Here follows a history of the parish as was presented in print and online in previous years.
Pastors and Rectors of the Cathedral Parish
Rev. Joseph Adéodat Thérien omi
1896 - 1905, 1907 - 1918
Rev. Gustave Simonin omi
1906 - 1907
Rev. Joseph Edouard Tessier omi
1918 - 1926
Rev. Ludovic Larose omi
1926 - 1936
Rev. Henri Routhier omi
1936 - 1938
Rev. Ozias Fournier omi
1938 - 1942
Rev. Ovila Meunier omi
1942 - 1945
Rev. Jean Panhaleux omi
1945 - 1947
Rev. Guy Michaud omi
1947 - 1951
Msgr. Sébastien Loranger V.G.
1951 - 1954
The Diocese of St. Paul was established
(the Parish Church became a Cathedral)
August 7, 1948
Rev. Georges Tardif
1954 - 1958
Rev. Albert Langevin
1958 - 1962
Rev. Fernand Croteau V.G.
1962 - 1968
Rev. Rosaire Morin
1968 - 1969
Rev. Louis Viel
1969 - 1970
Rev. J.M. Martineau
1970 - 1973
Rev. Robert Poulin
1973 - 1978
Rev. Rolland Bissonnette
1978 - 1983
Rev. Hervé Tanguay
1983 - 89
Rev. Armand Beaupré
Most Rev. Bishop Raymond Roy
1990 - 1992
Rev. Réal Levasseur
1992 - 1998
Rev. Roger Sicotte
1998 - 2007
Rev. Paul Moses Chakkalackal cmi
2007 - 2010
Rev. Vitus Ikeme smmm
2010 - 2012
Rev. Gérard Gauthier
The following "History of the Parish Until 1959" is copied from a document prepared by Fr. Drouin in 1959. With the exception of some minor editing, the Document is faithful to the original document.
THE RELIGIOUS HISTORY
OF THE ST. PAUL PARISH
(1895 - 1959)
Fr. Emeric Drouin O.M.I., October 14, 1959
So few pages are allowed me to cover sixty-four years of St. Paul’s religious history, that I must be satisfied with a Bird’s-eye-view.
July 1896 to December 1905
Fr. Adéodat Thérien, O.M.I.
January 1906 to April 1907
Fr. Gustave Simonin, O.M.I.
May 1907 to April 1918
Fr. Adéodat Thérien, O.M.I.
No one, in our whole wide west, knew the First Nations and Métis as well as did Fr. Albert Lacombe O.M.I.. Since the early eighteen hundred fifties, he had devoted his multifarious talents to christianizing and civilizing them. Love between them was mutual and deepset. He had often experienced the spirit of service and the gratitude of the Métis in particular, and then, at the close of the century, he saw the plight of his friends. Pariahs they had become on the outskirts of cities and towns, despised and demoralized through their contact with non-too-scrupulous White colonists. He had to make a last-ditch effort to extirpate them from this earthly hell.
Egged on by a young missionary, Fr. Joseph Adéodat Thérien O.M.I., Pastor of Métis along the CPR right-of-way in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Fr. Lacombe, even in 1891, devised means and ways. The derelicts would at all costs, would have to be shepherded into a track of land remote from the immigrants, where they would have the use of land, but not the title to it; where whiskey would be tabooed; where educational and religious opportunities would benefit these nomads.
An attempt to secure land around Buffalo Lake, near the present Bashaw, failed because of the white settlers’ protest. In 1895, Fr. Thérien, the Principal of Onion Lake Indian School, Fr. Morin, founder of Morinville, Fr. Cyprien Boulenc O.M.I., visited the prairie bounded by the Saskatchewan River on the south and west. Guided by Pierre Desjarlais (Orkanes), they discovered rotten pegs driven into the ground during the rudimentary survey, dating back to 1885, worked their way from what was St-Paul-des-Cris, now Brousseau. In two days they marked off four townships of fertile land, rich in lakes, pleasant hills and commercial lumber stands. Their report to Fr. Lacombe, enthusiastic as it was, incited him to proceed with his plans.
In March 1985, he was in Ottawa making friends with the Prime Minister, Sir Bowell, with the Governor General and several Cabinet Ministers. On the 28th of December, the Governor General signed an Order in Council, renting for $2 per annum and for a renewable twenty-one-year period, the use of 128.75 sections of land to the Syndicate formed to administer the Métis colony. A grant for seed grain and farm implements was added. Most documents mention four townships. but if you eliminate the part of the Saddle Lake Reserve which jutted into those townships, and the half-section reserved for the use of the Wesleyan Mission, which then had a school and many followers on the Reserve, the number of sections mentioned above is the correct one.
Now, although not a member of the Syndicate, Fr. Thérien O.M.I. is chosen as the local manager of the enterprise. Upon his shoulders are heaped all responsibilities, although Fr. Lacombe remains accountable for the monetary angle.
The latter writes a long circular letter in English, French and Cree to all the Métis of Western Canada and the United States, prO.M.I.sing them a new Eden and inviting them to flock to St-Paul-des-Métis on the shores of Manawan or Egg Lakes. He is, by far, too optimistic. He prO.M.I.ses too much, convinced that he is, that Fr. Thérien can accomplish miracles with flimsy means. Fr. Lacombe becomes impatient with the Manager who does his utmost to inspire more wisdom, because, after all, the purpose of the Colony is to pick up the derelicts from the slums and show them how to become self-sufficient farmers. They are not to be spoiled from the inception of the venture and his personnel. How could them put up all the buildings, especially a large boarding school, establish a prosperous farm and help the Métis settle down, on a miserly $2,500 grant? There existed no hope of obtaining more from Ottawa, as the Liberals, having won the 1896 election, continuously snubbed Fr. Lacombe; neither could anything be expected from Prime Minster Haultain’s fanatical NWT’s Government in Regina. The latter pretended that the law did not allow him to disperse anything for a school and a district where parents did not pay taxes. This, the citizens of he Colony did not have to do, as they did not own the land they lived on. Yet, Haultain did give grants to Matheson, a Protestant Métis Minister with a day-school in Onion Lake, whose pupils were mostly from Catholic families dispersed all over Alberta.
I have heard some claim that an oral gentleman’s agreement between Catholic and non-Catholic missionaries existed in the last century. Each was to avoid penetrating within a territory first evangelized by the other. However, the case just mentioned and so many others of the kind are proofs to the contrary.
Regina finally consented to a $350 grant for the school in 1904. It proved to be the first and the last one.
A two-year begging campaign (1901-02) in Quebec, nets slightly more than $10,000 for the St. Paul Colony, half as a gift from Senator Forget of Montreal for the construction of the church opened on Christmas Day of 1904.
Faced with possible bankruptcy between 1896 and 1905, Fr. Thérien does his utmost for the Métis, he too cherished By the latter date, hopes are running much higher: the $25,000 Boarding School is in use, the church is completely paid for, the farm is starting to furnish appreciable products, some men are becO.M.I.ng good farmers; others as a group, earn between $12,000 and $15,000 yearly with Mr. Hopkins, the government surveyor.
Alas! on January 15, 1905, disaster strikes a death blow to material prosperity just expected around the corner, but especially to the morale of all concerned. The uninsured school, a victim of arson at the hands of boys belonging to one of he best families, crashes down into the flames. Fr. Thérien, who had often doubted the wisdom of the whole scheme, although he continually gave it his all, sees, in this turn of events, the manifestation of God’s will. Fr. Lacombe, Fr. Thérien and Brother Nemoz, the carpenter-architect of the building program, are dumfounded by the catastrophe. All three become ill, and the Brother dies of a broken heart, a few months later.
Too many of the eighty families on the Reserve have not sufficiently taken root; the school has been annihilated through ingratitude, finances are in a rout, the Oblates cannot replace the aging Brothers, the Sisters want to leave the place, and a number of Métis are drifting away to resume their nondescript existence in other locations. Fr. Thérien, after his six-month recuperating rest in San Antonio, Texas, has no choice left to him .... the Reserve must revert to the Federal Government and be thrown open to white settlers.
In the circumstances, the Syndicate admits it wold be the best policy. Fr. Lacombe, most adamant, holds out until the summer of 1908. What would his “children”, as he dubbed the Métis, do?
For a nO.M.I.nal sum of two dollars, the lease of the townships reverts to the Crown; Fr. Thérien makes a deal with the Honorable Frank Oliver, Minister of the Interior; the Oblates get two sections south of the present Main Street and the Diocese of St. Albert an equal share on the north side as a reward for moneys and energies expended; the rights of the Métis are respected as to their eighty-acre plots, plus an extra one within the Reserve a full homestead without; official announcement of the opening will be published in but a few newspapers; the date will be set for April 10, 1909.
