(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Short sketches of the history of the Catholic churches and missions in central Alberta"

=o- 

LO 

=c 
"ir 
?D~ 

= r-^ 

|o 
\i-=i 

--D 



SHORT SKETCHES OF THE 

HISTORY 



OF 



The Catholic Churches and Missions 

IN 

Central Alberta. 



Compiled by 
MOST REV. EMILE J. LEGAL, O.M.I. 

Archbishop of Edmonton. 






HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




Grateful mention must be 
made here of Mr. W . H . 
Atherton, Ph. })., then pro 
fessor at //it- Little Seminar]] 
of St. Albert, for his valuable 
assistance in translating manii 
parts of these accounts. He 
also it was who wrote nearly 
the whole of the Introduction 
and the Retrospect. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 
OLDEST MISSIONS. 

II PAGES: 

I, The Parish of St. Anne, Lake St. Anne; II. The Mission of St. 
Albert; III. Edmonton: 1. Parish of St. Joachim; 2. Parish of the Im 
maculate Conception; 3. Parish of the Sacred Heart; 4. Parish of St. 
Anthony of Padua; 5. Parish of St. Francis of Assisi ; 6. Parish of 
St. Edmund; 7. Parish of St. Francis Xavier; 8. Holy Rosary Church; 
IV. The Mission of Lake La Biche 947 

CHAPTER II. 
INDIAN MISSIONS. 

1. Mission of N. D. du T. S. Rosaire, Onion Lake; 2. Mission of 
the Sacred Heart, Saddle Lake; 3. Mission of St. Raphael, Cold Lake; 
with Station of Lac de Coeur; 4. Mission of St. Alexander, Riviere qui 
Barre; 5. Mission of Our Lady of the Seven Dolors, Hobbema ; 6. Mission 
of St. John the Evangelist, Stoney Plain; 7. Mission of St. Mathias, Good- 
fish Lake; with Station of St. Nazaire 48 68 

CHAPTER III. 
HALF-BREED MISSIONS. 

1. St. Thomas, Duhamel ; 2. St. Paul, St. Paul des Metis 69 76 

CHAPTER IV. 
NEW PARISHES OR MISSIONS. 

1. Parish of N. D. de Lourdes, Lamoureux; 2. Parish of St. 
Emerence, Riviere qui Barre; 3. Parish of St. John the Baptist, Morm- 
ville; 4. Parish of St. Vital, Beaumont; 5. Parish of St. Pierre, Vil- 
leneuve; 6. Parish of St. Emile, Legal; 7. Parish of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, 
Edison; 8. Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Pickardville; with 
(1.) Mission of St. Joseph, Spruce Grove; (2.) Mission of St. Charles, 
Egg Lake; (3.) Mission of Lady of Sion, Sion P.O.; 9. Parish of St. 
Lawrence, Brosseau; 10. Parish of St. Vincent, Denisville; 11. Parish 
of St. Louis, Bonnyville 77 91 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CONTENTS.-Continued 

CHAPTER V. 

RECENT PARISHES AND MISSIONS ALONG C.P.R. 

PAGES: 
I. Parish of St. Benedict, Leduc; 2. Parish of St. Norbert, Millet; 

3. Parish of the Sacred Heart, Wetaskiwin ; 4. Mission of St. Augustine, 
Ponoka; 5. Parish of St. Stephen, Lacombe ; 6. Parish of Red Deer with 
Posts: (1.) Innisfail; (2.) Olds; (3.) Sylvan Lake; 7. Parish of Our 
Lady of Perpetual Help, Stettler: 8. Parish of Our Lady of Graces, 
Castor; with Posts of (I.) Halkirk, (St. Peter); (2.) Consort, (St. 
Andrew); 9. Parish of St. Anne of the Plains, Trochu ; 10. Parish of 
St. Francis Xavier, Camrose ; II. Parish of St. Mark, Daysland; 12. 
Parish of St. Boniface, Spring Lake; 13. Parish of St. Norbert, Rosen- 

heim . 92103 

CHAPTER VI. 
RECENT PARISHES AND MISSIONS, ON THE C.N.R. 

I. Parish of Our Lady of Angels, Fort Saskatchewan; 2. Parish of 
St. Martin, Vegreville; 3. Parish of the Holy Name of Jesus, Vermilion; 

4. Parish of St. Anthony, Lloydminster ; 5. Parish of Tawatinaw; 6. 

Parish of St. Gabriel, Athabaska | 04 1 I I 

CHAPTER VII. 
RECENT PARISHES AND MISSIONS, ON THE G.T.P. 

1. Parish of the Holy Name of Mary, Viking; 2. Parish of Wain- 
wrighl; 3. Parish of the Sacred Heart, Chauvin; 4. Mission of Edson . ... 1 12 1 14 

CHAPTER VIII. 
POLISH MISSIONS. 

1. Mission of Krakow, St. Casimir ; 2. Our Lady of Good Counsel, 
Skaro; 3. St. John of Kent; 4. The Ascension of Our Lord; 5. Parish 
of St. Stanislaus, Round Hill; 6. Rabbit Hills; 7. St. John Nepomuk . ... 1 15 I 19 

CHAPTER IX. 
GREEK RUTHENIAN MISSIONS. 

I. Parish of Monaster, St. Basil the Great; 2. Parish of St. Josaphat, 
Edmonton; 3. The "Star" Church Law Suit 121 129 

CHAPTER X. 
A Retrospect and Appreciation 131 139 

Sketches of some of Alberta s Prominent Business Men 1 40 153 

Sketches of Industrial Concerns Identified with the Progress of Cen 
tral Alberta | 54 1 67 

General Advertising ... 1 68 End 



HISTORY OF THE. CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CF.NTRAL ALBERTA 




RIGHT REV. EMILE LEGAL, O.M.I. 

Archbishop of Edmonton, Alta. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



INTRODUCTION 

A special interest ever attaches to the origin of things. It is with a tender emotion 
that we bend over a cradle. It is with watchful solicitude that the laborer awaits the 
germination of the seed intrusted to the soil. The seed of Christianity, which has been 
scattered over the world, and has borne fruit in spite of tempests and onsets of every 
kind, has especially attracted the attention and captivated the interest of the learned and 
the wise. 

The growth of that great tree with its immense branches, which has developed with 
so great rapidity on the soil of Northern America, is assuredly one of the most remarkable 
facts of modern times. 

Before the sadly memorable date of 1789, there Was as yet one only bishopric for 
the whole of North America, that of Quebec, whose foundation goes baclf as far as the 
year / 674. The foundation of Baltimore as the first Episcopal See of the United States, 
dates precisely from this period of 1789. 

Then came the French Revolution which sowed broadcast in the world those per 
nicious principles from which it still suffers and will continue to suffer until it has repudiated 
them. It proclaimed the rights of man to the contempt of the rights of God. It exalted 
the rights of man while it passed over in silence man s corresponding duties. In a word, 
it Would have substituted another civilization in place of the Christian civilizaton, a new 
paganism in the stead of the Christianity of all the ages; not recognizing that it Was 
Christianity which had wrested the nations from the yolfe of slavery and had proclaimed 
the true rights of man while affirming his equality, but his equality before the Justice of 
Cod. 

Wicked man continued, then, in his taslf; he sowed the cocffle in the midst of the 
good grain. But the good seed in spite of all, sprouted, Waxed strong and great, and has 
propagated itself. 

Meanwhile, at the moment where our story commences, toward 1808, there Were, 
as yet, no more than five bishoprics for Canada, and the whole of this immense North 
west was still under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Quebec, with his coadjutor, 
Mgr. Norbert Provenchcr, residing at Red River under the title of Bishop of Juliopolis. 

This great bishop had only three priests under him, but his large heartedness already 
embraced the whole of this immense region of the Northwest and of British Columbia, 
which he dreamed of conquering for Christ and the Gospel. 

In (ruth is there anything greater in the world than these sublime ambitions of the 
apostolate? And these ambitions have been realized. 

The following pages will show the marvels accomplished during the short space of 
scarcely a hundred years, not indeed in the whole of the Northwest (for many large 
volumes would be needed for that) but only in a very limited part of it. 

There are now in these countries three Archiepiscopal Sees with four Suffragan 
Bishoprics and three Vicar Apostolics; namely, first, the Archdiocese of St. Boniface 
and the Suffragan Bishoprics of Prince Albert, Regina and the Viccriate Apostolic of 
Keewatin. 

Second, in British Columbia, there is the Archdiocese of Vancouver, with the 
Suffragan Bishopric of Victoria on the Island of Vancouver and the Prefecture Apostolic 
of the Yulfon Territory. 

Third, the Archdiocese of I^dmonton, with the suffragan Bishopric of Calgary, and 
the two Vicariates Apostolic of Athabasca and of Mackenzie. 

Leaving aside the whole of British Columbia and of the Ecclesiastical Province of 
St. Boniface, We shall treat only of the central part of the Province of Alberta, which 
forms the Archdiocese of Edmonton. But while limiting our view to this restricted field, 
we shall still have ample occasion to rejoice in the progress made and to give utterance 
to our heartfelt praise of "Glory be to God." 



-ilSTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CENTRAL ALBERTA 




Y Central Alberta, we mean that part of the Province of this name which is 
bounded on the South by the Red Deer river district, more precisely the 
line of the 30th and 31st Township; on the North by the 55 degree of Lati 
tude; on the East by the Province of Saskatchewan and on the West by 
British Columbia; this is the territory of the archdiocese of Edmonton. 
The history of Catholicity, in Central Alberta, properly starts with the year 1842, 
for in fixing this date it must be noted that up to that period not one missionary or priest 
had as yet come to plant his tent in these vast regions, which up to this time were almost 
unexplored or unknown, and reputed as unfit for cultivation, unapproachable and cut off 
from every means of communication with the civilized world. 

Nevertheless, the time assigned by Divine Providence for the R.vangelization and 
Christian Civilization of these immense territories wa ; fast approaching. 

Where hitherto there had been seen neither temple nor altar; neither church nor 
modest chapel, nor humble school; neither priest nor religious nor Sisters of Charity; we 
witness today all the works of Catholic zeal, education and charity covering the land, 
strengthening their hold, extending their influence and multiplying themselves year by year, 
in a wonderful manner. 

The table of contents will have shown the Catholic Missions existing today within 
the limits of Central Alberta as above defined. It remains for us to point out in detail the 
origin of each Mission; when and by whom is was founded; the nature of the works that 
were undertaken by the clergy in charge of it and the religious orders who have there 
dedicated their works and their entire lives, their whole-hearted zeal and self-devotion 
to the cause of God, in this part of the North West. 

CHAPTER I. 



OLDEST MISSIONS 



1st. THE PARISH OF ST. ANNE. LAKE ST. ANNE. 

The Parish of Lake St. Anne, the first mission founded in the North West, dates 
from 1842, when the Rev. Jean Baptiste Thibeault, then a missionary at Red River, 
now St. Boniface, made his first journey to the regions around the upper reaches of the 
Saskatchewan river. 

There had, however, been an earlier journey which it is interesting to record here, 
made some years previously by two missionaries who had traversed the North West 
on their way to British Columbia. These were the Rev. Francis Norbert Blanchet and 
the Rev. Modeste Demers. They had left St. Boniface on the 10th of July, 1838, and 
they arrived by the vessels of the Hudson s Bay Company on the 18th of August at Fort 
Carleton, where they baptized thirty-six persons and married seven couples. Continuing 
their route, thence, they passed on to Fort Pitt and to the Fort of the Prairie (Edmonton) 
adding fifty more baptisms. These were the first baptisms to be administered in these 



10 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



North Western wilds, and these two missionaries were the first to celebrate the Holy Sacri 
fice on the solitary banks of the Saskatchewan. It is recorded that as they journeyed 
from place to place, they erected crosses on their different camping grounds, taking possess 
ion, as it were, of the country in the name of the Catholic religion. On the 2nd of 
October they were at Fort Jasper, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where they bap 
tized thirty-five more, mostly half-breed children. 

To these first two missionaries must also be attributed the evangelization of that im 
mense tract of country, situated beyond the Rocky Mountains, which was then called 
Oregon and comprised the whole Pacific coast from Northern California almost up to 

2nd degree of latitude. One of them, the Rev. F. N. Blanchet, became in 1843 
the first Vicar Apostolic of Oregon and early in 1846 the first Bishop of Oregon City 
The other, the Rev. Modeste Demers. became in his turn the first Bishop of the Island of 
Vancouver. 

The accounts which these bold apostles sent to Mgr. Provencher to acquaint him 
with the desire of the numerous half-breed population and even of the savages them 
selves, as well as the application of a half-breed named Piche, who went himself to St. 
Boniface in search of a missionary, determined Mgr. Provencher to delay no longer the 
sending of him who was to be the pioneer of the Catholic religion in these parts of the 
North West. 

It was then, in 1842, that the Rev. J. B. Thibault was sent by Bishop Provencher 
to evangelize the wild Indians and half-breeds scattered over the immense districts of 
the West, on the Eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. 

On receiving the long wished for commission, the missionary courageously began his 

Starting en the 20th of April, he traveled overland by easy stages, sometimes 

on foot or on horseback, and someLmes in carts drawn by oxen. These were the old 

time Red River Carts," fashioned by the knife and the axe of the half-breeds. This 

was the first trip of a missionary overland. Until then the boats had been taken advantage 

f to make this journey up to the territory watered by the Saskatchewan. He had for 

his guide a half-breed and it had been arranged that the other half-breed who had come 

the year before to St. Boniface should meet him at Fort Edmonton and introduce him to 

the Indian population. 

Ihus journeying, he would nearly every day meet with water courses, some of 
them of considerable size, which could not be crossed except by swimming, for as yet 
bridges were unknown and often it was even impossible to find wood to construct a raff 
Habitations were few and far between. With the exception of three or four 
forts or stations belonging to the Hudson s Bay Company, and these were about 200 
miles apart from one another, there was not a single settlement, scarcely a single house, 
at which he might rest. 

After more than two months of this toil and fatigue, the Rev. J. B. Thibault arrived 
at Lac La Grenouille, "Frog Lake," about thirty miles north of^Fort Pitt. There he 
erected a temporary "shack," entered into friendly relations with the Indians whom he 
might encounter, and resolved to explore the country before definitely founding the first 
Catholic Mission in these distant parts of the Territories. 

Some Methodist ministers had previously visited the forts and plac.es through which 
hather Thibault passed, with the consequence that most of the people, half-breeds and 
Indians, had attended their meetings, but Father Blanchet had written to Bishop Pro 
vencher: "All the people throughout this country, half-breeds and Indians as well, ask 
for a priest to stay with them," and indeed, as soon as the priest appeared in the person 
of Rev. Father Th^bault, all left the Protestant minister and flocked to him. At the 
first service that he held for them at Fort Pitt, he chose for his subject, "The Remission 
of Sins and the means instituted by God for this end, namely, "Confession." Father 
Thibault had already a perfect command of the Otchipwais or Sauteux language, which 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 1 1 



is akin to the Cree, and he could be perfectly understood. This sermon made a vivid 
impression and all were saying, "Nobody has as yet spoken to us on this subject, and 
there was something lacking. Here we have what was wanting." 

At Fort Edmonton, Father Thibault met the halfbreed, Piche, as arranged before, 
and he continued to visit all the half-breed settlements and Indian encampments during 
all this summer. He administered 353 baptisms, performed 20 marriages and prepared 
four people for their first communion. Then he retraced his steps and was back at St. 
Boniface on the 20th of October. The journey had lasted exactly six months. 

The following year, some time in June, he returned, this time to establish himself 
permanently. Half-breeds and Indians had signed a request to the Governor of the 
Hudson s Bay Company to the effect that the missionaries should be allowed to stay in 
the Territories, as so far the powerful company had not been willing to leave the country 
freely open to any comer. Father Thibault re-visited Fort Edmonton and advanced 
Westward as far as the lake which the Indians and the half-breeds called "Manito- 
Sakahigan" and the employees of the Hudson s Bay Company, "Devil s Lake." It 
was to this point, out of reach of the dangerous encounters of Crees and Blackfeet war 
riors, that the missionary decided to establish the first Catholic Mission of the North 
West. 

But, as a true son of Canada so devoted to the great and good saint whose cele 
brated shrine graces the shore of the St. Lawrence river, he changed the name of this 
lake and called it "Lake St. Anne." Soon he had built himself there a modest dwelling 
as well as a not less modest chapel, which nevertheless commanded the admiration of 
the Indians. 

Then he strenuously continued the work of the evangelization and of the Christian 
instruction of all the Indians and half-breeds of those parts who sometimes would come 
great distances to visit him and whom, in turn, he would seek out in their distant en 
campments at times many hundreds of miles away. It was on those occasions that 
he went to Lake La Biche and even to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. 

In the year 1844, however, a companion was granted him m the person of Rev. 
Joseph Bourassa. This new missionary left St. Boniface on the 25th of June in com 
pany with M. Rowand, chief factor of the Hudson s Bay Company, at Edmonton, 
heading for Lake St. Anne. When he reached there Father Thibault was away visit 
ing distant parts. Hearing of his arrival, the latter hurried back, passing through Jack- 
fish Lake, Fort Pitt, Cold Lake, Lake La Biche and Edmonton. They worked together 
to complete the building construction of the Mission which then was happily and solidly 
established. Since his second departure from St. Boniface, Father Thibault had ad 
ministered 236 baptisms and blessed 26 marriages. This, added to previous work, 
brought the number of Catholics to over two thousand. 

To show how the introduction of Christianity in the vast regions of the West is 
still of very recent date, we may mention that many of those who were baptized when 
adults, by Fathers Thibault and Bourassa, are still living. It was on one of these trips 
that Father Thibault brought with him from St. Boniface a young couple, Michael Nor- 
mand and his wife, well known under the name of "La Rose." These proved to be 
faithful and devoted servants of the missionaries, passing their whole lives in the various 
missions where they were sent. Michael Normand died a few years ago. His relict, 
Rose Normand, died only a few years after, the 21st of March, 1908, at the age of 
eighty-seven. She breathed her last at the Bishop s house, at St. Albert, tenderly at 
tended to and well esteemed and respected by all. With her a land-mark of Christian 
ity in the West has disappeared. 

In the year 1845, after passing the winter together, the two missionaries separated, 
Father Thibault going to the Chipweyans or Montagnais of Cold Lake and Isle a la 



12 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Crosse; Father Bourassa to Lesser Slave Lake, and the Grand Prairie of the Peace 
river. He even wanted to go to evangelize the Sekanais and other Indians of the Rocky 
Mountains, and thus the work continued for seven years. 

During the year 1846 the Mission of Lake St. Anne received the visit of an il 
lustrious Jesuit missionary, Father de Smet, who, coming along the Rocky Mountains, 
passed through Fort Edmonton and Lake St. Anne, and continuing his journey reached 
Jasper House, where he administered eleven baptisms. 

At the sight of the vast extent of the missionary field opening out before them, and 
recognizing the impossibility of recruiting fellow workers from the secular clergy of the 
Catholic Province of Quebec, which itself had not enough priests for its own needs, the 
first two apostles of the North West urged the saintly Bishop Provencher to the end 
that he should consider the ways and means of procuring missionaries of a religious order 
for these countries. 

1 he Rev. Father 1 hibault, already worn out by work and hardships, returned to 
St. Boniface in the year 1852. Rev. Father Bourassa was to follow next year. Fortu 
nately the Rev. Father Albert Lacombe, yet a secular priest at the time, but anxious to 
join the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, had just arrived in St. Boniface, 
when Father 1 hibault was coming from the distant missions of Saskatchewan. Father 
Lacombe wanted to join the order of the Oblates before being sent to the mission field, 
yet he could not resist the entreaties of the Bishop, who prayed him, his eyes filled 
with tears, to go at once and take the place of Father 1 hibault. Father Lacombe con 
sented on condition that an Oblate Father should be sent as soon as possible to enable 
him to make his novitiate, to be admitted into the order. 

THF OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE. 

In 1815, a secular priest, the Rev. Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod, afterwards 
Bishop of Marseilles, laid the foundation of a new religious order, whose principal end 
was to be the evangelization of the poor and the most neglected. 

The 25th of January, 1816, saw the opening at Aix of the first house of the 
Oblates and on the I I th of April of the same year the founder with his first and only 
companion, bound themselves by vow to labor all their lives at the work of missions, 
which should be entrusted to their care by the Bishops of France. It was not long, 
however, before many devoted and zealous priests placed themselves under the direc 
tion of the new founder. Several houses were founded in the South of France and on 
the 17th of February, 1826, the Sovereign Pontiff, Leo XII, approved the rules and 
constitution of the young congregation whose members, hitherto known only as the "Mis 
sioners of Provence," he now graciously chose to honor under the beautiful name 
of the "Oblates of Mary Immaculate." 

I he connection of the Oblates with Canada was brought about thuswise: In 
1841 the Right Rev. Ignace Bourget, the Bishop of Montreal, had occasion to go to 
Rome on an official visit to His Holiness Pius the Ninth. When passing through Mar 
seilles he learned there that Mgr. de Mazenod was the founder of the Oblate Fathers. 
Him he approached at once with the request that he should be granted at least four of 
the Fathers for the missions of his diocese. Without exception all offered themselves 
with the greatest readiness to the service of the Foreign Missions which were now opening 
out to them, and from that day the Society of the Oblates ceased to be a purely local or 
exclusively French congregation. 

In a short time it spread over the four parts of the world, and at the present moment 
the Oblates are piously engaged in the work not only in the different countries of Europe, 
but also in Africa, Ceylon, Australia, and especially in Canada and the United States. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The first Oblates who came to Red River were Rev. Father P. Aubert and Brother 
A. Tache. They arrived there on the 25th of August, 1845. Five years after this, 
young Brother Tache was to be elected as the Coadjutor of Bishop Provencher, on the 
24th of June, 1850. He was only twenty-seven years old, certainly the youngest Cath 
olic Bishop at the time. His consecration took place more than a year after, on the 23rd 
of November, 1851. at Viviers in France. 

It was when Bishop Tache was coming back from France, after his consecration, 
that a young assistant priest of the Parish of Berthier made up his mind to come again to 
devote himself in the missions of the North West. This young priest was to be also an 
illustrious missionary, none other than the Very Rev. Father A. Lacombe. I he year be 
fore, he had been assistant priest to Father Belcourt at Pembma, which was then a 
mission attached to the missions of the Red River, and then he had realized that the 
mission work in these new countries was better suited for missionaries belonging to some 
religious order, and he had made up his mind to become himself a member of such a 
religious order to fit himself for the task. 

To return now to our story of the Mission of Lake St. Anne. The Rev^ Fr. 
Lacombe started his journey on July 8th, 1852, and made his way to Lake St. Anne. 
The Rev. Joseph Bourassa then departed in his turn in the following year and the 
Father Lacombe remained alone in charge of all the missions formerly visited by the 1 
J. B. Thibault and the Rev. Joseph Bourassa. It was not until 
month of September, that he was able to commence his noviceship. 

The Rev. Father Remas, who had arrived at the mission of Lake La Biche since 
the month of October of the year 1853, now came to be his novice master and the Rev. 
Fr. Lacombe made his religious profession on the 23d of September, 1856. 

The Rev. Fathers Remas and Lacombe passed four years together at Lake St. 
Anne. The Rev. Fr. Frain was sent some time after but his feeble health would only 
allow him to remain a few years. 

The two missionaries of Lake St. Anne were, besides, often obliged to make long 
apostolic excursions, each in his own direction. They had to attend to the needs or Less 
er Slave Lake, the Lake La Biche Mission, and Fort Jasper at the Rocky Mountains. 
Then too, they had often to accompany the parties of half-breeds and Indians on 
their hunting expeditions. However, it was the half-breeds of Lake St. Anne and ol 
Edmonton, as well as the Cree and Assiniboine Indians frequenting this part of the coun 
try, who most profited by the presence of the priest and who generally became go< 
Christians. 

Although the foundation of the Mission of Lake St. Anne was but of recent date, 
the missionaries already were desirous of making it an important centre, and they ob- 
tamed the co-operation of the Grey Nuns of Montreal to labor at the 
instruction of the Indian childhood, and especially of persons of their own sex. It was 
Father Remas who went to St. Boniface to bring back the first contingent of these 
good nuns. On the 24th of September, 1859 he was again at Lake St. Anne, ac 
companied by the first three sisters to come to the North West, Sister Emery, Superioress, 
Sister Lamy and Sister Alphonse, three holy women who have left behind them 
nown of goodness and devotedness. 

Nevertheless, this foundation begun at Lake St. Anne had to be consolidated more 
definitely elsewhere, for a little while after, these same nuns passed on to St. Alto 
in 1863. 

After a period of five years, during which the Rev. Fathers Remas and Lacombe 
had been conjointly or separately engaged in providing for this mission, we find suc 
cessively a number of other missionaries who spent a more or less considerable time here 
and devoted themselves to the works of the ministry, such as the Rev Father Leduc in 
1867 and 1868. Then the Rev. Fathers Andre and Bourgme in 1870 and I 8/1 ; the 



14 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Rev. Fathers Blanchet and Dupin from 1871 to 1874; the Rev. Fathers Scollen and 
Grandin in 1883-1884 and finally on the 12th of November, 1886, the Rev. Fr. Lizee 
was placed at Lake St. Anne where he remained for ten years but it would be too 
wearisome to notice in detail the different incidents which occurred during this long suc 
cession of years. 

It will be sufficient to note that in 1 888 the new church was built. In the fol 
lowing year, 1889, when the Rev. Fr. Lestanc was Superior of St. Albert, it came to 
the mind of this pious missionary, who was a native of Brittany, that the good St. 
Anne, who scatters her favors from her Breton Sanctuary of St. Anne D Auray and 
her Canadian shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, could also well grant similar favors in a 
sanctuary of the North West if only she was solicited for them. Accordingly he an 
nounced from the pulpit that he would depart on such a day of the week on a pilgrimage 
to Lake St. Anne and that all were cordially invited to accompany him. Indeed, a 
good number of pilgrims responded to the appeal. They made the pilgrimage, prayed, 
asked and received graces and they felt consolation and happiness at having accomplished 
this act of faith. The pilgrimage was talked about, and the following year it was more 
numerous and it has since become a custom. People come even from Duhamel, Ath 
abasca Landing and other places seven or eight days journey. Numbers already ex 
perience the graces obtained from the good St. Anne, graces which those privileged to 
receive them do not hesitate to call miraculous. This pilgrimage has been fixed for some 
years for a determined date, not exactly on the feast-day of St. Anne, the 26th of July, 
but always on the Wednesday nearest this feast. 

In 1897 the Rev. Fr. Vegreville was at the head of the Mission of Lake St. Anne. 
A little later we find the Rev. Fr. Lizee, who after some years departure had returned 
to take charge of the mission which he had always regretted leaving. 

Fr. Lizee soon undertook the publication of a little newspaper edited in Cree and 
lithographed in syllabic characters. The title was "The St. Anne s Cross." Since 1906 
the publication of this little journal has passed into the hands of Father Baiter, who re 
sides at the Mission of the Sacred Heart at Saddle Lake, and it now bears the name of 
"The Sacred Heart." 

In the year 1908, we find the Rev. Fr. Lizee still at Lake St. Anne, but for some 
time he has been assisted by Rev. Fr. Dauphin. The work, in fact, has been increased. 
In addition to the service of the very considerable parish composed for the most part of 
French speaking half-breeds, there are also new comers of various nationalities. 

Then, too, it became necessary to visit the Indians of the Alexis Reserve, the In 
dians of White Whale Lake (Wabamun) and finally the different groups of new col 
onists who are beginning to make settlements towards the West along the roads tra 
versed by the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Visits are 
also paid to Lobstick Lake on the Pembina river, to Paddle river and even beyond. 
This is assuredly a great work for the years to come that is now being announced. 

The Mission of Lake St. Anne, now located on the line of the Canadian Northern 
Railway, with the fine lake abounding in fish, can not fail to assume a growing importance 
with the development of the country. Rev. Father J. Portier, O.M.I., has been in charge 
of the Mission for the past few years. 

II._ THE MISSION OF ST. ALBERT. 

St. Albert, in the beginning, was part of the immense diocese of St. Boniface, whose 
Bishop was the Rt. Rev. A. Tache. "On the first day of January, 1861," writes 
Bishop Tache, in his "20 Annees de Mission, "we were spending the New Year at 
Lake St. Anne, in company with the Rev. Fathers Lacombe and Remas. On this oc- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



15 




< 
-, 

_ 

< 



UJ 
CQ 
_ 



H 



u 
u 



O, 




~ 
/, 

22 

UJ 

X 




HISTORY OF THK CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



casion it was decided with these zealous missionaries that they should found a new sta 
tion not so far away, in order to facilitate the maintenance of St. Joachim Mission, at Ed 
monton." 

On the 14th of January, Bishop Tache left Lake St. Anne to return to St. Boni 
face. He was accompanied by Rev. Father Lacombe. About nine miles from Ed 
monton they stopped on a hill, at the foot of which flows the Sturgeon River. They 
cleared away the snow, lighted a fire and rested a while. It was there and then that 
Bishop I ache, after cutting down a young sapling, made a staff, and planting it firmly 
into the snow addressed his companion, thus: "Father Lacombe, here is the site of the 
new mission! It shall be called by the name of your Holy Patron, St. Albert! You 
will undertake the work as soon as possible, and you will found this new mission!" 

Father Lacombe soon started the work and in ] 862 he had already built a wooden 
house, 30 feet by 24, which served as his residence, and another building 40 by 20 feet, 
as yet not completed, it is true, with its unjointed boards, and its lack of ceiling, but 
which served its purpose as the church. Another construction of two floors was erected 
there, 50 by 40 feet, which Father Lacombe intended to be soon transformed into an 
Orphanage under the direction of the good Sisters of Charity, called the "Gray Nuns of 
Montreal." 

Of all the religious communities of women, devoting themselves in the West of 
Canada to the works of Charity and Education, the Gray Nuns of Montreal were the 
first to consecrate themselves with absolute devotedness to the good of the missions; the 
first to penetrate even into the heart of the Mackenzie district, not far from the Polar 
Circle, and we find them today, at the head of important institutions, schools, asylums, 
orphanages and hospitals, in the various missions whose origin and development we are 
now briefly outlining. 

In 1863 these excellent Sisters came from Lake St. Anne, where they had been 
established for about four years, to found the first school and orphanage at St. Albert. 

The half-breeds now commenced, little by little, to come and settle around the mission. 

They occupied the land which they began to cultivate, while they built themselves simple 
houses, where they could rest after their return from the prairies on their buffalo hunting 
expeditions. I hey could also now place their children under the care of the Sisters, 
where they would receive, at the school, an education as complete as was possible under 
the circumstances. I he orphanage would also receive the children abandoned by their 
parents, and thus in time it might, little by little, be converted into an Indian Industrial 
School, properly so-called. 

On the 3rd of December, 1864, Bishop I ache returned to visit this Mission where 
he arrived at night fall. "Sunrise," he wrote, "permitted us to contemplate with par 
donable pride and complacency the beautiful mission of St. Albert, so advanced and yet 
so new. Fhe beauty of the site, enhanced by art, amazed us, although we had chosen 
the spot ourselves only four years ago. And yet, what a great work had already been 
done! Handsome and vast constructions had been erected as if by enchantment; broad 
meadows had been cleared, well fenced around and put under cultivation, and were 
already yielding abundant harvests. 

"The whole scene enraptured our gaze. 1 he houses built all around this pretty 
mount; that of the Lord and those of His devoted ministers and His most devoted hand 
maids forming a group, dominating the whole country side. The little river winding 
around the base of the hills and crossed by a fine bridge; then, at a little distance the 
lake, whose waters lave the hill-sides which furnished the timber for the buildings! All 
this we could not leave without admiration. 

"Yet for all that," said he, "the dreamers of absurd systems other than Christian 
would have it that priests are not men of the time not up-to-date. Let then these 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 1 7 



enemies of revelation come themselves. I here is still enough savagery about for each to 
try his experience. There is still darkness in abundance for each one to make trial of his 
own light-shedding system. 

"Yes, let them come. Let them render to the ignorant Indians more services than 
the poor priest has done. Let them civilize more fully and more quickly. Let them 
more easily soften and smooth down the barbarous manners of the savage. Let them 
come and work in our wild wastes the wonders that the priest does. Let them give the 
world the spectacle of a like devotion, a like entire self denial, then we will believe in 
their mission as reformers, but in the mean time, while they enjoy all of the blessings 
which the civilizing hands of Christ s missionaries have sown with such great profusion in 
the world, let them not blaspheme against God; against His Holy Law or His con 
secrated ministers." 

From 1 865 to 1 867, Fathers Tissot and Andre continued the work so liberally 
begun, and meanwhile Father Lacombe founded the mission of St. Paul des Cris, a 
settlement for the Indian aborigines, on the banks of the Saskatchewan river where, to 
day, there has sprung up the pretty and thriving town of Brosseau. 

In 1867 Father Andre was replaced, at St. Albert, by the Rev. Father H. Leduc, 
who also took sole charge of the mission in the spring of 1868. Though left alone by 
the departure of Father Tissot for St. Boniface, Father Leduc soon had the happiness 
of receiving the announcement of an event of great importance which was to give a new 
spirit to the material and spiritual progress of the mission. 

"This autumn," wrote Bishop Grandin from France to him, "I shall fix my per 
manent residence at St. Albert. I shall come to you with a regular caravan of mission 
aries, priests, ecclesiastical students and some pious young men who wish to devote them 
selves to the missions. Get to work, then! Use every effort to procure us the provisions 
and lodging arrangements that are absolutely necessary." 

At this time Bishop Grandin was Bishop Tache s devoted coadjutor and to him 
had been entrusted the care of these northern parts of the vast original diocese of St. 
Boniface. 

These orders were faithfully carried out. Bishop Grandin and his companions would 
find on their arrival an abundant supply of "pemmican" for the winter and tea in moder 
ation, but no bread. As for other delicacies they would have to do without them. An 
addition of twenty feet square was in all haste fixed to the mission dwelling-house, while 
the loft had been converted into a dormitory. 

Very soon the caravan arrived, followed a little later by Bishop Grandin, who had 
wished to re-visit He a la Crosse before settling down at St. Albert. His Lordship 
took possession of the only room of the house, which had been reserved for him, while 
the others were installed together as comfortably as was possible under the circumstances. 

Among the new comers there were found some young men who had learned dif 
ferent trades. Their aim was to be admitted into the Congregation of the Oblates of 
Mary, as lay Brothers, and to give their services for the good of the Church and Chris 
tian civilization, without any other recompense than that of their bread, lodging and 
clothing. 

One of these was a blacksmith and very soon a shop was provided for him where 
he fixed up his bellows and an anvil. For many a long year Brother Leriche rendered 
signal service to the mission. 

Another was a shoemaker; he changed his little cell into a cobbler s shop, and 
moccasins now gave place to shoes of a more civilized style. Another made wooden 
sabots of a kind unknown here, but none the less of great usefulness. 



18 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



A carpenter and joiner s shop was also opened under the judicious supervision 
of Brother P. Bowes, who for forty years was the master builder and architect of all 
the chapels, residences, houses and schools built by the Oblates in the North West. 

The Oblates, whether priests or simple brothers, have not only for their end the 

preaching of the Gospel and the teaching of the truths of Faith, but they are also the 

children of that great Catholic Church which has conquered the old paganism and has 
carried the light and benefits of civilization among all races and peoples. 

The Oblates therefore who have come to this country, ought doubtless to be, above 
all, its Apostles, but none the less they came also as pioneers of civilization. This they 
had shown at St. Albert, and, from the earliest days of the foundation of the mission, 
they set to work at once to clear the land and cultivate the soil. 

In I 868 the time had come to give, by their example, a new impetus to colonization 
work. It became necessary to prevail upon the Indians no longer to count solely up 
on the results of their hunting and fishing expeditions for their subsistence, but to learn 
how to extract from the soil its precious resources which would banish the necessity of 
those long, forced fasts which they had often to undergo. The work, therefore, of till 
ing and clearing the ground continued every year at the mission, and very soon some 
hundreds of acres were put under cultivation. 

At first the crops were not very abundant, but they increased year by year. And 
now it became necessary to find a means of making use of their grain and of turning it 
into bread, of which the missionaries had been so long deprived. There was an old 
flour mill worked by horsepower, but it no longer gave any satisfaction, so it was decided 
to build one to be driven by water. Accordingly a suitable place was chosen. The 
Brother carpenters and others of the Oblate fathers themselves lent a hand to rhe work 
and, a few months later, the mill was in running order and working famously. The 
power was not extraordinary, but it could grind a decade of sacks of wheat in twenty- 
four hours. That was wonderful at this time for the country side! 

For some months all went well till there came a heavy storm, which was followed 
by a second and a third. The river rose ever higher and higher till the mill dam yielded 
to the force of the flood and all the labor had to be begun over again. Afterwards, 
new trials and tribulations were encountered, but never daunted, the missionaries worked 
on, for were they not there to give the natives practical examples of energy and persever 
ance? Later on, however, other attempts were made with better success, as we shall 
hear in due time. 

In the meantime Bishop Grandm had taken up the government of the mission and, 
at all times and places, he gave his missionaries a perfect example of zeal and devoted- 
ness. St. Albert was fast approaching the time when it should became the centre of a 
great and important Catholic diocese. 

At this time the poor, temporary chapel was threatened with ruin, for under the 
action of a strong north wind it had lost its balance and was only maintained in position, 
thanks to an unsightly buttress of four or five solid spruce trunks placed to support it. 
It was now high time to think of building a Cathedral for him who was soon about to 
become the first Titular Bishop of St. Albert and in which he could at least officiate in 
his mitre without catching it in the joists, as was often the case in the first church. All 
this was in 1 869, and it must be remembered that, at this time, such a thing as a circular 
saw or machinery of any sort for planing and polishing wood was quite unknown in this 
part of the country. The mason s art, too, was also unpracticable and consequently the 
new building must necessarily be of wood, for which a whole spruce grove had to be 
felled and the trunks squared and transformed into planks by means of the hand, or at 
least with the aid of the pit-saw. The lay brothers undertook the task and during the 
whole winter the work of felling, sawing and hauling the timber went merrily on. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 19 



In the following year the mission possessed a church measuring 84 feet in length, 
with transepts 72 feet wide, and in addition, galleries for the harmonium, the choir and 
the children. In a word it was the wonder of the country, standing far above all the 
other ecclesiastical monuments of this period. But it has since been eclipsed and for 
some years it has been converted into Assembly Rooms for the Catholics and a concert 
hall for the young students of the Seminary of St. Albert. 

At the commencement of 1870 a goodly number of houses grouped themselves 
along the banks of the Sturgeon River, on the rising ground and around the water s edge. 
The population began soon to settle down more definitely and the mission was making 
more and more progress when the small-pox made its appearance in the month of July 
of the same year. In a few weeks every family was attacked by the scourge and for 
some months, i.e. from July to the end of December, the Oblates of St. A bert had need 
to multiply their services and to hurry day and night to the relief of the dying. Father 
Leduc and Father Bourgine administered the sacraments to the sick and dying, and the 
Scholastic Brothers, Doucet and Blanchet enshrouded the dead. The entire population 
had been, until then, about seven hundred. Nearly half of the inhabitants of St. Albert 
were carried off by the plague, not counting three hundred half-breed hunters who died 
on the piairie, whither Bishop Grandin had gone himself to visit them, to console, en 
courage and assist them in their dying moments, and where he remained to the end, to 
give his services, and even sometimes nursing the sick along with Father Fourmont. 

On September 22nd, 1870, Pope Pius IX. raised this young mission to the 
dignity of an Episcopal See, with Bishop Grandin as its first Titular Bishop. 

His wise and paternal government naturally communicated new vigor, not only to 
St. Albert but to all the missions of the diocese which were soon to increase and multiply. 

Rev. Father Lestanc, a veteran missionary from Manitoba, came in October, 1874, 
to take charge of the mission. For three years he devoted himself with unsparing self- 
sacrifice to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the work entrusted to him, after which 
he went to found new stations in the Eastern part of the diocese. The Rev. Father H. 
Leduc came in 1877 to fill the place left vacant by the departure of Rev. Father Lestanc, 
and the progress went on. 

Until 1878 the main body of the population had been made up almost exclusively 
of French half-breeds. But at that time a new influx of settlers came from various 
quarters and gave a fresh impetus to the material progress of the district. These were 
Messrs. Will Cust, Hermenagilde Majeau, George Gagnon, Lecn Harnois, Edmond 
and Frank Juneau, Edmord Brosseau, Edmond Couture, Louis Beaupre, and others. 

The new settlers devoted their energy mostly to farming, and from that epoch we 
may date the fame of St. Albert as an agricultural district. The various crops suc 
ceeded beyond expectation, and there came plentiful harvests. Then the want of a 
good grist mill was felt even more keenly than at any other time before. 

At this time, 1878, Bishop Grandin and Father Leduc, coming back from a trip to 
Lake La Biche, received a deputation of the inhabitants of St. Albert, who urgently 
petitioned for the reconstruction of the grist mill. After numerous difficulties experienced 
in former years the prospect of a new venture was not very attractive, but the consider 
ation of the encouragement likely to be given to the population of the whole district, 
finally prevailed. A company of six share-holders was formed, of which the mission 
took a good part of the shares and eventually the whole of them. The mill was rebuilt 
on the Sturgeon river, eighteen miles below the mission, and supplied with proper machin 
ery and a circular saw, to which soon a planer and a shingle machine were added. 
All this was a real boom for the colony. Ten years later, on the 19th of March, 1890, 
everything was destroyed by a forest and prairie fire, driven in the direction of the mill 
by a violent wind. The buildings, the machinery and 400,000 feet of lumber every 
thing became a prey to the consuming flames! The loss was estimated at $25,000 



20 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



at the very least, hence it was impossible for the mission to ever think of undertaking a 
fresh enterprise of this nature. It had done its share in the past abundantly. Besides, 
times had changed, and these undertakings were to be left to those who had not given 
their lives to the service of God, but who mainly sought to realize good and substantial 
profits. 

The new settlers of 1878 had come from British Columbia or some other parts of 
the American western states. In I 880 and 1 88 1 others came from the eastern provinces. 
Let us mention Messrs. David and Louis Chevigny, A. Arcand, Dan Maloney and 
others. David Chevigny, with his family, left his eastern home in the Province of 
Quebec, St. Stanislaus, Champlain County, to come and settle down in these remote 
parts of the North West. He had his wife and nine children, the youngest a mere baby, 
and it was not a mean undertaking to come across this immense stretch of wilderness, 
extending from Winnipeg to the distant shores of the Saskatchewan, with the meagre 
comfort of the Red River Cart. Those who come now over the C.P.R., C.N.R., or 
G.T.P. lines, in a well upholstered Pullman car, can scarcely form to themselves any 
adequate idea of the case. 

A joyful event took place in St. Albert in 1884. It was the Silver Jubilee, or 
twenty-fifth anniversary of the Episcopal consecration of the Titulary Bishop of St. 
Albert. Nearly all the clergy of his diocese was gathered around him to commemorate 
the joyful event and show their affection and devotion to their first pastor and fatherly 
Bishop. 

Before going further, mention must be made of the troubled epoch of 1885, when, 
under the leadership of Louis Riel and the command of Gabriel Dumont, the half- 
breeds decided to claim by the strength of armed bands the rights they were entitled to. 
Unfortunately, Indian tribes had been enlisted and there was great uneasiness and ill 
forebodings all over the land. However, the great influence of the Saintly Bishop 
Grandin was equal to the task and the half-breed population at St. Albert and the 
surrounding district were prevailed upon to remain quiet and not to join in the uprising. 

Numerous families, not only of Catholics but also of Protestants, flocked for 
protection from Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan to the Mission of St. Albert. The 
Bishop turned over to them the spacious school house and other buildings and he went 
every day himself to encourage and comfort them. These days of anxiety passed away 
at last, all danger was over, and calm was restored. Every one then returned to his 
home, but those who have enjoyed the hospitality of the kindly Bishop are not likely 
to forget it. 

The time had come, however, when the new comers to the North West would 
have the comfort and facilities of railway transportation. The Rev. J. B. Morin had 
now begun his campaign of colonization for the Diocese of St. Albert. Up to 1891 
the new colonists had to make the drive from Calgary to reach their further destinations, 
but in the following year, 1 892, the Canadian Pacific Railway brought its line right 
into South Edmonton, formerly known as Strathcona. Henceforth St. Albert is no 
more a distant and unknown land; it is linked to the civilized world. 

From that moment, indeed, numerous and distinguished visitors came, no doubt 
drawn by the fame of the country, but attracted still more by the fame and renown 
of Sanctity of the good Bishop of St. Albert. Among these distinguished visitors it is 
worthy of particular mention that three Governors-General of Canada with their vice 
regal parties repaired to St. Albert Lord Lansdowne, the Earl, and Countess of 
Aberdeen and Earl and Countess of Minto. 

In 1902, through the exertion of Rev. Father A. Lacombe, who is such a favor 
ite with all the C. P. R. officials up to the President of the line, a large party of Arch 
bishops and Bishops with their Vicars-General and other friends, were provided with 
a special car to come all the way from the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. They 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 21 



came to get acquainted with the conditions in the West, and to pay their homage of ven 
eration to good Bishop Grandin. The party included Archbishop Tache, of St. Boni 
face; Bishop Lafleche, of Three Rivers, himself a veteran missionary of Red River and 
He a la Crosse; Bishop McDonnell, of Alexandria; Bishop Brondel of Helena, Mon 
tana, came also for the occasion, and it was certainly a great joy and consolation for 
Bishop Grandin to entertain his distinguished visitors. 

In 1896, Rev. Father M. Merer, O.M.I., took charge of the parish which he 
was to continue to direct for many years with the greatest zeal and devotedness. He 
is still at the present time (1914) the parish priest of St. Albert. 

Bishop Grandin, advanced in years and broken down by continuous illness, fearful 
moreover that he could not fulfill alone the duties of his high calling, had petitioned 
several times to be granted a coadjutor. His petition was heard at last, and the Rev. 
Father F,. Legal, O.M.I., who had been for sixteen years a missionary of the Blackfeet 
tribes, was nominated the 29th of March, 1897, by His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, 
Bishop of Pogla, and Coadjutor Bishop of St. Albert. The solemn ceremony of his 
episcopal consecration took place the 1 7th of June in the old Cathedral that had wit 
nessed already so many pious functions. The consecrating Bishop was Bishop Grandin 
himself, assisted by Bishop P. Durien, O.M.I., of New Westminster, B.C., and Bishop 
T. Clut, O.M.I., Auxiliary Bishop of Athabasca and Mackenzie, while the service was 
presided over by His Grace, the Metropolitan Archbishop Langevin, of St. Boniface. 

This was a great consolation to the venerable Bishop of St. Albert, for he thought 
that there would be two henceforth to love his faithful flock, and to work for the salva 
tion of their souls. Other consolations were to follow. On September 15th, 1899, 
Archbishop P. Bruchesi, of Montreal, came to pay a solemn visit to the old Bishop, 
who now was unable to undertake long journeys. The following year, October 6, 1900, 
it was the representative of the Pope, the Most Excellent Diomede Falconio,, Apostolic 
Delegate for the Dominion of Canada, who came purposely to see St. Albert and its 
holy bishop. How much this great favor was appreciated, it is easy to imagine by 
those who know How Bishop Grandin had always been intensely devoted to the Holy 
See and to the Successor of St. Peter. 

As a token of the intimate attachment of the See of St. Albert to the chair of Peter, 
the favor was asked from the Apostolic Delegate that he would bless the corner stone 
of the new Cathedral, which it was intended to erect, to take the place of the old church, 
now much too small for the increasing population. His Excellency willingly consented, 
and on the 7th of October he solemnly blessed the stone which had been kept ready 
for the occasion, and he went over the entire site which was to be covered by the new 
edifice, sprinkling it with holy water. 

We must not omit another event of great importance which had taken place the 
21st of January of this same year, 1900. This was the inauguration of the Diocesan 
Seminary, an object that the Bishop had in view since the beginning of his episcopate. 
A large school house had been removed at a convenient distance and with the addition 
of two wings could afford accommodation for about thirty-five students. 

