. 

“Acquiring these properties means that The Basilica Heritage Foundation is now able to maintain and also preserve the Basilica, as a faith, heritage and cultural centre for Newfoundland and Labrador,” the press release continued.  

“It also means that St. Bonaventure’s College will continue to educate students, focusing on the whole person: mind, body and spirit. And the Forum will operate as a hockey rink facilitating recreation, athletics and leadership training.” 

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Now that the basilica has been saved from potential repurposing, the joint committee looks forward to the organization’s ongoing work “to provide a home for education, growth, culture and community.”