Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Where churches have become temples of cheese, fitness and eroticism

By Dan Bilefsky @DanBilefsky
“I don’t feel any taboo in transforming a church into a theater, as we are remaining true to the church’s mission of serving the community,” Gérald St-Georges said.
MONTREAL--For generations, parishioners whispered their sins in the dark wooden confessional booths of Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours, an imposing Roman Catholic church in Montreal. But on a recent day, the edgy Quebec comedian Sugar Sammy was being filmed inside one of the booths, the latest intimate celebrity confessional on the talk show “Y’a du monde à messe,” or “The Church Is Packed.” And it is one of dozens of churches across Quebec that have been transformed — into university reading rooms, luxury condominiums, cheese emporiums and upmarket fitness centers. As of April, 547 churches in Quebec had been closed, sold or transformed. [More]
The Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours church in Montreal has been transformed into the Théâtre Paradoxe at a cost of nearly $3 million in renovations. Credit Christinne Muschi for The New York Times
The upmarket Saint Jude gym and spa in Montreal was also once a church.CreditChristinne Muschi for The New York Times