We have come to the year 1902, which was to be the last of the earthly career of 
the first Bishop of St. Albert. On the 6th of April another episcopal consecration 
took place in the venerable Cathedral. All the hierarchy of the ecclesiastical Province, 
and a numerous gathering of the clergy were present for the occasion, when Bishop 
Gabriel Breynat was consecrated Bishop of Adramyte and Vicar-Apostolic of Mac 
kenzie and the Yukon Territory. As Bishop Pascal exclaimed in an impressive and 
eloquent sermon, "It seemed as if St. Albert was the place in which to consecrate 
Bishops." 

On May the 28th, Bishop Grandin, although unable to leave his room on account 
of his increased sickness, was gladdened to hear that his coadjutor had turned the first 



22 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



sod for the excavation of the crypt of the new Cathedral. This was another dream of 
his life which had begun to materialize. 

The end was not far away, and on the 3rd of June the saintly bishop quietly 
passed away to his well deserved reward, mourned not only by the clergy and the people 
of St. Albert, but by the whole diocese and numerous friends beyond its limits. His 
memory is still kept fresh and will remain forever in veneration. Not more than two 
years later, his Life, at once so edifying and so interesting, was written by Rev Father 
E. Jonquet, O.M.I. 

His Lordship, the Right Rev. Emile Joseph Legal, O.M.I., for many years 
isnop Grandm s coadjutor, with the right of succession, has succeeded to the throne of 
the diocese of St. Albert. The work on the new Cathedral was kept up for the whole 
season of the year 1902 and continued during the following year, to be resumed again 
I he crypt was built and the walls carried about four feet above the floor of 
the upper church, and then the whole structure was roofed in. It was only on the 
4th of January, 1906, that this crypt could be blessed and dedicated for divine ser 
vice. I he total cost so far was about $23,000. Although lacking all decorations, the 
building is of impressive aspect, and with its large proportions affords ample room for 
the seating of the congregation and the display of religious ceremonies. 

As soon as the crypt had been open for divine service steps were taken to remove 
the old Cathedral some distance away in proximity to the Seminary, and convert it into 
a large and commodious hall, furnished with a stage and other fixtures for all classes of 
entertainment. 

On the 21st of March the remains of Bishop Grandin, buried under the Sanctuary 
of the old Cathedral, were solemnly transferred to the tomb prepared for them in the 
apse of the crypt behind the altar. This was a pious and impressive service, and the 
good Catholics of St. Albert and the surrounding districts had the consolation for two 
days of again viewing the features of the Saintly Bishop through a glass plate which 
had been purposely set in the front of the coffin. Although three and one-half years had 
elapsed s ; nce the time of [he death, and the body had not been embalmed, the sweet and 
calm face was still perfectly recognisable. 

I he last ten years have been busy ones for the new Bishop of St. Albert. The 
country has made wonderful strides in the way of development and progress since the 

when the organization of the new Provmce was in view. Railroads have been 
built in all directions. The formal inauguration of the Province took place on the 
first of September, 1905. The C.N.R., which had reached Edmonton from Win 
nipeg through Fort Saskatchewan, pursued its course through St. Albert, as far as 
Morinville. Branch lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway have been built East 
of Lacombe and Wetaskiwin. Then the Grand Trunk Pacific had inaugurated its 
gigantic undertaking and reaching Edmonton in 1911, unrelentingly pursued its course 
towards the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast. New churches and chapels had 
to be provided for a number of stations, besides other numerous groups of Catholics 
springing up in every direction. Yet it is certainly gratifying for the Bishop and his 
efficient staff at St. Albert to be able to record the great progress and the expansion of 
our holy religion in Western Canada. May God Almighty be praised for all His heaven 
ly blessings that have made the divine seed grow and increase! 

^1 here are a few other events worth recording. On the 8th of September, 1909, 
the Golden Jubilee of priesthood of Very Rev. Father A. Lacombe was duly celebrated, 
at St. Albert. A large gathering of priests and friends took place on the occasion. Rev. 
Father Leduc preached the sermon and fittingly dwelt on the wide and eventful career 
of the venerable missionary. The banquet hall was graced by the presence of His 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 23 



Honor the Lieutenant Governor of the Province, Hon. Geo. H. V. Bulyea, the Attor 
ney General Hon. C. W. Ross, and many other distinguished members of the Provincial 
Parliament, together with a host of other friends. 

The next day another impressive celebration took place. It was also a Golden 
Jubilee, the fiftieth anniversary of the coming to the missions of North Western Canada, 
of the devoted missionary sisterhoods. Not only Gray Nuns were called, but all the 
other communities which had come later on to join in the noble work. About a dozen 
of these communities were represented m the gathering. 

This double festive event was, for good Father Lacombe, as a parting farewell to 
his beloved mission of St. Albert. Then he went back to his old friends and orphans 
whom he was gathering in his home, "the Lacombe Home" on the banks of the gentle 
stream known as Fish Creek, at Midnapore, there to pass the last years of his devoted 
life, amongst the poor and destitute of the Province for whom he had provided the tender 
solicitude of these angels of mercy called the Good Sisters of Providence. There, m 
silence and a prayerful retreat, he is awaiting the call from above, for a well merited and 
bountiful reward. 

Let us record also the visit of His Excellency Most Rev. Donat Sbaretti, Apostolic 
Delegate, October 18, 1903. 

As time went on, the evangelical work was progressing wonderfully in the former 
wilds of the North West. Big cities had taken the place of former humble villages, 
especially after the organization of the new Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, in 
1905. Regina, which had been selected to be the capital of the Province of Saskatch 
ewan, had become an Episcopal See with Rt. Rev. O. Mathieu as first Bishop. From 
the title of Vicariate Apostolic, Prince Albert had passed to the rank of another Bish 
opric, the Vicariate of Keewatin, had been formed from the eastern part of Saskatch 
ewan and the northern part of Manitoba. Something was to be done also for the Diocese 
of St. Albert. Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, in the southern part of Alberta, had 
grown to be large cities. The Holy See decided to create a new Diocese, in this part of 
the country, with its Episcopal See in Calgary, and a first Bishop, in the person of Rt. 
Rev. John McNally. But at the same time, it was considered proper to raise the old 
See of St. Albert to the dignity of an Archbishopric. As the population of Edmonton 
had reached at that time nearly 60,000 inhabitants, the Metropolitan See, instead of 
remaining at St. Albert, was transferred to Edmonton, the capital of the Province of 
Alberta, 30th November, 1912. Later on a decision of the Holy See directed that 
the new cathedral and the residence of the Archbishop should be also in Edmonton. 
Such decision, of course, will cause the severing of very sweet ties, but the endearing 
memories of the hallowed place of St. Albert will remain with us for the years that are 
to come. 

In 1910 a new Apostolic Delegate had succeeded Msgr. Sbarelti in Ottawa. Msgr. 
Pelegrino Stagni, the new Delegate, was invited to visit the immense country put under 
his supreme jurisdiction, and St. Albert, for the third time, had the honor to receive 
the first representative of the Pope. The occasion of the visit of His Excellency was 
also a great event in the annals of St. Albert, and this event was fittingly celebrated on 
the I Oth of July and following days, by all marks of devotedness to the Holy Father, 
and attachment to the centre of Catholicity. 

On the 16th June, 1914, only the other day, another celebration took place in 
the old Cathedral. This was the Golden Jubilee of priesthood of two venerable mis 
sionaries: Rev. Father H. Leduc, for 35 years Vicar General of the Diocese, and Rev. 
Father C. Fissier, who had done pioneer work in the northern missions of Athabaska and 
McKenzie, as well as in this Diocese. About 90 priests had gathered here for the 
occasion, the largest clerical gathering ever witnessed in St. Albert. 



24 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 






ST. JOACHIM S CHURCH 

Edmonton, Aha. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 25 



III. EDMONTON. 1. PARISH OF ST. JOACHIM. 

Edmonton, in 1842, was nothing but an unimportant post of the Hudson s Bay 
Company, The residence of the Chief Factor in charge, the warehouses and the dwel 
ling for the Company s employees, all surrounded by a high wooden palisade, formed 
what then was often called the "Prairie Fort," or Fort L August or rather Fort a 
Hughes (August Hughes) or sometimes Fort Edmonton. 

The first priest visiting this post towards the end of 1842 was the founder of the 
mission of Lake St. Anne, Father Thibault, who came thither from time to time and 
icsided a few days at times, to minister to the spiritual needs of the half-breeds employed 
by the Company. 

He came there especially when the Indians of the nation of the Crees, as well 
as those of the Blackfeet tribes, used to arrive in gangs to barter their fur skins or the 
products of the chase. The presence of a priest was then very often urgently sought 
for by the officer in charge of the Fort. The savages, who oftentimes, on these oc 
casions, menaced danger, were restrained by the authority of the missionary, whom they 
always respected. 

Considerations of this nature moved the representative of the Company for thai 
district, Mr. William Christie, to think of building a chapel with a residence for the 
use of the missionaries, both to be erected within the enclosure of the Fort. 

In fact, the chapel was so built in 1857. This was the beginning of a permanent 
mission. The Oblate Fathers from St. Anne and St. Albert came very often to take 
up residence there in turn. 

In 1 865 they opened in this same chapel and residence the first school at Edmon 
ton. Rev. Father Const. Scollen took charge of it, and it was well attended by the 
children of the employees of the Fort. 

On October llth, 1876, the circumstances had changed. The Mounted Police 
had just been established in these parts and a treaty had been arranged between the 
government and the natives, so that there was no longer any danger to fear from this 
latter quarter. Then, too, a certain number of colonists had come to settle on the lands 
to the east of the Fort. In consequence, the officer succeeding Mr. Christie in charge 
of the Fort, decided to thank the Oblate Fathers for the services which they had 
rendered in the past, but for which there was no further need, and they were then 
invited to transfer their church outside the Fort and beyond the lands reserved by their 
Company. At this juncture Mr. Groat offered them nine acres on that handsome pro 
perty known today as the "Groat Estate." There it was that in October, 1876, anoth 
er chapel was erected with the materials of the old building. 

The Rev. Fr. Blanchet was put in special charge of the services there, and for 
some years he took up his residence at St. Albert but came thither to stay for days and 
sometimes weeks together. 

A wretched shack, built a few paces from the church and occupied by undesir 
able neighbors, was bought up by the church authorities at St. Albert and let at the 
reasonable rent of $3 a month to a young stranger who had arrived in the country 
by way of Montana, with a little merchandise, some packages of tobacco and especially 
some candies for the children. This man, by his perseverance and energy, was destined 
to make his mark in the history of the Northwest. He soon increased his little store, 
and with a little hand printing press undertook the publishing of some telegraphic news, 
which he distributed each week to his subscribers. From these humble beginnings he 
became, in time, the proprietor and editor of a newspaper which made its influence felt 
in the whole country "The Edmonton Bulletin." Later on he was elected a member 
of the Legislative Assembly of the Territories and then a member of the Federal Parlia 
ment. He later became the Minister of the Interior of the whole Dominion of Canada 



26 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



the Hon. Frank Oliver. He it was, who said afterwards to Father Leduc of Ed 
monton, "You priests, you are at times quite incomprehensible. For years you live in 
paltry sheds; your churches and your chapels are wretched affairs. You allow other 
religious denominations to leave you behind, and then all of a sudden you set to work 
to build real cathedrals, houses, convents, schools and hospitals which carry you to the 
very top of progress, all abreast with the times." 

Notwithstanding, the mission at Edmonton, now in 1876, at the second phase of 
its history, had much headway to make to reach the height above mentioned. Before 
long it became necessary to change its site. 

In 1882 the Hudson s Bay Company, in view of coming events and of the im 
portance which Edmonton was likely to gain in the near future, divided its land into 
town lots and put them on the market. A whole block was bought by the Oblate 
Fathers. 

The following year a chapel-house was built and the Mission of St. Joachim was 
then firmly established in the western part of the survey then made by the Hudson s 
Bay Company. 

On October 1st, 1883, the Rev. Fr. Grandin assumed charge of the mission, 
accompanied by a young Oblate, a theological student. Father Grandin became 
his professor, teaching him in the philosophy and theology courses preparatory to Holy 
Orders. In return, his pupil by way of distraction and recreation, became his profes 
sor s cook. 

The Catholic population, few in number at first, began gradually to grow more 
numerous. It became urgent to increase the accommodations. A pretty large chapel 
was erected near the house of the missionary. This done, the mission began to assume 
an air of some importance. Nevertheless, one thing of great moment was still needed, a 
good and excellent general school with a boarding school for the children of the young 
parish. 

The Sisters of the Congregation of the Faithful Companions of Jesus had been found 
ed in France in 1820 by the venerable Madame de Bonnault d Houet. In a few years 
they had acquired a great reputation for learning and for ability in the art of teaching. 
In France, in Spain, in Italy and especially in England they were directing primary 
schools, boarding schools, academies and houses of higher education with the greatest 
success. 

It was to these, that the Bishop of St. Albert appealed. The appeal was 
favorably received. The Rev. Mothers promised to undertake the direction of the Cath 
olic School and to open a boarding school for girls and young ladies with a special course 
preparatory to taking diplomas. The prospects were not very bright, indeed, but the 
Bishop had said, "It is to your devotedness and spirit of sacrifice that I appeal." 

"Then," answered the Very Rev. Mother de Bengy, then the Superioress Gen 
eral of the Institute, "If it is a sacrifice that you require from us we will make it." 

A convenient home was immediately built, adjoining the church, for the dwelling of 
the priest, and the Oblate Missionaries handed over their own residence to the coming 
Rev. Mothers to be their temporary convent. 

The Faithful Companions of Jesus arrived in Edmonton in September, 1888, and 
immediately opened their classes and boarding school. Edmonton was still at that time 
only a village, dignified, in anticipation, with the name of town, until it should become 
what it is today, a flourishing city and the capital of Alberta. Very soon the Convent 
of the Faithful Companions had to be considerably enlarged, for it was indeed too in 
sufficient in size to receive the children who were becoming each day more numerous. 
In 1 890 Father L. Fouquet, who had lately come from British Columbia, took the place 
of Father Grandin, who had been appointed to Lake Labiche. Rev. Fr. A. Lacombe 



28 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



took the place of Father Fouquet as parish priest in 1895. The veteran missionary of 
the West devoted himself with his usual zeal to the spiritual good of the mission. 

In 1895 he laid the foundations of a good and substantial brick veneered house 
which was at last to be a decent and proper presbytery. In this same year also the Grey 
Nuns of Montreal built a magnificent hospital at the cost of $35,000, which was far 
ahead of the best brick buildings of the town of Edmonton. For this purpose they had 
not feared to assume a considerable debt, with full confidence in Divine Providence which 
had never failed them. Very soon they were able to receive and bestow their care and 
attention, at once so affectionate and solicitous, on some fifty sick cases. The first patient 
was admitted on the 6th of December, 1895. Since that date the work has increased to 
such an extent as to necessitate, twelve years after, the construction of an addition, 
double the size of the former building. 

Some years later, in 1897, on his request, Father Lacombe obtained from his 
Superiors permission to go again to exert himself in the missions of Southern Alberta, 
and the Rev. Father Leduc came to succeed him at Edmonton. This latter, soon after 
having taken charge of the parish, decided that the time had come to build a substantial 
church suited for the importance of the Catholic population. The following year saw 
the commencement of the work of excavation necessary for the foundation of the present 
handsome church of St. Joachim, the blessing of which was solemnly performed by his 
Lordship, the Most Rev. A. Langevin, Archbishop of St. Boniface, in presence of Bishop 
Grandin, Bishop of the Diocese, and assisted by Bishop Legal, coadjutor of the Diocese 
of St. Albert, and Bishop Dontenville, coadjutor to the Diocese of New Westminster. 

By the side of the General Hospital there has lately arisen another charitable in 
stitution, the Hospital of the Sisters of Mercy, a community which was founded under 
the patronage of Mgr. Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal, by Madame Rosalie Jette 
(Mother M. de la Nativite) its first Superioress General. The scope of this Congrega 
tion is manifold, so that all the miseries of poor, suffering humanity can find in this estab 
lishment the best remedies and relief that the most disinterested and tender pity can 
procure. 

This institute, since its relatively recent foundation, has wonderfully increased and 
multiplied its houses in Canada and in the neighboring republic. 

In August, 1900, Bishop Grandin of St. Albert, commissioned Father Leduc to 
arrange with the Rev. Mother General at Montreal for the foundation of a house in the 
Diocese. 

On the 29th of May following, four Sisters accompanied by a certificated nurse, 
arrived at Edmonton to make at least a tentative experiment, but they were to stay. These 
four Sisters, though poorly accommodated in their temporary dwelling, began their work 
with an energy that was soon crowned with success. In March, 1905, the concrete foun 
dations were built of the magnificent building known today as the "Misericordia Hos 
pital." It is only a part of the immense hospital that the plan has provided for. 

The building was completed at the beginning of the following year and on the 19th 
of March the Sisters took possession of it. Already about 80 patients on an average 
per day have been admitted and this work of Catholic enterprise still continues its forward 
progress. 

The Obstetrical Department has recently been thoroughly organized. It occupies 
the second floor and is kept quite separated from the rest of the Hospital wards. The 
meals, diet-kitchen and operating rooms are set apart for the exclusive use of this depart 
ment. Even the staff of nurses is quite distinct. 

Rev. Father A. Jan had been the able assistant of Rev. Father Leduc for several 
years. During these years he exerted his zeal and activity unsparingly among all classes 
of the population. He even took the greatest interest in the protection and moral education 
of numerous young Galician girls who were engaged as servants in many homes. An 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



29 




O"o 

o 

X g 



en 



T ^ 

^M {y 
H 
< CO 

U ^ 

<^ 
S 
O SP 



30 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



evening school was established for them, and with the devoted co-operation of the Rev. 
Mothers Faithful Companions of Jesus, was kept up until the establishment in 1902 
of a Greek-Ruthenian parish in the east end of the city. 

In 1904 Rev. Father Jan assumed the functions of Parish Priest of Edmonton, 
with Rev. Father P. Hetu as assistant. Then the Catholic population had increased to 
such an extent and the city grown so large that it became evident that another parish had 
to be organized in the near future. This was to be the parish of the Immaculate Concep 
tion, in the east end of the city. 

In 1906, Rev. Father Jan, on account of failing health, had to be relieved of the 
heavy task imposed upon him. Rev. Fr. A. Therien, coming back from Texas, where 
he had been sent to recover his health, was temporarily put in charge at St. Joachim s 
parish, but this proved also too much for his impaired strength. Rev. Father A. Naes- 
sons, for many years the able and efficient principal of the Industrial School for the 
Blackfeet and other Indians of the plains, located at Dunbow, on High River, was called 
to take the duties of Parish Priest of St. Joachim and he came in 1907. 

Meanwhile the Bishop of St. Albert, having resigned his office as Vicar of Missions, 
or Superior of the Oblates of the diocese, the Very Rev. Henry Grandin succeeded him 
in this position and took his residence at St. Joachim s Presbytery, which became thereby 
the Vicarial or Provincial House of the Order of the Oblates, not only for the Province 
of Alberta, but for the Province of Saskatchewan as well. 1 hen the place had to be en 
larged. This was done during the year 1907. I he capacity of the house is now more 
than three times what it was before. A commodious basement has been provided and 
the whole house is fitted with all the useful appliances of modern buildings. 

At about the same time, the General Hospital, conducted by the Grey Nuns, had 
become inadequate for the increasing wants of the population. A new plan was con 
ceived in which the former building would be the east wing while another one exactly 
bymmelrical would be built at the west end. For the present the central building was to 
be erected. This has been done at the cost of about $80,000, and with the power house 
and the nurses home added, afterwards, the entire cost will reach the neighborhood of 
$160,000. This will give accommodation for at least 100 patients. I he whole build 
ing, as it now stands, is one of the handsomest edifices in the city of Fdmonton. In 
addition, the institution within has been so devised as to supply every possible comfort to 
the patients, anJ it is provided with all the most recent appliances and improvements de 
manded by the advancement of the science of Hygiene. Above all, there will be found 
the most intelligent and devoted care for suffering humanity. 

Of late, the elegant church of St. Joachim, unfortunately too small for the impor 
tance of the parish, has received the complement of the needed decorations. We can 
mention a large and artistic set of the Stations of the Way of the Cross, and a mag 
nificent altar of similimarble, provided with fixtures for electric lighting. With all these 
improvements and the efficient assistance of a well organized male choir, the services at 
St. Joachim s church are very attractive, and the parishioners may congratulate them 
selves on the manner in which their spiritual wants are attended to. 

The sacristy only was a temporary affair, a relic of the old mission buildings. These 
disappeared in 1912, to make room for a commodious vestry, provided with a hall for 
the confessionals and a large basement, very suitable for rehearsals, practices of the choir, 
meetings of the congregation, etc., etc. 

Then the parish would not be behind the church of the Immaculate Conception which 
had been provided with a pipe organ ; so a pipe organ was also purchased for the 
church of St. Joachim, from the same firm, Casavant Freres, of St. Hyacmthe (P.Q. ) 
at a cost of about $5,000. 

When Rev. Father P. Cozanet, O.M.I., had done this he was called to another 
field of labor and in June 1914 he went to the Sacred Heart parish of Calgary. His place 
has been filled again by Rev. Father A. Lemarchand. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



31 




32 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The church of St. Joachim having proved much too small for the whole congrega 
tion, a double service had been organized on every Sunday, for the French and English 
congregations, but the division of the parish had been decided upon already for a couple 
of years. Rev. Father Cozanet was trying to negotiate a loan, when he was called 
away. Under the energetic management of the Rev. Father Lemarchand everything 
promises to come to a satisfactory issue, and the new parish which is to be called "St. 
Joseph s parish" will be organized on the same lines as the Sacred Heart parish was, viz.: 
the present church of St. Joachim will remain with the French speaking population, and 
St. Josephs church to be built in the rear of St. Joachim and facing 1 1 1 th street will be 
for the accommodation of English speaking nationalities. 

2. PARISH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (Edmonton). 

I his parish began to be organized in the latter part of the year 1905, but the 
construction of the church was started only in 1906. The Bishop of St. Albert donated 
five lots on Block 27, which is situated on Kinistino avenue, one and one-half miles distant 
from St. Joachim s church. Beside the ground, the Bishop gave also the proceeds, 
amounting to $2,000, of the sale of three lots on the same block to the Separate Catholic 
School District of Edmonton. The entire cost of the church, built of solid brick, has 
been about $10,000. The debt remaining at the end of the year 1907 was about 
$6,300. Scarcely was the church finished when it was found to be too small, the 
population having rapidly increased beyond expectation. The solemn blessing of the 
church took place on the 8th of December, 1906. 

Rev. Father P. Hetu, O.M.I., who had assumed the task of organizing the parish 
and of the building of the new church, was the first to be put in charge, continuing to 
reside at St. Joachim s. In May, 1907, Rev. Father A. Lemarchand came from Calgary 
to become parish priest,^ keeping Father Hetu as his assistant until the latter was 
sent to Pincher Creek. There had been no resident priest as yet, as the presbytery had 
not been built. As soon as Father Lemarchand was appointed he took steps towards 
the building of a good dwelling house for the priest. A school, conducted by two Rev. 
Mothers, Faithful Companions of Jesus, was soon organized, so that the Catholic 
parish of the Immaculate Conception can now be said to be in good working order. 

On the 8th of October, 1911, the parish of the Immaculate Conception passed 
into the charge of the secular clergy, Rev. Th. Rocque, a priest of this diocese taking 
its direction. Rev. J. A. Ouellette who had been colonization agent since April, 1910, 
succeeded him in 1912. Then the parish having become so large, that the church could 
no longer provide the seating capacity wanted, the question arose of the division 
of the parish as to languages and it was agreed with the consent of the Bishop 
that a new church should be built on some parish property, just across the street. The 
French speaking element were to keep the old church, and the new church to be built 
by and for the English speaking people. This was to be the Sacred Heart parish. 

From that moment, before the church could be built, a double service was provided 
in the church every Sunday, one for the French speaking Catholics and the other for 
the English speaking, or for all other nationalities not French speaking, viz.: German, 
Poles, Slavs, Hungarians, Bohemians and many others who are very numerous in this 
eastern part of the city. 

The last improvement to the church of the Immaculate Conception was the installa 
tion of a pipe organ, the first of its kind in any Catholic church of Edmonton. This was 
rather a heavy expense for the parish. Soon after, Rev. J. A. Ouellette, in order to devote 
all his time to the cause of colonization, by locating new settlers, especially in the northern 
district of St. Paul des Metis, Lac Labiche, etc., was prevailed upon to resign his fine 
parish in favor of the present parish priest, Rev. A. Ethier who had succeeded him 
agent of colonization, but abandoned the position to another priest. 



as 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



33 




NEW SACRED HEART CHURCH 

Corner Kinistino Ave., and Picard St. 

Edmonton, Alta. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



in 

- 



x 



o 



I * 
h 

13 



r 

LTj 

n 
z 

c 
3 

r 







HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 35 



Rev. A. Normandeau is the actual agent of colonization (1914) and by concerted 
action with Rev. J. A. Ouellette is doing a very important work. 

3. THE PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART (Edmonton). 

The parish of the Sacred Heart is, as seen above, a division of the parish of the 
Immaculate Conception. Rev. M. Pilon, a secular priest, admitted already for several 
years in the diocese, had been put in charge of the English speaking element of the con 
gregation, about a year before the building of the new church could be undertaken. A 
settlement of the financial status of both parishes having been reached by mutual consent 
and good will, the new edifice was begun in the spring of the year 1913. 

At the time of the visit of the Apostolic Delegate it was far enough advanced to 
have its corner stone blessed by His Excellency, a special favor greatly appreciated by 
the whole population. 

The work went on so very satisfactorily that possession of the new building could 
be taken by December following. 

This church is a fine structure of dignified appearance on the outside. The inside 
is still plain, but may receive additional ornaments. The seating capacity is remarkable, 
for the size of the church; 1000 people can be accommodated, 550 on the main floor, 
450 in the galleries. 

A fine large presbytery had been constructed while the church was being built. 
All this reflects great credit on the ability and energy of the parish priest, Rev. 
M. Pilon. Of course there is a heavy debt, about $38,000, remaining on the parish, 
but it is expected that this will be paid up in due time. 

The new church was solemnly blessed by the Archbishop of Edmonton, on the oc 
casion of his first pastoral visit to the parish, the 10th of May, of this present year, 
1914. Pontifical Mass was celebrated, and afterwards a banquet for several hundreds 
of guests was provided in the commodious basement of the new church. 

The large Catholic separate school on Kinistino Avenue, conducted by the Rev. 
Mothers Faithful Companions of Jesus supplies the needs of the children of both parishes 
for secular and religious instruction. 

The problem of the division of parishes as to nationalities seems to be satisfactorily 
settled, only in this manner, by having the two churches built in very close proximity. 
Then there is no occasion for anybody not to attend the services in his own church. 

4._THE PARISH OF ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA. 

(South Edmonton). 

The Parish of St. Anthony of Padua, at Strathcona, now named South Edmonton, 
had been destined to be under the charge of the religious of the order of St. Francis of 
Assisi, hence the name of St. Anthony of Padua, the great wonder worker of the Fran 
ciscan Order, which was originally given to it. Bishop Grandin had entered upon nego 
tiations to obtain Franciscans, but without success. Towards 1 898 further steps were 
taken for the same purpose, but with no better result. In the end it will not be Strath 
cona or South Edmonton, but North Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan, which will secure 
the blessing of the presence and ministry of the sons of St. Francis of Assisi. 

The first house-chapel was built at the time when the Rev. Father Lacombe was 
Superior at Edmonton in 1895, in a central portion of the little town which had com 
menced to develop rapidly from the time of the arrival of the railroad, whose terminal 
station was there. A gift of two acres of land for the site of a church had already 
been made by Mr. Garneau, but as this property was near the river bank, at too great a 
distance, the Episcopal Corporation bought one-half of Block 80 at a cost of $300. 



36 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 







^rf. .. 



*-X$vl& 



ST. ANTHONY S CHURCH 
Edmonton, Aha. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The first chapel had a small sanctuary which could be separated from the re 
mainder by curtains, and the church thus served as a school house for several years. 
Every day in fine or bad weather, winter or summer, two nuns of the haithrul < 
panions of Jesus, left the convent at Edmonton, in sufficient time to arrive at the school 
for classes, driving their little carriage and crossing the Saskatchewan river, on the terry 
boat in summer, or on the ice, in winter time. Some years hence this might perhaps 
appear not much short of heroism, but it was a question of giving instruction and religious 
education to this little school population already somewhat numerous, and tnes. 
devoted Sisters took no account of inconveniences and fatigue. This state of affairs 
lasted until 1902, when the Rev. Mothers gave place to a lay master. 

Up to about the end of the year 1901, the Mission of St. Anthony was served 
by the Rev. Oblate Father from the parish of St. Joachim, Edmonton. In the course 
of the year 1901 the Rev. Father Jan, then in charge of this post, undertook the con 
struction of a more spacious church, for the former building, at once a church and school 
house, could no longer hold the congregation which had already been increased consider 
ably The church was erected, but it was far from being finished when the Rev. K L,. 
Nordmann was appointed to take charge of this parish on the 10th of 

The principal framework was already in position and the roof on, but there was 
only one row of boards on the exterior and daylight could be seen through the chinks 
left The tower was raised as high as the roof, but it had no steeple. Moreover, there 
was a debt to pay. In the month of May, 1902, the debt was cleared, thanks to a 
subscription, a bazaar and some concerts. It was now possible to think of continuing 
the building of the church. A new subscription was undertaken, the young girls at 
school organized a new bazaar which brought in a goodly sum. Then the exterior ot 
the church was brick-veneered and thus it became more handsome and afforded more 
comfort. 

The Rev. Father Nordmann, like his predecessors, had commenced by residing at 
the house in Edmonton, but after a year he was able to construct a diminutive presby 
tery which could, at a pinch, suffice for the exigencies of the time being. In the month 
of March 1905, Father Nordmann, on being appointed to take over the direction 
of the Seminary of St. Albert, was replaced by the Rev. Father O. I 1 . McQuaid from 
July to October, and later on by the Rev. Father J. Danis. In the following spring the 
Rev Fr. Jan, now in need of a comparative rest, came to reside at Strathcona. 
rest was not, however, sterile, for he undertook to finish the interior of the church and he 
also surmounted its exterior with an elegant steeple. He also succeeded in constructing 
a handsome little presbytery in the chalet style, and the old one now became the kitchen 
The school in its turn had become too small and the Separate School District resolved 
to build a larger and more suitable one. The new building of brick was erected in I 
and officially opened in January, 1907. The old school was then transported to the 
rear of the church to serve as a sacristy. 

In July of this same year the Rev. Fr. O. P. McQuaid again returned to the parish 
of St. Anthony as parish priest. On the 6th of October, following, His Lord 
ship, Bishop Legal, made his first pastoral visit and administered the Sacrament of Con- 
lirmation to 21 persons. 

After all these expenses and improvements the parish is, none the less, free of debt. 
The explanation is to be found in the consent of the Bishop of St. Albert in applying 
towards these expenses the results of the sale of the land formerly given by Mr. L. 
Garneau, although the land had been substituted by the half block bought in the centre 
of the town. 

The Rev. Father A. Blanchet has been stationed at St. Anthony since the month 
of September to act as Fr. McQuaid s companion. South Edmonton, besides being the 
university town of the Province of Alberta, has been chosen by the C.P.R. as the site 
for its terminal station, and has intelligently profited by these real advantages, but in 



38 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



1913, the work on the high Level Bridge over the Saskatchewan River, which had 
been vigorously pushed, was completed and the southern bank of the river was connected 
with the northern bank, just close to the majestic pile of the Provincial Parliament build 
ings. Yet South Edmonton had already made such headway as not to be materially 
affected by the event. And the impendent construction of the new cathedral on its side of 
river will add a considerable interest to the university town. 

Rev. Father A. Lemarchand had been located here since October, 1911. During 
his stay the congregation enlarged considerably, the school was already too small for the 
increasing number of children and another providing four more class rooms, was built 
in another part of the city where a piece of ground had been secured with the view that 
it might be the new center of the parish. Rev. Father Lemarchand was fortunate 
enough to secure anew the services of the Rev. Mothers Faithful Companions of Jesus 
who had been the first to assume the work of education in that parish. 

Accommodation also had to be made for another part of the parish which was too 
far removed from the church and could not easily attend the services of St. Anthony s. 
Part of what is called Gallagher flats had been included in the parish. Then it was found 
out that the former limits were the right ones; the ravine known as Mill Creek being 
the natural boundary of the parish, and in consequence these limits were altered again, 
in order to provide another parish on the Eastern Side of Mill Creek. The congregation 
of the Oblates had already erected there, on a fine property, overlooking the bank of the 
Saskatchewan River, a nice brick building fitted for the Juniorate of the Order, where 
about forty students could be easily accommodated. At some distance from it, a piece of 
land was secured by the Bishop to become the centre of the new parish. This parish 
was to be called St. Rene, in remembrance of saintly Father Rene Remas, uncle of 
Rev. Father Lemarchand, who had been a devoted missionary in this country and whose 
name has been frequently mentioned in connection with St. Anne, St. Albert and many 
other missions of the Diocese. 

However, not to impose too much hardship on people living at Gallagher Flats a 
temporary church was built nearer the crest of the hill overlooking the Flats with the in 
tention of moving the site later on, when roads and other facilities of traveling by 
street cars, will have been improved, and of building the permanent church on the ground 
provided for it. 

A small separate school was also provided, in the Flats, for the children of the new 
parish. I his new church is to be attended to, partly, by the Rev. Fathers of the Juniorate. 

In June, 1914, Rev. Father Lemarchand having been called to the parish of St 
Joachim Rev. Father I osquinet, O.M.I., has just taken his place as parish priest of 
St. Anthony. 

5. THE PARISH OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI (Edmonton). 

About the year 1909, on account of the packing plant of Swift and Co., of Chicago 
having been located on the C.N.R. line, north-east of Edmonton, a population mainly 
composed of working men employed by the company, had begun to settle around, in the 
vicinity, and it was soon considered necessary to provide religious service for the Catho 
lics of the mixed population. The place was as yet some distance from the city limits 
with a large tract of the country entirely destitute of houses, but it was evident that, be 
fore long, the city of Edmonton would extend in that direction and eventually absorb 
the whole settlement. 

The Rev. Franciscan Fathers had been already for some time in charge of the 
mission at Fort Saskatchewan. They had come, as early as April, 1908, during the 
enten season, to take temporary charge of the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes at 
Lamoureux, P.Q., after the unexpected death of Rev. E. Dorais, on the 16th of March 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



39 




40 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



It was appearent that eventually a parish, at the Packing Plant, would become more 
important than at Fort Saskatchewan, and, in consequence, the Franciscans were pre 
vailed upon to built their convent here, in North Edmonton, instead of the location which 
had been previously intended for it. 

The Bishop of St. Albert donated to them one block of land, situated at a con 
venient distance from the Packing Plant. A small house had been built already to 
answer the purpose of a church for the dozen or so of Catholics, who had been gathered 
on Sundays. But, soon after, the convent proper was commenced, and by the end of 
9 neanng completion. It was a small and modest monastery, but, at the same time, 
it was substantially built of brick, with a neat and pleasing appearance on the outside] 
and sufficient capacity, on the inside, for the small community of Fathers and Brothers] 
who were to be there accommodated. Rev. Father Berchmans was the first superior, and 
to the personnel of the house was soon added Mr. Pierre Dorais, an uncle of the late parish 
priest at Lamoureux, who had been already a Tertiary of St. Francis and thus became 
the first apostolic syndic of the convent. 

At first the chapel of the community was open to the Catholic population on Sun- 
But as it was not long before it proved too small for the increasing number of 
Catholics, it was decided to build a proper conventual church adjoining the monastery 
and the new church was solemnly blessed under the name of St. Francis of Assisi. The 
whole disposable ground was not fully occupied at first, and the church can be lengthened 
by some twenty feet. It is built of solid brick and presents a fine appearance. The en 
largement cannot be long differed as the church is already too small for a population which 
has passed the one thousand mark. 

Rev. Father Xavier-Marie has succeeded Father Berchmans since the end of the 
year 1 , and already the question has been considered of the advisability of divid 
ing the parish in two: one for the French speaking Catholics and the other for the Eng 
lish speaking and other nationalities. (July 1914). A separate Catholic school has 
been organized for the young of the parish, and some Franciscan Sisters are preparing 
to take charge of it. 

6. THE PARISH OF ST. EDMUND. (Elm Park, Edmonton). 

1 he Transcontinental Railway known as the Grand Trunk Pacific had pursued its 
s course, through this vast Northern section of Canada, and had reached Ed 
monton. When the company decided to construct its works and shops on the North 
ern part of the district adjoining the city, it was the occasion for many to come 
i locate in the vicinity, and the subdivisions of Elm Park and Calder suddenly became 
|uite prominent. There were already a certain number of Catholic families settled 
there, and many more bachelors. It was decided to lay, there again, the foundation of 
a new parish. 

The priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, (from St. Quentin, France), had come 
to this diocese the year before, on the 26th July, 1910. They were asked to 
take charge of this new parish. Rev. Father E. Gaborit began to visit this population 
A town lot was secured near the works of the G.T.P. and eventually a small presbytery 
and a diminutive church were built. The church was blessed under the patronage of St 
Edmund, on the 19th June, 1911. It has been enlarged once already, in the course of 
the year 1913. 

As elsewhere the question of providing for the education of the young was not 
neglected In due course of time, Elm Park having been included in the city limits the 
trustees of the Catholic separate school district of Edmonton took the school under their 
control. I he Rev. Sisters "Ursulines de Jesus" had come on the 28th September 1911 
and they were soon in a position to take up the work of education for the Catholics of 
this part of the city. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 41 



At the time of the last pastoral visit of the Archbishop, 17th May, 1914, three 
Fathers of the Order of the Priests of the Sacred Heart had just arrived to help in the 
work of our missions. 

7. THE PARISH OF ST. FRANCIS XAVERIUS. (Edmonton). 

In the west end of the city we have another parish known as St. Francis Xavierus, 
and fittingly, this parish is under the auspices of the Grand Society of Jesus. The found 
ation of this parish was brought about in this wise. 

For many years already, at least since 1904, steps had been taken and long cor 
respondence engaged in, first with the "Clercs of St. Viateur" and then, since 1906, 
with the Rev. Fathers of the Society of Jesus, in order to secure the foundation of a 
classical and commercial college in Edmonton. After many unsuccessful attempts and 
delays, at last, in March, 1912, Rev. Father Carriere who was to be the new Provincial 
of the order, while in Edmonton, finally decided the foundation of the college. 

After several proposals concerning the acquisition of a convenient ground for the 
location of the college, which did not materialize, the Archbishop of Edmonton trans 
ferred, on easy terms, to the Jesuit Fathers four acres of land in the western part of the 
city, to be, at least the temporary location of the college, and the area of a new parish 
was immediately decided upon. 

The work of the construction of the new college was soon under way, and through 
the ability and energy of Rev. Father Th. Hudon, S.J., the new building so satisfactorily 
progressed that the new institution was ready to open its doors in September, 1913, with 
in a few days from the ordinary epoch of commencing the scholastical year. The build 
ing was advanced enough, at the time of the visit of the Apostolic Delegate, 1 1th July, 
1913, to receive from His Excellency a first blessing. The solemn blessing provided by 
the Ritual of the Church, for a new institution of learning, was given later on by the 
Archbishop of Edmonton, in the presence of parents and students. 

The parish of St. Francis Xavierus, connected with the college has been from 
the beginning under the able management of Rev. Father J. A. Grenier, S.J. A priest s 
house, part of which was doing the office of parish church had been previously built and 
was the residence of the community, until the college would be available. Now the large 
and commodious chapel of the college is used on Sundays as the parish church for the 
accommodation of the parishioners, as the surroundings are being built up with a goodly 
number of Catholics. 

In 1914 the college received addition to its staff, and will be in perfect 
running order. Yet as was said before, it may happen that the present location will 
be only a temporary one, as the Rev. Fathers have bought a large and magnificent pro 
perty overlooking the banks of the Saskatchewan River, just opposite the Provincial 
University of Alberta, and this site might become the permanent location of the college. 

8. HOLY ROSARY CHURCH (Polish) Edmonton. 

Before leaving Edmonton we have still to mention another beginning of a parish 
for the Polish population in the eastern part of the city. A nice little church was 
erected last year, 1913, in the district known as Norwood, through the exertions of Rev. 
Father P. Kulawy, O.M.I. The parish is only visited a couple of times every month, 
but the church is well filled on every occasion. 

The blessing of said church has not taken place so far, but it will be called the 
Holy Rosary church. 

Lately a house has been purchased to be the residence of the missionary so that 
before long the Holy Rosary parish will be put in complete running order. 



42 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



IV.- -THE MISSION OF LAKE LA BICHE. 

We have now to resume the narrative about early missions. 

Lake La Biche is a magnificent sheet of water dotted with islets of more or less 
considerable size, which are covered with woods of aspens and birch trees, and inter 
spersed with little stretches of virgin prairie. It was to these islands that the native In 
dians came, each autumn, for the fishing season, so as to secure a supply of fish for their 
subsistence during the winter. The lake, in its greatest length from Northwest to South, 
measures about thirty miles, with a shore line of approximately 120 miles. The depth 
is, on an average, five to six fathoms (30 to 36 feet). 

Although its period as a mission station is not recognized till the autumn of 1853, 
nevertheless its inhabitants had not been altogether neglected, for they had already beeri 
honored by the Rev. J. B. Thibeault on a first visit, in the autumn of 1844. 

I his man of God came to instruct them on three different occasions, and, in 1851, 
Rev. Joseph Bourassa also came to offer them the aid of his ministry. In the course of 
these visits, many of the natives had been baptized. Some had received the sacrament of 
Christian matrimony and four or five had been admitted to the Eucharistic banquet. 
&& I n 1852, Bishop I ache, whose diocese then extended all over the North West, 

came accompanied by Father Lacombe, as yet a secular priest, and paid a visit, the 
principal purpose of which was to take all the necessary measures to discover if Lake 
La Biche could provide the means for the support of a missionary settlement, and to in 
quire into the disposition of the natives in the matter. The result of these investigations 
being favorable, Bishop Tache determined to send a priest to them as soon as possible. 
In the spring of 1853 good Father Remas left Red River for Lake St. Anne, but Divine 
Providence directed him to Lake La Biche, where he commenced his apostolate amidst 
privations and hardships of every kind, but the same holy Providence inspired Father 
Lacombe to come to his relief from Lake St. Anne, with many indispensable articles, 
and even to take him back with him for the rest of the winter. It was there that 
Bishop Tache found them later. 

In the beginning of the year 1854 he had left Ile-a-la-Crosse, in the severest sea 
son, in the very depth of winter, in company with a hired servant and two Otchipwewan 
Indians, and after making a passing call at Fort Pitt and Fort Edmonton he had arrived 
at St. Anne, on Palm Sunday. These good Fathers had the consolation of entertaining 
His Lordship for three weeks, after which they journeyed with him to Lake La Biche, 
where he consecrated the mission to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, under the title of 
"Our Lady of Victories." 

In the meantime, Father Vegreville came from Ile-a-la-Crosse to pay a visit to 
his old schoolfellow and fellow countryman, needless to say to the intense joy and grati 
fication of Father Remas. 

This Father was badly housed and troubles came to him from many quarters. Yet, 
in spite of this, his zeal did not flag in his arduous labors for the salvation of the souls 
entrusted to him and he kept to his post, till news came for him, by the February prairie 
mail, that another post was assigned to him by an order of obedience for the winter of 
1855, when he went again to Lake St. Anne to act as novice master to Father La 
combe, who still desired to be enrolled under the banner of Mary Immaculate. 
During this first sojourn at Lake La Biche, he had baptized seventy-two, of which there 
were as many children as adults, conducted seven marriages and four burials. This 
success, in spite of his numerous difficulties, was very consoling and gave testimony to 
his untiring energy in the instruction of souls, especially as at that time he spoke 
the Cree language only with great difficulty. 

To fill the vacancy about to be caused by his departure Fathers Maisonneuve and 
Tissot received orders from Bishop Tache to betake themselves to N. D. des Victoires. 
The former was stationed at Red River and the latter at Isle-a-la-Crosse. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 43 



Father Tissot left Isle-a-la-Crosse on June 11th, and arrived at Lake La Biche 
the 24th of the same month. 

Father Maisonneuve left Red River on the 2nd of July on the barge of the Hud 
son s Bay Company and arrived at Lake La Biche toward the end of September, bring 
ing with him, but not without much trouble, the goods destined for the maintenance of 
the mission. 

Further trouble was now in store. The site which Father Remas had chosen had 
soon to be abandoned by reason of its too close proximity to the Fort or trading station 
which the owners talked of extending up to the mission house. Thus the missionary 
could have no land left then but a narrow place, which afforded no means of approaching 
the lake for water. Finally the fishing was not very abundant at this spot and this was a 
serious deficiency, for fish was the chief means of subsistence. 

All these reasons determined the Fathers to change their place of abode. They 
made repeated visits to the borders of the lake to find some better position. At last, 
after many attempts, the site on which the present mission stands today seemed to offer 
most advantages, and it was chosen, in spite of all the obstacles which arose on all sides. 

The new location was six miles away and to establish the mission house at this great 
distance was no easy enterprise. 

After removing all that he could of the scanty furniture of the house built some 
years before by Rev. Fr. Remas with so much trouble and fatigue, Father Fissot aban 
doned it on the 20th of March and came to rejoin his brother religious in his encamp 
ment. 

At the new site of the mission, every Sunday, however, he left it to offer Holy 
Mass for the Catholics still residing near the Fort. This service he continued to render 
them as long as the ice on the lake remained solid. 

By dint of hard work the missionaries succeeded in clearing some acres in which 
they sowed fourteen barrels of potatoes, a little barley and a quantity of cabbages and 
radishes. Meanwhile, the work on the house had been started and advanced, it is true, 
very slowly, for the carpenters were only beginners. Nevertheless, it was habitable by 
the 1 3th of June, 1856, the day of the arrival of Bishop Tache on a visit to the house. 

It certainly was not a palace, yet the sorry piece of work though it was, the mis 
sionaries congratulated themselves on having a shelter to protect them a little against bad 
weather, and in which they could entertain His Lordsh: p. Bishop Tache remained at 
Lake La Biche till the 14th of June, sharing with the missionaries their modest and ill 
prepared hut. 

While on his visit, Bishop Tache took the desired opportunity of now determining 
the exact limits of the mission. He also blessed the property, and the presence of the 
men who had accompanied him was made use of by placing the old house, which still 
stood at the former site, upon a raft and bringing it thus along over the lake. 

At the time of the Bishop s arrival a cart road had been decided upon to put the 
mission in communication with Fort Pitt. Indeed, it had already been begun and car 
ried as far as the Little Beaver river, about forty miles from Lake La Biche. 

By the 10th of August, the news of the arrival of the oxen and carts ordered from 
Red Rver was brought by the Indian guide, who had left the caravan at a standstill 
on the route, unable to approach for want of a practical road. 

On the 20th of the same month, then, Father Maisonneuve started off with four 
men to continue the work already taken up. On the fifteenth day of this work the road 
was laid out and opened as far as Fort Pitt, a distance of 100 miles more. All the 
country side was waiting to see the efforts of the missionaries fail. In fact, they spoke 
of it as a foregone conclusion, when the arrival of the carts themselves put an end to 
all their idle talk. The Company and the neighborhood were glad enough now to make 



44 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



use of this means of communication, ready to admit that without the courageous and 
constant efforts of the poor missionaries, the appearance of carts at La Biche could not 
have been brought about so speedily. 

It was in 1857 that the first two houses were built near the mission, a good sign 
that the natives were beginning to come to the priests of their own accord. During this 
year, too, Brother Bowes prepared the frame work of a much larger building, destined 
in the near future to receive the Sisters. 

