WATERVILLE — The public is invited to attend several special events marking the formal closure next month of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church on Elm Street.

The church is slated to be demolished this year and senior housing built in its place.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland will host public lectures at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the church. The Rev. Monsignor Charles M. Murphy, a priest of the Diocese of Portland, will present the lecture, “The Way of Holiness according to St. Francis de Sales.”

Murphy is a former rector of the North American College at the Vatican and author of several books, including “Belonging to God.” The book is a reflection on spirituality drawing inspiration from the lives of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal, according to a release from the diocese.

At 12:15 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2, a Mass will be held to honor women and men from “religious orders, hermits, hermitesses and consecrated virgins,” according to the release. The Mass, for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, will be presented by the very Rev. Joseph E. Daniels.

At 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, a Mass will be offered by Bishop Richard J. Malone, with a reception to follow at Notre Dame Church Hall on Silver Street.

The diocese currently is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build the senior citizen housing. St. Francis Apartments will be a three-story building with 40 one-bedroom apartments, according to the diocese’s release.


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