Fr. Thérien wants a temporary Lands Title Office in St. Paul, so he can make all registrations himself, but Mr. Oliver, fearing political repercussions unfavourable to the Liberals, refuses, although such a privilege has been granted in the past for the settlers of Lloydminster and Barrhead.
As a substitute measure, Father has all the forewarned homesteaders come West some days previous to the official opening. To each he distributes a slip of paper bearing the exact number of his individual homestead. By Tuesday of the faticidical week, a motley caravan wends its way towards Vegreville, the closest railway station. On Wednesday, all are billeted in the Immigration Hall or in hotels in the Capital City. Friday morning, at five o’clock, Fr., Thérien who has rushed over from St. Joachim’s Parish, rouses them and orders them on the double to the Lands Title Office on Victoria Avenue. Why such alarm? News has come that a trainload of unwanted adventurers, bent upon outdoing the previous group, are nearing Edmonton. When they rush towards the Office and around the last street corner, lo! some hundred and fifty men stand in an orderly but determined line. The first victory is won.
Throughout Saturday and Monday, April 10 and 12 registration proceeds apace. Tuesday and Wednesday mark the return of happy colonists through a tempest of wind and snow. Little do they care since each has acquired a new home.
For years to come, life is an heroic effort. Rich they are in courage and generosity, but poor in species and means. Yet, lucky are they, from the fact that they are members of a well organized parish. No debt on the church, on the convent and on the two school buildings exist; only current expenses are to be worried about; their parish priest, intent on being a “Father” to each and ever one, makes the Rectory a source of intense charity, wisdom and encouragement. Fr. Thérien has their interests at heart, just as he has had since 1904 when he became the inspirer of a planned colonization scheme covering all the territory from the Saskatchewan River near Brosseau, to Cold Lake, taking in the intermediary points now known as Lafond, Cork, St. Vincent, St. Edouard, St. Lina, Thérien, Mallaig, Bonnyville and Fort Kent. Unobtrusively but with determination, he had enticed settlers, directed them according to a well-defined pattern and obtained for them a number of secular Parish Priests.
From then on, Fr. Thérien in a mainstay for Bishop Legal and his Oblate Superiors, for whom he remains a weighty counselor until his demise in 1936.
Between 1909 and 1911, Fr. Thérien liquidates the Mission Farm, to rid himself of material preoccupations and concentrate upon spiritual ministrations. Village lots are surveyed by Mr. H Montambeault and Mr. Laudas Joly, so that St. Paul cam pounce upon the opportunity of becng the religious and econO.M.I.c heart of the whole region.
The 1913 boom and crash, the war years, the hotly contested 1917 election and the thorny railroad problem are the human highlights of the remainder of Fr. Therien’s stewardship. Educationally speaking, the record is enviable: when, at one time, the Sisters of Assumption, unplussed, wish to retire from the parish; Father prO.M.I.ses they will have the first High School in North-East Alberta. This becomes a reality in 1915, with the erection of a third school, comprising three rooms. The latter and the former two make way for the brick building in 1930-31. Further, Father is directly responsible for the fact that we Catholics of Alberta possess High Schools of our own; otherwise, our situation would be identical to that of our Saskatchewan coreligionists. Officially speaking, perhaps Bishop Legal and Fr. Leduc, his Vicar General, might be credited with the victory, but Fr. Thérien discovered the potent arguments, laid down the ground work and made the political contacts.
Intensification of spiritual life among his parishioners is the Pastor’s primary goal since 1909, as it had been previous to that date. In 1904, the school had been consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and 1914 witnessed the foundation of the League of the Sacred Heart for the men; almost yearly he arranges for a “Mission”; religious and priestly vocations are encouraged constantly, the first ones to respond being four young Métis girls; he organizes a parochial scholarship to lead a young man through to priesthood. That vocation movement has gathered momentum yearly since then, so that, today, St. Paul with its 92 men and women in the priesthood and religious life ranks second but to one parish in the West, that of Saint Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba. which boasts 105 vocations, although its total population numbers only 1425.
Depressed by ever-recurring asthma, by malicious criticism form the vanquished Conservatives of the 1917 election and by a general unrest caused by the delay in obtaining the railroad, Fr. Thérien must leave in March 1918 for a protracted rest in Pincher Creek.
His curates were the following: Fathers C. Charlebois (1900-02), Cyprien Boulenc (1905-07), J-M. LeClainche (1907, 1909-15), J-M. Dupé (1909), L. Balter (1915-16), and Fr. J. LeChevalier who was interim Parish Priest from January to July 1914, while Fr. Thérien was in Ottawa on official business for his Bishop. All priests in St. Paul from 1896 to January 15, 1951, are Oblates of Mary Immaculate, with the exception of Fr. Van Wetten, a Premonstratensian form the Abbey of Grimbergen, Belgium, who had come in 1901 to case the situation to see if his Order could take over from the Oblates.
November 18, 1918 to August 23, 1926
Fr. Joseph Edouard Tessier O.M.I.
This highly intelligent man came to us from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. His arrival could not be underlined with a cheerful welcome, as the Spanish Influenza had just struck. The curate, Fr. Fernand Degenais, who had been sole priest for some months, had just been laid low by the fearsome malady. Within a week he is dead! Fr. Tessier is left alone to carry on all the work in the parish, to encourage the bereaved and the sick.
No sooner has the dread disease vanished, that another trial shakes the morals of our population. The 1919 crop is a total failure. The Hard Winter of 1919-20 bankrupts so many farmers that discouragement sets in, yet, Fathers Tessier, LeClainche and Louis Simard who replaces Fr. LeClainche in St. Paul from 1920 to 1923, visit families and schools regularly to revive Faith and prod people into renewed efforts.
Good News! The railroad reaches St. Paul in 1920! This is the result of a “house arrest” of a railroad officer and of free labour on the part of our men.
In 1921, a sub-council of the Knights of Columbus is founded. In March of the following year, they revive the idea of a hospital, which Fr. Thérien had had at one time. In January 1923, Fr. Tessier establishes the first Parochial Council, proposing to it the construction of the Parish Hall and the Hospital problem. The first is built between November 18, 1923 and January 24, 1924, at a $3,000 cost, while the latter is shelved for two years. The Congregation of the Ladies of St. Anne, a group still active, comes into existence on August 26, 1923. February 1925 sees the opening of a Parish Library in the Parish Hall. Subsequently moved to the Rectory, its contents, in 1930, are handed over to the Public Library. From March 20, 1925, to the end of June, Fr. Tessier lobbies in Ottawa and obtains an option for the St. Paul Citizens Association upon sixty-one quarter sections on the east portion of Saddle Lake Reserve, thrown open to setters when Fr. McDonnelll and he Scottish Immigrants Association endeavored to lay hands upon the whole country side. During his absence, a group of people opens the “Charlebois Hospital” in mid-town. Emotions run high among the majority because of the rumour that some want a religiously neutral institution.
Again, during his stay in Ottawa, our Parish Priest works in two other directions: he tries to persuade the Government to revive the defunct Immigration Bureau, so Canadians who wished to emigrate West could obtain at least equal opportunities as those offered to Europeans; he also attempts to convince both the Federal Ministers and the C.N.R. authorities that the railroad junction for the line to Bonnyville should be in St. Paul. In both instances, results did not fulfill his desires. On the first count, Ottawa snubs him; on the second, he is double-crossed by the Bonnyville delegates who want Ashmont as the jumping off location for their spur. To avoid taking sides, the C.N.R. places the junction where gophers roam and strawberries grow!
Fr. Tessier, as his predecessor had done, encourages the formation of rural school districts. Besides, the church now being too small, a building fund is started in 1926, with Archbishop O’Leary’s blessing.
However, our parish Priest is denied the pleasure of seeing the new Temple go up. His health gives out. He must leave.
From August 22, 1926 to July 6, 1936
Fr. Ludoic Larose O.M.I.
Fr. Larose, having acquired the reputation of a builder and a wonderful administrator, arrives in our village on August 22, 1936. So many things must receive immediate attention!
Within a week, he gets an urgent message from the Chancery Office in Edmonton: “Act promptly! Duclos from Bonnyville intends to open up a Protestant hospital in St, Paul,” A full-scale parish meeting, the next Sunday, votes in favour of immediate construction; the Oblates donate the land; the Grey Nuns, contacted once more — they already had consented to a foundation back in December 1922 — accept cO.M.I.ng; the Sisters take over at the Charlebois Hospital on September 20th; a fund-raising campaign starts; Mr. Gordon from Vegreville begins the construction work on October 27, and the Grey Nuns move in on August 16, 1927. In 1930 the building is doubled in size and a Nurses’ Home is added. The first effort costs a total of $16,000, not counting the electrical installations donated by Fr. W. Pepin. The Sisters contribute $5,000; a collection adds $1,360; a bazaar nets $3,225; the Parish covers the balance. By February of 1928, the debt is whittled down to $1,500.
