North End church could hear old bell
The 5-month-old baby suffered burns over 90 percent of his body when he reportedly fell into "very hot" water at a 449 Kelley St. duplex about 8:30 p.m., District Fire Chief Al Poulin said. The child reportedly was near the washer when he fell, officials said.
"Any type of burns over that much of the body is life threatening at any age," Poulin said.
Firefighters rushed the child and his mother to Catholic Medical Center.
The child was en route to a Boston hospital late last night.
Juvenile investigators were called into to determine what led to the incident, Police Lt. James Flanagan said. He would not comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
The proposed 1,100-square-foot expansion of St. Catherine of Siena Parish calls for a bell tower to be built on the east face of the 207 Hemlock St. building where a handicapped ramp is now.
The tower is intended to be an architectural foil that would conceal the harsh lines of the elevator shaft, according to the proposal the Manchester Planning Board will take up at tonight’s meeting at 6.
If the board approves the plan, the Rev. Paul D. Montminy said he then hopes to get Bishop Peter A. Libasci’s approval and funds needed to install the original bell from the shuttered St. Anne Parish in the belfry.
“I would love to put the bell in the steeple,” Montminy said in a recent interview.
“St. Anne’s was the first Catholic church built in the city of Manchester. It would be nice if we could keep it (bell) in the community,” the pastor said of the bell that was sold to St. Michael Parish in Exeter along with the church’s stained-glass windows and statues in 2007.
At the time, St. Exeter Parish wanted to install them in a new church it planned to build. The Exeter parish abandoned that project in the face of prolonged community resistance.
St. Anne Parish was built by Irish immigrants at Union and Merrimack streets in the early 1850s. It was the oldest standing church in Manchester and the city’s oldest Roman Catholic church when it was formally closed in 2004 after falling into disrepair.
Its stained glass windows — which were crafted at F.X. Zettler studios in Munich, Germany and bear the names of Irish parishioners who sacrificed to install them — were shipped to Iowa to be re-leaded and restored after St. Michael’s bought them.
But the bell never left Manchester. It remains at a local storage facility, church officials said.
At their June 7 public hearing on the project, city planners were told Montminy “acquired a historic bell” to put in the tower, according to the minutes of the meeting. But Montminy said his parish has not yet bought the bell from St. Michael’s where his brother, the Rev. Marc R. Montminy, is now pastor.
“We’ve talked about it, but I haven’t bought it yet,” Paul Montminy said. Any sale is pending approval by the planning board and Bishop Libasci, then funds must be raised to pay for the project, he said.
Fr. Paul Montminy stressed the impetus for the project is to make both the ground floor and basement of St. Catherine of Siena church handicapped accessible.
“My primary purpose is thinking of the elderly of the parish...People are getting older,” he said of the parish that has about 6,527 parishioners.
The proposed addition would include a entryway gathering area, a handicapped accessible bathroom and minor seating changes, he said.
Church officials are asking the city to approve a site plan application to build the addition and a conditional use permit that would allow the church expansion in a residential zoning district. They withdrew their conditional use permit to reduce the number of parking spaces.
Next door neighbors complained at last month’s public hearing about noise and cars lining up on the residential street as parents wait to drop off or pick up their children attending the parish school and summer day-care center — sometimes blocking driveways, according to meeting minutes.
Montminy said he has worked to address the situation from the pulpit and by sending letters home to parents.
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