In the spring of 1858, as the result of great labor and perseverance, a consider 
able quantity of limestone was extracted from the lake. A limekiln was immediately 
constructed and the Fathers had at their disposal more than 300 bushels of excellent 
lime. They commenced at once to construct very strong and solid, in stone, the new 
building, the wood work for which was set up in the course of August. 

During the summer of the years 1859 and 1860, Fathers Tissot and Maisonneuve, 
assisted by Brothers Bowes, became masons and brought the house for the Sisters to a 
satisfactory state of completion. A part of the ground floor was, however, reserved 
to serve as a public chapel. 

At the end of the summer of 1860, after eight years of laborious endeavor, Fr. 
Tissot and Fr. Maisonneuve had the consolation at last of seeing their mission each year 
progressing materially and spiritually, and being placed more and more on a lasting basis. 
They had a house of their own, rude enough, it is true, but still comfortable. In ad 
dition, they had built a fine house in stone of two floors, measuring 30 x 50 feet. It 
was now time to think of arising and offering the poor, ignorant natives of Lake 
La Biche more abundant means of religious instruction. It was time, also, to establish 
a good school and, in due course, to open an orphanage. 

To the regeneration of a people it is a point of absolute necessity to start by look 
ing after the young; an impossibility without a school conducted in a wise and Christian 
spirit. 

It was resolved upon, therefore, by the Fathers, that they should obtain Sisters for 
the mission of N. D. des Victoires. Bishop Tache again applied to the Superioress 
General of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal to be kind enough to send a little colony 
of her good nuns to Lake La Biche. Three Sisters received their order of obedience 
and made ready to depart, glad to co-operate with the Fathers in the establishment of 
Catholicism in these far off territories now being opened to their zeal. These three 
Sisters were Rev. Sister Guenette, Superior; Sister Daunais and Sister Tisseur. 

In the beginning of May, 1862, Fr. Maisonneuve left with some men for Red 
River to meet the Sisters there, where he arrived after a journey of 32 days. On reach 
ing Lake La Biche the Sisters had the consolation of seeing the Indians grouping them 
selves around the mission. In the course of the summer ten new houses had been begun. 
Thus they could see, from the first, that there would not be wanting plenty of work for 
their zeal. They courageously took up their duties at once, sharing the labor in a spir 
it of mutual charity. They took charge of the chapel, the sacristy and vestry, the ward 
robes of the missionaries, the kitchen arrangements and the school. Oftentimes, too, ac 
cording to their strength, they helped on the farm, which was being developed more and 
more each year, but the principal aim of the constitution of this order is rightly the con 
duct of schools and orphanages. 

A year after the coming of the Sisters, the Fathers rejoiced that God was each 
year blessing their first attempts, and began to think of means of providing bread for 
their colony. At the end of June, 1863, they had the satisfaction of being able to build 
a mill on a little water course about a mile from their residence. 

This mill held on well for many years, rendering valuable service in spite of the 
damages it received, which, however, were repaired every year. Meanwhile, Father 
Tissot was sent to St. Albert to replace Fr. Lacombe, who was now destined in a 
special manner for the evangelization of the Half-breeds and the Blackfoot Indians. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 45 



Father Maisonneuve, now worn out with toil and fatigue, and threatened moreover 
with complete deafness, received an order of obedience to repair to Red River, whither 
Bishop Tache had recalled the good Father to have him near himself, there to secure 
for him the rest he so greatly needed. 

Father Vegreville was in charge of the mission, when Right Rev. Bishop Faraud, 
Vicar Apostolic of Athabasca-McKenzie, came to take up his residence there. This 
post could be easily made a point of distribution for all the goods and supplies of the 
northern missions. There boats could be built and laden with their cargoes and the La 
Biche river, being the outlet of the lake of the same name into the Athabasca river, it 
was an easy matter for the boats to go down stream to the said river. 

By an agreement concluded in 1877, by Archbishop Tache, delegated for this 
purpose by the Very Rev. Superior General of the Oblates, it was decided that the 
Mission of Lake La Biche, while remaining part of the Diocese of St. Albert, would 
be temporarily considered as a dependency of the religious vicariate of Athabasca-McKen 
zie, and administered by Right Rev. Bishop Faraud. 

This state of affairs was to be maintained for twelve years more until 1889, when 
a new road, through Edmonton, was opened, giving communication with the same river 
Athabasca, at Athabasca Landing. 

During all this period the Mission at Lake La Biche, being an episcopal residence, 
took on great importance and became prominent over all other missions after St. Albert. 
Large warehouses were constructed in which to store and keep the supplies of all the 
northern missions. There, early in the spring of each year, boats were built in order to 
be ready to be launched at high water time in the rainy season. And when the goods 
were arriving from Red River or when they were transferred to the boats and the little 
fleet was getting ready for the trip, there was, around the mission s buildings, and along 
the shore of the lake, a busy and picturesque scene of noisy and bustling activity. 

Bishop Henry Faraud, O.M.I., Bishop of Ananour, Vicar Apostolic of Athabas- 
ca-McKenzie, arrived at Lake La Biche on the 27th of July, 1875. There were great 
rejoicings at the mission, but alas! the joy was not to last long! 

THE TRAGIC DEATH OF BROTHER ALEXIS REYNARD, O.M.I. 

We find the following account of the sad event in the annals of the Oblates of 
Mary Immaculate: 

"On the day following the arrival at Lake La Biche of Rt. Rev. Bishop Faraud, 
a good half-breed, named Thomas Hupe, reached the mission. Brother Alexis Rey 
nard, where is he? was his first question. If the Brother has not yet returned, then 
I greatly fear some misfortune has happened. A month ago we left Lake Athabasca 
together to come here, in company with my family and an Iroquois half-breed named 
Louis Lafrance. The journey was being made satisfactorily when all at once we found 
ourselves confronted by the sudden swelling of the waters in the Athabasca river. 

" We had already passed Fort McMurray at some considerable distance, when we 
realized that it was impossible for us to row our way up stream in our canoes. Our 
provisions, also, were so reduced that we were quite unable to make for our destination 
at Lake La Biche. Then, said I to Brother Alexis, "We have nothing else to do but 
to retrace our steps to Fort McMurray and wait there till the river returns to its normal 
height. We can then-obtain the necessary supply of provisions from the Hudson s Bay 
Company, and we shall then be able straightway to ascend the stream again in safety." 

" But Brother Alexis replied: "Monseigneur Faraud is waiting for me at Lake La 
Biche to construct the boats that are absolutely necessary for the transport of the supplies 
indispensable for his mission. I must at all cost arrive at the appointed time, otherwise 



46 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



all the missions of the north will be in suspense and deprived of their needful supplies. 
Return with your family to Fort MclVIurray while I and my guide, Louis the Iroquois, 
will go by land to Lake La Biche. We will live as best we can by our guns, and after 
six or seven days march across the forest we shall arrive at the mission." 

My wife and I, added Thomas Hupe, returned to Fort McMurray. It is 
now three weeks since Brother Alexis and his guide left us, and they ought to have been 
here fifteen days ago. Since they have not arrived I can only conclude that some mis 
fortune has occurred. 

"The following day, two half-breeds engaged by Father Leduc, left Lake La 
Biche to go to the relief of the missing Brother and the guide. Twelve days later they 
returned, arriving at the mission at four o clock in the morning. 

I have found your Brother, said one of them. He is buried under a slight 
covering of sand at the entrance of the mouth of the River des Maisons into the Atha 
basca river, and what is very extraordinary, added the man, the bones were already 
fleshless, but I recognized the Brother very easily by his beard and his hair. 

Brother Alexander Lambert immediately set out with a canoe and four men to 
discover the remains of our poor Brother. Arrived at the spot that had been pointed out 
to them, they were proceeding to exhume the dead body, when, to their horror, they 
found only dried bones, scattered pell mell, while many were completely missing. None 
of them bore the marks of an animal s teeth, but they had been chopped in various places, 
apparently by the axe that was found by the side of the body, bearing the stains of 
blood. I he victim s head was pierced through and through. There was no doubt but 
that Brother Reynard had been killed and the charred bones found at some paces from 
the spot gave indication that he had served the purpose of appeasing the hunger of his 
Iroquois guide. 

"The scattered remains were gathered together by Brother Lambert with deep 
respect and unspeakable emotion. Twenty days aftrwards we gave reverent burial to 
these dear remains after I had examined them myself and had ascertained the identity of 
the Brother by the inspection of his hair and his beard which had been left intact. A 
shoulder blade was missing. We learnt that it had been found later in the forest, a 
day s march from the scene of the crime. 

The murderer had been forced to satiate his hunger on the spot Then, doubt 
less, he had stripped the flesh off the bones and carried away as much of it as he was 
able, after having first dried it after the manner the Indians on the prairie dry the flesh 
of the buffalo. Had the wretched guide himself finally to succumb to his fate? We 
may well forecast, for he has neither been seen nor heard of since." 

Brother Alexis Reynard had labored for more than twenty years in the missions of 
the North with unstinting devotedness. He was always the model of a perfect Re 
ligious. His death was terrible from a natural view-point, but God will have received 
His faithful servant, to be Himself his eternal recompense. 

After the departure of Bishop Faraud from Lake La Biche, 1869, the Mission 
lost much of its importance, and became the far away outpost of a Half-Breed settle 
ment. 

The community of Sisters who continued conducting their boarding school for Half- 
breed and even Indian children from the surrounding reserves, helped however to keep 
up life and movement on the shores of the beautiful lake. 

When, however, at the request of the Indian Department the Sisters had to move 
away to the Indian reserve of Saddle Lake, it was another sad blow to the old mission. 
The year 1898 saw the removal of the community, to the great lament of the whole 
population. Then many of the buildings began to fall into decay; the big shed which 
had been the warehouse of all the northern missions, gave evident signs of disuse 
and abandonment, and the little church by the bank of the lake with its moss-covered roof 
looked, indeed very old. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 47 



For a long time the lumber and grist mill had been out of commission, and when 
the colony of St. Paul des Metis had been started in 1896, what could be still of some 
use was carried away to the new mission, with much other material from the former 
convent. 

Yet the parish of Lake La Biche was never abandoned, and under the charge of 
successive and devoted missionaries: R. Fathers, Tissier, Grandin, and others it continued 
to give to the Half-breed population all the needed spiritual assistance. 

Rev. Father Grandin succeeded even, in the year 1904, in getting another com 
munity of Sisters to take up the work which had been stopped since the departure of 
the Gray Nuns. 

The Sisters called Daughter of Jesus came to Lake La Biche, to open a convent 
and a school for the people of the surrounding district. The old episcopal residence 
was turned over to them, and a new presbytery was built for the priests, 

Now, in 1914, the parish is under the care of Rev. Father V. Le Goff, O.M.I., 
assisted by Rev. Father C. Boulenc. The country around has been settling considerably; 
a new parish has been for some time in formation, to the north-west end of the lake, 
under the name of Plamondonville, and new settlers are coming from many directions. 

Besides, by reason of the Alberta and Great Waterways Railroad, which had 
been the stumbling block of the former Provincial administration, in march 1910, being 
now constructed through this district, a new era of prosperity seems to be still m store for 
the country of Lake La Biche. It could not be otherwise, and without being a prophet, 
any one could have announced these new and prosperous times, for this Lake La Bichi 
country, on account of its vast opportunities and of the magnificent scenery of its lake, 
the finest of the whole region of central Alberta. 



48 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CHAPTER II. 



INDIAN MISSIONS 



Up to the period of the conclusion of the treaties passed between the Government 
o Canada and the different tribes of Indians in Alberta in the year 1875, the savages 

Province had, properly speaking, scarcely any fixed or permanent missions. 
Living, for the most part of their time, a nomadic life, now out on the vast prairies 
in pursuit of the buffalo; now in the woods trapping wild animals for the skins which 
they disposed of to the fur buyers; now on the banks of the lakes and rivers on their 
fishing expeditions, they could have no resident priest. It is true, however, that 
3blate Fathers visited them regularly and spent a great part of their time in their 
various encampments. All those who had to exercise the ministry under these con 
ditions are unanimous in declaring that those really were the "good old times." 

Without doubt they had none of the material comforts since brought by civilization 
hor their only food there sufficed the flesh of the buffalo, dried in the sun, pulverized and 
mixed with the melted fat of the animal. This was the famous "pemmican," which, if 
not a tasty dish, was at least highly nutritious. Sometimes a good-sized fish, boiled or 

roasted, at the camp fire, was the sole repast. There was no bread no vegetables 

but for drink there was plenty of black tea thrown into the pot of water, made, in the 
winter time, from the melted snow. At other times the savages were reduced to long 
enforced fasts when the chase and the fishing had not been successful. On these 
occasions the missionaries shared the lot of their Indians and endured the most severe 
privations. 

One example among many will suffice. The Rev. Father Tissier, now in charge 
of Stony Plain, was then in the Peace River district. In the depth of winter he had 
accompanied a band of thirty Indians, whose children he was instructing. They were 
encamped in the woods, at a distance of a ten to twelve days journey from any habita 
tion and their hunt had been a complete failure. For thirty days, Indians and missionary 
were subjected to extreme starvation. Soon, for their sole nourishment they had to be 
content with the insignificant "rations" of about one pound of flour, divided among the 
whole party. Sometimes a miserable dog, reduced to a mere walking skeleton, vvould 
die or be killed by the savages of the camp who disputed among themselves for the 
disgusting remains. 

In spite of all this the missionary was happy to consecrate his services to the salva 
tion of these poor Indians. Meanwhile, he hoped for the day when it would be given 
him to see them, if not altogether abandoning their nomadic life, at least able to settle in 
a more permanent fashion, in those localities where they could have missionaries at a fixed 
place and then receive from them a deeper knowledge of Catholicism and the first 
rudiments of a truly Christian civilization. 

This desire of the Oblate Missionaries has been realized today in Alberta. 

All the Indian tribes located in the Diocese of St. Albert have entered into treaties 
with the Government. They have relinquished their rights to their lands on certain con 
ditions. They have been permanently established on Reservations set apart for them 
and there they have become easy of access for the missionaries, with the result that we 
have, at the present time, on most of these "Reserves," as they are called, important and 
flourishing missions. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 49 



These missions among the different tribes: Crees, Blackfeet, Stoneys, Chipweyan 
and Montagnais, are provided with churches, mission-houses, convents, and also in cer 
tain cases. Industrial or boarding schools for boys and girls, and even hospitals. 

We will now proceed by giving some information on the principal Indian missions 
of Central Alberta. 



I. THE MISSION OF N. D. DU T. S. ROSAIRE. (Onion Lake). 

The Onion Lake Mission, originally dedicated to St. Louis, King of France, can 
be looked upon as the survivor of many other missions which have passed through various 
vicissitudes, such as those of St. Francis Regis at Fort Pitt; Our Lady of Good Counsel 
at Frog Lake and St. Charles at Long Lake. 

In August, 1877, the Rev. Fr. Lestanc and the Rev. Fr. A. Fafard, accompanied 
by Brother Boon, left St. Albert to found the mission at Fort Pitt. They were received 
with hospitality by Mr. McKay, the Chief Factor of the Hudson s Bay Company, at 
this post. As yet the savages and half-breeds at this point had been visited but rarely 
by Rev. Fr. Maisonneuve, who resided at Lake La Biche. Father Lestanc had to 
accompany the hunters on their buffalo seeking expedition, while Father Fafard re 
mained, for the most part, alone. In 1878, the Rev. Father Bourgine was appointed 
as his companion and in 1 880, as Father Lestanc was sent to undertake the missions 
around Battleford, his place was taken by Rev. Father Merer. 

Father Fafard could now devote himself a little more actively to the other groups of 
Indians established elsewhere. Then, in 1882, some had chosen a Reserve at Frog 
Lake, and but rarely visited Fort Pitt, and consequently it became important to establish 
a mission on their behalf, of which mission Father Fafard was especially put in charge. 
He chose a beautiful elevated ground, situated at a little distance from the Agency, and 
built there a little church which was placed under the patronage of Our Lady of Good 
Counsel. The other Indians having established themselves at Onion Lake, the Mission 
of Fort Pitt was no longer necessary and it was abandoned in 1884. 

A certain number of the Indians at Onion Lake were regarded as Protestants. In 
deed, a Protestant minister had been in evidence here since 1876. But many had been 
baptized on the prairies by Father Lacombe or some other Catholic missionary, and as 
soon as the mission was established they immediately came to it. 1 here was a band. 
also, living further off at Long Lake, which was entirely composed of good Catholics. 

In 1 884, the Rev. Father Merer, who had built a house-chapel at Onion Lake, 
having gone to St. Albert on the occasion of the celebration of Bishop Grandin s Sil 
ver Jubilee, fell sick and had to remain there. Rev. Father Marchand, who had arrived 
there about two years before, was thinking of having this house-chapel blessed by Easter 
Sunday, 1885, but sad and painful events had to intervene, to destroy in a few days all 
the work of many years. For the mission at Onion Lake as well as that of Frog Lake, 
both became the prey of flames. 

The brief story of these sorrowful events may be here recorded. About this time 
there had come into the midst of these savages, especially at Frog Lake, a band of Indi 
ans, all infidels still, composed of twenty families under the Chief "Big Bear. There 
they passed the winter of 1884-5. As they did not belong to this Reserve, they did 
not share in the distribution of rations which were made, from time to time, by the Gov 
ernment officials, and in consequence they were discontented. 

Moreover, as they were of a savage and fierce disposition, they brought about other 
disagreeable circumstances for themselves and they were in such a state of mind that any 
motive whatever would be likely to drive them to excesses. Unfortunately the occasion 
then presented itself. 



50 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




1. Indian Mission, Beaver Lake. 
2. Church at Nillet. 
3. St. Mathias, Indian Mission. 
4. Indian of Cold Lake. 



5. Vegreville Church. 
6. Quarrel Lake, Polish Mission. 
7. Spring Lake. 

8. One of Rev. Fr. Kulawy s, O.M.I. 
Polish Missions, Lake Demay. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 51 



Louis Riel, at the head of the Half-breeds and Indians, had had recourse to arms 
to vindicate their rights. There had been an encounter attended with bloodshed at Duck 
Lake. Two letters coming from the Half-breed leader caused a great deal of excite 
ment in minds already restless, especially in "Big Bear s" band. Several meetings were 
held. In the first two, the opinion prevailed of the wisdom of keeping quiet. Neverthe 
less, at the third gathering, presided over by "Big Bear" himself, it was decided that all 
the whites, half-breeds and Indians should betake themselves in a body to "Big Bear s" 
camp, near Frog Lake, with the purpose, as it was supposed, of avoiding all danger. 
All the other savages dared not oppose this plan. The true leader, however, seems to 
have been "Big Bear s" son, rather than "Big Bear" himself, who was, it is said, a 
peaceable man. 

Next day, April 2, was Holy Thursday. The church s special service for this 
day took place as usual, and although the minds were much excited and many of the 
Indians carried arms, there was no disorder in the church. The Rev. Fr. Marchand 
had come from Frog Lake to join his Superior, as, on this day, it is customary for 
priests to make their Easter communion. At the conclusion of the service, the two Fath 
ers started on their way to "Big Bear s" camp, according to orders issued to them. 

The Agent, Mr. Quinn, had, however, not been accustomed to receive orders from 
Indians and it is probable that he made some objections and refused to leave for the 
camp. "Wandering Spirit," one of "Big Bear s" councillors, came to repeat anew 
the order to follow. With his gun pointing to the man he gave him three successive com 
mands. At the last summons, on the Agent s refusal to obey, "Wandering Spirit" fired, 
the bullet taking effect in the forehead and stretching him dead on the spot. 

This was the disastrous signal ! In a moment the cry reached among the Indians. 
"Death to the Whites," and indeed in a few minutes nearly all had fallen under the 
death dealing bullets. 

The two Fathers were already on their way, when the sound of the fusilade at 
tracted their attention and caused them anxious alarm. They were at some distance from 
each other when an Indian arrived in all haste, exclaiming to Father Fafard that Mr. 
Delaney, the farmer, was fatally wounded and was calling for him. The missionary 
returned on his path, and it was while on his knees near the dying man, administering 
absolution to him, that he, himself, fell, struck by a bullet. Thus, in the very exercise of 
his Sacred ministry he received the Martyr s Crown. 

The Rev. Fr. Marchand had continued to follow those who were taking him to the 
camp. On learning, however, that his companion and Superior had himself fallen mor 
tally wounded, he came back to assist and console him, but he had not time to rejoin 
him, for as he appeared on the top of a little knoll he was himself struck on the fore 
head and expired on the spot. Father Fafard had not been killed outright, but an In 
dian seeing him in the throes of his agony, shot him again to give him the finishing blow, 
out of pity, as he pretended afterwards. 

Some good Catholics carried the bodies of both martyrs away and deposited them 
on the floor of the little mission church. A little time after, other Indians, intoxicated 
with blood and carnage, set fire to the church, but the floor of the church, having fallen 
in, the bodies were partially covered with earth, which prevented their complete destruc 
tion. Some days afterward they were found there by the soldiers, who buried them 
reverently in the little cemetery close by. There they rested until the time of their 
translation to the Mission of N. D. du T. S. Rosaire, at Onion Lake. 

After this massacre of Fathers Fafard and Marchand, the other missions of Long 
Lake and Onion Lake underwent the same fate as that of Frog Lake, They also were 
burned and destroyed from top to bottom. However, the work was not interrupted very 
long by these sad events, and in the month of August of the same year we find Father 
Remas at Onion Lake, striving to revive the downcast spirits of these poor Indians who 



32 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



had allowed themselves to be so sadly led astray by the pernicious councils of some over 
excited leaders. In the autumn of the same year, 1885, Bishop Grandin also came to 
mourn over the martyrs remains and to bewail the sad ruins of these promising missions. 
In the summer of the following year, 1886, the Rev. Father Merer was appointed 
to raise again the poor mission of Onion Lake from its ruins. By September he 
had already built a little house, but it was quite insufficient for the crowd of Indians who 
gathered there on Sundays. In the following year, 1887, it became necessary to build 
another house-chapel of more spacious capacity, in which Holy Mass was celebrated for 
the first lime on Christmas Day. 

In the course of the summer, in August, the Rev. Fr. Dauphin came to join Father 
Merer, and, thanks to the enlightened /eal of these missionaries, the number of Chris 
tians rapidly increased, so that for the third time in two years it was found necessary to 
undertake a new building. This time it was to be a real church, exclusively devoted 
to divine worship. It was commenced on the first of June, 1888, and the work was 
pushed on with such activity that it was nearly finished for the feast of the Holy Rosary, 
October 7th, the day appointed for the solemn blessing. 

Bishop Grandin, himself, blessed the church, assisted by Rev. Fathers Merer, Le 
GofT, Dauphin, Cochin, Vachon and Penard. This mission had originally been de 
dicated to St. Louis, King of France, but, on this occasion, it was placed under the 
protection of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, keeping St. Louis as a second patron saint. 
On this occasion Bishop Grandin also blessed two bells, one for Onion Lake and the 
other for Cold Lake mission, and all these beautiful ceremonies performed by His Lord 
ship, surrounded by a number of the clergy, made a lively impression on all the Indians 
of the Reserve. 

Father Merer was now no longer in charge of this mission. On the 29th o( 
August of this year, 1888, he had been removed to another field of labor and Father 
Dauphin had remained to fill his place. On the 13th of December, 1890, the Rev. 
Father Fhenen came to lend his co-operation, as Father Dauphin was experiencing 
fatigue, but on the 5th of September of the following year, Father Therien received 
his order of obedience for Calgary and he was replaced by the Rev. Father C. Boulenc. 

I he missionaries have always realized the importance of the education of the 
children. Thus a day school had been opened since 1886, which was attended as reg 
ularly as is possible on an Indian Reserve. But, here, as elsewhere, the need was felt 
of a Religious Community of Sisters to direct so important a work with success. Bishop 
Grandin had succeeded in obtaining the co-operation of the Rev. Sisters of the Assump 
tion of Nicolet, and on the 8th of September, 1891, the feast of the Nativity of the 
Blessed Virgin, the first nuns arrived under the personal conduct of Bishop Grandin, who 
wished to install them himself in their poor mission. These first Sisters were Rev. 
Sisters St. Ignace, Superioress; St. Stanislas, and St. Patrice. They immediately entered 
upon the charge of the school, which, under their management, has not ceased to develop 
and assume importance. 

It was in the course of this visit of Bishop Grandin, on September 15, 1891, that 
the sad ceremony of the translation of the venerated remains of the brave missionaries 
massacred at Frog Lake took place, in the presence of a great gathering of people; all 
of the employees of the Indian Department, all of the Indians, Catholic as well as Pro 
testant, and the Protestant minister himself. The bodies were borne from the little 
cemetery of the former mission of Frog Lake and had been deposited in two separate cof 
fins, which, after the funeral services, were solemnly lowered into the vault prepared for 
their reception in the middle of the church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, where 
they still remain. During his stay on the Reserve the Mission Cemetery was also solemn 
ly blessed by His Lordship. 

Since this period there have been many changes in the mission staff. In August, 
1892, the Rev. Father Boulenc was replaced by the Rev. Fr. Cunningham to assist 






HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 53 



Rev. Father Dauphin. Two years later, in August, 1894, Father Dauphin himself 
was replaced by the Rev. Father Therien. Up to this time the Sisters had only been 
able to keep a day school, but this system was far from giving the satisfaction desirable. 
On February 17, 1893, the school house built by the Rev. Fr. Merer and opened on 
February 6, 1886, accidentally became the prey of the flames. Thereupon, owing to 
the demands of Bishop Grandin, and the endeavors of Father Therien, permission 
was obtained from the Indian Department for the erection of a boarding school for fifty 
Indian children, with a pecuniary grant to aid in the building of it. 

Since that time the Christian education of the children is much more complete and 
the results obtained are far more durable. 

Other changes of the staff may be briefly noted. In January, 1896, Father Fhe- 
rien was succeeded in the charge of the mission by Rev. Father Comire, with Father 
Cunningham as his assistant. The latter was replaced in July of the following year, 
1897, by Rev. Father Lestanc, who only remained eight months, but during this short 
space gave free scope to his apostolic zeal. In January, 1 899, Rev. Fr. Phillipot 
came as Father Comire" s companion to be initiated in the mission work among the Indians 
and to learn the Cree language. In July, 1900, Fr. Comire being called to the Industrial 
School at Dunbow, the Rev. Fr. Boulenc returned to take charge of the mission at 
Onion Lake. When, however, he had to exchange it for the new colony of St. Paul des 
Metis, Father Cunningham was again recalled to replace him. 

In 1903, Father Phillipot, requiring rest, was replaced by Rev. Father Portier, 
who later on, in March, 1906, was transferred to the Mission of Stoney Plain, while 
Rev. Fr. Tissier came from the latter place to direct the mission of N. D. du St. Rosaire. 
He remained there only about one and one-half year, when he was again called upon 
to assume the direction of his former post at Stoney Plain. But during this brief space, 
Father Tissier knew how to fight the good fight. On his departure the Rev. Fr. Le 
Clainche came to Onion Lake as Father Cunningham s assistant. The assistant of Rev. 
Father Cunningham is now (1914), Rev. Father Dupe, O.M.I. 

At the present moment the mission is on an excellent footing. The boarding school 
is very successful. The Indians show themselves more than ever disposed to allow their 
children to be instructed and to have them at the boarding school for that purpose. There 
are at present seventy children of both sexes under the direction of eight or nine religious. 
The Catholic Indians of the Reserve show respect to the priests and are attached to 
their religion, and although they are not perfect, they nevertheless afford some con 
solation to those who are entrusted with the salvation of their souls. 

Besides the Mission of N. D. du St. Rosaire, the missionaries of Onion Lake have 
still to give their attention to the different other posts: 

1st. The station of Long Lake, situated fifty-five miles from Onion Lake, com 
prising twenty-five Catholic families. 

2nd. That of Frog Lake, which has not had a resident missionary, since the 
sad events of 1885, situated about twenty-five miles from Onion Lake. It is com- 
posed of fifteen Indian or Half-breed families. 

3rd. Vermilion, on the south of the Saskatchewan river, situated more than 100 
miles from the Onion Lake mission. This station is of recent date and is composed of 
twenty Half-breed families, who have come from the colony of St. Paul des Metis since 
1906 (to settle there and avail themselves of the opportunities given them by the Gov 
ernment of taking homesteads). They are all good Christians, who are glad to welcome 
the visits of their missionary. 

Besides these, it is necessary to visit the Cold Lake Reserve from time to time for the 
benefit of those Indians who do not speak the Tchipweyan language, as well as Island 
Lakes where there are some Catholics among the Indians not yet belonging to the Faith. 
Father Cunningham is especially responsible for these visits and a great part of his time 
is taken up on these long and often arduous journeys. 



54 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



-THE MISSION OF THE "SACRED HEART" SADDLE LAKE. 

This mission was originally dedicated under the name of the Great Apostle St. 
Paul, for it seemed to succeed to the Mission of St. Paul des Cris, founded by Rev. Fr. 
Lacombe, on the banks of the Saskatchewan at the place called today, Brousseau. The 
Mission of Saddle Lake is likewise situated on the banks of the Saskatchewan about 
twenty miles higher up. The Mission of St. Paul des Cris had been abandoned in 1873; 
that of Saddle Lake was not definitely founded until 1888. 

Nevertheless, it was visited from time to time from the year 1878. It is true that 
the population was not very numerous. There were only ten families then living at this 
spot, when the missionaries from Fort Pitt or Frog Lake from time to time made a short 
stay. 

After the unhappy crisis of 1885, the Indian Department insisted on the Indians 
scattered to the south of Victoria and in the neighborhood of Egg Lake (today Whit- 
ford) being gathered on to the Reserve at Saddle Lake. In consequence this Reserve 
was increased in size and in fact became but one with those of While Fish and Good 
Fish Lakes, under Chief Pakan. On the visit of the Rev. Fr. Merer in 1886, 
they made great and earnest entreaties for a resident missionary in their midst, but their 
number was still very limited, consisting of only five Catholic families, to which must 
be added six others residing at White Fish Lake. It was not then possible to grant 
their request, but, for the two following years, they were visited by the missionary from 
Onion Lake. 

Nevertheless, from the time of his visit in the month of July, 1888, the Rev. Fr. 
Merer perceived that this state of affairs could not last long without great danger to the 
faith of the Catholics, for there was a Protestant mission at White Fish Lake and the 
Protestant missionary sometimes came to hold religious services in their neighborhood. 
The Catholics who were only visited twice a year, at times went to assist at these services. 
It is true that they went there, beads in hand, and by way of compensating themselves 
for the privation to which they were submitted from the religious point of view, but it 
was none the less a serious danger, and the wisest and the oldest amongst them did not 
hesitate to express to the missionary the fear that, in a few years, the children would come 
to confound the two religions. 

Accordingly the Rev. Fr. Merer made careful report of the situation to Bishop 
Grandm. He exposed the danger to which the faith of the Catholics was exposed in 
this district and the hope he had of leading back to the practices of their religious 
duties a good number of Christians who had been formerly baptized by Rev. Fr. 
Lacombe or other missionaries, from Lake La Biche or elsewhere, and who, while living 
habitually at Good Fish Lake or White Fish Lake, in the neighborhood of the Protestant 
mission, had practically abandoned all Catholic practices and were passing for Protes 
tants. Finally he pointed out the advisability of establishing an intermediary post be 
tween St. Albert and Lake La Biche on the one hand and Onion Lake on the other. 
This reasoning was accepted and the Rev. Fr. Merer, who had directed the Mission of 
Onion Lake since 1886, was himself entrusted with the charge of organizing the new 
foundation. He left Onion Lake on the 13th of August, 1888, and arrived three 
days after at Saddle Lake. 

The Indians were overjoyed to see their desires realized and they gave the mis 
sionary the best reception. For their first religious establishment they were satisfied with 
a little shed, built of logs and covered with earth, and leaning against the house of an 
Indian named Alexis and communicating with it. This provisional installation lasted for 
nearly two years and here the Indians were assembled every Sunday for Holy Mass, 
Catechism and afternoon service. A hundred persons could be crowded into the two 
dwellings and the congregation was always numerous, for these good Christians, some- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 55 



times coming from a long distance, would bring their victuals with them and would 
not return to their homes until all the religious services for the day were over. 

They could have provided themselves somewhat sooner with a less primitive as 
sembly room, but they met with opposition which it is useless to recite here in detail. 
Chief Pakan always remained opposed to the Catholics, and the Protestants, who 
were certainly more numerous, were unwilling to permit the Catholics to build on the 
Reserve. Nevertheless, owing to the negotiations entered upon by Bishop Grandin with 
the officials of the Indian Department, this discussion ended by it being made clear 
that the Catholics of this Reserve had also the right to have the means of practicing the 
Religion of their choice as well as had the others. 

It must be said that the Catholics had the good sense to meet the provocations of 
their adversaries with no other reply than that of patience and calm, and thanks to this 
moderation and their union in rallying around their missionary, they ended by securing 
their rights. 

The first house-chapel, which still serves as the residence of the missionary, was 
built on the present site of the Mission in the course of the year 1890. It measured 
32 x 24 feet and was of two floors, of which the top served as the dwelling part and 
the lower as the chapel. The Catholic population had notably increased. There were 
several abjurations and many marriages had been duly celebrated. The Catholics of 
Good Fish Lake, although thirty-five miles distant, came regularly several times during 
the year on the occasion of the greater feasts, and encamped for several days round 
the mission, to fulfill their religious duties. Finally there were also some Half-breed 
families settled towards the place known today under the name of St. Paul des Metis. 
In consequence, the missionary of Saddle Lake at this period had the care of about 300 
souls. 

At this time, too, the first school was organized. The building of the school house 
was begun on September 19th and was finished on October 26th, costing about $700. 
Mr. A. Betournay came to visit this school, even before the building was completed. 
Mr. William Todd was the first teacher. The Agency for the Department was, at this 
time, entrusted to Mr. Ross, assistant to Mr. Potvin. 

On the 8th of August, 1892, Rev. Fr. Boulenc arrived at Saddle Lake, to fill 
the post now left vacant by Rev. Fr. Merer, who had been summoned to St. Albert to 
help in the duties of the parish. In September, 1894, Bishop Grandin visited the mis 
sion for the first time. 

The work of evangelization had continued in a sustained manner. The frequent 
visits of the Catholic missionary at White Fish and Good Fish Lakes had dispelled the 
prejudices of the Protestants. There was no longer such marked opposition. Indeed, 
the priest was often sent for to the sick bed of those who were reputed to be Protestants, 
in preference to the minister. In 1897, on the occasion of a journey to Saddle Lake, 
the Rev. Fr. Leduc baptized the last pagan Indian. This was the old father of Crane. 
This old man was then nearly 80 years of age. He it was, who m 1876 had inadvert 
ently killed the great Cree Chief Wikaskokiseyin, or "Sweet Grass," who was so well 
loved and respected by his race. 

After the conclusion of the treaty with the Crees, during the months of August 
and September, 1876, the Government had made a present of some ordnance revolvers 
to the Indian chiefs. These were objects of curiosity for them. One day when visiting 
"Sweet Grass" (Wikaskokiseym) the old man asked the chief to show him his curious 
firearm. While handling it and not knowing that it was loaded, he touched the trigger and 
the ball pierced the heart of the famous chief. It was his brother and his friend whom 
he had shot and he remained disconsolate for the rest of his life. 

On the 18th of January, 1898, the Mission of Saddle Lake was visited by Bishop 
Legal. The Rev. F. H. Grandin was then in charge, having been so since October 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



2nd of the preceding year, with Fr. Boulenc remaining on, as his assistant, with the 
special task of visiting the surrounding posts as far as Birch Creek, and what afterwards 
became Vegreville. 

At this period, in accordance with the desire expressed by the Government, it had 
been already decided to transfer the Indian boarding school from Lake La Biche to 
Saddle Lake. The new school house had hardly been finished towards the end of July, 
1898, when the transfer took place. It was opened in its new location on August 1st 
of the same year, and ever since that time it has fulfilled its purpose with the utmost 
satisfaction. 

The following year the new chapel was erected by Brothers Bowes and Nemoz. 
It was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, thus giving the name to the Mission. 

In 1902, towards the end of the month of August, the Rev. Father Grandin re 
turned to Lake La Biche, where he had already resided for a long time, again to take 
charge of this Mission, but he retained, nevertheless, the title of Superior of the whole 
Saddle Lake district. The Mission at Saddle Lake had now for its director the Rev. 
Father L. Baiter, who had already acted as Fr. Grandin s assistant for three years. 

There were two other humble but devoted missionaries to be mentioned as living 
at this time at the Mission where they had labored so much, and whither they had 
come to end their days. They were Brother Alexandre Lambert, who died on October 
23rd, 1905, and Brother A. Nemoz, who died on July 1st, 1906, both of whom left 
behind them the memory of holy and devoted religious. 

In 1906 the Rev. Father Baiter commenced the publication of "The Sacred 
Heart," a small monthly journal, published in Cree and lithographed in syllabic char 
acters for the benefit of the Indians. This newspaper soon took the place of another 
periodical of the same type that had been already inaugurated by the Rev. Fr. Lizee 
at Lake St. Anne under the title of "The Lake St. Anne Cross." 

The Rev. Father Baiter has of late obtained a proper printing press and with the 
assistance of Brother Guibert to second his efforts, he is now about to present his little 
publication in a more attractive external guise, but which, however, has always been 
edited in an interesting manner and which is called upon to do much good among the 
Cree speaking people. Rev. Father A. Husson, O.M.I., is now in charge of the 
mission, but he has still the efficient assistance of Father Baiter. (1914). 

3. THE MISSION OF ST. RAPHAEL. COLD LAKE (LAC FROID) 

Two-thirds, at least, of the Tchipweyan population of Cold Lake bear the name 
of Janvier, or are the descendants of some Janvier. The parent stock of these families 
is indeed a certain Janvier who came from Lower Canada as an employee or servant of 
the North West Company, which had a post on the North bank of the Beaver river, 
about two miles from the present Mission. 

This Janvier took to wife a 1 chipweyan woman from Cold Lake or its neighbor 
hood, and by her he had among other children the twin sons, Jean Baptiste, who became 
the parent stock of the Janviers of Portage la Loche, and Basile, that of the Janviers of 
Cold Lake. This Canadian Janvier returned to Lower Canada when the North West 
Company was definitely supplanted by the Hudson s Bay Company. After his father s 
departure, Basile was engaged by the Chief Factor in charge at the Fort as its hunter 
or food provider, a post of confidence which gave him a certain importance among his 
fellows. 

When the Rev. J. B. Thibault came in 1844 to winter at Lac la Grenouille (Frog 
Lake) this Basile had a great number of children who were all baptized in the spring of 
1 844. They were all good Christians, the women especially, who have never wavered 
in their attachment to their religion. Nevertheless, one of their brothers, regarded by all 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 57 



as the chief of all the band, unfortunately gave occasion for a deplorable scandal by send 
ing away his legitimate wife and taking in her place the widow of one of his brothers. 
This happened in 1864 or 1865. All did what they could to bring him back to his 
duty. Old Basile, his father, although now more than 80 years of age, and fallen al 
most mto his second childhood, did not fail to reproach him with his conduct, but every 
thing was of no avail, and to prove the feeblemindedness of these poor Tchipweyans, 
this scandal, given by one man alone, had the effect of discouraging the others and 
causing them to neglect the practices of religion. The women continued, however, to be 
take themselves every spring to Ile-a-la-Crosse to go to their religious duties. 

In 1870 the Rev. Fr. L. LeGoff, on his arrival at the Mission of Ile-a-la-Crosse, 
became acquainted with this state of affairs. He would have liked to have gone to Cold 
Lake to try to find a remedy for the situation, but his knowledge of the language was 
as yet insufficient and he resolved to wait. 

In 1874, according to an arrangement made the previous year, three or four young 
men from Cold Lake came to meet the missionary and they arrived at Ile-a-la-Crosse 
about Easter Eve. The priest was to return with them and they departed together on 
April 6th, Easter Monday. 

The first halting place was at Lake de L Outarde, (Goose Lake) where there was 
a Tchipweyan village in which the missionary was to give a first mission. The journey 
to Lac de L Outarde is about 1 30 miles and it was accomplished in about four days. 
The missionary did not delay there long, four or five days only. Besides, all were 
decided to accompany him to Cold Lake, where consequently they would have every 
facility for being present at the spiritual exercises of a second mission, more important 
than the first. There were still sixty miles before reaching Cold Lake. When the banks 
of the lake appeared on the horizon, where the Tchipweyan band had their dwellings, 
the missionary experienced some anxiety. Was his important and difficult mission to 
succeed? He recommended it to the archangel Raphael, promising that if he should 
take this cause under his protection, the first mission to be founded at Cold Lake should 
be dedicated in his honor. 

The missionary was well received, even by the bigamist Indian himself. On the 
next morning a great assembly was convoked for the purpose of treating the difficult 
question. The missionary, in his address, referred to the scandal and the necessity thai 
lay on the culprit of putting himself right with his conscience and his God, by sending 
his concubine away and taking back his legitimate wife. After him, one of the guilty 
man s younger brothers, a man of thirty years of age, also spoke, and in an address 
which lasted between two and three hours, he spoke with so much force, eloquence and 
conviction that the day seemed gained. No one dared to add anything to his words. 
Even the bigamist himself, now disconcerted and overcome, declared himself ready to do 
all that was expected of him. The Archangel Raphael was doubtless no stranger in 
this result, for the guilty man dismissed his concubine. 

Nevertheless, the evil spirit was not prepared to relax his hold en his prey so easily. 
Hardly had the missionary returned to Ile-a-la-Crosse than the two culprits returned to 
their evil ways. The following spring, when the missionary came to pay his annual 
visit, they even tried to elude him. On the pretext of a short hunting expedition, on the 
eve of the day on which he was expected to arrive, they had betaken themselves away 
and they only returned when they thought he had departed. But they were deceived, 
for the good Father was still waiting for them. They were very crestfallen, and the 
poor culprit exclaimed to the missionary, "Look here! I am a fool. Leave me alone. 
People don t bother about fools. " But he was not so easily to escape the lesson he 
deserved. He took time for reflection and finally declared himself ready to return to 
his duty. This time his resolution was decisive. Every one was relieved and hence 
forward, as the cause of scandal had now disappeared, all seemed to take fresh courage 
in the faithful practice of their religious duties. 



58 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The Rev. Fr. Le GofF continued thus for six years visiting them at least once a 
year towards Easter, in addition to which he had more than two visits to pay during the 
winter in answer to sick calls. These journeys, especially in spring time in preparation for 
Easter, were attended with severe hardships. He had usually to splash his way, almost 
all the time, in the melting snow. Father Le Goff found them especially painful, for 
although he was an excellent walker on snow-shoes (raquettes) or otherwise, by reason 
of the nervous excitement which he experienced he could neither eat nor sleep, while on 
the journey. Thus, when reaching Lac de L Outarde, after a four or five days march, 
his strength was generally below zero point. On one occasion, among others, he found 
himself so enfeebled that it was impossible for him to begin his mission, as he could 
neither speak nor hear confessions. It was not till two days later, after resting, that his 
energies began to be restored. 

At the end of 1879, it was thought advisable to appoint another Father to take 
charge of Cold Lake. Father Le Goff had sufficient work to engage his attention with the 
Indians of Ile-a-la-Crosse and those of Portage la Loche, who numbered from 1,000 
to 1,100. According to the census taken in the preceding year of Cold Lake, there 
were no more than 1 1 to 115 Indians there. In consequence the Rev. Fr. E. Petitot, 
a recent arrival from the McKenzie district, was appointed to organize the Mission at 
Cold Lake. This father was a scholar, but while engaged on his philological and 
ethnological studies he was also actively employed providing the Indians with the news 
of religion, and if there was any long journey to make on a far off sick call, he was 
not the man to fear the distance or the difficulties of the road. But, at the end of two 
years, in the autumn of 1881, for reasons of health, Fr. Petitot had to leave Cold Lake, 
and for a time the Indians were without a priest. 

In 1882 the Rev. Father Le Goff was called upon to leave Ile-a-la-Crosse and 
settle definitely at Cold Lake, where he has remained ever since. Father Petitot had 
built his first house near Lake L Hamecon, some five miles from the present mission. On 
his arrival, Fr. Le Goff built, with the aid of the savages, a little house-chapel, 22 feet 
square, with a little addition, shed-roofed, twelve feet square, adjoining, to serve as a 
private chapel, and on Sundays the whole was turned into a church by sliding two doors 
into grooves. But in winter it was difficult to guard against the cold, for the building 
was like an ice house. However, the missionary remained twelve years under these 
conditions. 

In 1891 the new structures were begun, comprising a church, a house a little 
more suitable and comfortable, and some outhouses. The house was of two floors, 
30 x 40 feet in dimensions. The church 40 x 22, with its sanctuary 15x12 feet is 
well constructed with its vaulted roof and an elegant bell tower. It is painted within, 
and its exterior is fairly tasteful, but unhappily the church is too small for the Tchip- 
weyan worshippers, who are always very assiduous in their attendance at the religious 
ceremonies. The outhouses comprise a cart shed and a stable. The whole was 
finished in 1894 with the exception of a kitchen 22 x 20, which was added to the 
dwelling house in 1 896. 

We must now make special mention, among other events, of the unfortunate affair 
of 1885. The Tchipweyan Indians of Cold Lake could very easily have gone for 
refuge to Lac L Outarde, where they could have spent a pleasant time in full security, 
and this their devoted missionary advised them to do, but other counsels prevailed, which 
shows the want of sagacity in these good people. Instead, they joined "Big Bear s" 
camp, near Frog Lake. On arriving they perceived the trap into which they had 
been ensnared, but it was too late. They had gone there to seek protection, impelled 
by their timidity, for, to own the truth, there is no tribe less warlike than the Tchipweyan. 
The only result of their false move was the loss of a great number of their animals and 
their effects, and the loss, into the bargain, of Government favors. 

We must notice a violent epidemic of small pox which raged at the beginning of 
the year 1 889, and made many victims. The Rev. Fr. Le Goff had just departed for 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 59 



the East of Canada with the view of having some grammars, prayer books and sermons 
printed in the Tchipweyan language. His place was filled by the Rev. Fr. Penard, 
whose knowledge of the native language was as yet very slight, but the Rev. Fr. Dauph 
in, of Onion Lake, came to his assistance and gave valuable help in attending to 
those who understood the Cree language. 

In spite, however, of his very limited knowledge of the Tchipweyan tongue, the 
Rev. Fr. Penard conducted the Mission in a very satisfactory manner, hearing confes 
sions and administering the sacraments through the assistance of interpreters, if he had 
no means of doing otherwise, and on Father Le Goff s return all was found to be going 
on admirably. Father Penard has the reputation of having a firm hand in his adminis 
tration and this is what the Tchipweyans need. 

Besides this absence of some months in 1889, Fr. Le Goff had had no other holi 
day in the space of the sixteen years he had spent at this Mission. In I 899, however, 
he obtained leave for a prolonged absence of seven or eight months in which to revisit 
his relations in France. In the interval he was replaced by Fr. Lestanc, who, in spite 
of his ignorance of Tchipweyan made himself beloved by these good Indians. 

The Rev. Fr. Le Goff had generally been alone on this far away post, but in 1 902 
the Rev. Fr. J. Portier was sent as his assistant and he remained there two years, from 
January, 1902, to January, 1904. In October of 1906 the Rev. Fr. LeClainche was 
sent to study the Tchipweyan language, but his health did not permit him to remain 
long and he left in February, 1907. Father Le Goff at present has only a Brother 
as his companion, who combines the offices of a cook with all the other duties of a lay 
brother. 