Between 1927 and 1958, our hospital has catered to 44,609 patients. Evidently, it now has become too small. A new building, for at least one hundred beds, is imperative.
1926: Foundation of the Children of Mary Congregation.
1927: The Altar Society comes into existence.
1928: The French-Canadian Association takes root in our Parish.
1929: First Ordination of a priest, Fr. L. Bussière, in St. Paul, although the first local boy, Alphonsus Girard, had already been raised to priesthood in 1925 in Montreal. The cemetery is extended in a westerly direction to the street.
1930: The Brick School is built; the magnificent church, now become our Cathedral, is dedicated on December 8, with Fr. Thérien celebrating Mass. Total cost of the House of God is $54,035. The old church is transformed into a gymnasium in 1931.
1932: Silver Jubilee of Priesthood of Fr. Larose.
1933: A memorable Eucharistic Congress underlines the Jubilee Year commemorating Our Lord’s Crucifixion.
The Economic Depression, lasting into 1935, prevents our Parish Priest from wiping out the rest of the overall debt, amounting to $16,000 on the date of his departure on July 6, 1936.
Fr. Larose has left a reputation of an intent man whose only ambition was the betterment of St. Paul, of a man perhaps feared by a few but admired by the great majority for his many and diversified good qualities.
He leaves St. Paul to assume the responsibilities of Provincial Bursar for the Alberta-Saskatchewan Oblates.
July 6, 1936 to June 5, 1938
Fr. Henri Routhier O.M.I.
Fr. Routhier, Superior of St. John’s Juniorate, Edmonton, now replaces Fr. Larose. Gentle and lovable, he is remembered for the encouragement given Catholic Action Movements and to agricultural courses. Fr. G. Levasseur O.M.I., his curate, admirably seconds his efforts.
The Scout Troup, founded the day before Fr. Larose left, is organized under Mr. S. Pitre as Scout Master; and ACJC, or Youth Group dating back to 1933, is transformed into a Catholic Action Group in October 1936; the JEC (Youth Movement for Students) takes root at the school in the same month. The gymnasium in the old church is reopened. The Sacred Heart League receives a shot in the arm in 1937; a Parochial Mission is preached by Fr. Louise Gagnon O.M.I.; the St. John the Baptist Feast is celebrated yearly; Archbishop MacDonald confirms one hundred and eighty children on July 25; a regional congress of the French-Canadian Association is held on November 7; and the stage in the Parish Hall is spruced up in December.
On January 28, 1938, l’Avante-Carde, the junior section of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta, holds a public demonstration, and, on March 15, Agricultural and Home EconO.M.I.cs courses become a reality.
Fifteen days before, Fr. Levasseur is transferred; Fr. Gérard Ménard O.M.I. comes as replacement, while a few weeks later, our Parish Priest becomes Provincial Superior for the Oblates. [He is later to become Coadjutor Bishop of Grouard, 1945 to 1953; Apostolic Vicar of Grouard, 1953 to 1967; and First Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan, 1967 to 1972.]
From June 24, 1938 to April 10, 1942
Fr. Ozias Fournier O.M.I.
Most welcome is Fr. Routhier when he returns within a few days of his departure to install Fr. O. Fournier O.M.I.. The Parish Priest, youngish as he is, feels the weight of responsibilities placed upon his shoulders. Some parishioners will ever remain miserly in their confidence towards him. His avowed task is to maintain existing organizations, to participate in all activities which might influence the parish, and to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Agriculture and Home EconO.M.I.cs courses proceed satisfactorily; a musical and vocal festival is held on November 25; the Trustees have a stroke of genius when, on the 17th, they reject a proposal to bury our School amidst the bureaucratic setup of the Large School Division. In May, college boys from St. John’s in Edmonton enhance our esthetic tastes through a pleasing concert.
Fr. Fournier will best be remembered in St. Paul as founder, in 1938-1939, of the Credit Union, to which he gave lasting impetus. The 1,000 members of this “peoples’ bank” now have $400,000 at their disposal, and, over the years, one and a half million dollars have been loaned out among themselves. You should expect to dee a new block going up quite soon.
From the date of the ordination of the author of these lines, on June 29, 1939, the number of young men becO.M.I.ng priests multiplies rapidly.
Fr. Ménard is replaced by Fr. Lavoie O.M.I. during the summer.
The pipe organ fund grows to $585; Fr. LeClainche is finally relieved of the janitor and stocker work on the church — how much he as saved the Parish since 1907! June 16, 1940 witnesses Fr. Drouin’s First Mass in St. Paul; Confirmations by his Grace Archbishop MacDonald, and the ordination of the first secular Priest, Hudson Delisle.
Fr. Fournier will also ever be recalled for the institution of closed retreats: between 1940 and 1942 he preaches seven.
The Sisters of the Assumption open their $40,000 convent on January 11, 1940; Fr. Adrian Charron O.M.I. and Fr. Nestor Therrien are ordained during the summers of 1940 and 1941 respectively; the “Rosary Hour” is introduced in October; Fr. Maurice Lafrance O.M.I. is made a priest in 1941; the parochial debt is lowered and reparations are made in the Rectory.
St. Paul is struck with awe in 1942! Could it be possible that Fr. LeClainche will be more be seen trotting around from house to house to visit the shut-ins, visiting the schools for catechism, confessing and preaching in church? Too true, alas! Doctors have condemned him to absolute rest in the hospital. However, as soon a he is able, he takes over the chaplancy of the institution, until death claims him in 1952.
Fr. Fournier, his health seriously undermined, is relieved of his responsibilities on June 10, 1942.
From April 10, 1942 to July 26, 1945
Fr. Oliva Meunier O.M.I.
Much activity marks this period, but the only visible foundation which has enjoyed permanency is the St. Vincent de Paul Society, existing since 1942 for the advantage of the destitute.
Boys Town, had it succeeded, might be a source of glory for the then Parish Priest. However, notwithstanding the $6,000 loan from the Oblates, the $2,000 gift from the Calgary Knights of Columbus, the $1,134 revenues from a bingo, and the generosity of many individuals, Fr. R. Yott and Fr. E. Forestier cannot cope with the burden of an institution harbouring some thirty boys, but having no set revenues. A farm, some distance from town, would have been the ideal location for Boys Town. By 1947, nothing but a gaping hole remains. Everything, including the lumber from what was the old church, is sold to cover debts and loans.
Preoccupied with the salvation of all souls within the parish territory. Fr. Meunier and his curate, Fr. Gérard Leduc O.M.I. offer Sunday Mass in a school south of the lake, for a group of people, organize a weekly High Mass for the Métis in the Winter Chapel, and lend the latter to our Ukrainian fellow-citizens till they open their own worshipping place in 1948. A Mission is preached by two Redemptorist Fathers in 1944; Agriculture and Home EconO.M.I.cs courses are still given; and Fr. Leduc erects a stone wall in front of the church, before leaving for Maillardville, near Vancouver, to give a helping hand to Fr. Meunier, who leaves us on July 16, 1945 to become Parish Priest at Our Lady of Fatima.
From July 27, 1945 to September 10, 1947
Fr. Jean Panhaleux O.M.I.
Pincher Creek and the Calgary Diocese are unhappy to see Fr. Panhaleux move north. He comes to us with a different attitude, because of his age and the intensity of the work to be accomplished. His is a period of calm following up the heels of a whirlwind!
We have the pleasure of tendering a warm welcome to Bishop Routhier between November 9th and 11th.
The ad hoc $4,100 reserve in the bank, permits the parish to purchase the $6,800 organ in 1946. Mrs. Olsen and Fr. Green from Edmonton come down in September to inaugurate it. Lucky are we, as the price soars to $11,000 in that year, but Mr. Pepin of Edmonton and the Casavant Company honour their signatures.
Financial problems are now less burdensome: the overall debt is down to $3,300, and a bingo-tom bola erases the balance due on the organ.
Again, the St. Paul tax payers have to reject efforts made to force our school into the Large School Division setup. Compliments to them!
Now for a rapid summary of other activities: many concerts by local talent are offered; Archbishop MacDonald presides, in August, at the profession of ten Assumption Novices; picture shows in the Hall are a failure; $325 must be expended to repair the heating system in the Parish Hall; on October first, Fr. Pastek directs a bingo for the Ukrainian Church in our Hall; the School is consecrated to the Sacred Heart on the 27th, just as Fr. Thérien had dome in 1904; by May 16 the Hall is completely stuccoed, the Financial Campaign for the Archdiocese of Edmonton takes place in May 1947; parochial and closed retreats for young people are preached; Fr. Yott, after teaching for five years in our School, leaves St. Paul, and seven Postulants enter the Assumption Convent in September.
