Earlier this summer, Barb Stewart and Tim Poole presented the latest of our Swift Champion plaques to the Paroisse Saint Adolphe and terrific local supporters, Father Gerald Michaud and parishioner Leon Verhaeghe.
The relationship between MCSI and the church is a long one, starting out almost at the beginning of MCSI in 2007. Father Michaud was supportive of the Chimney Swift conservation from the beginning, handing out information to parishioners at Sunday Mass. This in fact led to another local family coming forward with their own swift discovery. Later that same summer, Father Michaud and another parishioner came to the rescue as two exhausted swifts were captured and released after they accidentally became trapped in the church.
In 2009, the church became MCSI’s first repair project following a report recommending either immediate repair or demolition of the chimney. As this chimney had been used regularly since 2007 and was the sole roost in St Adolphe for migratory groups in August, the chimney had to be protected. The church were willing to partner with MCSI, something for which we are obviously extremely grateful. The church have also allowed the St Adolphe Chimney Swift tower to reside on its grounds following a move from land owned by the Rural Municipality of Richot. This tower resides on the property to this day, testament to not just the active involvement of the church, but also the community itself.
Still to this day, the relationship between the church and MCSI continues to be productive. Although (semi) retired, Father Michaud still leads mass at church. Leon Verhaeghe has also been a great support over the years, whether opening the church to access the cleanout each fall, volunteering to help move the tower to the church or supporting swift viewing events at the church. There have also been many other parishioners willing to help out for the cause of these summer members of their congregation for which we are thankful.