The population, which was only 1 1 to 1 1 5 in 1879 has since increased by births 
and by recruits from Lac de Coeur (Heart Lake) and Ile-a-la-Crosse. At present 
there are about 300 souls. The Mission can now be said to be organized like a civilized 
parish. On Sundays and Feast days is High Mass in the forenoon and Catechism 
immediately after mid-day; at 1.30 p.m. Hymn singing, instructions, Rosary and Benedic 
tion of the Blessed Sacrament. The Tchipweyans are fond of the church s services and 
never grow weary of singing hymns in their own tongue. There are 170 to 180 com 
municants and nearly all approach the Sacraments at Christmas and Easter, and others 
at the principal Feasts of the year, and those of the Blessed Virgin. Each Sunday there 
are many communions. In the year 1907, on the occasion of the pastoral visit of His 
Lordship, the Bishop of St. Albert, there were twelve first communions and twenty- 
five confirmations. What renders the ministry difficult are the sick calls, for the In 
dians do not remain constantly on the Reserve. They are often absent on hunting ex 
peditions 100 to 150 miles away to the North, East or to the West. Rev. Father L. 
Le Goff had contemplated for a long time the publication of a Dictionary of the Tchip 
weyan language. He has gone now, 1914, to Europe for this purpose and his place 
is filled by Rev. Father Dauphin, O.M.I. 

THE STATION OF LAC DE COEUR. (HEART LAKE). 

Heart Lake is about 1 30 miles north-east of Cold Lake, but much nearer Lake 
La Biche. However, there are 80 Tchipweyan Indians there, and therefore it is the 
missionary from Cold Lake who visits them. At present he makes the journey twice a 
year, once in summer and again in winter. Formerly the winter travelling was done on 
snow shoes with a dog train. At present, by taking a longer course and passing by Lake 
La Biche, thus making a journey of 200 miles, the distance can be done by carriage with 
less strain and hardships. There is neither chapel nor priest s house at Lac de Coeur, 
but Holy Mass is celebrated in a poor Indian cabin. Though poor and abandoned, 
these Tchipweyans are, however, a kind hearted people and good Christians, and if 
only they were more numerous and in better circumstances, they also would be glad to 
have their own little chapel. 



60 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



4. THE MISSION OF ST. ALEXANDER. Riviere qui Barre. 

I he Mission of St. Alexander is situated near the Riviere que Barre, about twenty- 
two miles from St. Albert, but it was not originally started here. It is an Indian mission 
of Crees and "Stonies," nevertheless the Cree language is the only one in use at present. 
Formerly their hunting grounds extended over all that part of the country north of Ed 
monton bounded by the Athabaska river. Their trading post was especially the old 
Fort Assiniboine, of which there only remain a few traces. The Hudson s Bay Com 
pany had also a small post at Lake La Nonne, where each winter they sent an em 
ployee to trade for furs. 

A somewhat numerous band was settled in this direction and the missionaries com 
menced to visit them. In 1 869 the Rev. Fr. Leduc made a short stay there, but the 
Indians asked for a resident priest and towards the end of June, 1877, the Rev. Fr. 
Fafard was sent to take up his abode with them. He built a little house for himself 
on the shore of the lake, on the eastern side near that of the Chief Katchikaweskam. The 
mission was, from the beginning, put under the patronage of St. Alexander in honor of 
His Lordship, Bishop Tache. On July ! 9th, however, Fr. Fafard returned to St. Al 
bert and the house built by him was hardly habitable, when the Rev. Fr. Tou/.e arrived 
to replace him, so that he was obliged to take up his quarters in the chief s dwelling. 

Henceforth the evangelization of these Indians began in a more continuous manner. 
It must be mentioned, however, that a number had already been baptized by a Methodist 
minister. Nevertheless, with some few exceptions, they gave the best of welcome to the 
Catholic priest. I he chief was one of the most zealous. He gave hospitality to him 
and in return he and his family received a thorough course of religious instruction. He 
sent away one of his two wives and received baptism at St. Albert on Easter Sunday, 
1878, Jiaving for his god-father the Rev. Fr. Blanche!, and for his god-mother the Rev. 
Sister Shette. Since then he is known especially by his Christian name of "Alexander" 
(Arcand). 

It was^ decided to fix the site of the Mission in a more appropriate position near 
the Hudson s Bay post, to the north of the lake, and indeed another more convenient 
house was built there by Mr. Majeau. Fr. Touze came to take up residence there, 
accompanied by Brother L. Van Tighen, who, while engaged in continuing his studies, 
at the same time worked at the completion of the interior of the house. 

In the autumn of this year, 1877, the Cree Indians had signed a treaty with the 
Government and Alexander was recognized as the Chief of the band. This brought 
about other changes. In fact, on the 16th of October, 1879, Mr. Wadsworth, Inspec 
tor of Farms for the Indian Department, arrived with Mr. J. J. McHugh and Mr. 
James O Donnell, whose business was to choose a suitable place for the Indian Reserve. 
I hey decided on that territory which is watered by the Riviere qui Barre, not far 
from its mouth. The following year, 1 880, in August and September, the Reserve was 
surveyed and in 1881 the Indians came to take possession of it. The change necessitated 
the abandonment of the Mission of Lake La Nonne after only two years of existence, 
and the Rev. Fr. Fouze returned to St. Albert, continuing, however, to visit the Indians 
from time to time, as did also the Rev. Father Remas, who was also appointed to visit the 
"Michel Callihoo" Reserve and that of Stoney Plain. 

With the year 1886 the Mission entered on its period of stability. On the 4th of 
March the Rev. Fr. Blanchet arrived to take up residence there. The Indians had de 
cided to build a house which should also serve as a church, while, in the meantime, the 
Father lodged with the Chief. FVom the 15th of this same month a school was opened 
with twenty children under the management of Paul Durocher. By September the house, 
though unfinished, was habitable and the Rev. Father took up his abode there. At 
Christmas the Midnight Mass was solemnly celebrated in the lower part of the house, 
which served as the church. There was a great gathering of worshippers and the touching 
ceremony made a beneficial impression on the Indians. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 61 



In the spring following, the question of a boarding school for the Reserve began to 
be mooted, for a day school on a Reserve cannot be kept up with regularity and gives 
but little satisfaction. The preceding winter of 1887-88 had been one of utmost 
severity and hunger had treated the Indians rigorously, for there had been no harvest 
and the chase had utterly failed by reason of the excessive cold and the depth of the 
snow. Their misery had been very great and many deaths ensued in consequence of 
these extreme privations. I he Government employees seemed scarcely to trouble them 
selves about these conditions, while the missionaries, on the contrary, constantly inter 
ceded on behalf of the Indians, but with no great success. They made numerous com 
plaints and finally obtained the visit of Mr. Reed, the Indian Commissioner. The In 
dians in this manner had the opportunity of exposing their grievances and of making 
known their needs, and they obtained satisfaction to a certain extent. 

On the question of a boarding school, they were, however, unable to obtain their 
request, but it was decided that the establishment at St. Albert, under the direction of the 
Gray Sisters, being in the more central portion, should serve as the boarding school of 
the three Reserves of "Stoney Plain," "Michel Callihoo" and "Alexander." Never 
theless, the Protestant ministers were exerting themselves on their side and were endeavor* 
ing to sow discord. They also wished for a school and they even established themselves 
on the outer boundaries of the Reserve. Then it was determined to take a census of 
the Indians from a religious point of view. At the request of Bishop Grandin, presented 
at Ottawa by the Rev. Father Gendreau, who had come on a semi-official mission to in 
spect the Oblate Missions among the Indians, a Catholic agent was obtained in the 
person of Count de Cazes. This gentleman, however, sent his clerk, Mr. Lake, to take 
the census so as not to restrain the liberty of the Indians. The Indians were convened 
in the presence of the priest and the Protestant minister and it became known that the 
cause of all this trouble was to be found in the actions of a handful of fanatics. The 
Chief, Alexander, in a truly eloquent address, declared that he wanted peace on his 
Reserve and that those who were not satisfied and wished to favor the Protestants should 
betake them to a distance and settle elsewhere. This, in fact, was done, and the min 
ister made no further attempt to settle on the Alexander Reserve. 

The years which followed were marked with peace and progress from the religious 
point of view. 

In 1 892 the Rev. Fr. Blanchet, who had obtained leave to visit his family in 
France and rest there a little, was replaced by the good and zealous Father Remas, 
as ardent as ever for the instruction of his neophytes. At the end of two years he ob 
tained in June, 1894, the companionship of Rev. Fr. Simonin, whose duty it became to 
acquaint himself with the secrets of the Cree language, and the ministry among the 
Indians. But at the end of November of the same year Rev. Fr. Remas was succeeded 
in the care of the Indians of the Mission by the Rev. Fr. Dauphin, who was to spend 
the following six years among them, doing much for the development of the Mission and 
the Christian education of the natives. From his time, however, the day school was 
closed, as it had never given satisfaction, and the regular course followed is to draw 
the children to the boarding school at St. Albert. A presbytery was then built. The 
house-chapel was now exclusively reserved for worship with a small sanctuary and 
sacristy added. Of the upper floor, the gallery only was retained. Moreover, new 
settlers were arriving on all sides. It was necessary now to devote attention to them 
also. At first these attended the services at the Mission, but soon it became needful to 
organize them into a parish. 

The first church of St. Emerence was built outside the Reserve and its care en 
trusted to Fr. Blanchet, on his return from France. The Rev. Fr. Dauphin also visited 
a group of Catholics to the south of the Sturgeon river and built a little chapel there. 
This is now the parish of St. Pierre. 



62 



After a lapse of years, Father Dauphin was called from the Mission of St. Alex 
ander to another sphere of action and his place was taken, in October, 1900, by the 
Rev. Fr. Simonin. This father had for his companion the Rev. Father Nordmann, 
who, however, was very frequently absent, especially on Sundays, in his duty of visiting 
St. Emerence, the Germans or Irish of Glengarry, Morinville and even of Leduc, and 
also the Galician settlement at Star. 

The Rev. Fr. Simonin continued the work left unfinished by his predecessor, the 
arrangement of the interior of the presbytery and the furnishing of the church with an 
elegant bell tower. 

From the point of view of Christian habits, it must be owned that the advance of 
the so called civilization was becoming fatal to the poor Indians. They were afforded 
more facilities for procuring intoxicating liquors and the passion of the Indians for "fire 
water" is well known. Drunkenness, too, always gives birth to other failings, and the 
Indians, formerly so pious and docile to the voice of their priests, now began to fall 
back considerably. 

Besides these causes of laxity, it must be said that the time of the missionary was 
very much taken up with other works which were imposed on him. The Parish of St. 
Peter had to be visited, then near Long Lake; the foundation of a new parish was re 
quired, that of St. Charles; then, finally, at Lake La Nonne a somewhat numerous group 
of Whites and Half-breeds also needed the visit of the priest. It became even neces 
sary to visit the new settlers away on the Pembina river and Paddle river as far as the 
Athabaska river. 

In 1905 Father Simonin was called elsewhere. Since then, after several changes, 
we find in charge in 1907, the Rev. Fr. J. Portier, who soon received a companion in 
the person of Rev. Fr. Le Bre. Brother Guillaume came a little later to complete 
the staff. 

The work is sufficiently great to occupy two missionaries, especially if all the sur 
rounding stations are considered, which have to be attended to, but, with stability in 
the staff, the perserving labor of the missionary will succeed in destroying, in part, at least, 
the evil influences which combine toward the ruin of the poor Indian race. 

In 1887 the number of souls on the Reserve was about 220. Today, 1914, it 
hardly reaches 1 70. It is true that two or three families have departed, but we 
are forced to admit that these Indian tribes are slowly diminishing in number. Rev. 
Father P. Le Bre is now in charge with the assistance of Rev. Father Lizee. 



5. THE MISSION OF OUR LADY OF THE SEVEN DOLORS. (Hobbema). 

One spring, towards the year 1840, an incident occurred in a band of Indians, of 
the same parent stock as those now composing the Reserve at Hobbema, which was to 
be fraught with considerable consequence. Some of their hardy trappers had gone, 
during the winter, as far as Red River to sell their furs. On their return they were 
relating among their other interesting adventures, that they had seen the "Men of prayer 
who have a good heart." 

In the midst of the group of listeners there was an old Canadian named Piche, who 
had long ago thrown in his lot with this band, and indeed had married the daughter of 
its chief. What it was that passed in the mind of this man, now half a savage him 
self, who had almost forgotten the pious remembrances of his childhood, we can not say. 
But he seems to have had made some deep reflections, for he decided to send two of his 
sons to Red River, not only to see a priest, but, if possible, to bring him back with 
them. 



vr rf*" 

^^^"X- X"]^-!! l^ X ! * 5 /^^^!! ^^^^ 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 63 



This deputation was in fact received by Bishop Provencher during the winter and 
no doubt contributed no little to the sending of the Rev. J. B. Thibault in 1842. 

From Battleford to the Rocky Mountains, the whole country south of the Saskatch 
ewan was the hunting ground of this band which often found itself at war with the re 
doubtable Blackfeet. Without doubt they had been visited at times by the missionaries. 
But it was very difficult to instruct, civilize and christianize them satisfactorily on these 
rare and short visits. The Buffalo then roamed over the plains. It was the time of 
plenty and the Indian s God was his belly, according to the forcible expression of St. 
Paul. 

However, on the occasion of these missionary visits, all of the family of this Can 
adian who had sent for the "Men of Prayer" became Catholics. This was the root 
stock of all that band now forming the present Mission at Hobbema. Still, though 
Catholics, they were far from possessing a very complete Christian education. For that 
it was necessary that they should renounce their nomadic life and settle down some 
where in a permanent manner. A new condition of affairs, co-operated under God s 
providence to effect this. 

The smallpox of 1870 decimated their ranks and sowed misfortune in the family. 
Soon, too, buffaloes began to grow scarce and all of a sudden they disappeared, to 
the great consternation of the Indians, who believed that they would always have the 
buffalo with them as long as there was grass on the prairie and water flowing in the 
streams. Then, too, immigration had set in on all sides, and the new colonists were set 
tling all around. To avoid the conflicts which would not be wanting between these 
newcomers and the aboriginal tribes, the Government then decided to make treaties with 
the Indians on the condition that they should yield up their lands and be content to be 
confined to certain marked out "Reserves." 

In 1877 the Half-breed issue of the Canadian Piche and the chief s daughter be 
came in his turn chief of the band. One was named Ermine Skin (Okosikowiyan) , and 
his brother "Bob-tail" (Kiskayuw). The latter was the leader of another band who 
lived side by side with that of the former. Both "Ermine Skin" and "Bob-tail" ac 
cepted the treaty. In consequence of a dream m which "Ermine Skin" saw a priest, 
cross in hand, pointing out a wooded hillside to him, recognized in this the "Bear Hill" 
and he chose the site for his Reserve and came to settle there. The Mission at first was 
then known as the "Bear Hill Mission." 

&l In 1881 the Rev. Fr. Touze and the Rev. H. Beillevaire came to visit these In 

dians and to choose a place for the Mission which afterwards Bishop Grandin, on his 
coming there in the following summer, entrusted to the care of the Rev. H. Beillevaire. 
The latter hastily built a poor hut, a portion only of which was covered with pine bark. 
He could not pass the winter there under these conditions, and at the end of the fall he 
went to the "Laboucane" settlement, the Duhamel of today. The following spring he 
returned to Bear Hill and visited both Missions in rotation. 

In November, 1 884, a new attempt was made by Fathers Gabillon and Scollen 
to fix the site of the Mission. After having taken the precaution of having the place 
determined by the chief himself, who had informed the agent, Mr. Lucas, they settled 
on a spot not far from the Agency, built a little hut and were passing the winter there. 

But in spite of these precautions the spirit of opposition and meanness prevailed in 
forcing them to betake themselves three miles further up the Battle River. There they 
built a house and found themselves on "Bob-tail s" Reserve. 

The Mission of Our Lady of Seven Dolors had already experienced its trials. It 
was still to undergo further trouble. It was necessary again to move elsewhere and while 
still maintaining their foothold on "Bob-tail s" land the Rev. Fr. Merer and Rev. hr. 
Gabillon went this same summer of 1885, seven miles to the north, on to "Ermine Skin s" 
Reserve, not far from the high road from Calgary to Edmonton. This is the site of 
the present Mission. 



64 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The Rev. Fr. Gabillon was now left alone and he built a house-chapel which was 
more suitable than the preceding ones, measuring 14x28 feet, but still very unpre 
tentious. None the less, at this period, it was considered very becoming and at any rate 
it was the House of God and that of His minister. This building still exists, but its 
purpose is not as dignified as of old, being now a mere outhouse belonging to the Mis 
sion. 

From this point the religious instruction of the Indians commenced in a continuous 
and regular manner. At the same time an attempt was made to train them to habits of 
labor, and to teach them the cultivation of their fields and the art of gardening. 

It was in the year 1887 that the first school was started in the missionary s own 
house. A little assistance was given by the Government, but difficulties arose in mak 
ing the Indians understand the necessity of education and of sending their children to be 
taught, as well as in retaining school teachers sufficiently persevering in this discouraging 
and ungrateful task. 

In 1891 the C. & E. railway line was constructed from Calgary to Edmonton and 
a simple flag station was established quite near the Mission. The C.P.R. company was 
exploiting this line and their President, Sir William Van Home, himself an artist, had 
given the names of great painters to some stations along the line. That of the celebrated 
Dutch artist, Hobbema, was given to this little station and the Mission, which up to this 
time, had been known as "Bear Hill," was now known also under the name of Hobbema. 

The school, begun m 1 889, had been continued and improved with a school house 
specially set aside for the purpose. But above the school lessons, there is the moral and 
religious training to consider. This can not be obtained when the attendance is very 
irregular and when the work of some hours in the class room is destroyed by the opposing 
influence of the camp. For a long time a boarding school where the children could be 
kept day and night had been recognized as necessary to obtain serious and lasting results. 
The Bishop of St. Albert had entered into negotiations with the community of the Sisters 
of the Assumption, of Nicolet, and happily succeeded. This excellent order, which 
had been engaged with such great success in the education of the young in civili/ed coun 
tries, was willing also to devote itself to the Christian education of the savage races. 

The 30th of August, 1894, was a great occasion full of promise for the religious 
future of the Reserve when the first Sisters of the Assumption arrived at Hobbema. 
They were three in number, their names being Rev. Sister St. Stanislas, Superioress; 
Sister St. Arsene, assistant, and Sister du S.-Coeur de Marie, teacher. 

The day of their arrival Father A. Lacombe, the veteran pioneer of the Indian 
Missions of the North West, was then with other missionaries to witness the dawn of 
this new period in the development of the Hobbema Mission. The Rev. Fr. Gabillon 
gave his own house to the Sisters and retired to the loft of the kitchen until the new 
presbytery could be constructed. 

The present church was then in process of being built. I he Oblate lay brothers, 
engaged on the work, pushed on the operations with energy, so that in spite of the 
rigorous cold the building was completed for the Christmas of that year, 1894, and 
the wonder-struck Indians, marvelling at the size of this pretty church, with its hand 
some steeple, prepared for their own benefit, attended in great numbers. 

Father Gabillon, who had so long been under the strain of difficulties, was now- 
able to catch a glimpse of happier days and of more consoling success, but he was called 
by obedience to work in the neighboring Diocese and his place was filled by Rev. Fr. O. 
Perrault, who came in September, 1895. 

The Sisters had not been able to start their boarding school from the moment of 
their arrival, for their premises were too small. During two years they managed as 
well as they could with the day school, but the moment had come when they had to 
build. The Government gave a subsidy of $2,500. The Sisters solicited the charity 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 

of the public and then contracted a somewhat considerable debt, but on the first of May, 
1987 work on the present spacious building was commenced, being located close 
to the former school. This new building measured 40 x 50 feet, in three floors 
authorized to take in fifty children, for whom the Government would pay the ordinary 
annual grant. Soon after the school had been opened this number was reach 
very short time and even surpassed. 

The Rev Fr Perrault was a zealous missionary who employed himself actively 
with his Reserve, his school and his Indians. The latter quickly gave him their confi 
dence But illness attacked him from the year 1896. Father Dubois came for some 
time to his assistance, then afterwards Rev. Fr. Lizee was sent to take charge 
Mission. 

In 1898 Father Perrault, now a little better in health, came again to take up his 
post and he was assisted by Rev. Fr. Simonm. But soon the malady overcame him 
again and in October 1899 he left to see if he could recover his health in milder climate! 
He passed the winter in Texas. In the spring he went up to Colorado. But his illusions 
vanished and his only desire now was to return to die among his Indians. r made 
the journey back with painfulness and by short stages, arriving at last as tar as L,al- 
gary where he died on the 8th of December, 1900. Thus it was only his body that 
was brought some days later to repose in the humble cemetery of the Mission. During 
his sojourn at the M.ssion, in spite of his feeble health, the Rev Father Perrault had 
done much good. He never spared himself. In sickness or in health he often visited 
his Indians, even when they were at a distance, and thus he brought many of the Indians, 
on "Bob-tail s" Reserve, back to their Christian practices, when they had fallen aw 
from their duty. 

The Rev. Fr. Simonin, who had remained in charge of the Mission after the de 
parture of Rev. Fr. Perrault, was replaced by Rev. Fr. Dauphin, under whom the work 
continued to develop. The buildings were finished and the presbytery was enlarged and 
decorated in 1903. The school was also provided with new buildings; a s 
laundry; cistern and artesian wells in 1906. 

The Rev. Fr. Dauphin was seconded in his efforts to a certain degree by his as 
sistants, at first by the Rev. Fr. Portier, and later, ,n 1901, by the Rev. Fr. C. Vanden- 
daele. 

In 1907 there was a new change in the staff. The Rev. Fr. Moulin, who had 
arrived here nearly three years previously, replaced Fr. Dauphin for a time and since 
Father Dauphin left for Cold Lake Mission has remained in charge of the Mission , 
Hobbema. This institution is now on an excellent footing. The staff has been increase, 
and about sixty-five pupils are at present, 1914, admitted. The Rev. Sister Superioress 
St. Jean Baptiste has nine Sisters with her to bestow on their young charges, boys 
girls, all the solicitude that a truly maternal devotion can inspire. 

The children are fond of their school, finding there both useful and pleasurable 
occupations combined. A mandolin orchestra has been organized for the girls, whc 
astonish all those who hear them by their skill on this instrument. The boys, likewise, 
have a brass band and all this gives their little family entertainments much ami 
and brilliancy. 

The graceful group of the well arranged buildings of the Mission of Hobbema 
stand out surrounded by the background of verdure of the protecting hills at whc 
it nestles. 

To the west it presents a most charming effect, seen from the railway line and 
travellers are quite surprised to learn that this is a Mission for the benefit of Indians. 
Many civilized people would be glad enough to have an institution of this kind 
education of their own children. 



66 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



6. THE MISSION OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST. STONEY PLAIN. 

The Mission of St. John the Evangelist at Stoney Plain is situated on an Indian 
Reserve about nine miles west of Edmonton. Formerly, it appears that this district was 
a particularly choice hunting ground of an Assiniboine tribe (Assinipwatak) , in English 
Moneys, a branch of the Sioux nation, which inhabited the lower slopes of the Rocky 
Mountains Later on a Reserve was marked out for them. This part of the country 
was also known under the name of "Maskigesik," because of the great Maskeg or 
Savanna that is still seen. 

Until 1887 there had been no resident priest, but the Indian band established there 
was regularly visited by the missionaries of St. Albert and Edmonton. 

In 1885 the Rev. Fr. Remas was in charge of this duty. He would have wished 

3 reside there and construct a house, seeing that he found so many inconveniences in 

living in an Indian s house. Later, Father Grandin took up the work. He had besides 

many opportunities of seeing them at Edmonton, whither they went to obtain their 

rations. 

In 1 887 the Rev. Father Tissier was appointed to organize this parish and to es 
tablish it in a permanent manner. At this time it was designed to have a school for the 
Indian children, but it was difficult for the missionary to keep a school regularly as he 

KY/u- V1S AYn 0t , 0n T ly , thlS , Reserve but also that of Alexis at Lake St. Anne, and that 
of White Whale Lake (Wapasakahiganik). 

However, during the winter of this year Rev. Fr. Tissier attempted to hold a 
school in a wretched hovel which allowed the daylight to penetrate its covering and 
which could not be heated without being filled with smoke. 

In the spring of the following year, 1888, a house-chapel was built and other ar 
rangements made. Mr. Thomas Ridsdale was engaged as the school master with the 
condition of performing other services of a hired man for the Rev. Father Missionary 
outs.de the class hours. This arrangement did not last very long and other combination 
were attempted. The Mission of Stoney Plain, as all the other works of this nature 
had to pass through its period of difficulties and trials. 

An Agency had been established at Stoney Plain and the Count de Cazes named 
agent. 

Rev. Fr. Tissier remained in charge of this Mission till towards the end of 1891 
when he was recalled to another field of labor, being replaced by the Rev Fr Oscar Per 
rault on the 29th of November of this same year. This latter Father had only ar 
rived a few months before in the Diocese and he had to learn their language before 
obtaining any appreciable influence over the Indians. But, nevertheless, in a short time 
he was already well on the way towards gaining their esteem. 

In 1895 Fr Perrault was replaced by Fr. Remas, who remained for two years 

in charge of this Mission. Later, the Rev. Fr. Simonin succeeded to Fr. Remas on the 

xasion of the latter having to go to Montreal to have his eyesight attended to At thi<= 

time a little group of Catholics had settled on the outskirts of the Reserve, who were 

sufficiently numerous for a small church of their own. Fr. Simonin undertook the 

building of such a one and this is now the Mission of St. Joseph at Spruce Grove. 

? we find the Rev. Fr.Lizee in charge of the Mission. He, however did 

He came in January and was replaced in the month of October by 

the Rev. Fr. Vegreville. 

The Rev. Fr. Beaudry, a native of the Diocese and belonging to the Half-breed 
race, had arrived a year before. The Cree language was his mother s tongue, and to 
him was entrusted at once the task of visiting the different Cree Missions and of preach 
ing retreats there until he finished his tour in 1903. He was then senl to Stoney Plain 
to reside with Fr. Vegrev.lle, whose occupation now lay especially with the White 
population which was beginning to invade this part of the country. 






HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 67 



But as the Rev. Father Beaudry had in the course of the summer to make a 
somewhat long journey on a visit to another band of Indians, the Crees and Iroquois, 
who dwell in the neighborhood of Fort Jasper, the Rev. Fr. Tissier was again sent to 
the Mission of St. John the Evangelist to take his place. 

On the return of Fr. Beaudry, as it had been decided that he should remain at 
St. Albert, with the duty of visiting the new Mission of Athabasca from time to time, 
the Rev. Fr. 1 issier was again placed in charge of the Mission until 1906. After a 
short absence, during which he was replaced by the Rev. Fr. Portiei (May, 1906), 
and the Rev. Fr. Ernest Lacombe (May, 1907) Fr. Tissier returned a third time to 
take charge of the Mission at Stoney Plain in the month of December, 1907. He is 
still at his post and in spite of his advancing age and his long term of service, which 
would entitle him to ask for well merited rest, he is still full of courage and energy. He 
still expends himself for the good of his Indians who can not but bear witness to his 
ever ardent zeal. Fr. Tissier, moreover, is alone at this post, and while attending to the 
needs of the Mission of St. John the Evangelist has also the care of the Mission of St. 
Joseph. 

7. ST. MATHIAS. GOOD FISH LAKE. 

Thirty miles north of the Saddle Lake Reserve, on the road to Lake La Biche, there 
is another Indian Reserve along White Fish and Good Fish Lakes. A Protestant mis 
sion had been established there for a long time and many of the Cree Indian Catho 
lics dwelling on the southern part of this Reserve were in danger of being more or less 
influenced by this neighboring Protestantism. On one of his journeys to Lake La Biche, 
Bishop Grandin encamped here and celebrated Holy Mass there in the little hut of 
an Indian Catholic. He grieved to see the danger to which these Catholic Indians were 
exposed and he promised that if it were possible for him to found a mission in this place, 
he would dedicate it to St. Mathias, whose feast occurred that very day. 

This desire could not be realized until twenty years later. Then, at last, in 1900 
it was resolved to settle a permanent establishment in this place and the Rev. Fr. H. 
Grandin, then residing at Saddle Lake, was entrusted with the enterprise. Opposition 
was put in his way and he had to wait. Chief Pakan, though less intractable, was 
hardly favorable to the Catholics, yet this time others were put forward. In spite of these 
obstacles the work was pushed with energy and on December 2nd, 1900, Bishop Legal, 
then Bishop Grandin s coadjutor, had the consolation of solemnly blessing the pretty 
little church of St. Mathias, built in a charming position on the bank of the lake. The 
aged Bishop of St. Albert, Bishop Grandin, although incapable of taking part in this 
festivity, was nevertheless greatly rejoiced. 

On this occasion also there was the solemn blessing of a fine bell destined for the 
steeple of this new church. However, even after the building of the church the mission 
had not yet a resident priest. It was visited as before from Saddle Lake by the 
Rev. Frs. Grandin, Comire and Baiter, but in October, 1 90 1 , the Rev. W. Comire 
came to settle there, and to assist him he had Rev. Brother F. Barasse, who assumed a 
multiplicity of offices. 

ST. NAZAIRE. 

About fifteen miles in a south-easterly direction from Lake La Biche there is a 
group of Cree Indians dwelling on the margins of Beaver Lake. The duty of visiting 
this band, composed entirely of good Catholics, was entrusted to Rev. Fr. Comire. In 
1905, with the active co-operation of these good Indians, he found it possible to build 
them an excellent church of hewn logs and sufficiently large for the population, with the 
addition of a room for the priest s dwelling. The little church is even surmounted by a 



68 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



neat steeple. The position is well chosen on the shore of a very picturesque lake, with 
its wooded forelands jutting out far and boldly into its waters. On September 1 I th of 
the year, 1905, the new church was solemnly blessed by His Lordship, Bishop Le-al 
who was accompanied for this circumstance by the Rev. Father Nazaire Dozois "the 
official visitor of the missionaries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The name given 
to the mission happened to be that of St. Nazaire. 

One of the Indians, a bright and intelligent fellow, made a witty request of the Rev 
hr. Dozois, suggesting to him that it would be very appropriate if the little empty belfry 
d receive its natural complement and there should be a bell to awaken the neigh 
boring echoes with the name of Nazaire. Was his request successful? This at least 
we may say, that in the October of 1907, a handsome bell, weighing 300 pounds was 
blessed by Rev. Father A. Therien, who had been delegated for the purpose by the 
Bishop of St. Albert. 

The total population of Indians of Good Fish Lake and Beaver Lake comprises 
Catholics. In addition there are about 50 other Catholics, Indians or Half- 
breeds, who frequent the Mission of St. Nazaire at Beaver Lake, while coming from 
Mosquito Lake and I rout Lake. Up to the present time the Beaver Lake Indians have 

exclusively by hunting and fishing, but the time is doubtless not far distant when 
they will be obliged to adopt another mode of life, as has already been done by the 
Indians of Good Fish Lake. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



69 



CHAPTER III. 



HALF-BREED MISSIONS 



The Missions of Lake St. Anne, Lake La Biche and even St. Albert, of which 
we have spoken in the first chapter, were originally especially established for the needs 
of the Half-breeds, who then composed the greater part of the population. Two others 
of the same nature remain to be mentioned: St. Thomas, at Duhamel, and St. Paul 
des Metis. 

1. ST. THOMAS. DUHAMEL. 

The Mission is situated on the banks of the Battle River, about twenty miles east 
of Wetaskiwin. Its origin dates back to 1881. In the month of May of that year, 
the Rev. Father H. Beillevaire, who was then residing at "Bear Hill," the Hobbema 
of today, came in company with two Indians, one of whom was the old man "Papa- 
kines," or the "Grasshopper," to visit some Half-breed families established in this 
spot. Among others those of the Salois and Laboucane families. These last, three in 
number, had given the place the name of the Laboucane Settlement. 

The banks of the Battle River at this place are rather high and steep. On the 
north they are completely bare, but on the south, on the contrary, they are still covered 
with timber. Today there can still be seen numerous excavations which served as m- 
trenchments, for this was the frontier line separating the hunting grounds of the Crees 
from those of the fierce Blackfeet, and here in the neighborhood there had taken place 
frequent encounters between these rival races, which doubtless gave its name to the Battle 
River, which it has since preserved. 

After having visited the Battle River Settlement a certain number of times in the 
course of the year, the Rev. Fr. Beillevaire came to settle down for the winter here. At 
the Bear Hill Mission he had only a cabin covered with pine bark and exposed to the 
winds, and he could expect here better quarters. The little house, 20 x 1 8 feet, 
placed at his disposal, was, however, hardly any better. It was made of upright logs 
and also covered with pine bark, with the addition of a chimney made Indian fashion of 
stones and mud. Besides, there was a little iron stove. But the good Father could 
count upon the Half-breeds settling in the vicinity, for the favor of these little personal 
services which he had not been able to have at Bear Hill. 

He divided his little dwelling into two parts by means of large curtains, which, on 
Sundays he had only to draw aside and the whole was transformed into a chapel. After 
having stayed at Bear Hill during the next summer, the missionary returned once more 
to Battle River in the autumn of 1882 to take up his abode for the winter as he had 
done the previous year. 

In 1883 ten Half-breed families came to settle in the vicinity and it became neces 
sary to build a chapel. With the scanty means at command this was no easy matter. 
A little land was bought for twenty dollars and in the meantime a little house was built 
on it for the priest, in the same style as before, and although this missionary is far from 
being of colossal stature, still the house was so low that he had to bow his head down to 
make his way into his dwelling. Mass was said on Sundays at Mr. Elzear Laboucane s 



70 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



house which was fairly large and suitable. In the course of the summer the wood for 
the church building was cut in the neighboring spruce groves and on the day following 
the heast of All Saints, 1883, the building was begun and could be used for the festi 
val of Christmas. In the place of mortar, moss was used to fill up the chinks left be 
tween the pieces of wood. In consequence the building was far from being warm. They 
had, however, an old stove which came from the "old chapel" formerly built within the 
enclosure of Fort Edmonton. 

On the 14th of May, 1884, the Half-breed settlement was visited for the first 
time by the Right Reverend Bishop, Mgr. Grandin, accompanied by his nephew, 
the Rev. Fr. [. Grandin, and the Rev. Fr. Blanchet. They were contented with the 
meagre hospitality that the poor missionary could offer in his humble cabin. His Lord 
ship administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to several persons and the new church 
had even to be turned into a banquet hall to entertain all those who had gathered from 
the neighborhood. During the summer the missionary s house let in water on all sides 
and it was, moreover, infested with snakes in such sort that the missionary had to find 
refuge elsewhere. 

About this time, on the occasion of a visit to the east, Bishop Grandin offered His 
Grace, the Archbishop of Ottawa, to call this Half-breed parish after his name, to 
which His Grace willingly acceded, and it was thenceforth known under the name of 
St. Thomas Duhamel. Some years later, in 1892, Archbishop Duhamel, on a journey 
to St. Albert, remembered the little parish that bore his name. He promised to make it 
a present of a bell, which he was not long in sending, blessed beforehand and ready for 
use to call the faithful to prayer. 

In the year 1883, to avoid discussions and quarrels, the Government decided to 
make a survey of the land with the purpose of determining the respective possessions of 
the Half-breeds, so as not to force them to annoying removals. The plan of river lots 
was adopted, and the surveyor engaged on the work was Mr. Pare. After this land 
survey, other Half-breeds came to settle on either bank of the river. Their principle 
occupation up to this period had been the transport of merchandise belonging to the Hud 
son s Bay Company as far as Edmonton, at first from Swift Current and afterwards 
from Calgary. They owned a good number of horses and oxen. 

In 1887 the missionary built a dwelling house close to the church and a little later, 
in 1900, there was added to it a school for the instruction of the children who were now 
becoming numerous. The first teacher was a Half-breed, Ambroise Gray, who was 
duly certificated. 

But now the immigrants began to arrive. The railroad between Calgary and Ed 
monton had been completed in 1902 and thus offered facilities for the arrival of new 
colonists. From that time, too, the work of transporting goods by road ceased and the 
greater part of the Half-breeds thus found themselves without the means of subsistence. 
They contracted debts and many were obliged to sell their lands and go elsewhere. The 
buyers were white men, and thus the present population is a very mixed one of different 
nationalities, such as Canadians, Belgians, Irish, Scotch, Germans and Austrians. 

In 1903, the postoffice, which had been long asked for, was opened. Its first 
postmaster was Mr. Adam, a recent arrival from Belgium, who had started a store near 
the bridge over the river. This gentleman contributed to the decoration of the church 
which was very bare and poor. He furnished the lumber for the roof vault which was 
placed in position by the two Oblate Brothers Royer and Hays. Another good parish 
ioner, Mr. David, in spite of his ranch being twenty miles distant, came to decorate this 
vault with handsome paintings. The visitor on entering this chapel is surprised to see 
these decorations, such as are not ordinarily found in little country churches of this size. 

,. I 895 the C< P R company undertook the construction of a railroad from 
Wetaskiwm to the east, which already provides direct communication with Winni 
peg. This road is of the greatest importance to the progress of the country. Many 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 71 



little towns are being formed and are rapidly developing at the different stations, of 
which Camrose is the most important. Bittern Lake, which is only nine miles distant 
from Duhamel, is its nearest station. Rev. Fr. Beillevaire, the young missionary of 
1881, who witnessed the first beginnings of the Mission and underwent early privations 
of these heroic times, is as yet at his post, a little aged, it is true, but still full of vigor 
and affection for his good Half-breed population. Nevertheless, he is now obliged to 
divide his time and besides the care he bestows on the parishioners of Duhamel, he is 
forced to be almost constantly travelling to visit scattered families and to give religious 
consolation to numerous little groups of Catholics of every race, Germans, Bohemians, 
Gahcians, etc. But everywhere he goes, his good humor and his open hearted kindli 
ness of disposition secure him at once the affection and confidence of all. 

2.ST. PAUL DES METIS. 

St. Paul des Metis is a Mission with a special character of its own. All the old 
missionaries of the country who have had frequent and intimate relations with the Metis 
or Half-breeds remained extremely devoted to them. It is with sorrow they have to 
record that the coming of European civilization has been, from more than one point of view, 
fatal to the Half-breeds. These simple and upright people are at the same time very 
helpless in the face of the seductions and temptations of all kinds to which they are ex 
posed. The neighborhood of towns is especially harmful to them on account of the 
manifold occasions they afford them of yielding to their weakness for intoxicating liquors, 
and drunkenness brings in its train numberless evils. 

Father Lacombe caused the Federal Government to realize that this situation de 
manded a special remedy. He had conceived the plan of withdrawing his beloved 
Half-breed population from these pernicious influences of vice, not indeed by force, but 
solely by persuasion, of gathering them together, far away from the White men and 
of placing them under the paternal direction of their priests, and in a colony of their 
own; to train them to regular work and industry by means of which there could come 
from this colony some good and consoling results, such as had been brought about in the 
reductions of Paraguay, under the direction of the Jesuits. 

The colony lands should still belong to the Government. They should be let to 
a syndicate which would direct the enterprise, and, by this body, be sub-let to the Half- 
breeds at a nominal price, in lots of eighty acres for each family, and the Half-breeds 
could not alienate these lands. 

In unfolding this plan to the Government, the good Father Lacombe put his whole 
heart, that of an ardent patriot and zealous apostle, and his words carried persuasion 
among official circles. A carefully thought out scheme presented by Mr. A. M. Bur 
gess, Deputy Minister of the Interior, received the sanction of the Governor-General in 
Council and realized the hopes and desires of Father Lacombe. 

Four townships, i.e. a space of twelve miles square, about 140 sections (for one 
of the townships is a little cut into by the Lake La Selle Reserve), were granted for 
twenty-one years to a syndicate composed of the Episcopal Corporations of St. Albert, 
St. Boniface, Prince Albert, Father Lacombe and two laymen, Hon. Judge Ouimet and 
the Hon. Senator R. Dandurand, for the realization of what was called, the "Redemp 
tion of the Half-breeds." 

In the month of May or June, 1896, the Government sent a surveyor to subdivide 
this Reserve, comprising townships 57 and 58 of both ranges 9 and 10, west of the 
4th Meridian. 

On the 8th of July of the same year, Bishop Grandin, on the request of Father 
Lacombe, appointed the Rev. Father A. Therien to lay the foundation of the colony. 
Fr. Therien went by land while Brother Nemoz and Frederic Durocher proceeded down 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



the river in charge of a great quantity of materials for building purposes. On the 15th 
of July Fr. Therien arrived in company with Rev. Fathers L. Le Goff and Comire. 
The Rev. Fr. Morin had visited this part of the country and had advised the choice of 
this place, but the Rev. Fr. Therien located the site for the future mission at some 
distance north of Egg Lake (Lac des Oeufs). There were already a small number of 
Half-breeds established here on the arrival of the Father, and others soon came to in 
crease it. Father I herien and his helper lived in tents until the first house was ready, 
which was not before the month of December. The winter was rather severe, and as 
the newcomers had no other resources they had to take to fishing in Moose Lake and the 
surrounding lakes which happily furnished them with fish in abundance. 

In the spring of 1897, they hastened to sow their seed and many Half-breeds were 
engaged in wood sawing at Lake La Biche and in the transfer of the materials of this 
Mission to Lake La Selle, where it had been decided, at the request of the Government, 
to transfer the boarding school. Fortunately the harvest of 1897 was a very good 
one. I his gave encouragement to all and restored their confidence. 

The flour and saw mills were removed from Lake La Biche to the settlement 
at St. Paul des Metis, but as there was not as yet any building to receive the machinery 
it was necessary to work them in the open air. Brothers Racette and Kowaltczek were 
not discouraged by this and the Half-breeds were able to grind their own grain and 
they had sufficient flour for the winter. During the year 1898 the Half-breeds were 
employed in transporting the material for building purposes, but as means were still 
wanting they were unable to commence building this year, so that they had again to have 
recourse to fishing and hunting for their support, during the winter. 

The population was by this time fairly numerous, so that the need of a school was 
already felt. From the beginning in 1897 a school had been opened by the devoted 
Brother Petitdemange and was well and numerously attended. But it^ was thought 
that the co-operation of a religious community would be of immense advantage. 

Happily, the Rev. Sisters of the Assumption, who already had an institution at 
Onion Lake, responded willingly to Bishop Grandm s appeal and the first four Sisters 
with Sister Marie Fmmanuel at their head, arrived at St. Paul on the 14th of September, 
1 899. 

I he Mission building was handed over to them by the Fathers and Brothers, who 
thus had to provide themselves with another house, or rather shed, 25 x 30 feet, which 
they built near by. The Fathers occupied the ground floor, while the room above served 
as a chapel on Sundays. The building was unfinished, having been hastily put together. 
In consequence they had to suffer from the cold during the course of the winter. The 
Brothers took possession of the log house which had, up to this, served as a school. 

The Sisters had undertaken the charge of a day school, but as the Half-breed 
population had increased and some of them dwelt at so great a distance from the school 
that their children could not come every day, especially in winter and bad weather, it 
was therefore decided to erect a large building which would serve the purpose of a 
boarding school for 100 children and more. 

In 1900 the Rev. Fr. Ch. Charlebois, who had arrived from Ottawa to take 
charge of the finances of the Mission, laid the foundation of the new house which was 
to measure 108 feet in length by 36 feet in breadth, with side wings, two stories high 
while the central block had three stories. Meanwhile Rev. Fr. Therien had gone to 
the United States, to Dakota and elsewhere, to visit the Halfbreeds, to preach retreats 
to them and to acquaint them with the work of the new colony. 

The harvest of the year 1900 was very poor. Luckily many of the Metis had 
received scrips of land which they sold to procure themselves the means of passing the 
winter and waiting for better times. At the same time it was becoming quite evident 
that this work for the Half-breeds was an enormous tax on the congregation of the Oblate 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 73 



Fathers, who were obliged to employ on it a number of missionaries, Fathers and Broth 
ers, so that for some time it had been thought desirable to entrust this important work 
to some other Religious Congregation, which had more subjects at its disposal and 
less work to provide for them. Accordingly the Rev. Fr. Lacombe was commissioned 
to see if the "Salesians" would accept the undertaking. For this purpose he crossed 
over to Europe. He was unable to succeed with the Salesians, but the Premonstra- 
tensian Fathers of the Abbey of Grimbergen, in Belgium, seemed willing to entertain 
the idea of a mission of this kind, and the Rev. Father Van Wetten was sent on 
ahead to investigate the situation and to report on it. He arrived at St. Paul on the 
llth of January, 1901. 

In the month of March of this year the Rev. Fr. Cunningham preached a mission 
which was very well attended and did much good. 

At this time a great trial came upon the colony in the form of the smallpox which 
spread over the country. It was not very virulent, but it took, however, a good number 
of victims. The Reserve and even the Mission were put in quarantine. No one suc 
cumbed at the Mission, but on the Reserve there were several cases of death. 

On the 12th of May the Rev. Father C. Charlebois, whom the Canadian Pro 
vince had only lent, had to return to found the new parish of the Holy Family m^ the 
East of the city of Ottawa. A little later on the 20th day of June, the Rev. Fr. Thenen 
had also to leave for a time. His Lordship, Bishop Grandin, had obtained the kind 
permission of the Bishops of the Civil Province of Quebec, and of the Archbishop of 
Ottawa, to solicit the charity of the faithful of their diocese for the good works of 
the Diocese of St. Albert. The Rev. Fr. Therien went to assist in this collection cam 
paign and the Rev. Fr. Grandin, Superior of the Lake La Selle district, took his place. 
After the report of the Rev. Father Van Wetten, the Premonstratensian Fathers 
of Grimbergen, considered they were not in a position to accept the direction of the Half- 
breed colony. 

Meanwhile the great building of the boarding school was steadily advancing, but 
it was a vast enterprise. It had also been decided to add another story to the original 
plan and the workmen were not very numerous. Still, Midnight Mass at Christmas 
of said year, 1901, was celebrated in one of the halls, but the building was far from 
being completed. 

In the month of August of the year following, 1902, at the opening of the classes, 
while the teaching took place in the old school, yet the boys now occupied a dormitory 
in the new building, and a class room was also utilized in it. The number of children 
at this time was 70. 

During the year the Rev. Fr. Comire came to lend his co-operation to the work 
for the Half-breeds. 

At last, on the 13th of April, 1903, the Sisters were able to take possession of the 
new building, although there was yet much work to be done on it. Sister St. Stamlsaus 
replaced as Superioress the Rev. Sister M. Emmanuel, who was recalled to Nicolet, the 
Mother house. 

The new church was built in 1904, as the great school hall had become very 
insufficient to accommodate the whole of the population which thronged the Sunday ser 
vices. It was therefore decided to construct a rather large church measuring 104 feet 
in length and 42 feet in breadth, with a sacristy 42 x 22 feet. It was commenced 
in July and was ready to be opened for Christmas Midnight Mass the same year, and in 
truth the population had every reason for congratulating themselves on the possession of 
a fine and large church that would be a credit to a parish of considerable size. 

The year 1905 commenced by a great trial for all those who had at heart the 
material and spiritual progress of the settlement. In the night of January 15th that 
magnificent building which had cost so much toil and solicitude and which had scarcely 
been finished, became in a few hours the prey of flames. In spite of every effort nothing 



74 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



could be saved. They had succeeded, as they thought, in saving the lives of the 
children and their mistresses, when at the roll call one of the oldest girls, the same that 
had been the first to get out to give the alarm to the Fathers, failed to make her ap 
pearance. Doubtless she had been anxious to save something, and re-entering the burn 
ing building had become a victim to the flames. Her charred body was found a little 
later near one of the exits, where she must have fallen asphyxiated. This was a time 
of great sadness and discouragement for all. The children dispersed to their own 
homes, as well as the Sisters, nine in number. Some went to Hobbema and others to 
Onion Lake, four only, remaining. On the 12th of September of this year, Bishop 
Legal, accompanied by the Rev. Father N. Dozois, official visitor of the Oblates, came 
to bless the new church and to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. The joy 
usually customary, at an event of this kind, was overclouded by the remembrance of the 
late disaster, and the sight of the ruins strewing the ground. The Rev. Father Therien 
had also fallen sick and had to go to the hospital, and the Rev. Fr. Boulenc, who had 
already for so long given his labors and co-operation to the work for the Half-breeds, 
esoecially in the mill and farm undertakings, remained alone at his task until January, 
1906, when he was joined by Rev. Fr. Simonin, who was to replace Fr. Therien. The 
latter had left for Texas in the December preceding, where he hoped to recover his 
health. 