Fr. Panhaleux, feeling that a younger man could accomplish more than he can, begs to be relieved of his parish. On September 7, 1947, he is sent to Cold Lake.
From September 17, 1947 to January 15, 1951
Fr. Guy Michaud O.M.I.
It is a sincere pleasure for us to see Fr. Michaud, once a curate here, return to St. Paul.
The Children of Mary Association prospers under his care; a bazaar in October almost wipes out the remnants of our debt; in February and March of 1948, because of a strike among coal miners, all parish buildings are switched to gas heating; talk of erecting a Recreation Centre is heard, but it will always be for naught, till His Grace Bishop Lussier makes a deal with the school authorities for the use of the new school gymnasium.
One of Fr. Thérien’s prophesies suddenly comes true on August 12, 1948, when Rome announces the formation of the St. Paul Diocese, with Bishop Maurice Baudoux as its first Pastor. His consecration take place in our Cathedral, at the hands of the Apostolic Delegate, His Excellency Ildebrando Antonniutti. A question immediately comes up in the mind of all of us: “Will the Oblate Fathers now have to leave, after fifty two yeas of devoted service?” Yes, is the answer. It is normal that a Bishop’s Cathedral be administered by the diocesan clergy. However, as Bishop Baudoux knows his secular priests are not numerous enough, he begs the Oblates to remain for an indefinite period of time.
Another problem now arises: the rectory is too small to house those serving the Parish and the personnel of the bishopric. A new building must go up. A deal is made with the Parish Council to share the costs and ownership.
On May 24, 1949, two hundred children from St. Paul and Bonnyville hypnotize us with their musical festival. On June 4th and 5th, the Alumni of the School and the parishioners compliment the Assumption Sisters on their Golden Jubilee as teachers in or midst. The bronze tabernacle upon the Convent’s Altar is a gift offered them on that occasion. On the 12th of June, Bishop Baudoux ordains Fr. Ubald Duchesneau O.M.I. in St. John’s College, and on the 19th, Fr. Maurice McMahon O.M.I. in St. Paul. The pious Crusade of the Rosary Rallies, along with two Missions, are the highlights of September and October.
Of the numerous events taking place in 1950, only the following are here recalled: foundation of a local branch of the MAMI (Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate); a vocation retreat for the oldest boys and girls in School; occupancy of the Palace-Rectory; the scintillating visit of our Lady of the Cape throughout the Diocese, and in St. Paul particularly; a special program in the Cathedral to underline the definition of the Assumption Dogma; Msgr. Loranger is vested with the Domestic Prelate Insignia and title; Mr. W. Beaudry receives the “Bene Merenti” Papal Medal; fifty-five new Knights of Columbus join the Society; His Excellency Bishop Baudoux gives Minor Orders to Mr. Fernand Croteau, Seminarian. Beside him, ten others, Alumni of St. John’s College in Edmonton, serve in our Diocese.
On December 24, 1951, choking with emotion, Fr. Michaud announces the immanent departure of the Oblate Fathers from our parish.
A magnificent tribute of gratitude is paid the Oblates on January 7th, 1951. The Parish Hall is too small to hold all those who would be present. All local organizations, both religious and civic, outdo each other in expressing thankfulness.
In the presence of His Excellency, on January 14, Fr. Michaud, ministered by his Curates, Fr. A Tetrault O.M.I. and Fr. G Lassonde O.M.I., offers up his ultimate Mass in the Cathedral. The end has come! The Parish Priest and Fr. Lassonde depart on Monday, while Fr. Tetrault leaves on the 17th. The Parochial Diary or Codex Historicus concludes the era with these words: “With him, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate have disappeared from this Catholic center founded by them fifty-five years previously. Innumerable sacrifices, generosities, joys and difficulties have marked this period of their apostolate. The Church forges ahead, and the Missionaries, as usual, must sacrifice themselves!”
From January 15, 1951 to September 23, 1954
Rectorship of Msgr. Sébastien Loranger,
No better choice could have been made to replace an Oblate Parish Priest! After all, is not Msg. Loranger officially an “Honourary Oblate”?
What of the accomplishments of these years? Briefly they are: Action Rurale (Catholic Action Groups to underline the mystic of agriculture) launched in December 1951; His Excellency Bishop Baudoux leaves us in March 1952 to assume his new post as Coadjutor Archbishop of St. Boniface, Manitoba, while we welcome His Excellency Philippe Lussier C.Ss.R., his successor, on September 9th; the Scout movement, in its four ramifications, is rekindled in 1951 and 1952; the unused rectory, at a cost of $15,000, is renovated to serve as a Catholic Center; our “holy” Fr. LeClainche O.M.I., after years of effective but humble work, passes on to his eternal reward in October 1952; the Precious Blood Monastery stands a prayerful watch over the Parish and the Diocese since July 1952. Two young ladies, in 1953 and 1957, joined the foundress in the Convent, as the new “spiritual lightning rods”. The Monastery being inadequate, land has been purchased south of the Hospital, with the purpose of erecting another one.
Bishop Baudoux left St. Paul too soon to actuate a plan for the benefit of our Métis. He desired to build a relief chapel for their use, south of the cemetery. In the past, Fr. Fournier had founded two or three Study Clubs among them as adjuvants to their faith, their social and econO.M.I.c life, but, apparently, they have passed out of existence.
Msgr. Loranger, his health quite impaired, must bid adieu to us. His new parish is that of St. Lina. Sent to Picardville next, and to Morinville afterwards, he now is retired a Lac La Biche.
From September 23, 1954 to September 3, 1958
Rectorship of Fr. Georges Tardif
Born in Vegreville, raised in St. Paul and St. Vincent, this young priest, almost too shy for an extensive parish, is well liked by his collaborators. Notwithstanding his self-diffidence, Fr. Tardif spurs things along.
Most organizations proceed successfully, although some, unfortunately, drop out of existence. This causes an extensive section of the adult population to remain aloof from direct parochial collaboration. Playground activities find their inception in 1955, and keep from 80 to 150 youngsters busy during six weeks of Summer Holidays; the previous year, a skating rink is put in on the south side of the rectory; His Excellency Bishop Lussier ordains Fr. Dollard Demarais O.M.I. on September 11th.
Also fruitful in 1956: a Help Committee for the Precious Blood Monastery comes into existence on January 18; a Public Speech Club is founded; the bilingual teachers of the district inaugurate a local AEBA “Father LeClainche Circle” (Alberta Bilingual Education Association”); special closed retreats for youths who are out of school are preached; the annual blessing of cars and a visit to the Highway Calvary west of town gathers a crowd; ordination of Fr. Maurice Joly O.M.I. in Lebret Saskatchewan, takes place; Fr. C. Campbell returns from the Quebec Seminary, where Adolph Terre replaces him. The year ends with a Parochial Mission in English and a bazaar.
What of 1957? Fr. Campbell initiates ten English-speaking Study Clubs, which, to the detriment of all concerned, will fall into oblivion when Father is transferred to St. John’s College, Edmonton, in September 1958; opposition to the Alberta County Act, a most detrimental set-up for Catholic Schools, is voiced in a general meeting; His Holiness Pope Pius XII visits us on September 29, in the person of his Excellency Bishop Panico, His Apostolic Delegate to Canada; follow a mission for French-speaking parishioners; a highly successful bazaar which nets $4,011.78 in December; a prO.M.I.se of school grants by the Alberta Government for the huge building which is to occupy the land across the street from the Cathedral and the Palace. The parish Hall will have to be torn down to make way for it. Parochial activities will henceforth be held in the gymnasium that new school.
Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Eight: Fr. C. Campbell, in February, enlightens young men and women through courses preparatory to marriage. Fr. MacDonald C.Ss.R. from Edmonton, in March, boosts spiritual life in a English Retreat; St. John’s Glee Club entertains a hall-ful. Terrence Pearson and Alfred Perniak follow the example of many others in the past and are received into the Church; one of our boys, Paul Chamberlain, because of his bilingual dexterity, is chosen by the Federal Government as a guide during the Brussels World Fair, for the Canadian Pavilion; a temporary swap of parishes between Msgr. Loranger, Vicar General, and Fr. Tardif during His Excellency Bishop Lussier’s absence in Europe occurs; twenty two graduate from our School — the highest number ever for one year; St. Paul hosts the Regional Conference on North-E astern Alberta Hospitals; the tenth anniversary of the Eucharistic Crusade is celebrated; Patricia McMahon pronounces her Perpetual Vows at the Good Shepherd Convent in Edmonton, while Francis, her brother, studies in Rome with the Oblates.
Thus ends Fr. Tardif’s administrative record, when he is transferred to Lafond, on September 3, 1958.
From September 3, 1958 … … … …
Fr. Albert Langevin as Rector of the Cathedral
His family hails from St. Vincent. Like the former Pastor, Fr. Langevin studied in the defunct Jesuit College and in St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton.
