A New Church in the Historic Heart of French Canada
Fifteen hundred Scientologists and their guests from across Canada and the United States packed the street in front of 665 rue Saint-Joseph in the heart of the Nouvo Saint-Roch district of Lower Quebec City to attend the opening of the Church of Scientology of Quebec/Église de Scientologie de Québec on Saturday, January 30, 2010.
The opening of the 47,000-square-foot Church, which will serve parishioners from throughout the province, represents significant growth for the congregation, which was formed in Quebec 35 years ago.
Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, presided at the dedication ceremony, welcoming the assembled Scientologists and guests to the new Church. His introduction was met with prolonged and enthusiastic ovation in appreciation of his presence in Quebec and his instrumental role in making possible the opening of this new Church and all it represents for the future of Scientologists in Canada.
As Mr. Miscavige stated, “This new breed of Church is all in preparation for much more to come in the future. Well, that future is upon us now.”
The Quebec Church marks the beginning of a major Scientology expansion across Canada, with new Churches to be opened in Montreal, Quebec; Kitchener, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and a full renovation of the Church of Scientology in Toronto. Also on the horizon, on 190 acres just outside Toronto, is the Scientology Advanced Organization for Canadian parishioners and Canada's Continental Liaison Office to coordinate Scientology expansion and social betterment programs across the nation.
Dignitaries participating in the dedication of the new Church included the Honorable Alvin Curling, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and now Senior Fellow at the Center for International Governance for Innovation; the Honorable Pamela Appelt, a judge in the Court of Canadian Citizenship and a patron of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development; and Mr. Alan Stein, noted religious freedom and human rights attorney and professor of law.
In his address, Mr. Curling said, “Let this new home for the Church of Scientology in Quebec be a beacon to all men and women of goodwill - a place where they will always be welcome to work together in helping this world. Bringing together people of goodwill is a hallmark of the Church of Scientology, which is why I celebrate this new Church with you today.”
The three-story stone and glass structure spans a city block with distinctive Art Deco façades at the two main entrances. The building has undergone extensive renovation to accommodate all Scientology religious services and also serve as a home for the community services the Church provides through the many activities and humanitarian programs of its members.
An expansive Public Information Center houses a permanent multimedia exhibit describing the Church's beliefs and practices and the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. Displays also cover the Church-sponsored humanitarian and social betterment programs that offer practical answers to the societal ills of crime, drug abuse, illiteracy, declining moral values and natural and manmade disasters. These programs represent the work of the Church of Scientology in servicing every community in which they reside as well as other communities around the world.
There is also a Chapel for Sunday services, weddings, naming ceremonies and other congregational gatherings; spiritual counseling rooms; course rooms for religious study; an event hall and seminar rooms; a bookstore containing the written and spoken materials of L. Ron Hubbard; and Public Affairs offices and meeting rooms to coordinate social betterment programs with like-minded organizations in the community. For the convenience of parishioners and visitors, there is also a café.
In opening the dedication ceremony, Mr. Miscavige noted that the day gave new meaning to Quebec's motto, “Je me souviens”—“I remember.” Mr. Miscavige spoke of the Church's global humanitarian programs and how the new Church in Quebec would be “an introduction to every ounce of L. Ron Hubbard's technology—available to everyone, and all just for the asking.
“Our Technology for learning and literacy—thus far presented to 31 million students across 67 nations.
“Our Drug Rehab and Prevention programs—thus far to the benefit of 800 million at-risk kids.
“Our Human Rights Awareness Campaign—this one presenting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to just under a billion people.
“Our Way to Happiness—now on film to overcome reading barriers and ready for international broadcast to entire quarters of this planet.
“And our global army of Volunteer Ministers now literally saving lives by the thousands, even as I speak.
“All this and more is loaded into your new Ideal Org so that you may bring every bit of it to Quebec.”
In closing, he said, “Let this new Church symbolize the fact that we not only remember Quebec, we shall also never forget our commitment to her people-and all in the spirit of this from L. Ron Hubbard:
“‘When you leave here today and walk out into the world, remember the tools of life that you have and your role to use them to help your fellows.’”
Accompanied by Scientologists from Quebec who led the drive to build the new Church, Mr. Miscavige cut the ribbon and invited all to enter.
The Quebec Church is the second new Church of Scientology opened this month and the seventh in the past year. The Brussels branch of Churches of Scientology for Europe was dedicated on January 23, 2010. In October 2009, Mr. Miscavige dedicated two major new Churches: the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, and the Church of Scientology of Rome. In April 2009, he dedicated new Scientology Churches in Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; and in Malmo, Sweden.
These Churches join the roster of new Churches of Scientology opened in the world's cultural capitals, including the National Church of Scientology of Spain in Madrid's Neighborhood of Letters; the Church of Scientology of New York, just off Times Square; the Church of Scientology of San Francisco, California, in the original historic Transamerica Building; the Church of Scientology of London, England, located in the epicenter of the city; and the Church of Scientology of Berlin, Germany, near the Brandenburg Gate.
An additional two Churches of Scientology are scheduled for ribbon cutting in February 2010, with another 12 new Churches of Scientology scheduled for completion before the end of the year.