It was now necessary to supply new premises which were badly needed. The 
building of a modest school house, 30 x 30 feet, was decided upon, as well as another 
convent for the home of the Sisters, but of considerably smaller size than the former. 
The new convent was only to be 45 feet long and 40 feet broad, for in view of the 
scarcity of funds the idea of taking boarders had been renounced. The saw mill was 
transferred to the forest for the purpose of preparing the lumber necessary for these 
buildings. 

In the summer of 1908 affliction dealt its blow at the staff of the Mission. On 
June 20th the good, devoted Brother A. Nemoz left this earth for a better world. Ever 
since the burning of the magnificent building he had never been the same man. The 
sorrow he experienced was intense. He had worked so much in its construction and 
he had taken such great interest in its growth! The blow had been too rough for him, 
and he began to decline visibly. He can be said to have been another victim of the 
catastrophe. 

In September the new school house was finished and the day classes were immediate 
ly opened, being regularly attended by some thirty pupils. At this time the surrounding 
country had already begun to undergo a notable transformation. Since the month of 
June a great number of settlers had arrived to take up lands in the neighborhood of the 
Reserve. 

At the end of the year there were already twenty homesteads at least taken 
by French Canadians. It was useless to attempt to discourage this tide which was 
about to be still further increased. It was, in reality, the announcement of the end of 
the work for the Half-breeds, at all events, under the form in which it had been pro 
jected. The object in view had been to keep the Half-breeds apart from the Whites, 
but this was becoming henceforward impossible of realization. Finding it was no longe; 
possible to check the course of immigration, it was resolved to further it by bringing p. 
select class of excellent colonists to occupy the magnificent lands extending to the east 
and the north of the settlement as far as Moose Lake and the valley of the Beaver river. 
The Rev. J. A. Ouellette, parish priest of Beaumont, received, therefore, the appoint 
ment of colonization agent for the Diocese of St. Albert, and his duty was to exert him 
self to send the new comers in this direction. In the month of March, 1907, the Rev. 
Fr. Simonin was himself obliged to go for his health to the hospital at Edmonton. He 
was succeeded in May by the Rev. Fr. Therien, who had been left in charge of St. 
Joachim s Edmonton, but being unable, by the state of his health, to continue to occupy 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 75 



this post he returned to St. Paul. It now became part of the Father s duty to second 
the Rev. J. A. Ouillette in the work of distributing the settlers who continued to come 
under his management. By the end of 1907 there were one hundred homesteads taken 
up north of the settlement at Dog s Rump Lake, where the nucleus of a new parish had 
been formed. This was to become the parish of St. Vincent. The Rev. M. Bonny, 
a French priest, who had been a missionary in Africa, was entrusted with the charge 
of this parish. He constructed a presbytery in the course of the summer. Other colon 
ists went still further afield, to the north-east of Moose Lake. This will form the parish 
of St. Louis, and already about sixty homesteads have been taken up there before the 
end of 1907. Rev. Father Bonny was sent to make a new start also, at that point, 
which was to be called Bonnyville. 

In the east and all around important groups are being formed. St. Paul will con 
tinue to be the central point whither the colonists are bound to make their way before 
being dispersed in all the surrounding country. This is necessarily a point on their course, 
for on account of the configuration of the banks of the Saskatchewan river, it is only 
possible to cross the river on the south of the settlement at Brosseau, or a little higher in 
front of Saddle Lake Reserve. At these two spots there are already fine ferry boats 
which provide a regular transport service. Hence for some time it had been felt that in 
the very near future it would become necessary to open out the four townships of which 
the Halfbreed Reserve is formed, to the stream of immigration, and to allow St. Paul 
to become a fine Catholic parish open to all comers. 

This took effect in the course of the year 1909. The Government had been applied 
to in order to alter the conditions of the Half-breed colony, and to allow it to be open 
for homesteading. Some of the Half-breeds had already left to profit by the right 
given to them to take homesteads. Those who wanted to stay on the Reserve, were 
to be allowed to do so, and the full and unrestricted title to their eighty acres was to be 
given to them. Then they would be in a position even to sell their land, if they wished. 
It was more than they had ever been promised. The rest of the land could be entered 
for homesteading by any other on the usual conditions. 

The Episcopal Corporation of St. Albert, however, was to receive a free grant 
of four sections, as a compensation for the heavy expenses that had been mcured for 
the promoting of the original scheme, and these four sections were set apart for them off 
the unoccupied land before any entry could be made by outsiders. 

The Episcopal Corporation of St. Albert had been, in reality, the only one con 
cerned with the undertaking; the other members of the Syndicate having given only their 
name and moral support for the good purpose, so that they willingly assigned all their 
interests in it, to said Corporation to enable it to fully deal with the Government. 

The Episcopal Corporation afterwards transferred two of these four lots to the 
Corporation of the Oblate Fathers in recognition of their devoted services to the colony. 

Immediately many settlers took up the advantage offered to them. They came 
and located on all the vacant lands. The village of St. Paul increased in number and 
importance, and assumed the appearance of quite a large town. Besides, several centres 
of new parishes began also to organize in the surrounding country. The population is 
almost entirely Catholic and the church, although of large proportions, is much too small 
for the crowding population. 

Rev. Father A. Therien, O.M.I., is always the leading spirit of the whole district 
and is endeavoring, in every way, to promote its spiritual and material interests. A 
branch railway has been secured, a couple of years ago, to pass through St. Paul. Work 
has been started already, and although there have been delays, yet it is bound to 
be completed before long, and then communication will be made easy with the adjoining 
Province of Saskatchewan and a splendid tract of the country will be open for 
colonization. 1914. 



76 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




I- New Galician Settlement. 
2. St. Albert s First Cathedral. 
3. Polish Church, Lake Demay. 
4. Archbishop Legal, Camping out. 



5. Saw Mill at St. Paul des Metis. 

6. Ste Emile Church. 

7. Our Lady of Lourdes. 

8. Mission of Lac La Biche. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CHAPTER IV. 



New Parishes or Missions 



FRENCH OR MIXED 



1. THE PARISH OF NOTRE DAME DE LOURDES. 
(P. O. LAMOUREUX). 

The origin of the Parish of Notre Dame de Lourdes dates back about thirty years. 
Towards 1874 or 1875, Messrs. Joseph and Francis Lemoureux, Baptiste Beaupre and 
James Reid established themselves on the north side of the Saskatchewan river, 
opposite the present town of Fort Saskatchewan, and facing the point, where, 
a little later, the North West Mounted Police placed their barracks. A little colony 
was founded there and Mr. Joseph Lamoureux went down to the Province of Quebec 
in 1875 to bring up his family as well as several of his brothers, among whom were 
Amable and Moise. From Winnipeg they had to travel in the primitive fashion then 
customary, in carts drawn by oxen, and their trip was consequently long and difficult, 
but they were full of courage, and difficulties did not affright them. Coming, however, 
from good Catholic parishes in the Province of Quebec, being born and bred under the 
shadow of the church s steeple, their great anxiety was lest they might not be able to 
have the consolation of their Holy Religion administered regularly to them. 

The Saintly Prelate, Bishop Grandin, who was then visiting the Diocese of St. 
Albert, forestalled their request, and being desirous of rewarding them for the sac 
rifices they had made and the courage displayed in coming to these lonely parts, he pro 
vided them with regular religious services. These were undertaken from 1875 by the 
Oblate Fathers of St. Albert, who car-e regularly to administer the Sacraments and to 
distribute the Bread of Life to make compensation for the want of material comfort. 
From 1877 to 1891 several Oblate Fathers followed one another in this work of devot- 
edness, among whom we may mention the Rev. Fathers Vegreville, Brunei, Merer, 
Blanchet, R6mas, Grandin and Therien, who were always hospitably entertained on 
their visits by Mr. J. Lamoureux. 

In 1877 a small chapel of hewn logs was commenced by Fr. Blanchet, and on 
October 1 st the contract to finish it and to build a presbytery was taken in hand ^by Mr. 
Joseph Lamoureux. This latter, though scarcely completed, served as the priest s house 
until the arrival of the Rev. E. Dorais in 1891. 

From this moment the parish began to be organized. The Rev. E. Dorais came 
with his parents and thus an enlargement of the presbytery was necessaiy. In the mean 
time he received open and cordial hospitality from Mr. Charles Paradis. The parish as 
vet only numbered twenty-two families. On his arrival Fr. Dorais had gone to . 
Albert to receive his Bishop s orders. There he met a lady who said to him, \ ou are 
going to the Barracks? Ah! well! the Fathers who preceded you remained no longer 
than a year. As you are young, and a newcover, you may possibly stay there two 



years ! 



78 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



We must allow that this forecast was not very encouraging, but Our Lord has 
said, "No one is a prophet in his own country." The new missionary returned to his post 
and took up his work with courage and perseverance. He remained there for nearly 
seventeen years, until the moment of his untimely death, on the 16th of March, 1908, 
at the age of forty-five. 

It was in this way, according to Father Lestanc s account, that the little church 
received the name of Notre Dame de Lourdes. Bishop Grandin for a long time had 
been suffering from excrutiating ear aches, which scarcely left him any rest. How ter 
rible these pains are is well known. One evening when they seemed almost unbear 
able, Bishop Grandin made a vow that the next parish to be founded should receive 
the name of Our Lady of Lourdes, if this good Mother would obtain him alleviation 
of his sufferings. His pains were relieved, and on awakening next morning the good 
Bishop believed himself entirely cured. Some time after the name of Notre Dame de 
Lourdes was given to the parish. 

The unpretentious church built by Fr. Blanchet did good service for ten years 
more, but in the end it was crumbling from old age. The pieces of wood which served 
as foundation being rotten and worn eaten, the building seemed to sink into the ground. 
Moreover, it had become altogether insufficient in size for the population, which had 
grown remarkably. But there were no reserve funds and the enterprise of building 
a new church seemed most difficult, if not rash. However, the work was com 
menced in 1901. At their pastor s suggestion, the ladies of the Society of St. Anne, 
then newly established, organized a bazaar to procure funds in view of build 
ing. Success crowned their efforts, and through the zeal displayed by their priest and 
the ladies, and by means of "Raffles and Lunch Socials," the sum of $600 was re 
alized, which, when added to the subscription raised by the parishioners, amounted to 
$1,200. But, alas! this good result was not to be of much use. A committee was form 
ed to prepare for the erection of the new church and a certain quantity of lumber was 
procured. Nearby, a brickyard was opened for the purposes of the new building. This, 
however, proved to be a complete failure. All the money thus vanished and soon the 
people found themselves without any resources. All this was somewhat of a disappoint 
ment, so that, for a time, they did not dare to make any further attempt. 

Meanwhile the need of a new church was very urgent. Things could not long 
remain thus without some new effort being made. A new committee was formed under 
the direction of the parish priest. A new bazaar was organized and in fifteen hours the 
sum of $775.45 was realized. Towards this result a courteous competition between 
two ladies of the parish, which was settled by votes, greatly contributed. Rev. W. 
Dorais obtained plans for the new church from Mr. Venne, an architect of Montreal. 
The church was to be 60 feet long and 40 feet wide, with an addition of a sanctuary 
and a sacristy, 12x18 feet. The construction was entrusted to Mr. Millette, a con 
tractor in the parish. 

Bishop Legal came to bless the corner stone on the 10th of August, 1902, and 
on the 15th February, 1903, His Lordship returned to celebrate the patronal feast of 
Notre Dame de Lourdes, and to bless and dedicate the church to divine service. It is 
a fine building, with its high steeple. Its exterior is distinguished for its solemn elegance, 
but its interior is still awaiting decoration, which it is hoped will not be long deferred. 

A debt of $1,000 remained on the church. Rev. Fr. Dorais turned for help to 
his family and his pious and generous uncle advanced the sum, receiving in return an 
insurance policy as a guarantee. A few years later the debt was cleared from the parish 
revenues, and now it is proposed to build a new and more convenient presbytery to re 
place the old one. 

After the completion of the new church the Rev. E. Dorais well deserved a little 
rest. In 1905 he was permitted to take a trip to the Province of Quebec, there to 
breathe the air of his native parish and to visit his relatives whom he had left behind. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 79 



During his absence the Rev. Fr. A. Bernier was especially entrusted with the 
care of the spiritual interest of Notre Dame de Lourdes. 

On the arrival of the Rev. E. Dorais, 1891, the parish possessed twenty-three 
families, but at the end of 1907 it numbered eighty-three, nearly all French Canadians. 
Within the parish limits there are four Catholic schools attended by about 1 20 children. 

The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, from its elevated position on the facade of 
the church, draws down the blessing of Heaven on all the parish, one of which has 
been that it has already provided a priest for the Diocese in the person of the Rev. 
Theodore Rocque, who was ordained on the 14th of May, 1905. Seven families m 
the parish also have the privilege of counting some nuns among their members. 

On the 19th of March of the year 1908, numerous priests had assembled at Notre 
Dame de Lourdes with their Bishop for a sad ceremony. They had come to pay the 
last tribute of affection and respect to the priest who had been so unexpectedly called 
to the reward promised to good and faithful servants of God. 

The death of Rev. E. Dorais, hastened the coming of the Franciscan Fathers, 
who had already consented to come and assist in the missionary work of the Diocese. 
I hey came during Lent of 1908. Rev. Father Berchmans taking charge of the parish 
and keeping it until October, 1 909. 

7 hen Rev. Father M. Pilon was appointed parish priest and remained there until 
December 1912. During his stay he provided the decoration of the inside of the 
church making many important and tasteful alterations. 

Rev. A. Normandeau succeeded Rev. M. Pilon until the time when he was called 
himself to take charge of the colonization work at the beginning of the year 1914. It 
is now Rev. J. Gamier who presides over the destinies of the parish of N. D. de 
Lourdes. 

2. THE PARISH OF ST. EMERENCE. (Riviere qui Barre). 

Towards the year 1893, white colonists of various nationalities commenced to 
settle in the neighborhood of the Mission of St. Alexander, at Riviere qui Barre. At 
first they were visited by the Fathers on the Reserve, and it was not until the month of 
May, 1895, on the occasion of a visit from Bishop Grandin, that it was decided to con 
struct a chapel for them outside the Reserve. 

The church was dedicated to St. Emerence in remembrance of a benefactress from 
France who had given assistance for this purpose. The house-chapel was built to the 
East of the Reserve, and it was served by Rev. Fr. Blanchet. On the 10th of February, 
1897, the latter was replaced by the Rev. Fr. George Nordmann, who resided habit 
ually at the St. Alexander Mission as Fr. Dauphin s companion. Besides St. Emerence, 
Father Nordmann had to attend to the needs of many groups of Germans, which oc 
casioned many journeys. 

In October, 1901, Fr. Nordmann was replaced by the present parish priest, the 
Rev. Fr. Okhuysen, who had been ordained priest at St. Albert, the June preceding. 

But the primitive little chapel was far from being sufficient for the population. 
Moreover it was not in a central position, and in consequence it was determined to trans 
fer it elsewhere and this was done on the following 30th of December. Its new position 
was about four miles distant to the south-east. But the time had now come to build a more 
spacious and suitable church. The parishioners undertook the work courageously. The 
wood was cut and hauled in the course of this same winter and building operations started 
in August of 1902. Fhe church was sufficiently advanced to be used for 
public worship on the 1 6th of November, when Bishop Legal came to bless it and 
administer the Sacrament of Confirmation for the first time in the new parish. The church 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



measured 96 feet by 42. It is built of lumber and far from being complete, both in 
ternally and exteriorly, but it has already a fine appearance and affords ample accom 
modation for the Catholic population. 

This result had not been obtained without contracting a considerable debt of more 
than $1,200. Owing to bad years and other expenses to meet, this debt could not 
be paid by the first of January, 1908. It was a heavy burden and the cause of con 
tinual anxiety. It was then decided to make a generous effort. In spite of the bad 
harvest of the preceding year, a subscription list was started which realized a sum of 
more than $600. A basket picnic succeeded also in furnishing the rest of the sum 
needed, and on the 16th of February the whole debt was cleared. It is pleasing to 
behold what can be done by mutual agreement and unanimous good will. May such 
continue and there will soon be a completely furnished church which will be an honor 
to the parish. Some other buildings of considerable size have also been added to the 
Mission. The presbytery has been enlarged and repaired, so that the parish is now 
solidly founded and can not fail to develop rapidly. 

3. THE PARISH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 
MORINVILLE. 

Up to the year 1 89 1 , the new settlers coming to the North West had themselves 
taken the initiative. There was not as yet any plan of colonization. It was M. 1 Abbe 
J. B. Morm, who undertook this important but difficult task for which he had, how 
ever, all the qualities for success. Of indefatigable activity, good humor, and high 
spirits proof against any difficulty, even in the most critical moments, he knew how to 
gam the confidence of all, and while submitting to their, at times, somewhat unreason 
able exactions, he was always able to make his authority and the firmness of his manage 
ment felt. He did much for the colonization of this part of the country, and the parishes 
of Mormville, Beaumont, St. Pierre and St. Emile, amongst others, owe him a well 
deserved debt of gratitude. 

It was in the spring of 1891 that he brought the first contingent. The railroad had 
advanced as far as Calgary, but the branch line to Edmonton had not as yet been con- 
His Lordship, the Bishop of St. Albert, sent some carriages to meet the new 
comers and they made the journey of 200 miles between Calgary and Edmonton, without 
too much difficulty. Bishop Grandin wished to receive the new settlers with solemnity. 
He went in procession, surrounded by his clergy, to meet them at the door of his 
Cathedral There he addressed them in befitting words of encouragement which created 
a profound impression. The new comers learnt from the outset that they had not ar 
rived in a desert, but that there were hearts there devoted to their services and ready to 
watch over the salvation of their souls. They proceeded on their way, consoled by the 
words of the Bishop, and under the leadership of Mr. Paul Auve, the first and only 
settler so far in these parts, they came to the place which is today the flourishing district 
of Morinville. 

It is always interesting to learn who were the first to have the courage to face the 
unknown and to found a new settlement. The following are the names of the first 
settlers who then arrived with their families: Messrs. Aristide and Ovila Riopel, Emanuel 
<ivet, Noel Boissonnault and his sons Louis and Hormisdas, Norbert Houle and his sons 
Joseph and Thomas, Dolphus Morin, Mederic Labbe, Narcisse Brissette, Charles and 
Ludger Lemire and Dieudonne Tellier. 

From the beginning the Oblate Fathers of St. Albert regularly visited the settle 
ment. A little house built on the land belonging to them, east of the present church, 
served as the first chapel. In 1892 the arrival of new settlers further increased the settle 
ment and the Rev. M. Harnois was appointed as the parish priest. A little chapel was 
built on his land and at this time, too, the privilege of a postoffice was granted. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 81 



In 1893 the Rev. Fr. B. Desroches undertook the charge of the parish. The 
population was now increasing so rapidly that soon the chapel was too small, and it 
was decided to erect in the course of the following winter, the spacious building con 
structed of hewn timber, which served as a church until the beginning of the year, 
1908. It was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the patron Saint of the Rev. J. B. 
Morin. 

In 1894, yielding to the entreaties of the Rev. Fr. Morin, there came the Rev. 
J. M. Jolicoeur, to whom the care of the new parish was at once entrusted. In the fol 
lowing year he undertook the construction of the elegant presbytery which still exists. 

Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. Morin, who always felt a special attachment for 
Morinville, did not fail each year to direct hither all those settlers who were willing to 
follow his advice. In 1897 he arranged for the construction of a telephone connection 
between Morinville and St. Albert which was already joined to Edmonton. Certain 
townspeople formed a company to furnish the posts and Fr. Morin obtained the wire 
and other apparatus from the Government at Ottawa. 

In June, 1989, the Association of St. John the Baptist was organized for the 
first time. Mr. Emmanuel Rivet being its first president. The National feast was cel 
ebrated at Morinville with great splendor. There was a banquet held, with patriotic 
addresses, and in the evening a grand concert, the whole being a great event in the his 
tory of the otherwise quiet parish life. 

In the autumn of 1899, the parish priest, the Rev. Fr. Jolicoeur succeeded in 
erecting the first village school, which was situated near the church. It was an independ 
ent school in no way under Government control, where French and English could be 
taught at will and to whatever extent that was desired. In fact, both languages were 
taught, the French course being entrusted to Miss A. Latulipe, and the English to Miss 
Steffes. At the opening of the school 60 children responded to the appeal. 

The little village had increased in such fashion as to assume the proportion of a little 
town. Several stores were already there, among others those of Mr. Dolphus Morin, 
Mr. O. Gouin, and a hotel built by Mr. Joseph Beaudry, which shortly afterwards 
became the property of M. Louis L Agace. 

The Morinville Flour Mill Company was also organized at this time. The mill 
was built in 1900, but it was not put into operation until the winter of 1903-4. 

In March, 1 902 Rev. Fr. Jolicoeur decided to return to his original diocese 
of Montreal. The Oblate Fathers of St. Albert undertook temporarily to provide the 
religious services at Morinville until Rev. Fr. A. Ethier, then parish priest of St. 
Vital, Beaumont, was appointed to Morinville. He took charge of the parish on 
Ascension Day, the 8th of May, 1902. The parish now counted 120 Catholic families, 
of which 20 were German. The village itself only counted fifteen families, but in 
these years, 1903 and 1904, many other buildings had been erected: shops, hotels 
and offices in addition to those already existing. The flour mill was now in working 
order and the more considerable operations at the coal mine belonging to Mr. J. G. 
Chevigny contributed also in a notable manner to increase the prosperity of Morinville. 

For some time it has been desired to obtain the services of some community of nuns 
to take over the care of the school and to open a boarding establishment for young girls 
and children living at a distance. The persecution raging in France had scattered the 
religious congregations far and wide. One of these had found refuge in the Diocese 
of St. Albert, the Daughters of Jesus (Filles de Jesus) from Kermana, in Brittany. 
They had already established several houses here, particularly in connection with the 
Bishop s House and the Seminary at St. Albert, but they were a teaching congregation, 
and in consequence these Sisters were approached and the appeal was successful. 

In January, 1903, the first nuns arrived at Morinville. These were Sisters Mane 
Adeline, the Superioress; Sister St. Nicholas, for English; Sister Ste. Tarcienne for 



82 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Music and Sister Ste. Eutrope Marie, a lay Sister. Thanks to the generous co-opera 
tion of the population the school house was enlarged to give the nuns sufficient dwelling 
accommodation. 

1 he new school was opened on the 2nd of February, and remained for some time 
parochial and independent. In 1 906, however, it came under Government control. 

In 1905, the coal mine belonging to Mr. J. E. Chavigny passed into the hands of 
a company of about twelve members, French-Canadian and English of Edmonton. The 
approaching branch line of the C. N. R. was an assured thing, and in consequence there 
would be large coal orders placed with the company of the Cardiff mines and every 
facility for transportation. In fact the construction of the railroad was begun in the spring, 
and pushed on with such activity that the line was finished by the end of October and 
trains were arriving regularly at Morinville. This, added to the very successful harvests 
of the years 1905 and 1906, gave a new spurt to the prosperity of the district. In the 
course of the summer the first grain elevator was erected by Mr. J. H. Gariepy, of 
Edmonton. 

For a long time, the first church built in 1894 had been inadequate to satisfy the 
needs of the district. It was much too small. Moreover, with its unfinished tower and 
its exterior blackened by exposure and the inclemency of the seasons, during so many 
years, it presented a sorry appearance in the little town which already possessed many 
houses of elegant design. There was no longer room for hesitation, but every call for 
action. The church had only about $2,000 in hand, so a subscription list was decided 
on and in a few days the handsome sum of $4,000 was realized. The plans for a 
large and handsome church were prepared by Mr. J. A. Senecal, of St. Boniface, 
Manitoba, and in the course of July affairs were so far advanced as to entrust the 
building of the church to Mr. Arch. Munn, an Edmonton contractor, at the price of 
$18,777. It was necessary, of course, to arrange for a loan of $13,000. The work 
commenced at the end of August under the superintendence of Mr. Barnes, an archi 
tect of Edmonton. 

The blessing of the corner stone was an imposing ceremony, presided over by 
Bishop Legal of St. Albert, who was accompanied by many of the clergy. The Rev. 
Fr. Blanche!, a Lazarist on a visit to St. Albert, was the preacher specially appointed 
for the occasion to give the sermon in French, while the Rev. Fr. Nordmann, O.M.I., 
Superior of the Seminary, preached in English. The work was pushed on with vigor, 
and in spite of disappointments which happened here as usual, and perhaps more than 
usual, the church was opened for public worship on January 1st, 1908. The need of 
sufficient funds has caused the building of the Sacristy to be delayed as well as the 
covering of the exterior with bricks, and the general ornamentation, but, such as it is, 
the Morinville church is already a building remarkable for its vast proportions and its 
beautiful exterior appearance. The parish priest, the Rev. Fr. Ethier, had every reason 
for congratulation on having brought his great and difficult enterprise to so successful a 
termination. The blessing of the new church by Right Rev. Bishop Legal was another 
imposing ceremony which took place on the 29th of March, 1908. Yet Rev. A. Ethier, 
in Nov. 1912, decided to resign his large parish, in order to assume the functions of 
agent of Colonization, in place of Rev. J. A. Ouellette. His place has been filled by 
Rev. A. Gauthier the present parish priest, 1914, who has already succeeded in doing 
much work. The whole structure of the church has been strengthened and the inside 
partly decorated. 

4.PARISH OF ST. VITAL. 
BEAUMONT. 

The parish of Beaumont, situated fifteen miles south-east of South Edmonton, 
and ten miles east of Leduc, has not the advantage of those special conditions which 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



attract settlers, such as railroads, or coal mines, but is satisfied with the fertility of its 
soil and owes its existence to the church built there a little after the arrival of the first 
settlers. 

It was in 1892 that under the personal direction of the Rev. J. B. Morin, the 
energetic Colonization Agent, that the first pioneers of the parish settled in the district, 
which was, up to then, known as "Sandy Lake." The following may be enumerated 
as the first settlers: Messrs. Chartier, Dumont and Brunelle, to be shortly followed by 
Messrs. Bolduc Dubord, Juneau, Lachapelle, and others who came mostly from the 
states of Wisconsin and Washington. 

In 1893 the new colony already numbered twenty families. At this time the Rev. 
Fr. Perrault, O.M.I., from the Mission of Stoney Plain, began to visit the place 
regularly, and in 1 894 the Rev. Fr. A. Lacombe came to console and encourage the 
new comers. But they were desirous of having a real parish, whereupon they applied 
to His Lordship, Bishop Grandin. This saintly man, so full of zeal for the salvation 
of souls, could not refuse their request. He bought ten acres of land on a section 
belonging to the Hudson s Bay Company and afterwards Mr. Chartier made a gift 
of twenty acres more, which laid the foundation of the village of Beaumont. Bishop 
Grandin sent as its first pastor, the Rev. Fr. Poitras, whose immediate task was to build 
a church. With good will and axe in hand he himself aided in its construction, which 
was accomplished in the spring of the following year, 1896. For rheir patron Saint, 
the parishioners desired none other than that of their Bishop, St. Vital. 

However, as often happens, difficulties arose. Some of the parishioners wished to 
change the site of the church, while others wanted it to remain in its place, so Bishop 
Grandin himself came with the Rev. J. B. Morin and Rev. Fr. Perrault to listen to 
arguments for and against. A few days after a letter came from His Lordship to 
decide the question. This was publicly read. It ruled that the site of the church 
should remain as before, and to His Lordship s touching words all respectfully submit 
ted. The first High Mass was celebrated there on the 30th of June. At this time 
also the settlement underwent a change of name. A group of English settlers who lived 
at some little distance from the church wanted to retain for themselves the name of 
"Sandy Lake," and this was readily granted them. But on account of the beautiful 
situation of the Catholic parish on the ridge of the pretty hill, the village received the 
name of Beaumont. 

The church was indeed finished, but now it became necessary to procure the articles 
requisite for divine service. A bell was bought for $100. Bishop Grandin furnished 
the chalice, cruets, censer and altar linen, and the Rev. Fr. Morin, who continued to 
take great interest in the young parish, made a collection to buy the sacred vestments, 
stations of the cross, etc. Lastly, several of the parishioners also contributed in divers 
ways to aid in the decoration of the modest sanctuary. 

In 1896 a small presbytery had been constructed of hewn logs. The Rev. Father 
Leduc, from Edmonton, furnished the little household furniture and His Lordship, the 
Bishop, supplied the new pastor with a carriage and a team of horses. The Rev. Fr. 
Poitras having been called to another Mission, the Oblate Fathers from St. Albert or 
the neighborhood were obliged, during the space of two months, to provide the re 
ligious services at Beaumont. The Rev. Fathers Lemarchand, Vegreville and Tissier 
came in turns. Their visits did so much good that the memory of these good Fathers 
has ever since been fondly cherished. 

1 he Rev. M. Beauoarlant, corning from Mortreal, was next placed in charge 
of St. Vital by Bishop Grandin in the spring of 1896. He found the situation still far 
from comfortable. His presbytery, only twenty feet square, was poor and wretched 
and he was obliged to undergo privations of various kinds. Thus he did not stay long. 
On the Feast of All Saints, 1897, he returned to his original Diocese, and Fathers 
Lemarchand and Culerier. for six months, undertook the spiritual charge of the parish. 



84 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Finally, the first priest that has had the time to cause his influence to be felt on the 
parish was appointed toward the middle of 1898. This was the Rev. A. Ethier, whose 
ministry as parish priest, for four years, was very fruitful, both from the material and 
spiritual aspect. He added a kitchen to the presbytery, as well as other dependencies, 
and the church was further ornamented with several statues. On the spiritual side he 
organized the Association of the Apostoleship of Prayer, the Congregation of the Blessed 
Virgin and the Confraternity of St. Anne. When Rev. A. Ethier was called upon to take 
charge of the parish of Morinville. he left that of Beaumont solidly and definitely 
organized. 

During the three years following the departure of Rev. A. Ethier in 1902, the 
parish was served by the Rev S. Bouchard and the Rev. Th. Quevillon, conjointly at 
first, but later in succession. The first named marked out the cemetery and built the 
gallery of the church, while the latter added to the work of the ministry by the direction 
of a school. 

About the middle of July, 1905, there arrived from the Diocese of Valleyfield a 
young priest who had been ordained on the mission title for the Diocese of St. Albert. 
This was the Rev. J. A. Ouellette. who was immediately put in charge of the young 
parish of St. Vital Beaumont, and who, from the first, succeeded in gaining the confidence 
and the sympathies of his parishioners. There were yet many necessary improvements 
to be made m the presbytery, and the church to which he at once directed his energy 
.ind zeal. Very soon the presbytery was suitably improved, the sacristy furnished and 
the church enriched with a handsome high altar, carved in wood work, the gift of his 
brother, Mr. Alfred Ouellette, of Terrebonne. Lastly he intended to provide the 
church with that indispensible complement, a bell tower, without which a Catholic church 
seems unfinished, but was obliged to delay the work. 

In 1907, recognizing the energy and the many sided abilities of the Rev. M. Ouel 
lette. His Lordship, Bishop Legal, resolved to entrust him, at least temparanly, with the 
work which had been accomplished with so much success in the past by the Rev. 
M. Morm. Accordingly he was appointed colonization agent, and in that capacity 
he had to undertake many journeys eastward and to the United States. He has 
been able in this manner to exercise his zeal in a wider field and to labor not only 
for the good of Beaumont, but for the whole Diocese of St. Albert. He has already 
succeeded in bringing out many contingents of Catholic settlers whom he directs especial 
ly towards the Half-breed settlement of St. Paul des Metis and the beautiful district 
around Moose Lake. 

During his absence the Rev. L. Simon took his place at Beaumont. Before his 
departure, the Rev. M. Ouellette invited the Rev. F. Emard to preach a retreat to his 
parishioners, which was attended with the happiest results. It was not, however, the 
first of its kind, for before him the Rev. A. Ethier had obtained the same blessing 
ior the parish from Fr. Z. Lacasse, who in this retreat greatly stirred the people with 
his manly and graphic eloquence. 

During the space of sixteen years the little group of settlers had been gradually 
added to, and the present population of Beaumont numbers about 510 souls. The 
village of Beaumont has also increased in size and the parishioners have seen their affairs 
prosper. They are all fairly well off and their lands are well worth from $4,000 to 
$5,000. The present parish priest, Rev. J. E. Ouellette, a cousin to the previous in- 
combent. is trying to provide the parish with a new and more convenient church. 

5 THE PARISH OF ST. PIERRE. 
P. O. VILLENEUVE. 

The young parish of St. Pierre is situated about nine miles east of St. Albert, 
borne settlers who had come here and established themselves as far as the limits of Chief 
Michael Calhhoo s Reserve, had for some time been asking for a church and a parish, 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 85 



because they found themselves at too great a distance from St. Albert. Two days 
only arter his Episcopal Consecration, Bishop Legal went, accompanied by Rev. Fr. 
Dauphin, to choose the site of the church and they decided on the south-west corner 
of Section 17, T. 54, R. 26. 

Among the first inhabitants of the parish at this time we may mention Messrs. 
Philippe Frenetic, Henri and Pierre Emile Michelot and Hernias Marois. Steps were 
taken to obtain from the Government a legal sub-division of forty acres, and as the 
section belonged to the C.P.R. company an exchange of land was necessary. 1 he 
Government lent itself to the transaction and the subdivision was obtained. 

The Indian Reserve of Michael Callihoo commences half a mile to the west, and 
thus forms the western half part of the parish, which is a little more than six square 
miles. 

The Rev. Fr. Dauphin, of the Mission of St. Alexander at Riviere Qui Barre, 
undertook the erection of a modest church constructed of logs or hewn timber. A lit 
tle, simple steeple surmounted the gable and is the sign by which it is recognized as the 
House of God. The wood for the church had been taken from the Reserve, and this 
gave the Indians the right of attending services in the church. The church was very 
poor with its bare interior, but at least it offered a place of worship for the surrounding 
population which was gathered together once a month by Fr. Dauphin, who undertook 
the work of visiting the parish until 1900. 

In the month of October of this year, 1900, the Rev. Fr. Simonin came to take 
the place of Fr. Dauphin at the St. Alexander mission, and continued to provide relig 
ious services as before for the people of St. Pierre. The church, without being very 
elegant, had meanwhile been wainscoted within and revaulted with fine timber from 
British Columbia. This benefit to the congregation was due to the labor of Brother 
Hays and Brother Barreau. 

The first resident priest at St. Pierre was the Rev. Samuel Bouchard, who came 
there towards the commencement of 1899. The first act inscribed on the register 
is that of the marriage of M. Emery Tellier, of Morinville, with Mille Clara Hebert 
It is dated the 10th of January, 1899. 

The Rev. Father Bouchard constructed a little presbytery with some outhouses 
near the church, all of which had to be abandoned later. When Father Bouchard 
was appointed to found the new parish at St. Emile, he was succeeded by Rev. Father 
Normandeau, as the second resident priest who was installed as such by Bishop Legal 
on June 2, 1901. 

In the month of April, 1903, Rev. Father Normandeau was appointed to the 
charge of St. Emile and it was not. however, till the September of this year that the 
Rev. Louis Tremblay took charge of the parish. 

Since that time the parish has been enriched with a good presbytery, which was 
commenced in June, 1904, and finished in 1906. It was in the course of the year 
1907 that the old presbytery and its outhouses were abandoned and the new one 
erected a short distance away on the road running north and south. The cemetery 
placed at the north-west corner of the forty acres near the road, was solemnly con 
secrated by Mgr. Legal on June 30. 1907. 

In the course of the summer the church property was surveyed and divided into 
town lots by Mr. A. Cote, with the intention of selling them to private persons and 
others to form a little village. 

At the end of the year 1907 the population of St. Pierre comprised 53 Catho 
lic families. There were, in addition, five Protestant families. The total number of 
individuals was about 300, of which there were 106 Indians or Indian half-breeds. 
There is a post office and a general store. Many private residences are very com 
fortable and of good appearance. The lands on all the extent of the parish are of 



86 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



excellent quality. The mam line of the C. N. R. heading for the terminus in Vancouver 
,. passes about one mile north of the church. This will surely give this locality 
another guarantee of prosperity. The new church, which is of fine appearance was 
built through the exertions of Rev. A. Clermont the present pastor of the parish in the 
fall of 1911. 

6. THE PARISH OF ST. EMILE. 
P. O. LEGAL. 

The first settlers at St. Emile were Messrs. P. Jelot and E. M.nard, both French 
men coming from California. They arrived in 1894. Mr. Webber also made the 
entry for his homestead at that time. Other settlers did not make their appearance till 
two or three years later, viz.. Messrs. D. Demers, O. Pouliot, F. X. Trudel, P. Monn 
and others. 

In the course of the summer of 1899, His Lordship Bishop Legal, accompanied 

<ev. .1. B. Monn, came to designate the site for the church, and the frame 
work was erected in the same autumn. But it was not until the following year 1900 
?!? P V1S1 nal church , built of he ^ log^ vvas completed. The church measured 
ML o f 1 , 1 maSS had been celebrated in 1898 at the house of Mr. Phileas 
Monn by Rev. J. B. Monn, who was accompanied by Rev. S. Bouchard. The latter 
continued to visit the growing settlement from time to time. 

In the course of the summer of 1900, a shack was built at the side of the church 
to serve as the priest s house. This shack measuring 20x30 feet, was constructed of two 
rows of rough boards with the space between filled with earth, and the roof shingled. 
In December, 1900, Rev. S. Bouchard came to dwell there with his parents The 
hut Baptism entered on the parochial register is that of Joseph Emile Bouchard, Septem- 

l onn 1 L r nal DamC Menes PPe Massie, nee Rose L Ecuyer, 30th 

10; the first marriage, Hormisdas Pelletier and Delle Adelia Leclerc, 30th 

December, 190 The first house built in the village was Mr. Fortin s, which 

served as the post office ,n 1 89 1 . The name of Legal, g.ven to the postal district, and 

t St. Emile to the parish, were chosen as a tribute to Bishop Emile J. Legal 
then coadjutor to Bishop Grandin, first Bishop of St. Albert. 

A , Re , V An - Bouchard resided at St - Emile until the month of August, 1902. In 
)3, Rev. J. A. Normandeau, succeeded him. In the interval Rev Fr 
^thier had gone from his parish at Morinville, one Sunday a month, to hold the re 
ligious service. 

Rev. A. Normandeau busied himself increasing the buildings of the presbytery 
and in enclosing the cemetery. The presbytery had become almost untenable and in 
he commenced the building of a more suitable house. The new presbytery 
was Dished in the following year. 1906. It is painted and presents a fine appear- 
>07 the parish aquised a large steel bell, weighing 3,500 pounds, which was 
)lemnly blessed by Bishop Legal on September 8th. But it is the need of a good 
ious church was now most felt. Not only did the miserable, primitive chapel 
t a most sorrowful spectacle, but it had become absolutely insufficient for the 
number of the people of this flourishing parish. Consequently, at the beginning of the 
1 a building committee was formed under the direction of the parish priest 
Lumber and material were collected and a start was made for the construction of a 
large and commodious church. However, the work for some time was slow and it was 
only during the spring of 909 that the frame of the new building was erected and was 
made ready for the brick veneer which was intended for it. 

But it was left for another parish priest to give such a complement to the 
N U n J ^bout December I91 Rev. A. Normandeau was called to the parish of 
IN. L>. de Lourdes (Lamoureux P. O.) and his place was filled by Rev. Remi Guertin 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 87 



who managed, during the year 1913. to brick-veneer the church, and in 1914 also to 
veneer the sacristy which had been left to wait, in order not to incur loo much expense. 
Now the church of St. Emile, nestling in the little valley, presents a quiet and charming 
appearance. 

In 1902 the parish of St. Emile counted only 30 to 40 families, but owing 
mainly to the intelligent and patriotic efforts of Mr. Joseph Bolduc and of our energetic 
clerical agents of colonization, the number has greatly increased, so that at present, 1914, 
there are about 232 families, almost exclusively of French speaking origin, making 
a total of over one thousand souls. The village has several stores and hotels in addi 
tion to private residences, and is connected by telephone to Morinville and Edmonton. 

In October, 1907, the property of the church was sub-divided into town lots 
and it is expected that the village will have every facility to develop. 

In addition to the quality of the soil of all this district being exceptionally good, 
th sub-soil is very rich in coal, which is found some few feet from the surface. Rev. A. 
Normandeau, the parish priest, was the first, in 1903 to excavate it for his own use 
quite near his house and on the church grounds, but it was Mr. Paiement, who, after 
acquiring the mining rights from Mr. Joseph Tailleur, was the first to mine it for 
commercial purposes. Finally, a line of the Canadian Northern Railroad passes quite 
near to the village and a regular service has betn in operation for a couple of years from 
Edmonton to Athabaska Landing. 1914. 

7. THE PARISH OF ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA. 
(EDSON). 

In the year 1901, Bishop Legal had gone almost twelve miles north-west of the 
parish of St. Emile, to fix the centre of a future parish. A party composed of several 
persons had accompanied Rev. Father Jolicoeur, the priest in charge of Morinville, 
on the 1 7th of September. They encamped beyond the little river, Vermilion. The 
site of the church was determined by planting a cross on a pretty hill commanding 
a large view of all the surrounding country. Each one chose his future home 
stead, and it happened that on the following evening fourteen homesteads had 
already been selected. The district was called the "Grande Prairie." Unhappily 
this sanguine eagerness cooled, and the grouping languished. Thus the parish was not 
established as soon as was at first expected. 

On the 9th of September, 1907, six years later, Bishop Legal again visited this 
place in company with Rev. A. Normandeau, parish priest of St. Emile, and a friend 
then staying wilh him. Rev. A. A. Bertrand. They were cordiallv welcomed by 
Mr. Joseph Beauchamp. The site of the church was again visited and the people re 
quested that Rev. A. Bertrand should be entrusted with the charge of erecting a little 
temporary church for them and of undertaking the care of the parish. On his part, 
Father Bertrand seemed desirous of consecrating himself to this work, and Bishop Legal 
consented to apply for the necessary permission to Flis Lordship, the Bishop of Valley- 
field, to whose Diocese Rev. A. Bertrand belonged. The latter then put himself 
resolutely to the task in the following days, and in spite of the difficulties and ob 
stacles which are never wanting under like circumstances, he succeeded in a few weeks 
in erecting a fairly good house measuring 24x32 feet, with an annex 16x18. The larger 
room served for the church and the other for a dwelling place. 

On December 1st, which happened to be the first Sunday in Advent, High Mass 
was celebrated for the first time in this temporary church. The church land consisted 
of a legal sub-division of forty acres. On the summit of this hill there has been found, 
contrary to all expectation, a thick seam of coal of excellent quality. This, it is hoped, 
will prove an important source of revenue for the rising parish. Rev. A. A. Bertrand 
also visited another group of Catholics at Jeffrey, a distance of about nine miles. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Rev. A. Bertrand having been transferred to Medicine Hat, the mission of Edson, 
for some time, was left without a resident priest, and was attended in the meantime 
from the surrounding parishes, until Rev. Jos. LeCerf came to take charge of it, in 
March 1912. _At the same time, he took charge also of the other parts, which also had 
assumed some importance. 

8. THE PARISH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP. 
(PICKARDVILLE P. O .) 

1 here was quite a settlement growing in a south-westerly direction from Edson, 
named Pickardville. A large number of Catholics, mostly French-Canadians, were 
settling in that part of the country, and soon it was necessary to build a new church 
for the accommodation of these new settlers. Mr. Alfred Demers donated 10 acres 
of land on his homestead. The gift of a memorial chapel had already been obtained 
from the Church Extension Society of Canada, and when Rev. J. LeCerf could look 
after the place, the sum of $500.00 donated by the Laderonte family, of Ottawa, for a 
memorial chapel, was applied to the building of the new parish church. According 
to the wish of the donor the church was dedicated in the name of Our Lady of 
Perpetual Help. 

The C. N. R. line going from Edmonton to Athabaska Landing had somewhat 
altered the conditions of the district. Edscn lost part of its importance, as the post 
office was removed to Westlock, further north, and as Pickardville progressed faster, 
Rev. J. LeCerf was obliged to transfer his residence to that point in 1914. 

Yet while residing in Pickardville, he continues attending to the religious needs of 
Edson, Jeffrey and also Clyde, a new railway station on the road to Athabaska Landing. 

We must mention three more Catholic missions in this district which are provided 
with churches, but without resident priests. 

1. THE MISSION OF ST. JOSEPH, 
(SPRUCE GROVE P. O.) 

^The church was built about 1900, on a piece of land, (20 acres) donated by 
Guenette. The population is mixed, French-Canadians in the majority, half-breeds 
and quite a number of Germans or other foreigners. The religious service is provided 
for them from the adjoining Indian Reserve of Stoney Plain; Rev. Father Vegreville, 
Rev. Father Portier and others, in succession looked after this mission. At the present 
time it is in charge of Rev. Father Chr. Tissier, missionary at Stoney Plain Indian 
Keserve. 

2. THE MISSION OF ST. CHARLES. 
(EGG LAKE P. O.) 

West of St. Emile parish, a small church has been built, about the same size as St. 
Joseph s church, of Spruce Grove. 1900, on a legal subdivision obtained from the 
government, but the number of Catholics has never been large enough to require a 
resident priest. 

The mission has been always attended to from the neighboring Indian Reserve 
of Riviere qui Barre, by Rev. Fathers Dauphin, O.M.I., Portier, Simonin and 
lastly, 1914, by Rev. Father LeBre and Lizee, O.M.I. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 89 



3. THE MISSION OF OUR LADY OF SION. 
(SION P. O.) 

Lake La Nonne, so called from the translation of the Indian name which means 
the "Whitehead Eagle," that the French-Canadians and half-breeds name "La Nonne" 
was the first location of the Indians now forming the Indian mission of "Riviere 
qui Barre". When the mission buildings had been removed, the place remained for a 
long time without religious service, except on occasional visits, at long intervals. Later 
on. however, for the benefit of a number of half-breed families which had joined those 
who had remained, and of some incoming settlers, a new church was built, near the 
lake, a fine location, on a legal subdivision of land obtained from the government. 
The church was blessed on the 8th of August, 1911, on the occasion of a pastoral 
visit made to this locality by the Rt. Rev. Bishop of St. Albert. It has been dedicated in 
the name of "Our Lady of Sion" and the national feast appointed to the 8th. of 
September, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

The mission has always been attended to from the Indian Reserve of Riviere 
qui Barre, formerly by Father Rev. Simonin, and now, in 1914, by Rev. Father 
P. LeBre. O. M. I. 

As the country north of Lake La Nonne is fast settling, it will be necessary, before 
long, to make of this mission a central point wherefrom to visit many other settle 
ments lately formed in the whole district. 

9. THE PARISH OF ST. LAWRENCE. 
(BROSSEAU P. O.) 

The site of Brosseau exactly coincides with that of the former Mission of St. Paul 
des Cris, founded by Rev. Father Lacombe on the banks of the Saskatchewan. It is 
situated about thirty miles north-east of Vegreville. Nothing remains of the old mission 
save some traces of the cemetery which are still quite recognizable. The buildings, 
which had been unoccupied for some time were destroyed by a conflagration, which 
is believed not to have been due altogether to chance. 

The Catholic population here is rather numerous, on both sides of the river. 
The south side is called "Duvernay". It is composed principally of French-Canadians. 
The first attempt to found a parish here was made in 1905, by the sending of Rev. M. 
Gendre, a French priest, but the population did not seem as yet to be in a posi 
tion to maintain a priest, and after his departure the post was visited, as before, from 
Vegreville, by Rev. Fathers Bernier and Gamier. A fresh trial was made at the end 
of 1907 by Rev. L. J. Roy, a Canadian priest, but he was able to remain only a couple 
of months. 