An extrovert, an energetic administrator and a most sociable person, he easily establishes contacts. He is well-liked, especially by the youth. The foundation of the C.W.L. takes place in the spring of 1959.
A rapid summary covering the last year’s endeavors: all existing organizations are in full swing; direction of scholastic affairs are now under the vigilant eye of a local Superintendent whose efforts are bolstered by two Principals, one a Sister, for Grades 1 to 6, and the other, Mr. J.A. Beauregard, for the higher divisions; sacerdotal ordination of Fr. Joseph Joly O.M.I., and his cousin Agathe’s joining the Missionary Dominican Sisters add to St. Paul’s glory; Perpetual Vows are pronounced by Francis McMahon in Rome on September 8, 1959.
Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Nine will remain a gold-lettered year in all memories, as we celebrate the half-century of St. Paul under the guise of a white parish. Initial celebrations, on April 10, are bathed in a spiritual atmosphere. His Excellency Bishop Lussier offers a Pontifical Mass that evening and convincingly orates upon the deep meaning of a Golden Jubilee. A coordination committee, composed of civic and religious representatives, engineers the divers phases of the program stretching into 1960.
Future events are not within the scope of my ken as an historian. I must therefore desit, offering each and everyone my best wishes for this Jubilee Year and for all ensuing decades.
Fr. Emeric O. Drouin, O.M.I.
11 October 1959
Many of the following highlights
were gleaned from back issues of the Parish Bulletins.
(If you did not read it then, you can read it now!)
• With the invitation of Bishop Lussier, the Cathedral was painted
and new furniture was installed
• 106 baptisms, 31 Marriages, 9 Funerals, 78 Confirmations
• 109 Baptisms, 16 Marriages, 18 Funerals, 8 Confirmations
June 26: New bells were blessed
• 117 Baptisms, 28 Marriages, 17 funerals, 124 Confirmations
• 117 Baptisms, 23 Marriages, 30 Funerals, 115 Confirmations
October 11: Start of the Second Vatican Council
• 113 Baptisms, 25 Marriages, 21 Funerals, 120 Confirmations
June 3: Death of Pope John XXIII (Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli)
June 21: Election of Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini)
• 116 Baptisms, 19 Marriages, 19 Funerals, 101 Confirmations
• 123 Baptisms, 24 Marriages, 26 Funerals, 6 Confirmations
December 8: Conclusion of Second Vatican Council
• 92 Baptisms, 28 Marriages, 15 Funerals, 95 Confirmations
• 61 Baptisms, 32 Marriages, 28 Funerals, 102 Confirmations
• 88 Baptisms, 45 Marriages, 31 Funerals, 109 Confirmations
August 26: Bishop Lussier resigns as Bishop of St. Paul
• 77 Baptisms, 29 Marriages, 31 Funerals, 89 Confirmations
February 19: Bishop Edouard Gagnon PSS appointed Bishop of St. Paul
March 25: Bishop Gagnon PSS consecrated Bishop of St. Paul
• 60 Baptisms, 38 Marriages, 31 Funerals, 112 Confirmations
• 75 Baptisms, 36 Marriages, 15 Funerals, 118 Confirmations
January 17: Members of the Parish Council: Ray Kotowich, Presidet,
Paul Marchand, Vice-President, Lorraine Joly, Secretary, Tillie Mailloux, Peter Vaitkunas, Marcel Joly, Aimé VanBrabant, Soeur, Camiré a.s.v.,
and Roger Larochelle
February 7: Decision by the Parish Council - the fees for Marriages and Funerals will be $25 – $5 for the priest and $20 for the parish
June 13: The Sacred Heart Program is broadcast on CJCA Radio,
Sundays at 7:15 p.m.
September 26: Welcome to Fr. Paul Simard as Assistant to the Parish
December 19: Concert by "Les Musicos: at Racette School
• 66 Baptisms, 23 Marriages, 19 Funerals, 104 Confirmations
May 3: Bishop Raymond Roy appointed Fourth Bishop of St. Paul
May 9: Bishop Gagnon left St. Paul
July 18: Bishop Raymond Roy was ordained in St. Bonicace as Bishop of St. Paul
July 27: Bishop Raymond Roy was installed as Bishop of St. Paul;. Half the Sunday collection of June 25 was given as a gift to him on the occasion of his installation as Bishop of St. Paul
September 8: Profession of Perpetual Vows of Sisters Juliette Généreux and Jeanine and Jeanette de Moissac
October 15: SERENA presentation at Racette Cafeteria
(Service for the Regulation of Natality)
• 36 Baptisms, 32 Marriages, 18 Funerals, 119 Confirmations
February 13 & 19: Repeat presentation of the Man Alive series on CBC television — "Life Before Birth"
April 8: Ukrainian Male Chorus concert with the "Cheremosh Dancers" at Racette School, sponsored by the Ukrainian Catholc Parish
April 18 - 20: "Christian Encounter for Men" presented by Bishop Roy,
Fr. Martineau and a group of Men,
on the occasion of the 25th Anniversry of the Diocese of St. Paul
June 9 & 10: "Les Musicos" Spring Concert at Racette School
June 30: Fiftieth Anniversary of Marriage of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Omer Joly
July 8: Farewell Mass followed by a luncheon and social hour
for Fr. Martineau and Fr. Croteau
June 10: Confirmation Celebration
September 9: Fr. Robert Poulin is installed by Bishop Raymond Roy
as Rector of the Cathedral during the 11 o'clock mass
September 16: Parish Team consists of Rev. Robert Poulin, Fr. Paul E. Simard, Rev. Marcel Croteau, Rev. A Houde and Sr. A.M. Mireault
October 14: Paul Boulianne is hired as caretaker of the church
November 4: 25th Anniversary of the Diocese — Mass and Supper
November 27: Parish Visitation completed — 734 homes visited
• 41 Baptisms, 18 Marriages, 22 Funerals (no Confirmations recorded)
January 27: Inter-Faith Religious Service to pray for Christian Unity
February 1 - 3: A Marriage Encounter Weekend is offered in St. Paul
by a team from Edmonton
February 1; "Pro Life Day" - Presentation featuring a member of Brithright, Theresa Ann Parson (President, Voice of the Unborn),
and Dr. Bernard Brosseau (M.D., Bonnyville)
March 3: A firm from Edmonton has been hired to install a new P.A. System in the Cathedral - promised within 90 days
May 5: First Communion Celebration at both masses
May 5: The organ has been repaired - it should be in tune for some time
May 19: Four Sisters of the Assumption celebrate the 50th Anniversary
of their religious profession
May 26: Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting in Thorhild
May 31: Ordination of Fr. Victor Bureau, and Solemn Vows of his sister, Rosella, in LaCorey
August 18: Pilgrimage at Mount St. Joseph, Gurneyville
October 13: Fête Des Malades - Celebration for the Sick
November 18: K of C Memorial Service, after the evening mass
December 8 to 15: Parish Retreat - 600 Parishioners participated
Dec. 15: New Members on the Parish Council - Mrs. A Jacques,
Miss Gratton, Mr. Ed Kubash and Mr. J.P. Bielech
Dec. 15: Les Musicos Concert at Racette School
• 57 Baptisms, 28 Marriages, 20 Funerals, 52 Confirmations
• Jubilee Year
February 2: Reminder of Jay-Walking Bylaw - it applies to the front of the Church on Sundays and on Weekdays
April 27: Parish Celebration
•in Thanksgiving for the 30 Religious Sisters who pray for and with us;
• the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of the Assumption
in St. Paul;
• the 60th Anniversary of Sr. Florina Bellerose;
•the 50th Anniversary of Sr. Etiennette Camiré
• and the 25th Anniversary of St. Antoinnette Trudel, Sr. Marie-Jenanne Prince and Sr. Henriette Beaudoin
August 31: Decision made by Parish Council to change the furnace in the Cathedral (the furnace was installed in October)
October 5: Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting in Thorhild
November 9: Celebration for the Sick
November 30: Visit of Bishop Aruldas James, Bishop of Ootacamund, India to St. Paul, to thank the Sisters of Precious Blood for their support
December 21: Les Musicos Christmas Concert
December 21: New Parish Council members: Cécile Routhier,
N. Charpentier, R Amyotte; other members: Ed Noel, President, Ed Kubash, Vice Chairman, Sr. A.-M. Mireault, Secretary, Mrs. Louise Belland,
Mrs. Anita Jacques, Miss Maria Gratton, Sr. Antoinette Trudel,
Mr. G. Fagnan, Mr. J.P. Bielich, Fr. P. Simard, Fr. M Croteau, Fr. B Smiglak
December 21: Les Musicos Christmas Concert
• 57 Baptisms, 20 Marriages, 21 Funerals, 8 Adult Confirmations
January 21: Ecumenical Prayer Vigil (for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity)
March 28: "Bean Supper" for Development and Peace
May 16: Confirmations cancelled for this year - only 3 candidates
June 6: Thank you note from Bishop Aruldas James from Ooctamund, India for $1191 received from St. Paul
June 14: Annual Les Blés D'Or Concert
August 15-20: ALPEC Liturgical Session (session d'animation liturgique)
October 17: Visit by Bishop Lussier to the Parish at the 11 o'clock mass, following a retreat he preached at the monastary)
October 30: Harvest Celebration
October 29-31: Mariage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
November 7: Parish Council News -
- a new blower and other repairs to the organ at a cost of $3,800
- a name for the downstairs hall is being sought
- a new baptistry will be built in the style of the sanctuary furniture
November 28: announcement that Le Père Ludovic Larose omi,
former pastor, passed away this week, at the age of 96
December 19: Parish Council has named the "Larose Hall" in the basement of the church and the Baudoux room in the basement of the rectory (after the builders of both places)
• 46 Baptisms, 27 Marriages, 22 Funerals (no Confirmations recorded)
January 9: Three new members of the Parish Council - Bernadette Joly, Sophie Chamberlain and Anita Kabyn
January 16: The new baptistry is completed: drawn up by the Architect J.L. Poulin, built by E. Généreux, W. Kotowich and A. Joly, enlightened by Sunlight Electric and carpeted by Marty Sader
March 2 & 3: Joe Wise Music Workshop and Liturgy session
May 8: Les Musicos Spring Concert with the participaton of Les Blés D'Or and the Ukrainian Folk Dancers
May 13-15: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
July 3: Bulletin Items:
-The "Cry Room" and "Reconciliation Room" might be ready in a few weeks
- St. Brides Parish celebrates their 50- th anniversary next weekend
- the 7 Alberta Bishops will meet in St. Paul for their annual meeting
July 17: Bishop Roy celebrates his 5th anniversary of Episcopal Ordination and Sr. Létourneau sgm celebrates 25 years of religious life
July 27: 25th Anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of the Precious Blood
in St. Paul (1952 to 1977)
July 31: The Cry Room and Reconciliation Room are now operational
September 12: The Parish Council approved the study of the possibility of building a Parish Hall in St. Paul
October 2: Synod of Bishops (on Religious Education) meeting in Rome. Five Canadians are among the 200 bishops from around the world
November 11 - 13: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
• 53 Baptisms, 19 Marriages, 22 Funerals, 3 Adult Confirmations
February 19: Parish Council voted unanimously in favor of removing the communion rail
March 8-10: Retreat for Couples at the Bishop's Residence
March 10-12: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
March 16-18: Retreat for Couples (in French)
April 16: After 26 years of presence in St. Paul, it is announced that the Sisters of Precious Blood are leaving St. Paul (four in April and the remaining 3 in June)
April 23: the idea of a Parish Centre has been shelved.
Such a building would cost $200,000 and the
Diocese is not interested in investing such a large sum of money
May 7: Les Musicos Spring Concert
August 6: Death of Pope Paul VI
August 26: Election of Pope John Paul I (Albino Lucianno)
September 1: Fr. Rolland Bissonnette appointed as Rector of Cathedral;
Fr. Robert Poulin is assigned to Fort McMurray in the Diocese of Fort Smith
September 1: Mr. Boulianne retires as caretaker and Sacristan
September 28: Death of Pope John Paul I
October 16: Election of Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)
December 1-3: Marriage Encounter Weekend (in French)
December 24 & 25: All the Christmass masses are bilingual
• 58 Baptisms, 32 Marriages, 27 Funerals, 88 Confirmations
January 14 Bulletin: Parish Council Members are as follows: Ed Hefner, President, Ray Jean, Vice President, Sr. Mireault, Secretary, Anita Kabyn, Jules Van Brabant, Sophie Chamberland, Bernadette Joly, Sr, G Leroux,
P-E Boivert, René Sénécal, Colette Foisy, Jules Rocque
January 26-28: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
February 16-18: Retreat for Girls (16 and older)
March 23-25: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul (in French)
March 30 - April 1: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul (in English)
May 6: Les Musico Concert (proceeds for Mother Teresa)
May 19: Jubilee Celebrations of the Sisters of Assumption:
Sr. Blanche Pruneau (65 years), Sr. Ernestine Moreau (60 years),
Sr. Laurette Pratte (50 years)
June 9: 50th Anniversary of the Knights of Columbus in St. Paul
August 18-19: Festivities in honour of the 125t Anniversary of the Sisters of Assumption from Nicolet and 80th Anniversayry of the Sisters from St. Paul
October 22: Slide Presentation presented by the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate of St. Boniface on the 75 anniversary of their foundation
November 4: Two young Vietnamese refugees have been welcomed in the rectory, sponsored by the Parish (Tuan and Sinh, from Saigon City, via the Malaysian Refugee Camps)
November 18: Bishop James thanks the parishioners of St. Paul for their generosity.
(the parish donated $11,805 to his diocese in India)
November 16-18: Marriage Encounter weened (in French)
November 30-December 2: Marriage Encounter Weekend (in English)
December 16: Parish Council Members: Ed Hefner, President,
Raymond Jean, Vice President, Sr. Anne-Marie Mireault, Secretary,
Jules Van Brabant, René Sénécal, Paul-Emile Boisvert, Edward Belland, Maurice Plante, Jules Rocque, Carmen Lambert, Sr. Annette Labbé,
Sr. Irène Lefebvre, Kelly Kuziw
• 58 Baptisms, 34 Marriages, 27 Funerals, 68 Confirmations
January 13: renovations of the Larose Hall have started (at an estimated cost of $30,000) - to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of he Cathedral
February 1-3: Retreat for young Girls (at the Bishop's Residence)
February 8-10: Marriage Encounter Weekend (in French)
February 22-24: C.W.L. Retreat, preached by Bishop Roy (at the Bishop's Residence)
February 28 - March 2: Marriage Encounter Weekend (in English)
March 6: The Sor Heng family of five (from Cambodia) are welcomedto St. Paul by the St. Paul Refuge Committee
March 9: Roger Sicotte was ordained to the Diaconate
March 9: Thanks to the K.C.'s and the Club Dollard for the donation of $25,000 for the renovations to the Larose Hall
March 23: Bean supper (proceeds to Development and Peace)
April 23-25: Parish Retreat preached by Bishop Roy
May 17: Jubilee Mass for the Sisters of Assumption - Sr. Florina Bellerose (65 years), Sr. Berthe Pigeon (50 years) and Sr. Catherine Lortie (50 years)
June 4: the Sareung Kong refugee family of 8 arrived in St. Paul
August 22: Ordination of Fr. Roger Sicotte (in St. Boniface MB)
August 24: Farewell Party for Fr. Paul Simard and Fr. Marcel Croteau
September 7: Welcome (back) to Fr. Roger Sicotte and Fr. Edmond Croteau
September 14: a warm welcome is extended to the faithful of St. Edouard who are now part of the Cathedral Parish family
September 28: Synod of Bishops in Rome begins - on "the Family"
November 14-16: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
December 27: Fiftieth Anniversary Open House for Mr. & Mrs. Elzéar Hurtubise - the first couple married in the Cathedral
December 8: Fiftieth Anniversary of the First Mass
celebrated at the Cathedral
• 78 Baptisms, 26 Weddings, 19 Funerals, 60 Confirmations
February 8: Bean Supper, proceeds to Development and Peace
February 28 to March 7: Parish Retreat, preached by Fr. Oliva Gadouas omi
March 13-15: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
March 22: Vocation Day, sponsored by Knights of Columbus;
Family Breakfast with Gérard Gauthier, seminarian, speaker
April 11: Les Blés D'Or Annual Concert
April 24-26: C.W.L. Retreat, preached by Fr. Michael Troy C.Ss.P
May 18: Golden Jubilee of Sr. Gertrude Lafond, Cathedral sacristan
June 14: 25th Anniversary of Ordination of Fr. Maurice Joly, omi
September 15, 16, 17: Sr. Annette Potvin sgm presented workshops in preparation for the Bible Studies Series on St. Luke, Acts. and St. John
October 21: Liturgical Celebration for the Handicapped
(part of the International Year of the Handicapped)
November 6-8: Carey Landry Liturgical Music Workshop
November 20-22: Marriage Encounter Weekend in St. Paul
• the former St. Edouard Parish Church is renovated and transformed
into the St. Edouard Renewal Centre
• 45 Baptisms, 40 Weddings, 20 Funerals, 63 Confirmations
January 6: Ordination to the Diaconate of Gérard Gauthier, at St. Edouard Renewal Centre
January 10: Official Blessing and Tour of St. Edouard Renewal Centre
From the Census: 3,375 Catholics in St. Paul — 52% of the population
January 31: Catholic Literature Campaign, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus
March 5-7: Closed Retreat on Prayer at St. Edouard Renewal Centre
March 7: A Parish Information Pamphlet is distributed with the bulletin
March 14: Family Ski-doo party at St. Vincent
March 21: St. Paul Pro-Life Meeting
March 27: The French C.B.C. T.V. station televises the mass
March 27: Fr. Bissonnette departs for a 3 month study period in Montreal
March 27: 9th Annual Dance Show presented by Les Blés D'Or at Racette School
April 4: Due to frost damage, there were no palms for Palm Sunday
May 6: Senior Citizens' Day - Mass at 11 followed by dinner
and an Audio-Visual Presentation on Mother Teresa
May 11: Start of the Pilgrimage to Lourdes
June 3&4: Les Blés D'Or in Concert at Racette School
May 29 & 30: Confirmation Celebrations
June 13: Clergy Appointments are announced:
- Fr. Léonard Derome to Vimy & Waugh
- Fr. Louis Viel to Clyde and Tawatinaw
Fr. Roger Guérin to Boyle, Properity & Caslan
- Fr. Matthias Lugowski to Thorhild, Radway, Egremont & Warspite
- Monsignor Joseph Kochan to Vilna and Smoky Lake
- Fr. Victor Bureau to Plamondon, Atmore & Breynat
- Fr. Jean-Luc Pigeon - to Lafond & Elk Point
- Maurice McMahon omi will serve Brosseau
- Fr. Rosario Grondin will serve Rochester
- Fr. Edmond Croteau will serve Flat Lake
- Gérard Gauthier assigned to St. Paul, Fort McMurray
(at the Cathedral until July 7)
June 25: Visit of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to St. Paul
July 7: Fr. Bissonnette returns from his study leave
July 18: Bishop Roy's 10th anniversary to the Episcopate
August 27: Ordination of Fr. Gérard Gauthier (in Boyle)
September 5: After 10 years at the Cathedral, Fr. Paul Simard returns to Quebec
September 20 to 24: Parish Renewal Session for the priests of the diocese
October 29-31: "Search for Christian Maturity" Weekend
for youth at St. Edouard Renewal Centre (71 participants)
1982: Tricentenary of the Sisters of Charity of Notre-Dame d"Evron
54 Baptisms, 33 Weddings, 19 Funerals, 61 Confirmations
January 7: First Friday Adoration from 2 to 5 p.m.