Rev. A. Clermont came to this post in the month of February of the year 
1908. He has succeeded in building for himself a suitable presbytery, and he is active 
ly engaged in the erection of a church sufficiently large for the needs of the population. 
This new parish has been from that time in a good way towards complete organization 
and its fine position assures for it an importance which must continue to increase. 

In May 1911 Rev. A. Clermont was succeeded in Brousseau by Rev. J. B. 
Leduc, a young priest from the Diocese of Valleyfield, P. Q. Father Leduc has 
added a few improvements to the church which, however, is not quite finished and 
has not received the additional compliment of a steeple over the tower waiting for it. 

Rev. J. B. Leduc has been obliged to divide his attention, in order to organize 
another parish north of Brosseau, on the road to St. Paul des Metis. This is the 
mission of Lafond, where a good substantial building has been erected to serve as 



90 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



a church. The place is now attended to from the Indian Reserve of Saddle Lake by 
Rev. Father A. Husson, O.M.I. 

Several other posts, viz. St. Benedict, south of the River Saskatchewan and Beau- 
vallon must also be visited by the priest of Brosseau. 

10. PARISH OF ST. VINCENT. 
DENISVILLE P. O. 

About ten miles to the north of the settlement of St. Paul des Metis there has 
been founded in the course of the year 1907, a new Catholic centre in the district of the 
lake, dignified by the poetical name of "La Croupe au Chien," "Dog s Rump." 
All this country, indeed, from the banks of the Saskatchewan as far as the districts 
of Moose Lake and Cold Lake, and the whole length of the valley of the Beaver 
river, are essentially suitable for cultivation. The land is excellent. There are wooded 
regions as well as prairie and rich pasture land. 

At the above mentioned centre Rev. E. Bonny has been appointed to organize 
the parish of St. Vincent. Rev. Fr. Bonny belonged to the congregation of the "White 
Fathers of Algiers," founded by the celebrated Cardinal Lavigerie, but as the climate 
of Africa was very unsuitable to his health he has come to try that of Alberta. He 
has build for himself a house-chapel, in a beautiful position, on a high hill commanding an 
extensive view of the country around. 

Rev. Father Bonny was transferred, in 1910, from St. Vincent to Moose Lake 
district, in order to organize a new parish in that district. He was replaced by 
Rev. Remi Guertin. 

However beautiful the former location of the church of St. Vincent was, on a 
property of 10 acres, obtained from the government, for the accommodation of the 
larger part of the Catholic population, it was decided to remove the site of the church 
some distance east. Rev. R. Guertin erected at the new place, a building destined to 
answer the double purpose of a church and dwelling house. 

Father Guertin was called, in 1912, to take up the parish of St. Emile. and his 
place since then has been filled by Rev. A. Desroches who had already made a stay 
in this diocese, at Beaumont, and after returning to his own diocese, had been obliged, 
on account of his health, to come back again. 

Rev. A. Desroches is still, 1914, in charge of the parish of St. Vincent, which is 
steadily growing and boasts about 70 families. 

I 1. THE PARISH OF ST. LOUIS. 
(BONNYVILLE P. O.) 

Rev. Father Bonny went from St. Vincent, in 1910, to the district of Moose 
Lake, where he organized a new parish, as there were already a good number of settlers. 
The first building used as a church was nothing more than a log-house covered with sod. 
Anything of a more primitive character could hardly be found anywhere. Meanwhile 
the priest lived with a private family. A post office was opened and called Bonnyville. 

For a long time there were discussions and wranglings about the proper site for a 
church. Finally the question Wcs settled by the Bishop of St. Albert and Rev. J. M. 
Boucher, a priest of the diocese of Three Rivers, who had succeeded Rev. Father Bonny 
was in a position to build a house-chapel, at a more central place. The ceremony of 
Confirmation took place in the church, which occupies the ground floor of the building 
on the 13th. of August 1913. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



91 



Before leaving this part of the country, there remains to be mentioned quite a num 
ber of places which are intended to become in the near future, the centres of new 
Catholic parishes. The two lines of railways passing through this district: the branch 
of the C. N. R. though St. Paul des Metis and the line of the Alberta and Great 
Waterways, heading for Lake La Biche and Fort McMurray, are opening up splendid 
stretches of agricultural and grazing lands, and our colonisation agents are directing 
their efforts towards the filling up of these new territories. 

We can only mention some of the many centres of these parishes of the future: 

1. Near St. Paul des Metis: St. Edward, Flat Lake. 

2. North of St. Vincent: St. Agnes, St. Lina, St. Alfred. 

3. Near Little Beaver River: Grandin. Lac Charron. 

4. Near Lake Cardinal : Normandeau. 

5. Near Lake La Biche: Lake La Biche South, Grande Baie. 

6. N.W. of Lake La Biche: Plamondonvilie. 

These are a few of the centres that are occupied already by a large number of 
Catholic families, and which are to be increased and developed as fast as possib e. 




LORD STRATHCONA and FATHER LACOMBE. 



92 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CHAPTER V. 



Recent Parishes and Missions 



ON THE C. P. R. 



We will take the city of Edmonton as a radiating centre for the description of all 
the remaining parishes on all the railway lines. 

1. THE PARISH OF ST. BENEDICT. 
LEDUC. 

St. Benedict s parish at Leduc had been in existence for some time before having 
a resident priest. Leduc is a station on the Calgary and Edmonton branch of the 
. about twenty miles south of Strathcona. The name of Leduc was given to 
this station in honor of Rev. Father Leduc, vicar general of the diocese of St. Albert, and 
one of the pioneers of civilization in the northwest. This locality was visited by Fr. 
Nordmann from 1896, when there were only a dozen Catholic families at Leduc itself 
and within a radius of twelve or fifteen miles Mass was ordinarily said at Mr. Jeers 
house or in the town hall. 

In 1 896 steps were taken to build a church. Rev. Fr. Leduc arranged for the 
purchase of five lots in a pretty location near the little lake, which is one of the 
attractions of the district and a little church measuring 24x24 feet was soon erected. 
Bishop Grandm, himself, came to bless it and dedicated it to St. Benedict, on the last 
?- Un< c a3 u- In Septemben Rev " Falher Leduc Preached the sermon of the occasion and 
hr. Ethier, then parish priest of Beaumont, sang the high mass. From this time foward 
the latter was appointed to visit this post regularly. In the spring of 1900 Rev. Fr. 
Nordmann, then resident priest at Strathcona, again took charge of the mission until 
)4, when Rev. Fr. Van Wetten, residing at Wetaskiwin. commenced to visit this 
post as well as others along the line as far as Lacombe. The religious services were 
provided regularly every fourth Sunday of each month. The little church was at first 
divided by a partition so as to serve partly as dwelling for the priest, but a- the 
father ordinarily lodged with Mr. Owen McKay, or Mr. W. Mogg. where he was 
always cordially welcomed, this partition became useless and in 1906 it was removed. 
Then the church was finished, its interior varnished and its exterior painted. It also 
received a set of the stations of the Way of the Cross, a confessional, some benches, an- 
Dther altar and the ornamentation of some statues. The five lots of land belonging to 
the church were leveled and surrounded with palings. At this time, another acre of 
lands was bought, from Mr. Mathias Schweckrath, two and one-half miles from town, 
to serve as a cemetery. Personal gifts and a subscription furnished the necessary funds 
for the payment of these expenses. 

In 1909 Rev. Father Alex De Lestre, another Premonstratensian father, having 
:ome from Belgium, took charge of the parish of Leduc. He built a small presbytery 
cottage. When he was sent to Coleman, a new priest was supplied for Leduc in 
the person of Rev. Terence Caraher, who remained in charge only till sometime in 
912, when Rev. Father J. Riou, O.M.I., took temporary charge of the religious 
interests of the Catholic population. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 93 



Now, in 1914, Rev. Fr. F. X. Teck, also a Premonstratensian father, from Grim- 
bergen, is the parish priest of Leduc. 

2. THE PARISH OF ST. NORBERT. (MILLET). 

Millet, from the name of the celebrated painter, is a station on the Calgary & Ed 
monton line about 30 miles south of Strathcona. Before the year 1903, Rev. Father 
A. Jan, of Edmonton, visited the few Catholics of the neighborhood at times, saying 
Mass in a private house. In 1903 Rev. Father Van Wetten, of Westaskiwin, was en 
trusted with this place. He came at rare intervals, only, indeed, when there was a fifth 
Sunday in the month, and he gave the service in the town hall or in the school. 

The first Catholic settler of Millet was Mr. J. P. Mullen. During the year 1905 
attention was directed towards securing land suitable for building a church there, and 
the choice fell upon a pretty, rising ground at a little distance to the west of the town. 
In 1906 a subscription list was opened to which all the population, even Protestants 
generously responded. Mr. Mullen subscribed $200 and Mr. Gregoire, proprietor 
of the hotel, and Mr. West, a Protestant, $100 each. A concert organized on the 
first of April, 1907, by Rev. Fr. Walravens, with the assistance of the mandolin 
orchestra of the young Indian girls from the Hobbema school, brought in $213. In 
the course of 1907 the contract of building a church measuring 36x24 feet was con 
cluded with Mr. Kovar, of Millet, and the church was finished by August, costing 
$1,550. On the first day of December, Bishop Legal came to give the solemn blessing 
and to dedicate it to St. Norbert, the founder of the religious order of the Premonstra- 
tensians, to which belong the Fathers of Wetaskiwin. The good townsfolks of Millet 
well deserved the eulogies they received on this coccasion for their generosity. 

The statue of St. Norbert, which ornaments the altar, is the gift of the Abbey 
of Grimbergen in Belgium. Rev. Fr. Van Wetten provided the sacred vessels and the 
priestly vestments, the Way of the Cross and the altar linen, etc. 

The church at Millet is still attended to and visited by the priest from Leduc. 
After Rev. Father Van Wetten it was Rev. Father DeLestre, then Rev. T. Caraher 
and temporarily Rev. Father J. Riou, O.M.I. Now in 1914 it is Rev. Father 
F. X. Teck also a Premonstratensian father. 

3. THE PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART. (WETASKIWIN). 

The mission at Wetaskiwin, 40 miles south of Edmonton, dates from the construc 
tion of the railroad from Calgary to Edmonton. The first regular train passed through 
in May, 1902. Mr. L. C. Miquelon was the first settler in this locality. On his 
arrival there he said to one of his companions, "You will see, we shall have a line here 
coming from Winnipeg and passing by Wetaskiwin to the west. Let us settle down in 
this place." He was not such a bad prophet. This line from Winnipeg has been an 
accomplished fact since 1908. The name Wetaskiwin, given to the railway station, 
signifies "Peace." It comes from the neighboring hills, called the "Peace Hills, in 
memory of a treaty of peace formerly concluded there between the Crees and the 
Blackfeet. 

It was in the autumn of this same year, 1892, that Rev. Fr. Leduc, accompanied 
by Mr. Miquelon, chose half a block of land for the church. The number of Catholics 
was still very limited. Besides Mr. Miquelon, Mr. Frank Lambert and a few others 
had their own houses in the neighborhood. Rev. Fr. Gabillon, of the Hobbema mis 
sion, ten miles to the south, came from time to time to say mass for fifteen or sixteen 
persons who were present. In 1894, Bishop Grandin entrusted the growing parish of 



94 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Wetaskiwin to Rev. L. Poitras. A little church measuring 30 x 22 feet was built, 
and the space intended for the sanctuary, served as the dwelling for the priest. He 
took his meals with the Miquelon family, where he was always cordially welcomed. 
The Catholic population increased somewhat rapidly, for in 1 895 there were already 
25 families, nearly all French speaking. In 1896 Rev. L. Poitras was replaced by 
Rev. Fr. Dubois, but he resided at first at Hobbema and served the Wetaskiwin mis 
sion from that place. By reason of his frequent journeys he had to be often replaced 
by Rev. Fr. Beillevaire of Duhamel, or by Rev. Father Lizee and Simonin in the 
course of 1896 to 1898. 

The first little presbytery was bought from a Mr. Young for $50 and was moved 
on the church property. This house measured 1 6 x 12 feet. Rev. Fr. Dubois 
undertook to add to it a little chapel, which he wished to render handsome, but he 
had not time to accomplish it. He also constructed a good stable, expecting to have a 
horse, which seemed very necessary, but, the horse not coming as soon as was ex 
pected, the stable was turned into a dwelling house. Though it might possibly have 
been warm enough for a stable, it was not so for a dwelling house in winter. 

In 1 899 Fr. Dubois surrounded all the mission property with a good fence, one 
of the prettiest in the town, and he placed a good loft and galleries in the church which 
had become too small. In 1901 he was busy organizing a "Separate School" district. 
The first teacher was Mr. Connolly and the church served as his class room, in which, 
also, the work was afterwards continued by Mr. Quinlan till 1903. Then the district 
built a good school house by the side of the church. In the autumn of 1905 Mr. Quinlan 
was replaced by Miss Anna Lannon, who remained in charge until September, 1907. 
Then the school attendance was so far increased as to necessitate two mistresses, and 
the school hall was divided into two portions. Miss Lucy Campbell and Miss Lily 
Arnoldi continuing the good work. In 1902 Fr. Dubois had to go to Eastern Canada 
on a begging quest on behalf of the poor missions of the diocese of St. Albert. Rev. 
Father C. Vandendaele came twice a month from Hobbema, to supply the religious 
services during his absence. 

His Lordship, the Bishop of St. Albert, offered this still humble post of Wetaskiwin 
to the Rev. Premonstratensian Fathers of the Abbey of Brimbergen, in Belgium, and 
on September 2, 1902 Rev. Fr. Van Wetten, who had already been in the diocese 
for nearly three years, took charge of the mission. The house was so cold that in 
November he was obliged to abandon it and to seek refuge with a family of the parish. 
In the course of the. winter, the stable was moved nearer to the former house; the little 
private chapel was finished, and by joining all these together a continuous dwelling was 
arranged, of which Fr. Van Wetten took possession on March 1st, 1903. In the 
spring of this year he built a little stable with the aid of three of his parishioners. In 
the course of the year the church was provided with benches and the interior decorated 
with the help of the ladies of the Altar society. Finally, in November, 1904, electric 
lights were installed. I he cemetery land, containing two acres, was bought from Mr. 
Mathias Iheroux for $100. It is situated three-quarters of a mile from the town. 

From July 7th, 1914, there have been two Premonstratensian Fathers at Wetas 
kiwin. On this date Rev. Fr. Walravens arrived from the Abbey of Grimbergen, ac 
companied by a lay brother and he proceeded to take over the parish work while Fr. 
Van Wetten served the different missions along the railway from Strathcona to Lacombe. 
Lately he has also undertaken the charge of the branch line from Wetaskiwin to 
Daysland, thus occupying all his time in apostolic journeyings. We will by and by 
say a few words on the different posts visited. 

The town of Wetaskiwin has lately been greatly extended. The church had be 
come too small and it was decided in 1908 to build a larger and more convenient one, 
for which plans had been prepared. The new church which was to cost upwards of 
$8,000, was built in the year 1912. The subscription organized toward the building 



HISTORY OF THK CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



was generously supported, and the new church built of solid brick is a handsome struct 
ure, the best church in the whole town. 

Moreover, the Community of the Sisters of the Assumption of Nicolet has con 
sented to take the direction of the separate school and to establish a convent of their 
order so that the progress of this parish is assured. 

4. THE MISSION OF ST. AUGUSTIN. (PONOKA). 

Ponoka is a station of the C. P. R., situated 60 miles south of Strathcona. Its 
name is derived from its proximity to the River La Biche, "Red Deer," in Blackfoot, 
Ponoka. Nevertheless the little river which winds its picturesque and sinuous course 
through the valley is not the River La Biche, but the Battle River. 

In 1904 steps were taken to secure four town lots upon which to erect the future 
church. The first priest to visit the few scattered Catholics in this direction was Rev. 
Fr. Lizee, of Hobbema; later on Rev. Fr. Dauphin succeeded him. Mass was usually 
iaid in the house of Mr. Kennedy, two miles to the north-west of Ponoka. A little 
later Rev. Fr. Dubois also came to provide religious services. These were held at that 
time in the Royal hotel, which belonged to Mr. Laurendeau and was kept by Mr. Camille 
Miquelon. Since 1902 the service was held every third Sunday of each month in the 
C. O. F. hall, first by Rev. Fr. Vandendaele and afterwards by Rev. Fr. Van Wetten. 
In 1907, a subscription list was opened and generously supported, the sum of $700 
being realized. All the wood for the frame work was given by Mr. J. Hageman. 
Building operations commenced early in 1908, and were successfully carried out. Con 
firmation took place in the church on the 27th of July, 1909. 

The church measures 40 x 24 feet. The number of Catholics is not large, about 
20 persons in the town and 18 families within a circle of eight miles around. 

A large insane asylum has been located at Ponoka which requires also the visit 
of the priest. 

5. THE PARISH OF ST. STEPHEN. (LACOMBE). 

Lacombe is a station of the Calgary & Edmonton Railway, or C. P. R., situated 
about 80 miles south of Strathcona. Its name is derived from the celebrated missionary 
of that name, who is so popular and well known in all the Northwest, as well among 
the Indian tribes as among those of other nationalities. Rev. Fr. Dubois, residing at 
Wetaskiwin, used to come three or four times a year, to visit the few Catholics scattered in 
the neighborhood, and ordinarily he celebrated mass at the house of Mr. Kangiezer, six 
miles west of the town. Mr. John McKenty s family were the first Catholics to settle 
at Lacombe, on the first of July, 1900. From this date the religious service was held 
at their house until the erection of the church. 

After Fr. Dubois, the next priest in charge of Lacombe was Rev. F. C. Van 
dendaele, of Hobbema. The company of the Calgary & Edmonton line and Mr. 
Edward Barret made a gift of two town lots destined for the future church, and in 
1903 a beginning was made to collect funds for its construction. In the month of 
June Mrs. McKenty and her sister organized a concert which brought in $80 and a 
committee was formed to gather subscriptions. The Bishop of St. Albert gave substantial 
assistance and soon they had in hand $745. The contract was given to Mr. Mobley, 
of Lacombe, for the sum of $845. 

In 1905 some improvements were effected. The priest s house adjoining the 
church was finished. The church was plastered and completed inside, thus necessitating 
other expenses, so that the church easily represents the sum of $1,400 or $1,500. Rev. 
Fr. Vandendaele succeeded in furnishing it with many objects necessary for Divine Wor 
ship. The church was solemnly blessed and dedicated to St. Stephen on the 16th of 
August, 1903, by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Right Rev. Emile Joseph Legal. 



95 



96 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



In the month of January, 1905, the post of Lacombe was entrusted to Rev. 
Father Van Wetten, of Wetaskiwin, who used to go thither every second Sunday of 
the month. Now Rev. Father H. Voisin attends to this mission from Red Deer. 1914. 
The Catholic population has not appreciably increased these last few years. Some 
families have come, but others have departed. There are only about a dozen of 
families wholly Catholic within a radius of five or six miles around the town. How 
ever, this town is expected to assume importance, for it is on a branch of the C. P. R. 
running towards the east, in the direction of Regina, connecting with the road to St 
Paul, Minn. 

6. THE CATHOLIC PARISH OF RED DEER. 

Red Deer is a large town about half way between Edmonton and Calgary. It 
had been thought that, on account of that convenient distance, the town being located 
on a fine and large stream, the Red Deer River, and in a beautiful valley hemmed 
on every side by wooded hills of picturesque aspect, would rapidly develop to be a 
large city. The increase, however, has not been as fast as was expected. But now, 
in 1914, with several branches of railways: C. P. R., C. N. R., Alberta Central R.[ 
meeting here, every indication points to very rapid progress in the near future. 

Tne Rev - Fathers of Our Lady of Tinchebray are now in charge of the parish. 
I his order of priests were prepared to undertake work of higher education in France. 
I hey had indeed fine institutions and colleges, which were closed by the fanaticism of 
the present Government of France. They sought admission to this diocese and were 
very cordially welcomed. 

At first, however, they had thought of devoting their energy to the foundation of 
an agricultural institution or orphanage. This did not seem to be a very pressing need 
in this country and they consented to take charge of parish work. 

I he episcopal corporation had already acquired some property; (about one block) 
m the centre of the town. Rev. Father Voisin, while residing at Innisfail, managed to 
build a small church, and the religious service became regular, once or twice every 
month. 

But Rev. Father Voisin had larger ambitions for the parish of Red Deer. As 
he noticed that Innisfail was not progressing as fast as Red Deer he decided to make 
his headquarters in the latter place, and he looked for a place where he could have 
not only the church but also a convent of some Sisterhood, at the same time as the 
house 01 their order and a college. 

He bought a property across the river not far from the bridge, which was suitable 

tor the purpose of a convent and college. It is located on a very high hill overlooking 

From the top the view indeed is splendid, but it is a tiring climb to reach 

summit of the hill, so the place though well adapted for a college and a convent 

oardmg school, is not so convenient for a parish church and eventually the parish church 

will have to be located again, at the place formerly intended for it. 

However, the concrete basement of a new church was started on the top of the 
hill on a piece of the property that was bought from the community by the Bishop of 
Albert and the religious service from that time, 1908, took place in this basement 
which had been roofed in. Rev. Father H. Voisin had commenced also the building 
of a small college, which was called St. Mary s Apostolic school, in their own house 
for about 12 pupils. 

The Rev. Sisters of Wisdom came in 1908, and a fine convent had been erected 
for them. I hey soon took possession of it, and under the direction of Rev. Sister M 
Agathe, first superioress they began teaching the Catholic separate school, for day 
pupils and also for their own boarders. Progress has been steadily going on, so that, 
in 1 13, it became necessary to enlarge the convent to double its capacity. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 97 



On the other hand the Rev. Fathers have also seen their work progressing and in 
the present year, 1914, they have erected another large building, to provide class rooms 
for the students of the Apostolic school. 

The parish is in charge of Rev. Father Voisin, assisted by Rev. Father P. J. 
Chauvin, for the visitation of numerous outposts. 

The college of St. Mary, since March 1909, has been under the direction of 
Rev. Father P. Lamort who recently received an assistant in the person of Rev. 
Father Mortreux. 

Besides, the Rev. Fathers from Red Deer attend to several other posts or missions, 
as Innisfail, Olds, Sylvan Lake, etc., etc. 

/. Innisfail. 

Red Deer, however, had not been the first parish of which the Rev. Fathers of 
Tinchebray assumed charge. It was Innisfail. Rev. Father H. Voisin came there 
soon after their arrival, in the diocese. There was then at this place quite a little colony 
of French speaking Catholics, from France or from Eastern Canada: Messrs. Hermary, 
Lerouge, Humbert and other families. The little town seemed to be promising enough, 
and a small presbytery was built, as well as a small church which, in fact, has neve; 
been completed. The Catholic population indeed, in place of increasing began to 
dwindle away, and in 1907, the Rev. Fathers moved to Red Deer, continuing however to 
look after the congregation of Innisfail. 

Rev. Father Voisin had been assisted in the beginning, by Rev. Father Paul 
Chauvin who never enjoyed very robust health. In 1906 he developed serious illness 
and he had to go to the Holy Cross hospital, in Calgary, where, after a short time, he 
died a holy death, in August, 1906. This was a very sad loss for the congregation of 
the Fathers of Tinchebray. Rev. Father P. Chauvin was the first to depart from 
the missionary field to go, before the eleventh hour, to receive the reward of the 
missionary. 

Since then Rev. Fathers Anciaux, Lamort and others and lately, 1914, Rev. 
Father P. J. Chauvin have been caring for the Catholic congregation of Innisfail. 

2. Olds. 

Olds, 18 miles south of Innisfail, has also been attended to by the Rev. Fathers 
from Innisfail, and lately from Red Deer. 

3. Sylvan Lalfe. 

Sylvan Lake, about 30 miles west of Red Deer, had already a small Catholic 
Congregation and, in the course of the year 1913, a nice little church was built through 
the energy of Rev. Father H. Voisin. It has a fine view of the beautiful lake, which is 
becoming quite a favorite summer resort. 

7. THE PARISH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP. 

(STETTLER). 

The C. P. R. branch line of Lacombe has been, from the beginning given in 
charge of the Rev. Fathers of St. Mary of Tinchebray. Rev. Father P. Bazin, the 
first to visit this locality, and then his brother priest although not belonging to the com 
munity of the Rev. Father of Tinchebray, have attended to the religious needs of the 



98 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



population. Before there was any church built, religious service took place generally 
at the home of Mr. Sewerd, a devoted family always happy to receive God s represen 
tative, in the person of the priest. 

Some time in 1908 Rev. Father J. Bazm remained alone at Stettler and managed 
build a nice commodious church, dedicated on the 17th of April, 1910 under the 
name of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. 

While taking care of the parish he had also to visit numerous other places. In 

Rev. Father J. Bazin s health began to fail. He went for a trip to Europe, and 

was obliged to submit to a regular treatment. He was unable to come back. 

the parish has been regularly visited from Red Deer by Rev. Fr. Voisin. 

8. THE PARISH OF OUR LADY OF GRACES. (CASTOR). 

Castor is also on the C. P. R. Lacombe branch, 85 miles east of Lacombe. The 

mission has been entrusted to Rev. Father L. Leconte of the congregation of Our 

idy of Iinchebray. He came there in 1910. Then were bu.lt a small presbytery 

and a church which is also too small and hardly sufficient for the accommodation of 

Catholic population. his place having been for some time the terminus of the line 

was growing very fast and on the occasion of his first pastoral visit there, April 23rd, 

1911, the Bishop of St. Albert administered the sacrament of Confirmation to 105 



n cer!! C nse , nted / P en a hospital in Castor, came there 

II. and soon steps were taken for the erection of a fine building for the 
The institution is located on a convenient plot not far from the church, and 
. was opened without delay under the direction of Rev. Sister St. Pol.xene, as super 
A hospital at that place ,s a boon not only for the town, but also for all the 
surrounding country. Rev. father L. Leconte has an enormous district to visit and for 

Rev TT 6 A " a U T u een a T tecl by S me ther members of h s congregation 
Father nX "^ 9 4 by ReV " Father R Renut and Rev - 



Amongst the places visited we may ment.on: Halk,rk, Gadsby, Botha, and Erski 
on the west; Coronation Throne, Veteran, Loyalist, and Consort on the east L 

aV ] 



R h 

and ma^y otheVs "^ r6man ^"^P^ Leo, Ingleton Evvmg 



r IW f - ^f Pl f ce r ReV ", Father LeC nte has ^ceeded in securing a sum of 
or memorial chapels, from the Church Extension society of Canada. These are: 

\.Hall f irl(. (Church of St. Peter). 

The church at Halkirk was built in the course of last year, 1913, and has bee 
fully furnished with altar, vestments and sacred vessels by the Lad,es Auxiliary of he 
hurch Extension. This was valuable assistance to a new mission for which every hmg 
has to be provided Of course outs.de of the donation of $500 from the Church 
Extension the people had also to contribute for the completion of their church- so that 
the church, now completed, represents a value of at least $1,800. 

2. Consort. (Church of St. Andrew). 

The gift of $500 from the Church Extension for a memorial chapel at Consort 
has just been received; ,t ,s a donation from Miss E. M. Behan, in memory of her two 
brothers. The church ,s to be built .mmediately and will be called St Andrew s 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



99 




REV. FATHER LACOMBE, O.M.I 

The Black Robe Voyageur. 



100 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



9. THE PARISH OF ST. ANN OF THE PLAINS. (TROCHU). 

Trochu is not on the C. P. R. line, but on a branch line of the G. T. P. from 
Edmonton to Calgary, via Tofield; but as it is situated in the district entrusted to the 
Rev. Fathers of Tmchebray, we will give an account of it at the present time, in order 
to dispose of all these missions confided to that religious order. 

Trochu is like Red Deer, a parish transferred to the Rev. Fathers of Tinchebray 
titulo perpetuo." The name of Trochu is from the well known General Trochu who 
was in command at Pans, after the commune of 1871. A nephew of his had just 
ttled in this district and several French officers and other French families had con 
gregated there. There were amongst others: Mr. Ekenfelder, Mr. Theodoli Mr 
higarol, Mme Butruille, Ctesse de Cathelineau and other members of the family A 
company had been formed under the name of The St. Ann Ranch Co., a creamery had 
been organized and the little colony seemed full of hope and enthusiasm. 

The ,n t ;-7 An ?, Ra , nch C - gaVC a town lot for a church site - T he church was 

07. Rt. Rev. B IS hop Legal went, about that time to visit the parish 

He was met at some distance from the little town and driven "a la Daumont" 

by three spans of gray horses, and a full artillery equipage. No Governor-General 

had ever been driven in such grand style across the prairies of the West The 

church was solemnly ded.cated on the 23rd of July, 1907, under the name of St. Ann 

Plains. The St. Ann Ranch Co. had also advanced the sum of money needed 

for the construction of the church. This church when blessed was far from being 

hn.shed and daylight could be seen through the walls, which were only of one pl.ght of 

boards. 

The congregation of the Rev. Fathers of Tmchebray were given also by the same 

.mpany two town lots adjoining the church and thereupon they built a small presbytery. 

Rev. Fr P. Bazin had been in charge of the parish from the beginning After 

few years he was able to replace the primitive house used as a presbytery by a 

more substantial residence. 

In 1909 the question of a hospital for Trochu was seriously considered and by the 
end of the year the Sisters of Charity of Evron who had assumed the work, were al 
ready on the spot. They immediately commenced their work of charity in a tern- 
orary building, the old boarding house generously lent by the St. Ann Ranch Co The 
first superioress was Rev Sister M. Recton, destined to be the first Mother Provincial 
of this Sisterhood in the North-West of Canada. 

Soon steps were taken for the erection of a permanent hospital on a fine site donated 

by the company, and m 1 9 1 1 , on the occasion of another visit from the Bi,hop of St 

Albert the hospital-convent now a large and substantial frame building, was ready for 

occupancy and solemnly blessed. There still remained the veneer to be applied on the 

1 his has been done since and this veneer made of small cement blocks gives 

the whole institution a monumental appearance. 

Rev. Father Bazin since the last chapter of the order of the Fathers of N. D de 

tinchebray. August. 1913, has been appointed superior of all the members of said 

congregation residing m the west of Canada. He had prepared, during the fall of 191 3 

or an early start, ,n the spring of 1914, on the building of another and larger church 

t one having become quite inadequate to the needs of the population. The excava- 

"lf fli H? t Ut> l n aCC Unt f the busmess ^Pression which has made 
elt, it has become necessary to postpone the undertaking. 

SO THE PARISH OF ST. FRANCIS XAVERIUS. (CAMROSE). 

Now coming back to another branch of the C. P. R., starting from Wetaskiwin, 
we hnd, 25 miles east of the last named town, Camrose. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 101 



Camrose had been visited from Wetaskiwin by Rev. Father F. Van Welten of 
the order of the Premonstratensians. Before the erection of a church, the religious 
services used to be held at Mr. F. Adan s residence, where the priest, whoever he was, 
was sure to receive a hearty welcome. When the town was first organized Mr. F. Adan 
gave one acre of land for the church and the Episcopal Corporation bought three more 
acres 

During the year 1909. Rev. Father F. Van Wetten managed to build a good 
and substantial church which was duly blessed by Bishop Legal on the 12th of De 
cember of the same year and given the name of St. Francis Xavenus. 

Since then the parish has been regularly visited, a couple of times every month; 
but it has not been possible, so far, to establish a resident priest. 

Camrose seems, however, to be destined to grow into a large city. The C. N. R. 
company has another townsite, at some short distance from the actual town, and there 
is its station on a subdivision called Noyen and belonging to Mr. Rene Lemarchand, 
of Noyen, France. 

The G. T. P. branch, from Edmonton to Calgary also passes through the town 
which is consequently quite a railway centre already, and cannot fail to become a 
very important town. 

11. THE PARISH OF ST. MARK. (DAYSLAND). 

Daysland is a station situated 52 miles east of Wetaskiwin on the branch of the 
C. P. R. going east to Winnipeg via Saskatoon. There are as yet only about six or 
neven Catholic families, and the place had been originally visited from time to time by 
th* Rev. Oblate Fathers of the German colony of Spring Lake, eight miles to the 
south. 

In the course of the year 1907, the Bishop of St. Albert acquired from Mr. Day, 
the founder of the town, three blocks of land for the sum of $1,000. One of these 
blocks was destined for a hospital under the management of a religious community of 
nuns. The Rev. Sifters of Providence, from Kingston, had assumed this work and they 
arrived early in the spring of the year 1908. Having taken up their temporary quarters 
in a private house, they soon began the erection of the permanent hospital, which was 
completed in the course of the year. 

The hospital, although not very large, is equipped with all modern improvements 
and can accommodate about twenty patients. It is a fine and substantial building of 
solid brick and easily the best structure to be found in the town. 

At the same time as the hospital a small church was also erected on one of the 
blocks, in front of the hospital with a room adjoining, for the residence of the priest. 
The bishop of Si. Albert advanced the sum necessary for the building of the church, 
viz. $1,000, and the church was solemnly blessed on the 25th of April, 1909, and 
given the name of "he Apostle and Evangelist St. Mark. 

Rev. Father F. Van Wetten, order of Premonstratensians, was appointed, from 
the-, beginning, parish priest, and chaplain of the hospital, with the added duty of visiting 
the large district north and east of Daysland. 

Rev. Father Van Wetten having started for a trip to Europe, in June, 1909, his 
place was filled by Rev. Father F. X. Teck, O. Proem., who remained there until 
March, 1914, when Rev. Father Jos. Mulders came to take charge of the parish and 
of the district. 

Rev. Father Mulders attends to the following missions along the line of the railway: 
Strome, Killam, Langheed, Hardisty, Amisk, Nilrem, and tries to hold religious services, 
in each place, a couple of times every month. 

Strome is the most important of all these ports. A church had been built there, and 
it was solemnly blessed on the 30th of May, 1910, and called St. Joseph. 



102 



, 1 , H ! STCR y F THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 

12. THE PARISH OF ST. BONIFACE. (SPRING LAKE). 

The colony of Spring Lake begins about 50 miles east of Wetaskiwin. Its ex- 

carcely dates back further than ten or twelve years. At that time there were 

families scattered on this lonely tract, and it was no small affair for them to 

go ov n* Wetaskiwin or to some other point on the Calgary and Edmonton 

a " ll 



out 



At the beginning of the year 1904 the construction of a railway runnina from 

skiwin ana going m an easterly direction to Winnipeg was assured! and thfs gav" 

an .rnpo.tance to this part of the country to which new colonists flocked. Some German 

Sort J LkkeT/ T^ 117 fl "T ^ inneSOt f and Dak ta < turned their ^ toward 

X he firs n Q r ff Par ICU M I ^ f Ur tOWnshipS THe Centre f the C lon y 
first pos office was established, was m the neighborhood of a charming little 



o Snrinl nU OU * **> " te 

Sp ing Lake. These Germans were not Catholics in name only. They de- 

o It* Albe I \ f P l U nC , f .j he L ir . Wn IangUage " H S Lordshi P ^shop Legal, 

: ?; t^. 11 ^ Sr e 



man new to 



However m 1905, Rev. Fr W Shulte was entrusted with the charge of organ 
the parish of Spring Lake, On his arrival he had everything to do. There was 
neither a church nor a priest s house. At the end of three years, by dint of persever7n 
efforts he had succeeded in erecting a good church and a small dwellfng house 
The church is a good-sized building of wood, with a stone foundation. It could not 
fuUj completed, but such as a was it was looked upon as an important edifice 

Meanwhile the German population of Spring Lake and the neighborhood stead.lv 
increased and several centres were formed on different s.des. Rev. Fr. Schulte as no 
longer able to do the work alone, and ,n March or April, 1906, after Easter Rev 
r-r. t,. INelz, a recent arrival from Germany, was sent to him as his con l 

the autumn of 1907 the staff was changed. Rev, Fr. Luhe wa caH to be t 
assistant to Rev. Fr. Lemarchant at the new parish of the Immaculate Conception a 

Se 



Catholics. He Wa 



Rev. Fr. Nelz was also called away to Pmcher Creek to serve a little Germ- 
mission on the Kootonais River, and he was replaced by Rev. Fr. Bie er who ha 
recently arrived from Germany, Octover 1st, 1907. 

r ^li^A^STiT^i In c COm P ]et T ln the ch ^ch, in the course of the 
A beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart surmounts the h.gh altar- two 

for the choir" P ^ ^ ^ C nfessionals a n rail and a galley 

he tower has been completed with a strong and elegant steeple. The bell also 

ihe firsi 



A new presbytery aiso had been built in 1909, and completed in 1913 but t 
an_ unfortunate fire which originated from defective pipes, the whole bu.lding was com 
pletely destroyed, on the 29th of January, 1914. The church, however was saved 
he population of Spring Lake is now about 550 souls, but the whole German 
i. strict is already large enough for two new parishes which have no resident pries a 
yet. but are attended to from Spring Lake. These are- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



I. St. Peter, whose church was blessed on the 31st of May, 1910, and 2. 
Wanda, also provided with Us church. There are three Catholic schools in the district 
of Spring Lake and these schools are regularly visited, every week, by the priests fror 
Spring Lake. 

After the destruction of the presbytery a building, which is intended to be the 
sacristy, was built by the side of the sanctuary of the church and is used as a 
resident, for the present. Rev. Father Schultz, O.M.I., who had been assistant 
to Rev. Father Seltmann, since December 1911, has been obliged to go and take 
the place of Rev. Father A. Forner, at Rosenheim. 

13. THE PARISH OF ST. NORBERT. (ROSENHEIM). 

Not far from the eastern limit of the diocese there are three other parishes or 
missions, provided with their churches: Cadogan, Provost and Rosenheim. The priest 
resides at Rosenheim, although this place is some 8 or 1 miles south of the railway. 

Rev. Father A. Forner, O.M.I., has been, for many years, in charge of this 
district, and especially of the mission of Rosenheim which is more important than the 
others, being a compact German settlement. The church or rather house chapel, at 
Rosenheim, was built in the course of the year 1909. The 2nd floor of the house i 
used as a church for the parish. 

Cadogan and Provost have their own churches and are attended to from Rosenheim. 

Cadogan church is dedicated in the name of St. Joseph; all the expenses have 
been paid, and there is no debt on the church. 

Provost church has not been blessed as yet, as there remains a large indebtedness 
on the building, some $1,500. This shows that it is not safe to allow the church com 
mittees a too free a hand, because they are liable to incur heavy expenses, and then 
leave all the worry for the priest. 

South Rosenheim is another German colony, which has caused some trouble to the 
priest by reason of their reluctance to submit to the rightful authority. 

In May, 1914, Rev. Father Forner started for a trip to Germany, and has b 
replaced by Rev. Father Schultz, O.M.I. 



103 



104 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CHAPTER VI. 



Recent Parishes and Missions 



ON THE C. N. R. 



I. PARISH OF OUR LADY OF ANGELS. 
(FORT SASKATCHEWAN). 



When the Franciscans came to this diocese, in 1908, it was intended that they 
would have their principal monastery at Fort Saskatchewan which seemed at the time 
the most advanced and promising town, outside of Edmonton. These expectations 
however, did not materialize, as Fort Saskatchewan, then the seat of a large detach 
ment of the R. N. W. M. Police with extensive barracks has not grown to a very 
large extent. It is only eighteen miles distant from Edmonton on the C. N. R line 
going east, and the larger city has evidently proved to be too near to the smaller town 
and has attracted all business to itself. 

Edmonton having developed beyond the most sanguine expectations it had become 

necessary to organize new parishes and it was thought advisable that the main monastery 

the hranciscan Fathers should be located in Edmonton where they could be more 

easily reached from everywhere, to be applied to for sermons, retreats, or other religious 

works. 



which had been 
1909, they kept 
church was soon 
from the police 
by far, the most 
number of them, 
of May, 1910, 



However, they did not want to completely abandon the Fort, 
their first mission in this country, and, in the course of the year 
busy in order to build there a spacious and commodious church. The 
built of solid brick, on one acre of land granted by the Government 
reserve. It is complete with a tower and an elegant steeple, and is, 
conspicuous of all the churches of the town, where there are a goodly 
It was solemnly blessed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Legal, on the 8th 
and has received as titular name "Our Lady of the Angels." 

An attempt had been made, at the same time to organize a Catholic separate 
school district but this only resulted in showing the strength of the Orange organization 
the town; the attempt was frustrated, on account of some irregular proceedings. 

The parish of Fort Saskatchewan has continued ever since to be served from 
the monastery at North Edmonton by some of the Fathers in succession, viz., Rev 
Father Simon, Rev. Father Hilarion, Rev. Fr. Boniface and others. 

Besides the town of Fort Saskatchewan the Rev. Franciscan Fathers also look 
after the spiritual welfare of many settlers scattered in the whole district surrounding 
rort Saskatchewan. 

Rev. Father Martin, O.F.M., visits regularly Cookville and Myrtle Creek Pine 
Creek, Red Water, Chipman and Ross Creek, Lamont and Scotford. 

Rev. Father Denis O.F.M., until June, 1914, was in charge of numerous 
Polish stations, viz., Krakow, Wostok, Skaro, Mundare, Egremont, Waugh, Chayly. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 105 



2. THE PARISH OF ST. MARTIN. (VEGREVILLE). 

Towards the month of May, 1894, some families in Kansas, hearing of the Can 
adian Northwest, decided to come and found a new parish. To avoid difficulties and 
vexatious delays, they arranged to send ahead some persons of trust who should choose 
the site of the future Canadian centre. These were Messrs. Joseph Poulin and Benoit 
Tetrault. At St. Boniface these gentlemen met Mr. Martin, a surveyor, who had 
recently been sub-dividing on behalf of the government the region of the River Vermil 
ion, to the east of Edmonton. He spoke to them with enthusiasm of this part of the 
country, putting before them a statement which has since become celebrated in the dis 
trict: "This valley is the veritable garden of the Northwest." At Calgary the deputa 
tion was increased by the addition of a new member, Mr. Theodore Theroux, and it 
arrived at Edmonton on the 22nd of March. They then started on their way to the 
River Vermilion, but the bad state of the roads hindered their project. They were so 
enchanted, however, with the quality of the lands through which they passed that they 
succeeded in persuading the other intending settlers to come also. The rest arrived at 
Edmonton on the 4th of April, and there they met the Abbe Morin, who was then the 
colonization agent for the diocese of St. Albert, and who decided to accompany the 
courageous immigrants. 

On the 18th of April they started to explore, and proceeded as far as Egg Lake 
and then to St. Paul des Metis, but they determined to settle in that place which Mr. 
Martin had called the "Garden of the North-west." The Rev. Fr. Morin planted a 
little flag on the selected place and then they returned to Edmonton for their baggage. 
On the 29th of April all the party assisted at a mass celebrated by Father Morin and 
then they departed, accompanied by the good wishes of numerous friends. It was on 
the 2nd of May that they arrived at the site chosen, where the little flag was still waving. 
The first comers settled on Townships 51 and 52, Ranges 14 and 15, West of the 
4th Meridian. 

It was a country that had been uninhabited. It was about 70 miles east of Ed 
monton and all this space was still uncultivated and unpeopled. The first thing they 
did was to make sure of a suitable place for the erection of a church, for already they 
foresaw in the near future a flourishing Canadian parish. But the new settlers did not 
arrive as quickly as they had calculated. They had still some trials, disease and loss 
of animals. They became partly discouraged. The first labors were undertaken on 
the 19th of May. They sowed oats, barley and vegetables, but the cultivation of wheat 
did not commence until much later, in 1897. It was sown in April and succeeded very 
well. 

To the names of the first French Canadian settlers mentioned above, we must add 
those of other nationalities: Messrs. August Hartman, John and James Stanton, who 
arrived a little later, and can be equally placed among the number of the pioneers of 

Vegreville. 

!! ;> It was on the 14th of June, 1894, that the settlement had. the consolation of receiv 

ing the first visit of a priest, Rev. Fr. C. Boulenc, O.M.I., then a missionary on the Lac 
La Selle reserve, some 40 miles north, who came from time to time to give his religious 
aervices to this good population, to celebrate mass and to give Holy Communion. There 
were then only ten communicants. Rev. Fr. Boulenc thus continued his visits for 
some years, to the consolation of these poor exiles in the midst of these vast uncultivated 
prairies. 

In addition to these services this little, modest settlement, did not forget its re- 

-JHJ= ligious duties, for the little journal edited by the Poulin family, notes that they recited 

their morning and night prayers in common, and that, on the Sundays they gathered 
twice to recite the Rosary. 

IS 



106 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The second visit of a priest was that made by the Rev. Fr. Dorais of Notre 
Dame de Lourdes, who came on the occasion of the death of a child, the first victim 
which death had made among the settlers. Rev. Fr. Dorais stayed many days with 
them, and on the 5th of July, 1894, he sang the first High Mass which had been 
celebrated in this settlement. 

The same day, Mr. Theodore Theroux, who had been a teacher in British 
Columbia, accepted the invitation they had extended to him of opening the first school, 
which they named the Catholic Independent school. Rev. Samuel Bouchard also oc 
casionally visited the settlers. The first official census was made by the Mounted Police 
from Fort Saskatchewan on the 14th of August, 1894 and gave 88 inhabitants, and 
in the October following steps were taken to secure a post office. The name proposed 
was that of St. Joseph de Mazenod, but this was not accepted, the name of Vegreville 
being chosen. I his was the name of one of the old-time missionaries of this country. 
The post office was opened early in 1895. 

The first marriage celebrated in the settlement was that of Mr. Eugene Poulin 
and Mir, Philomene Minard, and took place on March I Oth, 1895. The new colony 
was now well established, but new trials awaited it. Great prairie fires raged over the 
countryside, destroying the wood for building purposes and consuming the harvest. It 
was necessary for the Government to come to the assistance of the settlers in supplying 
them with provisions and seeding grain for the following year. Happily this was the 
end of their difficulties. 

From this time their progress was so rapid and the attention that they attracted 
on this land was such that numerous colonists, of whom very many were Protestants, 
invaded the whole district. Thenceforward, Vegreville became a centre of the whole 
valley of the Vermilion river. By it passed all the roads which ran across the great 
prairies of this country. 

Bishop Legal visited Vegreville for the first time on 30th of July, 1901, after 
a memorable journey across the district which was completely inundated by torrential 
rams. He would have turned back on the road, twenty times, except for the knowledge 
that there was there awaiting him a sick person needing the consolation of religion. His 
Lordship approved of the site that had been chosen, with a view to building a church, 
but he could not provide a resident priest. The colony, therefore, continued to be 
visited almost regularly every two weeks until 1904. 

At the commencement of 1904 an event of great importance took place, for the 
development of Vegreville from the religious point of view. After repeated applications 
to the Rev. Dom Paul Benoit, Superior of the Canons Regular of the Immaculate 
Conception in Manitoba, and to the Rev. Dom Grea, founder and first Superior General 
of^the order, it came to be decided that an establishment should be ventured upon at 
Vegreville, and Bishop Legal came himself to accompany thither the first missionary 
destined for the place, Rev. Dom. Augustin Bernier, Can. Reg. I. C. 

They arrived at Vegreville on January 9th. They found ready to be to let a lengthy 
work-shop built of unhewn logs and covered with earth whereon the weeds grew in great 
profusion The building measured 14 feet in width, 30 feet in length and 6 or 7 feet in 
|| height. It was poor and mean, but it furnished three rooms, two of which communicated 

so as to provide the gathering place for the population on Sundays. The southern ex 
tremity was straightway converted into a chapel, and Rev. Dom Bernier undertook his 
work with an energy and courage ready for all emergencies. 