January 24-25: ALPEC Session
January 30: Annual St. Paul Pro Life Meeting - Speaker - Gerard Liston
February 4-6: PreMarriage Course
March 13, 20 & 27: Three Lenten Sessions presented by Bishop Roy
March 6: Family Fun Day
March 25: Opening Mass for the Holy Year
March 27 & 28: Live Way of the Cross
April 10: Congratulations to the Sisters of Charity of N.D. d'Evron
for 300 years of Service to the Church
April 22-24: Parish Renewal Weekend (in French) at St. Edouard
May 1: Clergy Appointments: effective August 15
Fr. Armand Beaupré, Pastor of St. Emile, Legal
Fr. Rolland Bissonette, Pastor St. Louis, Bonnyville
Fr. Henri Bois - Sabbatical Year (Sept. 1)
Fr. Victor Bureau - Sabbatical Year
Fr. Marcel Croteau, Administrator of Grande Centre
Fr. Réal Levasseur, Mallaig, Ste. Lina & Goodridge (Sept. 1)
Fr. Roger Sicotte, Plamondon, Atmore & Breynat
Fr. Rosario Simard, Assistant at Bonnyville
Fr. Hervé Tanguay Rectory of the Cathedral
May 15: 50th Anniversary of Sr. Anne Marie Mireault's Religious Profession
May 20-23: Men's Cursillo in Fort McMurray
May 22: Prayers for the "Fruit of the Earth"
at the cross-road cross at Magella Pelchat's farm
May 23-27: Priests' Annual Retreat
May 24: 25th Anniversary of Ordination of Fr. Rolland Bissonnette
June 5: Sister Hilda Kraft is leaving the Community of St. Paul
due to ill-health
June 12: Special collection for the Papal Visit to Canada in 1984
June 30 - July 3: Women's Cursillo in Fort McMurray
July 2: Mr. & Mrs. Camille Charron celebrate 60 years of marriage
July 10: Fr. William George Young, deceased at the age of 75,
(pastor of St. Brides from 1952 to 1958)
July 17: Flat Lake - Mount Carmel Parish Picnic
August 21: "Did You Know" Bishop Edouard Gagnon, formerly of St. Paul was appointed pro-president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, (succeeding James Cardinal Knox of Australia) is named Archbishop
August 21: Fr. Hervé Tanguay is welcomed as Rector of the Cathedral
September 16-18: Marriage Preparation Course
September 18: Bishop Raymond Roy is with the Alberta Bishops for their Ad Limina Visit to the Tombs of Peter and Paul in Rome (every five years)
October 28-30: Search for Christian Maturity Weekend at St. Edouard
November 14: Renovations of the old rectory begins (the Grey Nuns are in residence at the Convent of the Assumption Sisters during the renovations)
November 25: The New Code of Canon Law comes into effect
December 7-15: Pilgrimage in Hour of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
lead by Fr. Antonio Duhaime omi
December 23: Distribution of Christmas Hampers,
coordinated by the Knights of Columbus
• 85 Baptisms, 37 Weddings, 15 Funerals, 50 Confirmations
September 9 to 20: First Visit of Pope John Paul II to Canada
September 16 & 17: Visit of Pope John Paul II to Edmonton
• 97 Baptisms, 28 Weddings, 19 Funerals, 41 Confirmations
October: New church organ purchased
• 68 Baptisms, 27 Weddings, 36 Funerals, 53 Confirmations
• Four new stained glass windows installed in the sanctuary:
St. Paul, Marguerite d'Youville, Our Lady of Assumption and St. Joseph
August 22: Arrival of the Missionaries of Charity in St. Paul
October 9: Death of Bishop Philippe Lussier C.Ss.R.
• 71 Baptisms, 16 Weddings, 31 Funerals, 80 Confirmations
Year of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 20: Visit of Pope John Paul to Fort Simpson, NWT
• 45 Baptisms, 25 Weddings, 19 Funerals, 51 Confirmations
July 1: Death of Archbishop Maurice Baudoux D.D.
• New roof installed on Cathedral
• 65 Baptisms, 19 Weddings, 13 Funerals, 59 Confirmations
• 53 Baptisms, 28 Weddings, 24 Funerals, 58 Confirmations
• A new P.A. system was installed in Cathedral to replace the old system
• 29 Baptisms, 16 Weddings, 21 Funerals, 67 Confirmations
June 28: Ordination of Fr. Anthony O'Riordan
• 68 Baptisms, 21 Weddings, 30 Funerals, 71 Confirmations
• 65 Baptisms, 21 Weddings, 41 Funerals, 61 Confirmations
January 22: Ordination of Fr. Tuyen Peter Tran
June 5: Ordination of Fr. Kim Hong Nguyen
September: the first of 10 stained glass windows installed in Cathedral
• 75 Baptisms, 19 Weddings, 30 Funerals. 58 Confirmations
October 26: Blessing of Doors marks end of major renovations to Cathedral
• 56 Baptisms, 21 Weddings, 39 Funerals, 84 Confirmations
• 64 Baptisms, 26 Weddings, 41 Funerals, 61 Confirmations
• 63 Baptisms, 18 Weddings, 30 Funerals, 58 Confirmations
Year of Jesus Christ
March 25: Bishop Thomas Collins named Coadjutor Bishop of St. Paul
May 14: Bishop Thomas Collins consecrated Bishop of St. Paul
June 30: Bishop Raymond Roy retires
June 30: Bishop Thomas Collins installed as 5th Bishop of St. Paul
42 Baptisms, 27 Weddings, 31 Funerals, 54 Confirmations
Year of the Holy Spirit
May 18: Ordination of Fr. James McHugh by Bishop Thomas Collins
November: Baby Grand Piano installed in Cathedral
• 56 Baptisms, 18 Weddings, 34 Funerals, 61 Confirmations
Year of God the Father
Feb. 18: Bishop Collins appointed Coadjutor ArchBishop of Edmonton
• Fr. Walter Laliberty named Diocesan Administrator
June 7: Bishop Colins succeeded to the See of Edmonton
• 57 Baptisms, 19 Weddings, 37 Funerals, 50 Confirmations
The Great Jubilee Year
• 57 Baptisms, 19 Weddings, 26 Funerals, 60 Confirmations
November 9: Bishop Luc Bouchard Ordained and Installed
as 6th Bishop of St. Paul
• 32 Baptisms, 21 Weddings, 28 Funerals, 57 Confirmations
June 14: Ordination of Fr. Martin Jubinville
(Fr. Martin was appointed assistant at the Cathedral)
July 23 to 28: Visit of Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day in Toronto
• 44 Baptisms, 15 Weddings, 33 Funerals, 46 Confirmations
• Fr. Martin Jubinville appointed assistant in Fort McMurray
June 25: Death of Bishop Raymond Roy; buried in St. Paul Cemetery
• 42 Baptisms, 15 Funerals 38 Funerals, 43 Confirmations
• 42 Baptisms, 13 Weddings, 30 Funerals, 44 Confirmations
April 2: Death of Pope John Paul II
April 19: Election of Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger)
• 32 Baptisms 17 Weddings, 37 Funerals, 39 Confirmations
December 27; Pastoral Letter on the Restored Order of the Sacraments
• 31 Baptisms, 16 Weddings, 31 Funerals, 73 Confirmations
June 22: Ordination of Fr. Mario Jubinville and Fr. Andrew Schoenberger by Bishop Luc Bouchard (Fr. Andrew appointed assistant in Fort McMurray and Fr. Mario appointed assistant in Bonnyville)
June 29: Ordination to Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Luc Bouchard
(Raymond Chan, Walter Desjarlais, Joseph McMorrow, Patrick Murphy,
Jerry Metz, Terry Olsen, Ernie Sehn and John Woodcock)
July 1: Fr. Roger Sicotte appointed Pastor of St. Jean Baptiste, Morinville; and Fr. Paul Moses Chakkalackal, cmi appointed Rector of the Cathedral
August 25: Death of Cardinal Edouard Gagnon PSS
September: Implementation of the Restored Order of the Sacraments
• 45 Baptisms, 13 Weddings, 42 Funerals, 79 Confirmations
June 28: Opening of the Year of St. Paul
October 14: Death of Msgr. Hervé Tanguay, in Quebec, aged 82 years
• 36 Baptisms, 18 Weddings, 36 Funerals, 35 Confirmations
June 19: Opening of the Year of the Priest
June 29: Conclusion of the Year of St. Paul
• 26 Baptisms, 18 Weddings, 42 Funerals, 35 Confirmations
April 29: Bishop Luc Bouchard suffered a stroke
June 11: Conclusion of the Year of the Priest (Outdoor mass at Racette School, Presided by Bishop Luc Bouchard, Homily by Fr. Gérard Gauthier, BBQ lunch hosted by the Knights of Columbus and C.W.L. afterward)
June 28: Fr. Paul Moses Chakkackal, cmi returns to Madagscar
and Fr. Vitus Ikeme, smmm appointed Rector of Cathedral
• 34 Baptisms, 17 Weddings, 29 Funerals, 23 Confirmations
May 3: Opening of Catholic Bible Days for the Diocese
May 19: Fr. Gilbert Dasna, smmm appointed parochial vicar at the Cathedral
June 6 & 7: Catholic Bible Days sessions held in St. Paul
• 43 Baptisms, 13 Weddings, 22 Funerals, 39 Confirmations
Feb. 1: Fr. Gérard Gauthier appointed Rector of Cathedral Parish
Feb. 2: Bishop Luc Bouchard named Bishop of Trois-Rivières, QC
March 16: Farewell Supper and Mass for Bishop Luc Bouchard
March 26: Bishop Luc Bouchard installed as Bishop of Trois-Rivières, QC
June 29: Ordination of Fr. Francis of Assisi Khai Quoc Duc Phan
and Fr. Thomas Dieu Hoang Nguyen by Bishop Luc Bouchard
October 11: Year of Faith begins (anniversary of Opening of Vatican II)
December 12: Paul Terrio Ordained as 7th Bishop of St. Paul
• 32 Baptisms, 13 Weddings, 45 Funerals, 37 Confirmations
February 28: Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
March 13: Election of Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
May: Lower windows replaced in the Cathedral
September 14: Diocesan Youth Gathering at the Cathedral
November 24: Conclusion of the Year of Faith
May 9: Fr. Gilbert Dasna smmm, (assistant at the Cathedral and Pastor of Sacred Heart in Saddle Lake and St. Matthias in Goodfish Lake) died today when he answered the rectory door around 6 p.m.
Fr. Gilbert died in hospital soon afterward.
The assailant later shot himself in a police shootout on Main Street.
May 16: Prayer Vigil at the Cathedral presided by Fr. Gérard Gauthier
May 17: Prayer Vigil at Sacred Heart Church, Saddle Lake, presided by Fr. Peter Tran
May 18: Funeral Prayers for Fr. Gilbert, presided by Fr. Gérard Gauthier
May 19: Funeral Mass for Fr. Gilbert, presided by Bishop Paul Terrio
June 10: Fr. Gilbert's body is flown to Nigeria for burial
June 18: Vigil Mass for Fr. Gilbert Gatsou Kizito Dasna smmm
at the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Generalate, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria
June 19: Funeral Mass for Fr. Gilbert at Holy Trinity Parish,
Umule-Ohuho, Umuahia, Abia Staste, Nigeria
followed by interment at the SMMM Noviatiate Burial Ground
"May His Gentle Soul Rest In Perfect Peace."
September 29: Funeral for Fr. Hamilcar Blanco who died of a stroke
on September 25, 2014 at the age of 67 years (Burial in Boyle).
November: The PVC piping in the rectory was replaced by copper piping as a preventative measure
since the PVC piping was showing evidence of deterioration
February 3: L'Abbé André Semusambi arrived in the parish as assistant, especially for the Francophone masses. Originally from the Congo, he spent two years in Rimouski before coming to the diocese. He was welcomed to the parish on Feb. 7 & 8.
February 14: The "Feast Before the Fast" sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, held at the Senior's Centre. This event, on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, will hopefully become an annual event.
April & May: Fundraiser for rectory renovations.
A large puzzle of the rectory was created. Puzzle pieces were sold for $30 (or 4 for $100).
$30 was raised. We applied for a grant from Alberta Historical Resources.
May 9: Blessing of Memorial Monument and Memorial Mass for Fr. Gilbert.
June: Rectory Renovations have begun -
siding on exterior walls were replaced where necessary.
June 8-12: Asbestos was removed from the heating pipes in the crawl space beneath the Cathedral at the cost of $25,179. (shared with the Diocese).
June 25: Statues of St. Paul and St. Kateri Tekakwitha were installed outside the Cathedral.
July: Rectory Painting has begun -
siding on exterior walls were sanded, primed and painted.
August: the old shingles were removed and the rectory was re-shingled.
October 5: Funeral for Fr. Roger Guérin who died on September 30, 2016 at the age of 83 years (Burial in Clyde).
December 7: Opening Mass for the Year of Mercy.
We gathered at the St. Paul Senior Citizen Centre, then processed to the Cathedral.
Bishop Paul blessed the Door of Mercy and led the congregation into the Cathedral.
December 9: The Church Bells were repaired and attached to a digital timer.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
was from January 18 to 25.
Monday, January 18 – at the Ukrainian Catholic Church
Tuesday, January 19 – at Sacred Heart Church in Saddle Lake
Wednesday, January 20 – at the St. Paul Cathedral
Thursday, January 21 – at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Friday, January 22 – at Racette School
Saturday, January 23 – at the St. Paul United Church
Sunday, January 24 – at the United Church in Good Fish Lake
The services are all at 7 p.m.
A collection was taken each evening for the
Columbus House of Hope (Women’s Shelter)
March 2016 - Flooring in the rectory was replaced.
The carpet from 1984 was replaced with rubberised flooring.
March 16 – Ordination of Michael Ngo to the Transitional Diaconate
April 15 — The Feast of St. Kateri was celebrated.
May 23 – Ordination of Raldy (Jhack) Diaz to the Transitional Diaconate.
It was scheduled to be held at St. John the Baptist in Fort McMurray.
Due to the fires that caused the evacuation of Fort McMurray residents,
the ordination was held at the Cathedral.
May 2016 – A collection was taken on May 8 and 15 for the people of Fort McMurray.
$16,175 was raised by the Cathedral Parish to support the parishes in Fort McMurray.
The fire started on May 1, caused the evacuation of all 90,000 residents.
It was estimated to cover 589,995 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side,
with a perimeter estimate of 996 kilometres.
June 2016 - The stairs to the bell tower were built,
replacing the long aluminum ladder.
June 2016 - the soffits, fascia and easvestroughs were replaced.
August 26 – Funeral of Fr. Dario Abram,
who died of heart failure on August 16, 2016 at the age of 75 years.
September 15 – Funeral of Fr. Lucien Morisette,
who died of old age on September 8, 2016 at the age of 85 years.
September 21 – Ordination of Michael Ngo to the Presbyterate.
December 8 – Ordination of Raldy (Jhack) Diaz to the Presbyterate.