After spring they set about organizing the erection of a chapel on the land 
belonging to the church. The big timber had to be carried a distance of forty miles- 
the finishing timber from Edmonton, a distance of seventy miles. In the month of 
April the chapel was standing, and however unfinished, it could, nevertheless be used 
ror worship and was placed under the patronage of St. Martin, the great wonder worker 






HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



At the end of this same year, 1904, a companion was sent to Fr. Bermer in the 
person of the Rev. Dom J. Gamier, C.R.I. C. From this time they could engage in 
more regular visits to some little groups of Catholics at some distance the Missions 
of St. Benoit, sixteen miles north, and Notre Dame de Mt. Carmel, ten miles to the 
south-east, in the district of Birch Lake. 

It was to be hoped that the Canadian Northern railway line coming from Win 
nipeg to Edmonton would pass quite near the village which had now assumed a certain 
iinDortancc. There were already two hotels, two smithies, many stores, some real 
estate offices and two banks. But towards the month of October, 1905, it was per 
ceived that the railroad was about four miles distant and from the place fixed for the 
station about four and one-half miles. We must own that it was a great disappoint 
ment that caused some confusion in the midst of this already ambitious population. 
There was hesitation for a time, as they wished to keep to their old place, but soon 
they were forced to yield to necessity and they took a resolution at once heroic and 
American. A little after there could be seen a dozen houses moving across the prairie. 
It was nearly the whole of the village of Vegreville that was then being transfered 
to the new site chosen for the station. At the end of 1905 the railway was inaugur 
ated. Almost immediately the population was doubled, and in a few months later the 
settlement was incorporated as a village. 

It was the Catholic parish of Vegreville that held out the longest, at the old site, 
but the old Vegreville was being more and more deserted, and it became evident that 
there was nothing left to do but allow themselves to follow the current. The Episcopal 
Corporation then reserved twenty acres in a good location in proximity to the new town 
to be ready for all developments. 

The former village having little by little disappeared, Bishop Legal, after having 
sent Rev. Fr. Leduc, his Vicar-General, to render an account of the situation, decided 
to remove the centre of the parish and establish it definitely at the new town. The 
Episcopal decision was read from the pulpit on Easter Sunday, 1906. 

A house was built on the new spot, measuring 42 x 26 feet, and had to serve 
the double duty of a church in the upper part and a dwelling house on the ground 
floor. It was used even as a school house. A subscription list was immediately opened 
for the construction of a new church and in six weeks the sum of $1,100 was collected. 
The church was begun on the 23rd of October of this year, 1906, measuring 80 x 3 
feet and was sufficiently advanced to be blessed by Bishop Legal on the 16th of 
December, following. 

But the population now asked for a convent and a hospital under the care of 
nuns. Rev. Fr. Bernier put himself into communication with many religious communities 
and went to Manitoba for the purpose, but without result. He then learned that the 
"Daughters of Providence," a French community of nuns, originally of St. Bneuc m 
Brittany, were just disbanding one of their establishments at Prince Albert. Fr. Bernier 
immediately approached the Sisters and it was decided that these religious should come 
to Vegreville to found a convent there. The "Omnibus" house, of which we have 
spoken above, was immediately put in order to become the temporary convent and on 
the 14th of October, 1906, there arrived the first three "Daughters of Providence 
Rev. Mother Adelaide, who was also the Provincial, and two Sisters, St. Leonard and 
Madeleine. At the same time the Rev. Fathers built a very small house in front of 
the church to which they transferred themselves. 

The school district was legally organized under the name of the Separate School 
District of St. Martin, with classes to open in the month of January, 1907, under 
the direction of the Sisters and a young teacher, Miss Doyle, who had already with 
much success taught the former school of Vegreville. 

The school, commencing with twelve children, saw its numbers augmented to 
forty in the course of the year 1907. There were twenty-five boarders, so it became 



108 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



necessary to think of building a new convent on a more spacious plan with two floors 
measuring 50 x 60 feet. Operations were begun on the 22nd of August. A few days 

UN 6 vt W L VCr n the " th f Au ust there had taken P lace ^e blessing of a fine 
bell. I his bell, weighing 1,500 pounds, was the generous gift of one of the parishioners 
Hartmann. On the day of the blessing there were two Bishops at Vegreville. 
Bishop Pascal, of Prince Albert, had graciously replied to the invitation of Rev 
The bell was blessed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Legal, and His Lordship, 
ishop Pascal, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation in the afternoon. Rev. 
rr. Leduc, Vicar-General, assisted with some other priests. 

The convent, begun in the month of August, was opened on the 16th of December 
the anniversary of the blessing of the church. The separate school course was carried 
on there under the direction of Miss Doyle, engaged by the District, and by the Sisters 
now numbering nine. In addition to the ordinary class matters there were special courses 
given in religious instruction, music, drawing, embroidery, sewing, etc. 

Another member of the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception Rev 
hather Maur Mourey had also come to help in the work of the parish. But soon after 
e difficulties arose in the administration of the order, and on account of substantial 
changes that had been introduced into its constitutions, the Holy See gave to all the 
members full liberty to severe their connection with it. The three reverend fathers at 
Vegreville, accordingly, decided to be seculiarized, and Rev. Father Mourey accepted 
another post in the province of Saskatchewan. 

For some time it had been the desire of the whole population at Vegreville, Prot- 

slants as well as Catholics, that the nuns should undertake the management of a public 

I he Daughters of Providence could not accept the offer as they are rather a 

purely teaching order; but another community was found to take up the work. These 

are the Sisters of Charity of Lvron, a community that originated at Evron, the native 

place of Rev. Father H. Leduc, in France. 

I he work of building the new hospital commenced in the year 1910 and pro 
gressed so favorably in the following year, that the institution was ready for openin- 
before the end of 1911. The hospital was blessed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Legal, on the 
^ September. It is a splendid solid brick building with a concrete basement, and 
equipped with all modern appliances, even to its own electric light plant. It accommo 
dates at least 30 patients. Rev. Sister Marie Victoire was the first superioress- she 
has been succeeded by Rev. Sister M. Jouin with a staff of 8 sisters, and other help 
Ihe convent attendance had also grown to more than 100 pupils, of whom there 
e about 60 boarders, so the building was not large enough for the classes The 
isement, which had been built under the church in the course of the year 1912 was 
used for one of the classes. Even with this additional space there is still need for more 
that the trustees of the separate school are building, this year, 1914, a fine brick 
school, of SK large class rooms, for the accommodation of the Catholic pupils of the 
district. 1 his school should be ready about the time the classes regularly open Rev 
Mother St. Adelaide, assisted by 1 3 sisters and 3 lady teachers, has been at the 
head of this institution since its establishment. 

Six months after its incorporation as a village, Vegreville was incorporated as a 
town, and it has now a population of about 1500 inhabitants. It has many fine streets 
the principal one being lighted by natural gas found inside the town limits There 
are numerous important buildings, stores, banks, law offices, doctors, and agencies of 
various kinds. Many handsome and wealthy private residences are also to be found in 
the town. 

The Catholic population of Vegreville, at the beginning of this present year 1914 
j V3S j j one third of the total population; but as the Protestant population is 

divided in so many denominations the Catholics form the most important religious group. 
Ihe Catholic institutions, moreover, are at present much more important than all the 
rest, and from all points of view the Catholic position is strong and assured. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 109 



Rev. Father J. Gamier having been appointed parish priest of Our Lady of 
Lourdes in November, 1913, Rev. Father Bernier had been left alone for some 
time, to discharge all the duties of pastor; in June last, Rev. Father M. Schmtzler 
was sent as his assistant. 

One man indeed could not do all the work of the parish, as besides the services 
to the two religious communities of the convent and the hospital there is also a large 
district to be attended to, especially Lavoy, Ranfurly, Innisfree, where there are 
several Catholic families. 

3._PARISH OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS. (VERMILION). 

This post had been visited from Vegreville, but in September 1909, Rev. H. 
Goutier, a secular priest, was sent to attend to it, and try to organize a new parish. 
Rev. H. Goutier had been already in the diocese for a couple of years. He had 
come with his parents and stayed with them, on their farm, not far from Inmsfail, where 
he had charge of a small group of French Catholics; when called to this post of Ver 
milion he remained for a few months at Vegreville with Rev. Father Bernier, and soon 
took steps to build first a small presbytery and then a little church suitable for the 
Catholic population of the place. The church was built in 1910 and dedicated to the 
Holy Name of Jesus. 

Rev. H. Goutier has remained ever since (1914) at the head of the parish and 
his family has come also and taken a new farm not far from the town. 

Besides Vermilion, Rev. H. Goutier also looks after several other posts and mis 
sions, especially Islay, Kitscoty and Lloydminster. 

4. THE PARISH OF ST. ANTHONY. (LLOYDMINSTER). 

Lloydminster is a town situated just on the boundary line of the two provinces of 
Alberta and Saskatchewan. In fact the eastern half of the town is in the province of 
Saskatchewan, while the western half is in Alberta. The foundation of this town is 
due to a party of Englishmen who had come, under the direction of a certain 
Mr. Barr, and was known as the Barr Colony. These people had to undergo 
severe hardships, coming without any experience of this country and not in the least 
prepared for the new kind of life they had to pursue. The winter, after their com 
ing was particularly trying for them. They lacked everything, and the government 
had to provide for them shelter and provisions. A good many went back to England, 
but the majority stayed, and in spite of all difficulties they began to thrive and prosper. 

The few Catholics amongst them were too poor to go to the expense of building 
a church. Fortunately a grant from the Church Extension society of Canada made the 
building of the church possible. This was a gift of $500 for a memorial chapel, from 
Mr. Hirst, in memory of his son Anthony, and the church was duly called St. Anthony. 
It was built in 1910; and this parish is regularly visited from Vermilion by Rev. H. 
Goutier. 



5. THE PARISH OF TAWATINAW. 

Tawatmaw is a new place on the C. N. R. line, from Edmonton to Athabasca 
Landing, about 35 miles south of the last named place. In the course of 1913 a 
number of Catholics had located about there and in the surrounding district, and they 
petitioned to have a resident priest. The priests of the congregation of the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus, having had their number increased by three new arrivals from Europe, 



10 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



it became possible to commission one of said congregation for the organization of the 
new parish. Rev Father Jos. Huet, S.C.J., was therefore entrusted with the task. 
He began to visit the : locality in the summer, about June, and soon after, July 1914 

5 $ M P 7 D ld L ng n llUle reSldenCe and 3 Church n a P jece of la "d donated 

by Mr. Pomerleau. Brother Berger of the same congregation will do most of the 
work, saving thereby much of the expense. 

6. THE PARISH OF ST. GABRIEL. (ATHABASKA). 

The Mission at Athabaska Landing now called simply. Athabaska, is situated 

on the southern banks of the Athabaska river, about 95 miles north of Edmonton, and 

near the northern boundary of the Diocese of St. Albert. Owing to its geographical 

position it enjoys a certain importance from a commercial point of view. It is the 

f the northern district of the Athabaska and the MacKenzie rivers and the thorough- 

tare not only of missionaries, but also of prospectors, traders and fur hunters who are 

Jung for these regions, as well as farmers and ranchers who seek these unsettled 

wilds tor the chance of securing vast tracts of land for themselves. 

the mission dates back mainly to the time when the railway, after reaching Cal 

gary, was about to be extended to Edmonton, and there had been opened a wagon 

road from the latter place to the landing on the Athabaska River. This was about 

M although there had been some few people settled there before that time. Since 

icn the mission has only been visited at irregular intervals. It is true that the mis 

sionaries going to their northern posts passed through the Landing, but anxious to reach 

their respective missions as soon as possible, they made their stay as short as possible. 

Father Husson the Procurator of the Northern Missions, has passed through 

ottener than anyone else, but obliged to attend to his numerous duties, he has had to 

confine himself to the more urgent parts of the missionary work. Bishop Glut, Bishop 

Urouard and Bishop Breyant have been seen here several time.s. Some of the St 

fathers have also paid flying visits to this remote post, but these casual visits 

could not produce any remarkable results. 



In f^ AH 903 ^ tHe , A habaska Landi " Mission received the pastoral visit of the 

.ishop c t. Albert for the first lime Since then it has been attended to more regularly. 

In September, 1905, Rev Father P. Beaudry, O.M.I., who had already visited the 

place several times was placed in charge of the mission. The necessity of building a 

:hurch for the whole Catholic population had frequently been spoken of and steps 

were now taken in earnest toward that effect. 

Ten lots were secured at a very reasonable price from the Hudson s Bay Company 

on the western side of the surveyed plot and the little church, 48 x 26 feet with an 

djommg vestry 18 x 1 4, was erected in 1906 on this beautiful locat.on overlooking 

the river and the valley. Fhanks to the generosity of the people, Protestants as well 

Catholics, the necessary funds were collected to meet the expenses. Within three 

s the church was sufficiently advanced to be fit for religious service. Since then 

has been provided with a fine bell, an organ, and all other requisites for solemn 

:. Gabriel s church, as it is called, is generally crowded on Sundays. 

The Rev. Father P. Beaudry, O.M.I., was the one who devoted his energy to 

rOn/TlT k 1 raniZIng ] , the P ansh of Athabaska Landing. After bu.ldmg the church in 

JO, he built a small presbytery adjoining the church in 1908. 

In this same year 1908 the community of the Sisters of Providence of Montreal had 
come to establish a new hospital. They began their noble work in a boarding house 
longing to Mr Isaie Gagnon, who has always shown his interests and devotion to the 
good of the parish and all charitable work. In the meantine the selection of a convenient 
place tor the permanent hospital was receiving the attention of priest and people. One site 
on the declivity, across the Tawatinaw Creek was at first considered, but it seemed 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



to be too far away from the centre of the town; so that, finally, it was decided to accept 
the offer of the Hudson s Bay Co., which was willing to let, on a long lease, a very fine 
location on the block just above the church property. 

There after many difficulties had been disposed of, the hospital was built and 
regularly opened in the course of the year 1910. Rev. Sister Sosthene, the first superior 
ess, has been since succeeded by Rev. M. Heloise. 

In 1909 the Bishop of St. Albert had paid a visit to the Landing, on the 12th of 
May, to administer the sacrament of Confirmation and, on this occasion, he blessed a 
new bell for the church. 

Rev. Father A. Desmarais who succeeded Father Beaudry soon had to enlarge 
the church to double its former size, and also to improve the presbytery in many ways 
He is still in charge of the parish, 1914, and is obliged to divide his energy for the good 
of all the people, between the town proper and the surrounding district, especially tor 
the Catholic settlement at Lake Baptiste, fifteen miles from Athabaska Landing ( 
souls) and at Pine Creek (115 souls). 

At Athabaska Landing there is an important Post of the Hudson s Bay Company 
and steamboats are loaded here to ply on the Athabaska. There are stores, hotels and 
many places of business. The permanent Catholic population, apart from its floating 
element is not very large. It is composed of French, Irish and Half-breeds. But, at 
times, when the boats are getting ready to start on their northern trips, or when they 
come back laden with their precious furs, which have been procured by trading the goods 
of civilization there is quite an exhibition of activity and bustle. Within a radius ot 
about ten miles around the little town, there are to be found about 260 Catholics. 



12 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



CHAPTER VII. 



Recent Parishes and Missions 

ALONG THE G. T. P. 



I. PARISH OF THE HOLY NAME OF MARY. (VIKING). 

When the priests of the Sacred Heart, a congregation having its mother-house 
at bt. Quentm,( France) came to this country, it was decided to give them the mission 
of looking after the spiritual interests of the Catholics scattered along the line of the 
Grand Trunk Pacific, which had been the last arrival of the Railway Companies head 
ing for Edmonton. 

The Rev. Fathers, three in number arrived on the 24th of July, 1910, and they 
were immediately put in charge of the two posts of Viking and Wainwrigh t. There 
was no church nor church property at either of these points, but the Bishop of St. Albert 
took immediate steps in order to secure at least a few town lots at several of the stations 
along the line. 

Rev. Father E. Steinmetz was to look after the Catholic population at Viking He 
came there on April 15th, 1911, and, without delay, encouraged the people to build 
their own church, but being busy himself, at the same time, with his presbytery he left 
too much of a free hand to his building committee, and this is another instance showing 
that these lay committees must always be closely controlled. The committee went for- 

iTn UCh i b Y, n r d ^ meanS that they had at their dls P sal - T he church cost over 
$2,300, only half of that sum being provided for; and it has not yet been possible to 
pay oft the debt. I he building of the church took place during the summer of 1912, 
and that of the presbytery proceeded at the same time. It was too much indeed, for 
the small congregation. The presbytery is small but neat and convenient; the church 
dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary is not finished. 

The episcopal visitation of the parish took place on the 8th of July, 1914, and 
the Archbishop was pleased to see that an assistant had been given to Rev. Father Stein 
metz in the person of Rev. Father Koolen. There is indeed a vast district to be visited 
and there is plenty of work for two zealous missionaries. These are the outposts: 

Tofield. There is here a church site provided but no church as yet; 

2- H olden, without any church, but visited from time to time; 

3. Our Lad s of Mt. Carmel which is an old mission formerly known as Birch 
Lake and visited by Rev. Father Boulenc or other missionaries of Saddle Lake Reserve, 
and, later on, by the priests from Vegreville. There are here 40 acres of land secured 
from the government for church purposes and a little church built thereupon, where 
divine service is held once in a while. 

Prague is a little mission of Bohemian Catholics, settled here for quite a 
number of years. The little church which had been burned down has been rebuilt. 
The mission was visited, at first, from Daysland by Rev. Father F. X. Teck; now it 
is visited from Viking. 

5. Mance is a new settlement started by an agricultural society of French speak 
ing Catholics, only 3 miles from Viking. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 

2. THE PARISH OF WAINWRIGHT. 

Wainwright had been intended at first to be the headquarters of the priests of 
the Sacred Heart, and their superior, Rev. Father E. Gaborit resided here, for some 
lime, before he took up his residence at Elm Park, Edmonton. The Rt. Rev. Bishop 
of St. Albert visited the place on the 1 1 th of August, 1910, only a few weeks after 
the arrival of these missionaries and when they had their temporary residence in a 
private house rented for the purpose. 

The Bishop secured a plot of land a short distance from the town in the neigh 
borhood of the public school, and there was soon built a temporary dwelling to serve as 
a house-chapel, the upper floor being used for the purpose of the church. Fhe first 
winter passed in this house, which was as yet unfinished, was quite severe for the new 
comers. There also they received the visit of their Superior General the Very Rev. 
Father Dehon. 

Rev. Father G. Carpentier was placed in charge of the parish, when Rev. hather 
Gaborit left in the course of the year 1911, to take up his residence at Elm Park, and 
he has remained at the head of the parish ever since. 

Wainwright although a divisional point of the G. T. P. has not been growing as 
fast as was expected; the number of Catholics especially has not very materially increased 
for the last three years. 

Father Carpentier is now assisted by Rev. Father Lemaire and will be in a better 
position to visit a few other posts, as: Kinsella, Irma, Heath and Edgerton, where 
there are a few Catholic families. 

3. THE PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART. (CHAUVIN). 

Chauvin is the most eastern station but one, on the G. T. P., in the limits of the 
province of Alberta. The settlement has been formed by a certain number of French 
speaking Catholic families, which had come from Morinville and even from St. Albert, 
in order to secure homesteads. Very likely some of them will sell out when they have 
received the patents of their homesteads. Yet while they remain there, they must be 
looked after, as to their spiritual welfare. 

Rev. Father Albert Soyer, although not a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred 
Heart is, in some manner, affiliated with them. While residing with them, at Wain 
wright, he was given the task of visiting the Catholics of Chauvin, and, late in the 
year 1911, he managed to build a house chapel, divided in two, on the ground floor, 
one part being used as the chapel and the other as a dwelling. The Archbishop of 
Edmonton visited the primitive mission in 1913 and found everything simple and modest 
indeed, but in good condition. 

4. MISSION OF EDSON. 

Edson is a divisional point on the main line of the Grand Trunk Pacific, going 
from Edmonton to the mountains and eventually to the Pacific coast. The stations, 
on the line, have not as yet developed to a great extent. There are no important towns 
and only one missionary has been a constant traveller for a couple of years, to visit the 
few Catholics settled all along the line. Rev. Father P. Beaudry, O.M.I., was this 
missionary engaged in this extensive work, on a distance of about 251 miles, to Yel- 
lowhead pass, the limit of the archdiocese and the boundary line between Alberta 
and British Columbia. He has even proceeded as far as Fort George, as there was 
no other missionary to take up the work in B. C. 

Yet, in July, 1914, Rev. Father L. Culerier, O.M.I., was also appointed to 
visit part of the line of the G. T. P. There is only one church built on this long 
stretch, at Edson. It is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is intended to build 
another one. as soon as possible, at Jasper, the second divisional point west of Edmonton. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




VERY REV. FATHER H. LEDUC, O.M.I. 

Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alta. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 115 



CHAPTER VIII. 



POLISH MISSIONS 



From the year 1892 or 1893 it became evident that an immigration movement was 
being inaugurated from the central regions of Europe towards the Canadian North 
west. Those from these countries who had already come into the United States to 
work in the coal mines or on the new railroads in course of construction, had doubtless 
sent information to their native places. Then, too, after 1 89 6 the colonization policy 
of the Minister of the Interior, the Hon. Clifford Sifton. had favored the coming of 
these immigrants. 

Ir. 1895 and 1896 there was already quite a numerous contingent of these new 
comers established east of Fort Saskatchewan, and in all the region bounded by the 
curve made by the river up to Victoria and even beyond. These people came for the 
most part from Galicia, a province of ancient Poland, made over to Austria. 

There were also amons them some Germans. Hungarians. Bohemians, Slavs, 
Roumanians. Bukovinians. etc. From the point of view of their religious classification, 
these people can be arranged in three great categories: Roman Catholics, Greek Ruth- 
enian Catholics ("united to Rome or Uniates). and Greek Orthodox Schismatics. The 
Poles, properlv so called, are. as a people, ail Roman Catholics of the Latin rite. The 
Ruthenians, all coming from Galicia, are also exclusively Catholics in union with Rome, 
but with a special rite which is almost identical with the Greek rite, save that the 
liturgical language is not Greek, but the Ruthenian, an ancient Slav tongue which is 
no lonaer in use except in the offices of the church. 

The Bukovinians and Roumanians are generally schismatics, but they do not be 
long to the Russian Schismatic church and to the Holy Synod of St. Petersburg. 

These arouos of Catholics established in this part of the country had no resident 
missionary in their midst before the year 1898. They were, however, visited very 
frequently by some of the missionaries of the diocese, whom thev received willingly, and 
towards whom they showed themselves, from the start, full of deference. These mis 
sionaries were Rev. M. E. Dorais, parish priest of Notre Dame de Lourdes, near Fort 
Saskatchewan, and Rev. Father G. Nordmann, who could make himself understood bv 
many, while speaking in German 

From 1897 Bishop Legal, then coadjutor of the Diocese of St. Albert, made many 
visits to the colony and these were a source of consolation for these people who are 
very religious and have a very lively and demonstrative faith. The services were held, 
as they had not yet built a church, sometimes in private houses and at other times in a 
school house, at Limestone Lake. 

1. THE POLISH MISSION OF KRAKOW. ST. CASIMIR. 

In the year 1 899 Bishop Grandin accepted in his diocese a Polish Ecclesiastic, 
the Rev. Francois Olczewski, who devoted himself to the missions in this country. 
Fr. Olczewski had taken his philosophical and theological course at Turin with the 
Salesian Fathers of Dom Bosco. He passed successfully through all the degrees of the 



16 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



ordinations and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Grandin at St. Albert on 
the 6th of January, 1900. He was then entrusted with the duty of visiting the Polish 
and Galician settlements of all this region to the east of Fort Saskatchewan. 

He made his headnuarters in the very centre of all this population in a place which 
has since taken the name of Krakow about 55 miles from Edmonton. In thus choosing 
a larnhiar name they were desirous of consoling themselves with the remembrance of 
their far off fatherland. However, it must be stated these people seemed from the 
beginning imbued with great courage and determination, to make for themselves definitely 
a new fatherland in these far off regions of Canada. 

Rev. Fr. Olczewski threw himself with ardor into his task. Journeying constantly 
through this almost impenetrable country, where the roads were not as yet laid out or 
practicable, he had to endure very great privations. For many years, being deprived of all 
comforts, even the most elementary nature; struggling against difficulties without number, 
and even at times running the greatest dangers, sometimes lost on the road in the depth of 
winter or imperiled in the deep and flooded rivers in summer. In spite of his zeal and 
courage, he was not always accorded the respect and marks of gratitude due to him. 

Meanwhile he did not lose courage, but with that tenacity of purpose which is so 
characteristic of the Polish nation, he worked on with constant persistence at the 
organization of the missions. For many years he was the only missionary to visit also, 
from time to time, the groups of Poles established on the C. P. R. line from Cochrane 
to Laggan, and in other carls of the diocese. 

1. St. Casimir at Krakow. 

Soon after his arrival, Father Olczewski succeeded in obtaining a good sized piece 
of land and he was able to erect a fairly large house which would serve as his dwelling 
and the provisionary chapel in which to gather those of the faithful who were not too 
far awav. In 1907 an unpretentious church, larger and more convenient, was completed 
at Krakow. The former church was now used as a private chapel. The new church 
was dedicated to St. Casimir, patron of Poland. 

2. OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL, AT SKARO. 

Even before the building of the church at Krakow, another chapel had been 
erected near Skaro, and was blessed by Bishop Legal on July 5th, 1904, under the 
title of Our Lady of Good Counsel. One of the neighbors, Mr. Utculak, gave for 
the purpose three acres of land. 

3.ST. JOHN OF KENT. 

A little farther, at a distance of six miles, another chapel was also erected on 
forty acres of land obtained from the government. It was dedicated to St. John of 
Kent on the 18th of JJecember, 1906. 

4.THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD. 

A fourth church has been built more to the east in the Beaver Lake district, to 
be the centre of a new Polish parish. It is dedicated to the Ascension of Our Lord. 

Finally, a fifth chapel has been established for the Poles on the road leading from 
Edmonton to Athabasca Landing, in the district of the little Vermilion of the North. 
There are still many other posts which call for the visit of a Polish priest every month 
or every two months. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 1 1 7 



The day of the inauguration of the chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel at 
Skaro, also marked another important event. Some Polish young ladies had for three 
years sought to be allowed to consecrate themselves to God and to devote their services 
to the teaching of the young. This was not without need, for in all this vast district 
the visits of the priest were necessarily rare, and the schools that had been established at 
great intervals were in Protestant hands. Their petition was granted and on this day, 
July 5th. 1904. the first three novices received the holv habit of a Religious^ from .the 
hands of Bishop Legal, taking the name of "Auxiliaries of the Apostolate." These 
were Anna Weronika Chamulka, Anna Arsenia Dziwinka and Wicktoria Franceszka 
Wachowirz. They had left their homes toward midnight and had travelled the rest 
of the night to be present in the morning at the blessing of the little church. Nor did 
their fervor abate. After the ordinary trials of the noviceship these first to be admitted 
pronounced their vows of religion and others joined them. 

They prepare themselves for their mission of devotion to the children of their 
own nationality by silence, prayer, study and by privations of every kind. Some of 
them have already opened a little school at Krakow, meanwhile others are preparing 
for the same work while following the course at the Catholic school at Edmonton. 
The day is not far distant when their co-operation will be valuable and efficient. 

By the end of the year 1911 Rev. Father Olczewski, with his little community 
of Sisters, passed to the diocese of Crookston, U.S. 

5. PARISH OF ST. STANISLAS. 
ROUND HILL or LAKE DEMAY. 

Rev. Fr. Olczewski, however, was not alone to visit the Polish missions of 
the diocese. Rev. Fathers Albert and William Kulawy, brothers, both Oblates of 
Mary Immaculate, had been sent to Canada to look in a special manner after the 
interests of the new Polish colonies. They had truly a vast field for their apostolic 
zeal, the Great Lakes on the east, and the Rocky Mountains on the west, being the 
boundaries. Although devoting most of their time to their new parish in Winnipeg and 
the many Polish stations in Manitoba, they paid occasional visits to the North-west 
and to all the new settlements of their countrymen. 

But in the year 1903, another brother of the two last named, Rev. Fr. Paul 
Kulawy, O.M.I., was sent to remain in the diocese of St. Albert, and in January, 1904, 
he began to visit the settlement of the Poles located near Lake Demay, which had been 
visited before by Father Olczewski. 

Lake Demay is situated about twelve miles north-east from Camrose. The name, 
Demay, which should be Lemay, comes from a French priest, Father Lemay, who 
some eighteen years ago, had selected this land for a French colony. But the land was 
not surveyed as yet, and it became necessary to postpone the scheme. Father Lemay, 
having gone to British Columbia, died there, and the project of the new settlement 
collapsed with him. 

3C3 In the year 1902 some Polish and Ruthenian families came to this part of the 

country from Sandy Lake, where they had found farming almost impossible. The 
country around this little lake appealed to their taste and with new-comers from 
Austria they started the actual settlement. 

We find Father Paul Kulawy attending this mission, now from Edmonton and 

again from Calgary. These long distances, however, were a serious drawback, and the 

:!!::< increasing population in the hope of securing the ordinary residence of their priest decided 

to erect a priest s house, which is a roomy, two-storied building. Fr. Paul Kulawy, 

|oj from that time on could devote more time to this mission. A large stable, having 

accommodation for eight horses, was soon added to the presbytery, but what is more 

?:<- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



*xtraordmary still, a handsome church has been erected there within the short space of 
a year. The building is beautifully located, commanding a splendid view of the lake 
and its surroundings. The church, although not quite finished inside, is completed on 
the outside, with its tower and its long, tapering and elegant steeple, which had not 
long to wait for the bell destined for it. 

The blessing of this new church on Sunday, the 7th of July, 1907, was a grand 

occasion. On the previous day Bishop Legal and the visiting priests were met at the 

. depot at Camrose by a large delegation of young men, all mounted and 

bearing emblems of their patriotism and belief. They were to make a body guard 

for the Bishop as far as Lake Demay. 

We find in the "Camrose Mail" the following brisk description of the ceremony 
which took place the next day: "On Sunday, amidst all that bespoke of dignity, en 
thusiasm and devotion, the Catholic church at Lake Demay was solemnly blessed by 
the 1 Rev. Bishop Legal, of St. Albert, assisted by the Rev. Vicar of the Oblates 
Father H. Grandin, nephew of the late Bishop of the same name, who has gone down 
into history as the first Bishop of the North-west. At eleven o clock the ceremony of 

;ssing the new church took place The church was nicely decorated in 

the interior and outside emblems of patriotism and devotion were in evidence on every 
There were forty-five persons confirmed, showing in a measure, the 
good work that Father Kulawy is doing in the parish." 

On the 1 1 8lh of August, during the absence of Bishop Legal, His Lordship, Bishop 
Rascal, then Vicar Apostolic of Saskatchewan, but now Bishop of Prince Albert in 
the course of a visit to St. Albert, consented to go to Lake Demay, accompanied by 
the Very Rev. Father H. Leduc, O.M.I., Vicar-General, for the blessing of a hand- 
Iruly this mission then is now perfectly established, and taking into con 
sideration the comparatively short time and the poverty of all the new-comers from 
Austria, one cannot but wonder how all these improvements have been completed in 
such a satisfactory manner. 

OTHER POLISH MISSIONS 
6. RABBIT HILLS. 

Rabbit Hills is eighteen miles south-west of South-Edmonton. This mission was 
:ommenced by Rev. Father Albert Kulawy (brother of Rev. Paul Kulawy) who had 
from Winnipeg to visit the Poles in Alberta. He had selected the spot on ac 
count of the extraordinary quality of the soil, and an unpretentious little chapel was 
built there in 1903. After the arrival of Father Paul Kulawy the church was finished 
and services are held one Sunday of every month. 

The blessing of this little church on June 2, 1904, was the occasion of a 
>eautirul and pious demonstration. It was the feast of Corpus Christi, and it had 
*r .resolved to gather together the faithful of both rites, Latin and Ruthenian, in the 
celebration of the solemn festival. It is, besides, a custom which is practiced at 
least some times in Gahcia. His Lordship, Bishop Legal, had arrived the evening 
ore and had gone down to the house of Rev. Father Dydyk, the Greek Ruthenian 
priest as h r. Kulawy had as yet no house there. Elaborate preparations and decora 
tions had been made. There were triumphal arches of foliage and flags of the national 
colors of Gahcia, yellow and blue, were floating in the breeze on all sides, even on 
the dome of the little Ruthenian church. 

All went in procession to escort the Bishop to the church with banners, ikons and 
lighted tapers At the church door Rev. Fr. Dydyk, O.S.B.M., made a short address 
in Latin and the Bishop replied in the same. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament then 
followed, given with the Ciborium, which was surmounted by a royal crown of 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



beautiful significance and effect. The procession was then formed. The weather was 
a little threatening, and not exactly such as desirable, but the procession was able to 
be carried on, during which the Latin chants alternated with the Rutheman, and the 
"Ospodo Pomi" replied to the "Miserere Nobis" of the litanies. 

In this manner the distance between the two little churches, about half a mile, 
was accomplished. The Ruthenian church is situated in a fine position on the banks 
of the little river, "White Mud." It is well built, of square timber, and surmounted 
by a little dome in the Muscovite style. The Polish church of the Latin rite is not so 
pretentious. 

In spite of the rain which kept threatening, His Lordship Bishop Legal, was 
able to accomplish the blessing of the church with the aspersions and other ceremonies. 

Rev. Fr. Kulawy sang High Mass, and it was interesting and pious to hear the 
whole assembly uniting in the singing of the Gloria and Credo and other parts of the 
service in a manner somewhat monotonous, it is true, but intensely religious. Rev. Fr. 
Kulawy at the end of the Mass also addressed the Bishop, insisting especially on the 
good will that each party at Rabbit Hills displayed to the other, in such a manner as 
to prevent any appearance of that animosity which sometimes exists between the different 
rites. Finally there was held a Confirmation service for ten persons, and thus ended a 
day of pious rejoicing and blessings. 

A modest presbytery was built at Rabbit Hills in the course of the year 1907, 
for the accommodation of the priest when he visits the place, and it serves also as 
a waiting room for the people on rainy days. From Rabbit Hills Father Kulawy also 
pays occasional visits to Conjuring Creek, where there are a few Polish settlers scat 
tered amongst the Ruthenians. 

7. ST. JOHN NEPOMUCK. 

St. John Nepomuck, at Kopernick, distant about twenty-five miles east of the 
mission of St. Stanislas of Lake Demay, and fifteen miles north of Daysland, there 
is another group of Poles with whom are mixed a certain number of Ruthenians. It 
is the centre of a mission which has been dedicated to St. John Nepomuck, the Polish 
Saint who died a martyr for the Secret of the Confessional. 

There, also, Fr. Kulawy had been able to build a provisional chapel surmounted 
by its little bell tower, and having some pretentions to the dignity of a church. 1 his 
however is now the residence of the priest, when visiting the mission and a proper church 
was erected in the course of the year 1909. 

Recently (1914) the work of visiting the Polish missions has been shared by 
Rev. Father Denis, O.F.M., and Rev. Father Geldsdorf, O.M.I., who came recent 
ly from Germany. 



120 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 










Y 




Jf^. nJAPT 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 121 



CHAPTER IX. 



Greek Rutheman Parishes and Missions 



GREEK RUTHENIAN MISSIONS. 

As has been said above, among the immigrants coming from the central countries of 
Europe, and especially from that province of the Empire of Austria named Galicia, 
many belonged to the Greek Ruthenian rite. These are called Uniates, or Greek 
Catholics, United to Rome, and submitting entirely to the jurisdiction of the Pope. 
From the point of view of dogma, they are at one with the Catholics of the Roman 
rite, but differ in their liturgy. Their whole external form of worship is based on the 
order of the Greek liturgy. The language used in their worship, nevertheless, is not 
Greek, but a very old Slav tongue, called Ruthenian. These people were converted 
to the Catholic faith by Saints Cyril and Meltodius, after some vicissitudes in which 
they had been partially involved in the Schism of Photius. It was through these same 
Saints Cyril and Meltodius that they had obtained from the Sovereign Pontiff the 
privilege of preserving the Greek Liturgy and the Ruthenian language in the Divine 
offices. 

Moreover, it is well to remember that this Greek-Ruthenian rite, which did not 
exist at first anywhere except in Galicia, holds no connection with any Oriental Patri 
arch, but is derived directly from the Sovereign Pontiff of Rome. But in Galicia this 
Greek-Ruthenian church has its hierarchy entirely distinct from and independent of 
the Latin hierarchy. The three Dioceses of Galicia have each their Ruthenian Bishop 
side by side with the Latin Bishop, and the jurisdiction of each extends over the 
same territory, but only over persons of its respective rite. 

The Archbishop of Lemberg is the Metropolitan and he has for his suffragans, the 
Bishops of Stamslaw and Przemysl. These are the three Dioceses whence all the 
Catholics of the Greek-Ruthenian rite have come to us, who now are peopling Manitoba 
and the new provinces. 

As before said, these people were visited from time to time, before 1897, by dif 
ferent missionaries, particularly by Rev. M. Dorais, and Rev. Fr. G. Nordmann, 
O.M.I. In 1897, when Bishop Legal had been nominated Bishop Grandin s coad 
jutor, he made it one of his first cares to provide for the spiritual needs of these people 
of the Greek Ruthenian rite who were deprived of all consolation from the point of 
view of religion. 

There was, in fact, the danger that, finding themselves deprived of spiritual as 
sistance they should become the prey of those who were desirous of drawing them into 
schism. Indeed, some among these settlers, acting on inaccurate information, had writ 
ten to the Schismatical Russian Bishop, Nicholas Tickon, Bishop of Alutzk and 
Alaska, residing at San Francisco, California, and in consequence of this communica 
tion Bishop Tickon, in 1897, sent two of his ecclesiastics, Rev. Kamneff and Rev. 
Alexandroff, who started to circulate a petition, to which all those who wished to pass 
over to their religion should subscribe their names a sufficient proof that those to 
whom they addressed themselves already belonged to another church. It was during 



122 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



this state of affairs that Bishop Legal made his first visit, the consequence of which 
was that the movement of enrolling members in the Russian Orthodox church ceased 
entirely. 

A little before, the colony had also had the visit of a Uniate priest, the Rev. 
Nestor Demytrow, who had passed Easter in their midst and had carried out the 
ceremonies of this season of the year absolutely and exactly as they are practiced in the 
churches of Galicia. The Rev. Nestor Demytrow renewed his visit again in September, 
and in the interval, as Bishop Legal had ascertained that he was truly a Uniate priest, 
coming from the Diocese of Harrisburg, where he had exercised the functions of a 
parish priest in the Greek-Ruthenian parish of St. Paul at Mt. Carmel, all the faculties 
and jurisdiction for exercising the sacred ministry were granted him in the name of 
Bishop Grandin, Bishop of St. Albert. 

On the occasion of this second visit of Rev. N. Demytrow, it was arranged that 
during his stay in the settlement, Bishop Legal should also make an official visit, which 
was fixed for October 3rd. I his took place in the school house at Limestone Lake. 
Rev. Fr. Demytrow celebrated Holy Mass, while His Lordship, in Episcopal habit, 
and attended by the Rev. F r. G. Nordmann, look his place at the customary Gospel 
side of the altar. Towards the end of the Mass the celebrant came to bring the pat 
en to be kissed by Bishop Legal and Father Nordmann, as the official kiss of peace, 
and he made all the people kneel to receive the solemn benediction from the Bishop, 
tvhich in fact His Lordship intoned. I hen afterwards the Bishop briefly addressed the 
assembly, being interpreted by the priest, the Rev. N. Demytrow. After the religious 
service, the Bishop, having now put aside his choir habit, again addressed the assembly. 

In this meeting he made inquiries especially regarding the organization of the 
parish. Ever since the first visit of Bishop Legal they had asked him two things in par 
ticular, vi/., to secure for them a piece of land from the government and to provide the 
people with priests of their own rites. Negotiations had already been entered into with 
he Government Land Office at Edmonton, but as yet the answer had not arrived. 
Meanwhile, as ihey were quite counting on a favorable replv, they had already collected 
a good number of logs on the land selected by them. I hey had to wait for the an 
nouncement of the grant, but it came in the course of the following January. It was a 
ree grant of forty acres as church grant and the remainder of quarter of section 
rvas reserved to serve as a homestead for the priest who should reside at this place. 
The proprietary title was not, however, put under the name of Bishop Grandin, as it 
nas been said, but under that of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. 
Albert. I his was the only officially organized corporation for Catholic property in 
the Diocese. 

As to the other request, that of procuring priests of the Greek Rutheman rite, steps 
had also been taken with the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda at Rome, which 
is charged with such affairs. The Propaganda put itself in communication with Car 
dinal Sambratowich, Archbishop of Lemberg and Metropolitan of Galicia for the 
Greek Rutheman rite, but negotiations were not concluded till a little later. In the 
^nterval the colony was still visited from time to time, as in the past. 

It was on Good Friday, April 8th, 1898, that the Rev. Paul Tymkiewitcz, a 
young Galician priest of the Greek Ruthenian rite, arrived at St. Albert with his 
recommendations and credentials from the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda. 
Bishop Grandin and his coadjutor received him with joy and agreed to give him, for 
his support, $100 a year, seeing the poverty of the population he was going to serve, 
and he received on the spot a cheque to the amount of $50. He was then conducted 
to the settlement known at that time generally by the name of Edna, and of which 
he took charge. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 123 



The Rev. M. Tymkiewitz only remained about six months in charge of this colony. 
Finding the country too little advanced and the people too poor for his taste, he de 
parted for the United States. During his stay at the settlement, the Rev. M. Tym- 
kiewitcz came to represent to Bishop Grandin that the people were urgently demanding 
that he should be willing to consent to transfer the church property, originally put under 
the name of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Congregation of St. Albert, to a committee 
of three members chosen as "Trustees or Syndics of the Mission." It is said that the 
Rev. M. Tymkiewitcz had favored, or perhaps even inspired this movement. There 
would have been nothing astonishing in that. 

In Gahcia, that portion of the Catholic Church which is called the Ruthenian 
church is united to Rome, as has already been said, by the intermediary of a special 
hierarchy completely independent of the Latin hierarchy, and it is an open secret 
known to all that the Ruthenian clergy in America is desirious of introducing the same 
system on this side of the ocean. It would have been natural for the priest to have acted 
with this general idea of preparing for such a change. 

After some representations pointing out the danger that could happen in confiding 
the "Trust" to private persons rather than to the Bishop, His Lordship, Bishop 
Grandin, nevertheless, consented to surrender this property to the Crown, with the pur 
pose of handing it over to a committee chosen "in trust" for a Congregation of 
Greeff Ruthenian Catholics united to Rome. Bishop Legal, was, at the time, in 
Europe, and had no share in this transaction. 

It was a little after this arrangement that the Rev. M. Tymkiewitcz left the 
colony for the United States, where he could certainly find more comfort than among 
;:he new colonists of the Northwest, generally very poor, at this period. 

On his return from Europe, Bishop Legal instituted new steps with the S. Cong, 
de Propaganda, with the result that the Rev. Damascene Poliwka was sent to re 
place Rev. M. Tymkiewitcz. Rev. M. Poliwka arrived at Winnipeg on the 21st of 
October, 1 899, but he came no further. Owing to the reports that he received there 
concerning the colony at Star and the severity of our Northwest climate, he decided 
to cross over to the United States where he could find more advantageous conditions. 

It was only in the year following that another priest sent by him came to take 
his place. This was the Rev. M. Zacklinski, who arrived at Edmonton in the 
month of July, 1900. On arriving he was careful to apply for the faculties necessary 
for exercising the Sacred Ministry, and these were given, at first, conditionally. He had 
to remain there till they were granted in a more definite manner. 

It was from his time, 1901, that those difficulties commenced which led to a 
protracted law suit which lasted for many years, only to be settled towards the end of 
1907 by a decision of the Privy Council of England. Of this we shall say more 
later. 

The Ruthenian priests who had been in charge of the colony, viz. Tymkiewitcz 
and Zacklinski, were secular priests, who in fact were nowise settled in this Diocese, 
and they could depart elsewhere, as had been done, whenever the conditions of the 
country no longer suited them. It is desirable in a missionary country like this 
rather to have priests belonging to some religious order. Then if a priest departs 
or is recalled, his place is filled by another and the work commenced is not interrupted. 

To obtain this desirable result, the Rev. Fr. Lacombe, who was about to go to 
Europe, was commissioned to go to Galicia to visit the Greek Ruthenian authorities of 
that country and there to arrange this matter. He departed in February, 1 900, went 
to Rome and interested the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda, Card. Ledochowski in 
his project, as well as Cardinal Rampolla and the Sovereign Pontiff himself. On the 
1st of September he left Paris for Austria and he arrived in Vienna on the evening 



124 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



of September 4th. He first called on Count Golowkoski, the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, who took a lively interest in our Galicians of the Canadian Northwest. After 
that, Fr. Lacombe went to Stanislaow, there to meet the Ruthenian Bishop, Mgr. 
Sczeptycki. 

Cardinal Sambratowich, Archbishop of Lemberg, had recently died and it de 
volved upon Mgr. Sczeptycki to treat the whole of this question. He had been already 
designated as the successor of Cardinal Sambratowich in the Metropolitan See of 
Lemberg, and he himself belonged to the Order of St. Basil the Great. This great 
prelate, with his large hearted sympathies, was entirely won over to the cause, and he 
promised to do everything in his power to procure for his fellow-countrymen priests 
of their own rite. 

Finally, to complete his mission, Fr. Lacombe returned to Vienna, where he again 
saw the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Golowkoski, and by his intervention 
obtained an audience with the Emperor Francis Joseph himself, who listened with the 
greatest interest to the account of the position of his former subjects who had emigrated 
to Canada. 

The immediate result of Fr. Lacombe s journey was the sending of Rev. Basil 
Zoldak, private secretary to Mgr. Sczeptycki, on a temporary mission. Rev. B. Zoldak 
arrived at Edmonton on Feb. 15, 1902 and immediately undertook the task of visit 
ing his fellow countrymen and of acquainting himself with their needs. 

In the month of May, following, before returning to Europe to render an 
account of his mission to Mgr. Sczeptycki, he addressed a report to Bishop Legal 
and requested that Rev. Father Jan should accompany him. Fr. Jan, of the Parish 
of St. Joachim, Edmonton, had taken the greatest interest in these newcomers, Galicians 
of the Greek Ruthenian, rite. A great number of young Gahcian girls, nearly 300, had 
been put into domestic service in different houses in Edmonton. Though generally pious, 
prudent and reserved, they had no protection. On the other hand, they were for the most 
part placed in Protestant families, and there were from time to time attempts made to pro 
selytize them by drawing them away to Protestant schools and churches. Fr. Jan 
undertook to establish a night school where these young girls could gather together after 
their day s work was done. There they received religious instruction, commenced to 
learn English and were taught dressmaking and other useful works. Bishop Legal 
did all in his power to encourage this useful enterprise and he was delighted to find 
in the Rev. Mothers Faithful Companions of Jesus a perfect readiness to second the 
efforts of the priest in respect to these young girls. 

Meanwhile His Lordship, Bishop Grandin, of saintly memory, had died, and 
one of the first acts of his successor to the See of St. Albert was to promise the Rev. 
Fr. Zoldak the companionship of Father Jan to Europe for the purpose of obtaining 
priests of the Greek Ruthenian rite and especially those of a religious order. The 
matter was one of difficulty, not that they were not interested in Galicia, in these new 
Canadian colonists, but they had no subjects at their disposal to send so far afield. 

Mgr. Sczeptycki, it is true, belonged, himself, to the Order of Reformed Basi- 
lians, but this order was still wanting in numbers, and the fact that he had recently 
accepted the responsibility of some new missions for Galician emigrants to Brazil 
rendered the difficulty still greater as far as the missions of Northwest Canada were 
concerned. After many fruitless attempts our two envoys were nearly discouraged, 
when the authorities in Galicia awoke to the necessity of immediate action. Accordingly 
a letter from Rev. B. Zoldak, dated the 19th of August, 1902, announced that three 
Basilian Fathers and a lay brother, as well as three Sisters, "Servants of Mary," of 
the Greek Ruthenian rite, were making ready to cross over to Canada m the early days 
of October. They arrived at Edmonton on the morning of the 2nd of November and 
at St. Albert on the 3rd. These were the Rev. Fathers Platonides Filas, O.S.B.M., 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 125 



Superior; Sozontius Dydyk and Anton Strozky, and the lay brother, Jeremias Jani- 
chewshyj. There were four instead of three Sisters, "Servants of Mary," viz., Sisters 
Ambrosia Lenkewicz, Emilia Klapowska, Isidora Schepowska and Taida Wrow- 
blewska. 

On the Sunday following, November 9th, the Rev. Fr. Filas was with Bishop 
Legal in the Beaver Creek district at the house of Rev. Fr. Olczewski, at the place 
which later on took the name of Krakow. There he put himself in touch with his com 
patriots, who were delighted to see again priests of their own language and rite, ex 
actly as they had in their own native land. 

Thenceforward, the Basilian Fathers busied themselves in serving the different 
groups of their own people. Not having any house as yet built for them, the "Servants 
of Mary" were installed in a room above the old church and sacristy at Edmonton. 
They courageously set to work to learn English and they bound themselves down to 
follow the classes given by the Rev. Mothers of the "Faithful Companions of Jesus." 

1. PARISH OF MONASTER. ST. BASIL THE GREAT. 

The Rev. Superior Fr. Filas chose as the centre of his operations, a spot eight 
miles south-east of Krakow, which is called today Monaster, and from the following 
spring he was busy erecting a fairly large dwelling. The Rev. Fr. Dydyk and Rev. 
Fr. Strozky were principally employed in visiting the numerous groups established in 
different directions. Rev. Fr. Strozky was occupied particularly in the neighborhood 
of Star and Rev. Fr. Dydyk with the Edmonton Galicians and those of Rabbit Hill 
and Lake Demay. It was also necessary to visit the Ruthenians and Slavs near 
Lethbridge, on the main line of the C. P. R., and on the Crow s Nest Pass. Father 
Strozky even made some journeys to Saskatchewan to visit certain groups of Ruthenians 
on that side. 

When the house was sufficiently advanced at Monaster, the Sisters "Servants 
of Mary" went thither to establish themselves in the midst of the Gahcian popula 
tion of the district. There were now only three of them. Sister Taida had died on 
May 23rd, 1903, after a painful decline. 

A church had also been constructed at Rabbit Hill on two acres of ground which 
the people had acquired. This was regularly visited by the Rev. Fr. Dydyk or the 
Rev. Fr. Strozky. Another group was formed on the site of Lake Demay near the 
Polish colony, and a little church erected there in the course of 1906. 

But an event of considerable importance now occurred. The branch of the 
Order of St. Basil the Great, which had supplied us with Ruthenian missionaries, 
had accepted the Reform of Pope Leo XIII. It had had at Us head, since the 
beginning of the Reform, a Jesuit Father, Very Rev. Father Bapts being the last 
in charge. But the time had now come when the Basilians were enabled to manage 
their own administration. It was thought that no better choice could be made than 
that of the Rev. Fr. Platomdes Filas himself as the man to undertake the direction of 
the Order as its Provincial Superior. In truth, the Rev. Fr. Filas, who had been 
proposed for the vacant Episcopate of Stanislaw, was just the Religious qualified for 
this post of great responsibility. Intelligent and learned in the Science of Theology 
and of Canon Law, an excellent Religious, tactful and at the same time firm, with 
ideas perfectly in harmony with the direction of the Holy See, he had, then, everything 
that was needed to direct with a firm and sure hand the destinies of the branch of the 
Reformed Order of St. Basil the Great. He left Alberta in the latter days of 
February, 1905, to follow the call of duty, but it was not without regret and sadness 
that he left behind his dear missions in Canada. 



126 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The Rev. Fr. Dydyk remained in charge of the Rutheman missions of the 
Diocese with only two other Basilians, Rev. Fr. Athanasius Fihpow and the Rev. 
Fr. Chrysostomos Tymocko. The Rev. Fr. Strozky had been placed at Rosthern 
in Saskatchewan. 

2. PARISH OF ST. JOSAPHAT. FDMONTON. 

The Ruthenian population of Edmonton had been increased in a very note 
worthy manner. There were no longer only young girls in service in private families, 
but many families had settled down in a more permanent fashion, principally in the 
eastern part of the town, and soon it became necessary to provide for their religious 
services. 

The Episcopal corporation gratuitously handed over to the Basihan Fathers the 
half of a block of land which they had acquired in this part of the town and soon, 
under the direction of Rev. Fr. Dydyk the building of a handsome church was begun 
and was finished and decorated in 1907. It is dedicated to St. Josephat. It shows 
in its general appearance the peculiar features of Galician churches. It is surmounted 
by a dome, painted in metallic colors, and is very elegant. 

Rev. Fr. Dydyk, having been named in 1906 Superior of all the Basilians of 
Manitoba and the West, with Winnipeg as his headquarters, was replaced by Rev. Fr. 
Miron Hura. The Sisters, "Servants of Mary," had already made some recruits and 
a little band was sent to Edmonton, where, as at Monaster, they kept a little school in 
which they taught catechism to the young. Thus the work, in spite of the initial dif 
ficulties and the endless opposition aroused by the enemy of God and of all good, has 
since prospered and will continue to bear worthy fruits of salvation. 

In addition to the church at Edmonton, that of St. Basil the Great at Monaster 
and of the Nativity of the B. V. M. at Rabbit Hill, there are many other little churches 
or chapels built by the Greek Ruthenian Catholics and visited by the Basihan Fathers: 
St. Demetrius, at Skaro; St. Michael at Wostock; The Nativity of the B. V. M., at 
Chipman; The Ascension of Our Lord at Quarrel Lake; St. Nicholas at Buford; St. 
Peter and St. Paul, at Mundare and St. Nicholas at Warwick. 

Two other stations unprovided with churches are also visited; one east of Vegre- 
ville and the other twelve miles from Innisfree. Near Lake Demay there is a little 
church built, and another post visited, between Lake Demay and Quarrel Lake. As 
is apparent, there is need of a dozen missionaries for the regular visitation and service 
of these different localities and there are now no more than three Basihan Fathers for 
the work, "Messis quidem multa, operarn autem pauci." 

Although the care and responsibility of the Ruthenian Catholics has been taken 
from the shoulders of the Latin hierarchy, let us, before dismissing the subject, record a 
few more facts. 

When Father Sozontius Dydyk was transferred to Winnipeg he was succeeded 
by Rev. Father Athanasius Filipow, and later on, Rev. Father Chrysostomos Tym 
ocko. They stayed together, at Mundare, until the time when Father Filipow was also 
called to Winnipeg. 

After the premature death of Father Tymocko, December 19th, 1909, Rev. 
Father Nacratius Kryzanowski came to take his place. A large and beautiful church 
was soon erected at Mundare, in the Moscovite style of architecture. 

On the occasion of the First Plenary Council of Quebec, through the efforts of 
the Archbishop of Toronto, Mgr. McEvay, seconded by the Bishops of the North 
west, it was agreed by all the Bishops that a collection would be taken annually for ten 
years in all the dioceses of Canada, in order to raise, every year, $10,000 for 
the assistance of the Catholic missions of the Greek Ruthenian rite. Archbishop Lange- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 127 



vin, Bishop Legal and Bishop Pascal, consented the provision that during these ten 
years, no collection would be taken in the dioceses of the Province of Quebec for the 
schools of the North-west. In that manner it became possible to help our Ruthenian 
brethren in many ways. 

In the diocese of St. Albert, depending on this annual collection to have the money 
refunded to him, Bishop Legal generously advanced $6,000 for the construction of a fine 
brick building destined to be the convent and boarding school for the Sisters "Servants 
of Mary." The sum of $1,000 was also lent for the construction of the Ruthenian 
church at Mundare. 

In 1910, a memorable visit was made to the Greek Ruthenians of the North-west. 
It was no other than the great Archbishop Metropolitan of Lemberg, in Galicia, the 
Most Rev. Andrew Szeptycki who came to visit his people, in their own settlements. 
For several weeks he went along preaching, exhorting, hearing confessions personally, 
spending days and nights, for the spiritual good of his pious and devoted countrymen, 
His Grace was in Edmonton on the 26th of October, 1910, and when he departed 
he left behind the renown of a holy, ardent and zealous missionary. 

Another important event which had been expected for a long time was officially 
made known, at the beginning of the year 1913, when it was announced that the Right 
Rev. Nicetas Budka had been appointed Bishop of the Greek Ruthenian Rite, with 
personal jurisdiction over the Ruthenian Catholics of all Canada. 

Of course, a sense of relief came over us when we realized that all the responsibility 
of these Catholics of foreign language, rite and customs, had passed to some one else, 
better qualified to understand and guide them in the way of their salvation. 

Consequently when Bishop Budka came to visit his people, in Edmonton, on the 
26th of February, 1913, and on the following days, we were only too happy to wel 
come the one appointed by God to govern the Ruthenian population of Canada. We 
gladly relinquished into his hands the trust we had exercised before, keeping however, 
m our heart, a deep and sincere affection for our brethren of the Greek Ruthenian 
rite, over whom we had ruled for over ten years. 

3. THE "STAR" CHURCH LAW SUIT. 

Before closing this account of the establishment and development of our Greek 
Ruthenian Missions, it is important to say a word on the famous law suit begun 
years ago and only terminated towards the end of 1907, after having exhausted all 
the possibilities of our law system, even as far as the Imperial Privy Council of Eng- 
land. 

The difficulties commenced from the time of the Rev. M. Zacklynski, who had 
taken charge of this congregation, the year which followed the departure of Rev. 
Tymkiewitcz in July, 1 900. 

In spite of all that can be insinuated, these difficulties were raised through money 
considerations and in no way on the subject of the religious question. The three 
trustees found themselves at variance with their pastor regarding the church accounts. 
The natural consequence was some disagreeable quarrels and reciprocal accusations 
and the three trustees, following the natural propensity of stubborn people, decided to 
make matters worse by passing over to schism. 

For this purpose they approached a Russian priest, Rev. M. Korchinski, who for 
some years resided quite near at Wostok. Some other families joined them. Naturally 
they had a perfect right to make themselves schismatics and pass over to any religious 
sect of their choice, but they ought to have understood that by the very fact of so 
doing they were losing "the trust" which had been confided to them, over the church 
property of Star. This they would not understand, and they tried to transfer this pro- 



128 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



perty to the Schismatical church. Rev. M. Korchinski insisted before admitting them 
into his church on a public and solemn abjuration, in which he made them declare 
that they renounced the errors of the Roman church. 

It was only after this abjuration had been made on a Sunday, in presence of the 
whole of his congregation that they were formally admitted into the Russian Orthodox 
church. Rev. M. Korchinski then attempted to occupy the church and to hold religious 
service there, but the great majority of the population had remained what they were before, 
Greek Catholics, united to Rome, and they opposed the taking possession of the church. 
Rev. M. Korchinski called on the assistance of the police, to maintain him in pos 
session. The police came, but there were altercations and disorder, so that finally 
the church was closed and its use forbidden to Schismatics as well as Catholics. Rev. 
M. Zachlynski arranged that three other trustees should be appointed and these in 
stituted law proceedings against M. Korchinski and the former trustees to recover their 
property. 

The examination of witnesses began at Edmonton in May, 1902, before Judge 
Scott. Numerous witnesses were called on both sides. All the circumstances were ex 
amined into, with the greatest minuteness. During the course of the law suit Rev. 
M. Zoldak arrived from Europe and a little later also the first Basilian Fathers, who 
were able to give evidence on the condition of these Greek Ruthemans having emigrated 
to Canada. They knew the towns and villages whence they had come and not one 
of them had even been a Schismatic or in union with the Russian Orthodox church. 
It was not till the September of the following year, 1903, that the hearing was finished 
and Judge Scott issued his decision a little later, giving the verdict in favor of the 
Catholics and obliging the other party to restore them their property. 

An appeal against this decision was lodged before the full court of the North 
west, which examined the question afresh, with the result that the former sentence was 
confirmed. Be it said to the honor of our Judicial Bench of the North-west, composed 
entirely of Protestant Judges, with one sole exception, that they decided to uphold 
the rights of the Catholics, absolutely. Of the five Judges, Mr. Justice Sifton alone 
dissenting. If fanaticism and bigotry had wished to intervene it had utterly failed. 

After this decision of the Supreme Court of the Northwest, the Schismatical party 
decided to appeal against it, anew, before the Supreme Court of Canada. The ques 
tion now seems to have wandered from the domain of justice into other regions. 

The Supreme Court of Canada reversed the former judgment which had been 
confirmed by the Plenary Court of the Northwest. Great stress was laid on a certain 
permit to cut the timber which had been employed in the construction of the church. 
It appears that it had been asked for a Greek Orthodox church. This application had 
been corrected and on the permit it had been added "for a Greek Catholic church." 
Who had made the application? They did not trouble to enquire. This correction 
must have been made in the regular course by the officials of the land department at 
the request of the interested party and with the aid of their sworn interpreter. In any 
case it was not done by the intermediary of the local Catholic authorities, who made 
no application for this permit nor for its correction, and what is even more, they were 
totally ignorant of its existence. 

The Catholics, strong in their rights, resolved to appeal from this astonishing de 
cision to the Privy Council of England. There was some difficulty in obtaining per 
mission to make this appeal, but it was nevertheless granted. The case was then dis 
cussed afresh before the Privy Council. This was in the month of August, 1907. 
The deferred decision was not made public until the festival season of the New Year, 
1908. It maintained the decision of the Supreme Court, refusing to recognize the 
rights of the Catholics to remain in possession of their property. 

It would be too long to examine this judgment in all its details. It pretended that 
the congregation at Star had been since its commencement, and could never have been 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 129 



oherwise than a Schismatical congregation, separated from Rome. It must needs 
have required from the distinguished judges an immense amount of "good will" to adopt 
this view. 

Even when the Bishop of St. Albert had consented to hand over the property so that 
it might be entered in the name of certain "trustees," the property was still put in "trust" 
for the purposes of the Congregation of the Greek Catholic Church at Limestone Lake." 
The judgment adds, "in words drawn apparently by Bishop Legal." 

It is assuredly of little importance by whom the wording was chosen. It is suf 
ficient to know that these expressions were adopted and accepted by the "trustees." As 
a matter of fact, Bishop Legal was absent in Europe at the time when this transaction 
took place, and had nothing to do with the formula adopted. 

Another remark: when the trustees with certain others applied to the Rev. Kor- 
chinski to be admitted into his church, the judgment admits that he had the "tactless 
ness" to ask for a formal abjuration. It was no tactlessness, but under the circumstances 
it was a necessity to act thus, because a formal change of religion was to take place. 
The judgment runs thus: "Unfortunately Korchinski insisted on public renunciation of 
Roman doctrine." 

This, indeed is "unfortunate" and "most damaging" for the plea that these people 
had been schismatics from the beginning. How was it that the Rev. M. Korchinski, 
who had been living for some years in the immediate neighborhood of this locality, could 
have been unaware that these people belonged to his church? We repeat it, there 
must needs have been required an immense amount of "good will" for somebody else 
to sustain such a pretension. 

The Court of the Supreme Council comprised five Lords, of whom two were 
Scotch Presbyterians and three Orangemen. It must be allowed there would seem 
to be no great chance of sympathy there for a Catholic cause. 

However that may be, the cause is finished, with the result that the poor Catholics 
are deprived of their church property, and their trustees who have followed the case 
with full confidence in their rights, will be ruined without even being able perhaps to 
succeed in paying the whole of the costs incurred. In spite of this adverse sentence all 
those who are at all conversant with the question and who know the condition of affairs, 
as they then were, and as they are still, will maintain their private and absolute con 
viction: "that this properly had been obtained and occupied by a congregation of Catho 
lics of the Greek Rutheman rite, united to Rome, and in submission to the Pope, and 
that it has been allowed to pass over to an entirely different religious body, viz., the 
Russian Orthodox church, which recognizes as its head the Czar of all the Russians." 
It is an unfortunate precedent in a country where so many religious denominations may 
be liable to find themselves in conflict. 



130 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 







REV. FATHER H. GRANDIN, O.M.I. 

Provincial of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 
Alberta and Saskatchewan. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 131 



CHAPTER X. 



ST. ALBERT, 1914 



A RETROSPECT AND APPRECIATION. 

More than half a century has passed since St. Albert was first founded. It is 
no longer an msignficant hamlet, or village, but a town of rising importance, with its 
own bank, hotels, stores, industries, and finally its own municipal organization, with its 
mayor and town councillors. Its principal claim, however, rests on its proud position as 
the first Episcopal See of the North-west, the place hallowed by the memory of saintly 
Bishop Grandm and the mecca of a devout pilgrimage. 

No visitor of note to Edmonton, the capital of the province, fails to visit the pretty 
suburb of St. Albert, especially now that since 1906 the Canadian Northern railway 
has a line running past it. 

Many distinguished men, travelling through the North-west have repaired thither; 
great prelates of the church; rulers of the State, among whom may be mentioned three 
successive Governors-General of Canada: the Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Minto and Earl 
Grey, as well as many distinguished politicians, such as Sir Wilfrid Laurier, when 
premier and now leader of the opposition, the Hon. Sir R. L. Borden, premier, 
who have paid visits to St. Albert and its Bishop, as a tribute of homage to the dis 
tinguished part which St. Albert and the missionaries of the diocese have played in the 
work of civilization and the extension of the Empire. 

It is within nine miles north-west of Edmonton, and thither on November 1st, the 
Feast of All Saints, on a bright morning in the late beautiful Indian summer, a very 
humble pilgrim, the present writer, repaired. 

Suddenly, within the last mile, the road descended to the valley of St. Albert, be 
tween spruce groves. Far off, on the other side, dominating the scene, rose the 
gleaming spires of "The Mission." 

Thither, through the village, I hurried, pausing only on the bridge-way that spans 
the river Sturgeon and connects both parts of the town. This," I reflected, "is the 
fourth bridge, the successor of that early one, the first one erected west of Winnipeg 
and placed here by the first pioneering missionaries of St. Albert." 

It was with rare foresight, for now a settler s wagon, filled with household effect? 
and farm implements, and carrying the family, is crossing, making for the "homestead" 
one hundred miles up north; while the other wagons, heavily laden with grain and 
farm produce, are wending their way to Edmonton, since the bridge forms the prin 
cipal point of convergence for the greater portion of the northern traffic making to and 
from the capital of Alberta. 

As I ascended the slopes of the charming hill and stood upon the plateau, upon 
which "The Mission," as it is still affectionately called, rises, the Guardian and Sentinel 
of the landscape for miles around, I realized the justice of Bishop Tache s enthusiasm 
in 1864. 

Here in front of me was a vast extent of elegant buildings, neatly separated from 
the hill slopes by a long palisading, painted white with gates and tourniquets quaintly 
placed at intervals, enclosing with its numerous buildings, gardens, outhouses, barns and 
cemetery, at least a quarter of a square mile. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



If Bishop Tache, seeing it in 1864 after a few years progress felt proud of his 
choice, as but the site for one more new mission, then the present Bishop has further 
reason for rejoicing today. 

The landscape is none the less charming than of old. The view is indeed superb. 
The picturesque homes of the present inhabitants are still dotted along the banks of 
the river, which winds serpent-like between them, and on its slopes leading higher to 
the forests there are good farms, east and west, with their broad meadows in which I 
can see the threshing machine at work, puffing and snorting out its cloud of finely chopped 
straw. To my right gleams with its silvered coat of mail that feature of every suc 
cessful village in the west districts the elevator; the sign of prosperous harvests around 
for the farmers whose grain it stores until it is conveyed by the freight train passing under 
it to the busy marts of commerce. 

There, too, high on the river bank, is a goodly, modern mill with a capacity for 
turning out a hundred barrels a day, built now in brick and run by steam not un 
mindful of the fate and the past misfortunes of its four predecessors, destroyed by 
flood and prairie fires. The first two mills had been built by the missionaries. This 
one is owned by the Municipality, quite as daring and undaunted as ever were the 
first St. Albert pioneers. 

Then, farther west, beyond the lofty trestle railway bridge, spanning the river in 
its circuitous path, there sparkles afar off, like a silvered mirror in a case of emerald, 
under the clear flame of the Alberta sun, the lake of St. Albert, called by the Indians 
the "Big Lake," with its waters reaching to the horizon, pouring themselves into the 
Sturgeon which flows eastward through pleasant meadows and forest clad slopes, till 
passing St. Albert it winds its way to lose itself farther on, in the Saskatchewan. While 
above, the high, clear vault of heaven, the virginal dome of cool, clear, crisp, open air, 
young, life-giving and free, breathes upon the country side, hallowing with its charm of 
western grandeur and boundless hope, this site chosen as the See of a Bishop of the 
pioneering Northwest. 

I turned from this sight at my feet and around me to view the "Mission" behind. 
I was charmed again at the sight of the well built, artistically designed buildings with 
their variegated painted walls harmoniously blending with the quaint porticoes, veran 
das, turrets and dormer windows all clustering around the uncompleted Cathedral 
enshrined in the centre a "tout ensemble" of dignity and repose. 

Behind and around in modest obscurity peeped out the outhouses, the home farms 
and vegetable gardens, and then, far behind them still, the meadow lands and wheat 
fields, reclaimed from the virgin soil of the forest by the laborious toil of the first mis 
sionaries, who taught the arts of cultivation to the early nomad settlers at St. Albert 
by their persuasive object lesson of civilization. 

As I was wondering which of the buildings to visit first, the merry sounds of chil 
dren let loose for play drew me to the western end of the Mission Enclosure, where 
stands the Orphanage of the Gray Nuns, or Sisters of Charity, of Montreal. I found 
the gray habited nuns with their orphan children, teaching them to swing or play games 
in their pleasant gardens. In many cases the faces of the children at once betrayed un 
mistakably their origin. They were the descendants of those native Indians for whose 
sakes these frail women came hither to these territories from the East, about fifty years 
ago, journeying across the great Lakes in their birch bark canoes and crossing the prairies 
from Red River in rough carts to spend lives of self-denial and silent heroism in the 
North-west. 

From humble beginnings they have so well succeeded that now they possess a large, 
well appointed home, named from their foundress, "Youville Convent," measuring 250 
x 35 feet, the eastern part of which forms the Orphanage, or Industrial School, in 
which they have seventy-five pupils under their care. These are taught, besides re 
ligion, and their ordinary lessons, to be useful members of society. The girls learn to 



fJS:3t$!^^ 

"" """ ^v""""" ?^^^^ 






HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 133 



sew, embroider, to do housework, knitting, cooking, gardening and light work around 
the farm, while the boys also learn manual labor and work on the farm under the tui 
tion of an experienced farmer. Here they may stay as long as they choose, till they 
come out the efficient farmers that so many are now recognized to be. 

It is a credit to this institution to recall the verdict of the board of International 
Examiners at the World s Columbian Exhibition held by the United States of America 
at Chicago in 1 893, when it awarded a medal for the school work at St. Albert. 
"For General Proficiency, the Industrial work in blacksmithing and carpentering being 
of the very best." 

The other portion, west of the building, is reserved as a Convent Boarding and 
Day School, where as many as 1 25 children receive the usual high-class education. 
There are now about twenty-five Sisters, of whom Rev. Mother Dandurand was until 
lately the distinguished Superior Vicar, which position is similar to that of a Provincial. 
Recently Rev. Mother Page has been appointed to the post. Alberta owes a great 
debt of gratitude to these Gray Nuns for their share in the opening out of civilization 
in this province. 

On the east of the Youville Convent, standing in a spacious property, there was 
to arise in a few years a noble Cathedral worthy of a great, flourishing diocese, but 
for the decision that the cathedral had to be transferred to Edmonton which has been 
made the metropolitan see of the archdiocese, lately created by the Holy See. 

The crypt alone had been built so far and was roofed over for the time, and 
in this condition the church was opened in the second week of January, 1906, for 
public worship. 

Behind the High Altar there is placed the tomb of the First Bishop of St. Albert, 
the Right Rev. Vital Justin Grandin, O.M.I. He was born at St. Pierre le Cours, 
in the diocese of Laval, France, on the 8th of February, 1829. He was elected Dec. 
1 I th, 1857, Bishop of Satala, and oppointed coadjutor to the Right Rev. Alexander 
Tache, Bishop of St. Boniface, Manitoba, and consecrated under this title November 
30th, 1859. He was transferred to the See of St. Albert, September 22nd, 1871, and 
died on June 3rd, 1902, leaving behind him in the whole North-west an undying 
reputation as a brave and fearless pioneer of civilization, and a heroic apostle and saintly 
man. 

And Hero, Saint and Apostle, he certainly was! Fulfilling St. Paul s descrip 
tion of himself: "In journeys often, in perils of water, in perils from the Gentiles, in 
labor and painfulness, in much watching, in hunger and in thrist, in fastings often and in 
cold," and now, after all his travels, he rests in peace! 

He was a man, single-minded, large-hearted, who was led entirely by one grand 
enthusiasm a passionate personal love for Jesus Christ and His Cause. To prove 
his devotion and to extend the Kingdom of God he traversed the pathless North-west, 
time and again; hurrying hither and thither to plant the standard of Christian civilization 
and claiming the land for Christ; leading to Him captive souls from the Indian tribes 
before they should be debased by the onrushing van of a worldly civilization, and 
brought to worship Mammon and vice as its gods. 

He overcame all difficulties and obstacles, leaving behind for his successors and 
fellow workers the memory of a living example of the high heroism of Faith, Hope, 
Charity and Self-Sacrifice in action. 

During life he slept in mud huts, log cabins, in the open and by the streams, some 
times under the same furskin wrappings as his vermin-covered Indian neophytes; some 
times lost on the ice of the great lakes in the deadly cold and in peril of his life; night 
after night in the forest with the cold stars above him! And now, he sleeps in peace 
in the vast crypt of the Cathedral of this Diocese which his zeal has raised to Christ, 
his Master. 



34 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



"God accept him! Christ receive him!" 

In life, humble, child-like, poor; in death he lies in dignity and honor! Truly his 
favorite text is verified: "Infirma mundi elegit Deus" ("The weak things of the world 
hath God chosen. ) 

His throne, hard by in the Sanctuary, is now filled by his own chosen coadjutor 

;ssor, a man after his own heart, the Right Rev. Emile Joseph Legal, O.M I 
a Pioneer himself, trained in a like school of privation and hardship, but also peculiarly 
by his early education and experience and special mental habits of organizing 
Iity as the man needed for the time, to carry on and consolidate the work of the 
newly formed diocese, for the foundation of which the clearing was wrought by the 
axe, the pick and the shovel of the first saintly pioneer. After the poet and prophet 
:omes the statesman and law giver. After Grandin comes Legal! Surely, here, a 
more than ordinary coincidence. 

Emile Joseph Legal, second Bishop of St. Albert, was ordained priest in 1874 
Unginally of the diocese of Nantes, where he distinguished himself by a literary and 
scientific career, and was for some time a successful professor of Mathematics, he came 

I to join the Oblate Fathers in their work in the North-west 
hor sixteen years he labored among the Blackfoot Indians, especially on the 
Peigan and the Blood Reserves, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. There he learned 
love the Indians in spite of the ungrateful nature of his task, and its seeming poor 
results but with characteristic, indomitable patience, he plodded on, refusing all offers 
I here he learned to be in turn school-master, architect, cook, doctor and 
rave digger. Indeed he was engaged in d.ggmg a grave for the corpse of a 
poor little Indian child, abandoned by its parents, when he received the news of his 
nomination to the Episcopate. 

On the I 3th of May, 1897, the brief was received from Rome, naming him coad- 
J T Ut r Tin-? 8 , s V ccesslon to Blsh P Grandin. He was consecrated on the 17th of 
June, 1897 under the title of Bishop of Pogla and became the Second Bishop of St 

rl on the death of his saintly predecessor. He has since justified Bishop GrandiiTs 
choice, and the bold conception of the projected Cathedral is ,ndicat,ve of the man 
called upon to rule the destinies of the diocese. 

Here in the spacious Cathedral crypt in the far West, the Bishop has been able 

lebrate with dignity and impressiveness the imposing ceremonies of the church s 
liturgy according to the full Roman Pontifical rite. 

Here, he has ordained some of his new priests a moving spectacle. At such a 
one the present writer was privileged to be present. The plain chant, sung by a double 
choir of the orphans in the body of the church under the direction of the nuns and a 
surpliced choir of the young students of the "Petit Seminaire" m the sanctuary stalls 
added to the complete rubrical and ancient character of the majestic service It is 
among these young boys around him, near his throne, that the Bishop hopes to find 
lidates for the needs of the future extension of his ever growing diocese. 

Ift^l U^L 6 th ^ sa 1 cred , edince a nd stand on the brow of the hill, on the spot where 
D4, Bishop Tache planted his staff to mark the site of the new mission on-e 
more facing the south and surveying, as it were, the whole of the diocese I find myself 
asking the question, "What will be the future of this vast diocese?" 

To judge from the past, its wonderful birth in a hitherto unknown and uncivilized 
country; the perilous time of its infancy, surmounted, by the labors and self-sacrificing 
efforts, of the brave missionaries in the face of overwhelming difficulties and obstacles- 
J wonderful development already exhibited; its share, too, of the undoubting calm 
spirit of optimism, the genius of the West, with its buoyant youth exulting in its strength- 
breathing an atmosphere of enthusiasm and progress a communicable quality all 
lead us to foresee with the eye of Faith and Hope a brilliant future for this young 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Province of the Church Militant. The answer to this question was given when the 
Holy See has raised the See of St. Albert to a higher dignity in creating a new eccles 
iastical Province. Less than a century ago the North-west Territories were a closed 
book, save to the few traders who jealously kept its secrets. Christianity was unknown to 
its native tribes. In 1817, in all the vast territory extending from Manitoba to 
Rocky Mountains, and the northern glacial regions, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, 
Alberta and the northern districts of Athabasca, Mackenzie and the Yukon and com- 
posing the original diocese of St. Boniface, there was not one priest. In 1818 
were two; 1840, three; 1842, one Bishop and four priests; 1845, one Bishop and 
six priests in 1886 there were four Bishops and one hundred and twenty-seven pries 
in 1891 five Bishops; in 1902 there were seven Bishops and three hundrec 
seven priests. 

In dying in 1902, Bishop Grandin was consoled with the thought that the North 
west counted" 100,000 Catholics, baptized in the blood of Jesus Christ 

The Archdiocese of Edmonton, as now constituted since the creation of the 
diocese of Calgary in November, 1912, is bounded on the north by the 55th par 
of latitude; on the east by the 1 10th degree of longitude; on the south by the northern 
boundary line of the 30th Townships, and on the west by the summit 
Mountains. 

At the north end of the Cathedral, resting behind the sanctuary, in its shadow 
are three buildings intimately connected with its past, its present and us future 
old-time log hut on my left, that low-roofed barn is surely out of place , here 
old and hardly worth the repairing it has evidently so often received It . shou Ml 
cumber this site. "But I am rebuked. That poor hut, which even at its best allov ec 
the snow and ram to enter it as into their kingdom, was the first Cathedral of the tint 
Bishop of this diocese. No vandal hand has dared to strike it down. 

On my right hand stands a graceful, turreted, church-like building, elegantly de 
signed, but of small dimensions. It has been added to and renovated, but from the 
descriptions of the early chroniclers I have little hesitation m naming this as the s 
Cathedral, buill for Bishop Grandin, now no longer coadjutor to he ^Bishop 
Boniface, under the title of Satala "in parlibus." but First Bishop . St V^^ y W ^ 
See he was solemnly enthroned in the building now before me on the first 
Easter in 1872, and in which he dedicated the new diocese to the Immaculate 
of Mary. 

It had been built by the Bishop, Fathers and brothers, helped by the villagers 
"Many a time," wrote Bishop Grandin, "have I seen two priests in their soutanes 
the roof of t^ church, engaged in nailing on the shingles" Though only measuring 
originally 80 x 32 feet, and built of big timber and planks cut by hand with the pit 
"w nevertheless, it was a chef d oeuvre to the poor Indian, and Half-breeds who 
would come miles to visit it, for they had never seen its like before. 

It was in this church in 1890 that they had the satisfaction of witnessing one 
their own, the first native priest of these parts, Fr. Cunningham, raised 
the altar. i 

The growing needs of the congregation rendered a larger church necessary and 
it has now been Eclipsed by the new Cathedral. But so well built was it, that it w 11 
emain for many a long year to link the present with the past, though now devoted to 
er use in connection with the Cathedral. Its present purpose, for which 1 
been splendidly rearranged, with modern, up-to-date fittings, is to provide assembly 
rooms with a large concert hall and stage for the Catholic congregation 

Between these relics of the past there rises the "Little Seminary of the 
Family" a substantial modern building, the homes of these young choristers who serve 
the Sanctuary and fill the stalls of the Cathedral on all important functions. It is the 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



successor of a much smaller and humbler diocesan ecclesiastical preparatory school, 
preparing for the great seminaries, such as Bishop Grandin had already started in 1875 
on a small scale. 

Foreseeing the future growth of his diocese. Bishop Grandin had chosen some feu- 
Hal f-breeds belonging to the country-side, of the more respectable families, whom ht 
wished to be trained to learning and piety, and their vocation to the ecclesiastical state 
fostered. Over them he placed Fr. Henry Grandin, his nephew; whom he had brought 
from France in 1874, together with fifteen other missionaries, and who is now the rev 
erend Superior of all the Oblates in the dioceses of Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The site of this embryonic seminary was that now occupied by the open space in 
front of the new Cathedral facade. 

The new Seminary was opened in the early part of 1900 and solemnly blessed 
later in the year by Bishop Grandin, who retained for himself the post of Professor 
Ecclesiastical History to the end of his life, in spite of his infirmities. Fr. L. Cu- 
ener, O.M.I., was its first director, starting with a handful of boys. The early dif 
ficulties were very many; the work of securing and increasing the number of boys was 
very harassing and required much zeal, but these were forthcoming and gradually the 
organization assumed permanence. 

In the early months of 1905, Fr. G. Nordmann, O.M.I., succeeded as Superior 
and carried on for some years the work of progress until, in September 1911 the 
seminary passed under the control of the "Sons of Mary Immaculate," and under 
the direction of Rev. Father J. Boutin, its actual revered superior, who has maintained 
the former efficiency. The course followed is the recognized classical one, while the 
basis of instruction is both in French and English. 

His Lordship, the present Bishop, has watched and guided its progress with a 
>termg care from the beginning, and it must be a satisfaction to him that six of the 
dents after having passed through the course of Philosophy and theology in the great 
seminaries of Montreal and Ottawa have been crowned with the priesthood. 

The spirit of piety and study prevails. The students have learned the lesson 
given to them by Bishop Grandin on his death bed, when some of the older boys went 
to him to beg his last blessing. "My children," the dying prelate said, blessing them 
when one loves the good God well, one has no fear of death. To have served God 
in lite is the only thing worth having that remains for a man at the end." 

In time, no doubt, a larger building will be necessary and the college song will be 
echoed again: 

"O, Seminaire! Up on the Hill! 

Seminaire! O, Seminaire! 
May God s sweet will there keep thee still! 

Seminaire! O, Seminaire! 
And should the future bring us fame. 
When high rings the Seminary s name, 
Be, Alma Mater, still the same! 

Seminaire! O, Seminaire! 

Leaving the Seminary and the cheery sound of merry laughter from the boys en 
gaged in constructing a skating rink against the coming winter, I pass over on my left 
into sanctified ground. The plain, white, wooden crosses, with their painted names and 
dates tell their own simple tale. "Tis God s acre, where the rude forefathers of the 
hamlet sleep. 

As I wander I come across a portion reserved to the Congregation of the Oblates 

find among those who have fought the good fight in these wilds the last 

g place of Fr. Remas and Fr. Vegreville two of the earliest of the brave mis- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 137 



sionary band that answered the call to the West. Schoolmates! Friends! Fellow 
Religious! Working side by aide in life in death they are not parted. "Requiescant 
in Pace." 

Farther on, nearer the Episcopal Palace, I pass its neatly kept garden. Certainly 
Brother Letourneur, who tends it must be a wonderful man, or the Alberta soil is mar 
vellously productive, for there I saw vegetables which would grace a prize show in the 
old country. This good brother has raised cabbages, each weighing thirty-seven pounds; 
turnips, twenty-eight pounds; onions, one pound; carrots, two pounds and pumpkins, 
50 to 80 pounds, while one was raised in this garden weighing 1 1 2 pounds. 

I stand, at last, before the stairway leading to the veranda of the Bishop s house, 
with deepest reverence and respect. It is the successor of those earlier Bishop s palaces, 
and till but lately the Mother house of the Oblate Fathers living in the diocese, which 
has sheltered, at one time or another, so many of those heroic, God-fearing men, who, 
though working for Christ alone, without thought or recompense or honor below, have 
left their names upon the maps of the newly opened North-west, along the great roads 
marking the progress of discovery and civilization. 

In proof of this, may be mentioned those who have given their names to the dis 
tricts of Tache, Grandin, Legal, Lacombe, Leduc, Lebret, Vegreville, St. Albert 
(after Fr. Lacombe), etc. 

There are many others from under this roof whose names are household words, 
among the old timers: Fathers Remas (one of the earliest workers at L=>ke St. Anne 
and Lake La Biche), Lestanc, (so long Bishop Grandin s holy and prudent counsel 
lor), Tissot, Maisonneuve, Tissier, L. LeGoff, Legeard, J. Moulin, Blanche!, Merer, 
Lizee, (who has published a newspaper in Cree, probably the first of its kind), besides 
their Lordships Bishop Grouard, Bishop Pascal, Bishop Faraud, Bishop Glut, Bishop 
Breynat and Bishop Joussard. 

In this present house it was that Bishop Grand : n, of holy memory, breathed his 
last, surrounded by so many of his fellow workers. We have still his successor, Arch 
bishop Legal, to carry on his traditions; Fr. Merer, the beloved parish priest and supenoj 
of the Oblates of St. Albert; Brother Landais, who nursed His Lordship in the last 
illness. 

Under this roof we still have Father Leduc, the same alert, shrewd, vigorous 
organizer as ever, still planning with bold, masterly conception, yet, with all, a fine 
grasp of details, and managing as he has done for forty years the financial affairs of 
the diocese as its honored Vicar General. To his skilful administration the mission 
and town of St. Albert stand today a lasting memorial, and who shall say how much 
Edmonton and so many more of the various missions of the diocese are indebted to 
his zeal and enterprise. 

In 1859 Bishop Grandin was consecrated Bishop of Satala in the Cathedral 
church of St. Martin, the temporary Cathedral of Marseilles, by its Bishop, the saintly 
Mgr. Mazenod, the founder of the Oblate Fathers. Before leaving France, Bishop 
Grandin paid a visit to the Petit Seminaire of Mayence. The Venerable director, 
the Rev. Abbe Pillion, presented to him in recreation time the elder^ pupils, who were 
then students of philosophy. "Monseigneur," said he^ charmingly, "whom would you 
choose of these to work with you on your missions?" The Bishop gazed upon the 
faces upturned to him, "I take these two," he replied, drawing them to his side. This 
was for these the call of Our Lord. "Come, follow me!" 

Some years later, both of them became Apostles of the North-west under Bishop 
Grandin. The one was Father Legeard and the other, Father Leduc. 

Truly a wise choice, for which the diocese of St. Albert, now the archdiocese of 
Edmonton, is a debtor. 

The other Vicar General, Father Lacombe, the Apostle of the Crees, the Black- 
feet and the Half-breeds, whose name is sung under the tents of the prairie, may well 
close this list of these noble men who claim this Bishop s Palace as their Mother house. 



38 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Here it was that the founder of St. Albert, who gave it his name, celebrated the golden 
jubilee of his priesthood in 1899, amidst unusual splendor, accompanied by congratula 
tions from many public bodies and hightened by the graceful recognition of his services 
by Queen Victoria, who sent him an engraving of herself to mark her esteem and 
personal interest in Fr. Lacombe and his work. 

A brave, intrepid, pioneering missionary, a warrior, and a wanderer by instinct, 
restless unless working among his dear Indians! He is old now, and feeble, no more 
able to use the passes that the great railway companies of Canada have conceded him 
for the free use of their lines. This was in recognition of his services to the cause of 
civilization. Who shall say the number of massacres prevented by his influence over 
the Redskins of the north in their rebellion of 1885, under Riel and Dumont, against 
the tide of the White domination invading their hitherto unbounded domains? Who 
shall say that the massacre of the Canadian Pacific workmen on the Black feet Reserve, 
near Calgary, had not been inevitable except for Father Albert Lacombe! 

Therefore, I stood with reverence before entering the portal of this Bishop s house. 
Within we find a Religious Community, clothed, fed and lodged simply as befits priests 
and refined men, who have embraced poverty as their mother, who enjoy some of the 
humbler comforts of modern civilization, but none of the luxuries. ^ el what a contrast 
to the hardships rendered necessary by circumstances in those early days which so many 
of Bishop Grandin s companions still living, cheerfully endured! Skins for their cloth 
ing! Moccasins for their feet! I he snow shoe and the dog sleigh and hunger, for 
hundreds of miles on a sick call, or the frail and dangerous birch bark canoe! bor 
their food, often nothing but fish, which they had to catch on the lake like the Apostles 
on Genesareth. 1 he fish, when plentiful, they dried to serve for the long winter s sus 
tenance, and then fish, fresh fish, dried fish, somelirr.es rotten fish, day after day, with 
nothing else to relieve their monotony "ad nauseam!" 

Poor Father Grolier, a martyr of the apostolate, dying in the depth of winter at 
Good Hope, for want of a change of this fish diet, was forced to exclaim, "Oh! if 
I only had a little milk and a few potatoes, I cculd perhaps pull round again." 

1 hese are not fairy tales. Bishop Grandm wrote in 1890 of these early strug 
gles. " I hese sacrifices are hard to believe today, but in twenty years they will appear 
to have been quite impossible. 

1 he old Bishop s Palace at St. Albert was a log hut 60 x 30 feet, of one room, 
which served many purposes. It was kitchen, reception room, class room, for the in 
struction of the Indians, study, workshop, a dormitory by night where the inmates slept 
on shelves, arranged like a library or bunks at sea, and finally a sanctuary for Mass 
next morning. Yet the missionaries preserved their cheerfulness and sense of humor. 
One of them wrote to his family as follows: "We are eight in one room. We sleep, 
one above the other, with a beast s skin for our covering. Mattresses and bed clothing 
are an unknown luxury. We only have bread on feast days, and then in small quanti 
ties. But then, by way of reprisal, we have pemmican, a kind of pulverized meat mixed 
with fat and compressed in skin sacks for ten or twelve months. We cut it into pieces 
with an axe. It is nearly as good as a candle! We have also another meat, dried in 
the sun. It is as hard as leather, but with good teeth you can manage to tear your 
way through it in the end. Our drink is tea, without sugar. But with unrefined diet 
we manage to keep our good looks. As for myself, I am so inclined towards em 
bonpoint that they call me the Canon. 

Indeed, it was not till May 28th, 1892, when a great gathering of Canadian 
Bishops with their Vicars General and various laymen of distinction came to visit the 
present Bishop s Palace, that the luxury of sugar and bed clothes made their first ap 



pearance 



imes are changed, but simplicity still reigns. The old log hut has disappeared. 
A more dignified dwelling shelters the ruler of the Diocese, Deo gratias! 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 139 



As I leave the Bishop s house, now the Archbishop s residence, I pass the "Son- 
nerie" or Bell Tower, with its chime of bells. It is an epitome of the life in the val 
ley below. To this village of French Canadian Catholics it rings out, thrice a day. 
the mystery of Christ s Incarnation. It calls to worship, to Mass and evening prayer. 
It rings out clamorously at the alarm of fire, and joyously at the return of the Bishop 
to his See. It heralds a christening and a wedding and it tolls the funeral knell for 
the departed soul. 

And now the evening is closing. A solemn stillness broods over the valley, broken 
only by the tinkling of the bells of the cattle still wandering on the hill slopes. Lights 
are appearing in the windows. I cannot but picture myself this "Summer of All Saints" 
as at Grand Pre, in that valley, distant, secluded, immortalized by Longfellow s "Evan- 
geline" : 

dwelt together in love those simple Acadian farmers, 
Dwelt in the love of God and Man. Alike were they free from 
Fear, that reigns with the tyrants, and envy, the vice of republics. 
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows; 
But their dwellings were open as day, and the hearts of their owners: 
There the richest were poor, and the poorest lived in abundance." 

Such a village I have seen not once or twice in this Diocese of Alberta, raised 
and tended by the good Oblates who founded St. Albert. No wonder that in the re 
bellion of the natives and Half-breeds in 1885, this spot preserved its calm and^peace 
amid the general ferment and that Louis Riel should have been forced to write: "I can 
not count upon the people of St. Albert." 

All honor to those brave sister-hoods who have joined these good Fathers in the 
work of founding and developing such missions; the Gray Nuns of Charity of Montreal, 
and of Nicolet, the Faithful Companions of Jesus, the Sisters of the Assumption of 
Nicolet, the Sisters of Charity of Providence, those of Misericordia, the Daughters of 
Jesus, the Servants of Mary (of the Greek Ruthenian rite) and the Daughters of 
Providence, the Ursulines de Jesus, the Sisters of Notre Dame d Envron, the Ladies of 
the Refuge. 

As I leave this scene I have before my mind a clause of Bishop Grandin s last 
will and testament: 

"Later on, doubtless, other Congregations will ask my successor the favor of es 
tablishing themselves in the diocese of St. Albert. This vision of the future gives me 
joy, but were I still at the head of my diocese, I should regard myself as bound in 
conscience to gratitude towards those religious Congregations, who have, at the price 
of so much sacrifice, aided in forming this diocese, in introducing, building up and extend- 
ng the kingdom of God in all the North-west. 

"I recognize that I have my faults, but I believe I can affirm that I am not un 
grateful. Ingratitude is, however, the only recompense that the missionaries and the 
Congregations can hope for here below. It is all we can look for from our poor 
Indians, but too often it comes from Christians from whom we should have the right 
to expect better. 

"But I cannot suppose that the diocese of St. Albert will ever turn against those 
who have founded it, at the price of so many sacrifices. I pray God to ward off from 
this church the humiliation which other churches of great renown and importance have 
not escaped. 

"The Oblates, as far as I know, have not as yet been the victims of ingratitude in 
Canada. God will not permit them to be such in the rest of the Northwest. 

To which we may add: "Amen" and conclude. 

THE END. 



140 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



SKETCHES 



OF SOME OF ALBERTA S PROMINENT MEN. 



HON. ARTHUR LEWIS SIFTON 

Premier of Alberta, Edmonton. 




From the time of the creation of the 
Province of Alberta down to the present, 
there have been none to fill the position of 
Premier in a more acceptable manner than 
the present incumbent, the HOP. Arthur 
Lewis Si f ton, who formed the existing gov 
ernment of the Province in May, I V 1 0. 
The office is one involving great responsibil 
ity, but as Mr. Sifton brought to it an ex 
perience of many years in active, public life 
he is well equipped to serve the people in a 
manner productive of the greatest good to 
the greatest number. Under his able regime 
the Province of Alberta has experienced an 



era of unwonted prosperity, and every indi 
cation points to a long continuance of this 
condition of affairs. 

Mr. Sifton was born at Middlesex, On 
tario, on October 26, 1858, and as a boy 
he was educated in the public schools and 
later at Wesley College and at Victoria 
University. Having chosen the law for a 
profession, Mr. Sifton was called to the bar 
of Manitoba in 1883, and after six years of 
practice came West to Alberta. 

Mr. Sifton s ability was speedily recog 
nized in this western field, and his first pub 
lic position of importance came in 1898 
when he was elected a member of the North 
west Council. In 1901 he was appointed 
Commissioner of Public Works for the 
North West Territories, and in 1903 there 
came a still greater honor when he was 
made Chief Justice of the North West Ter 
ritories, and again in 1907 when he was 
made Chief Justice of Alberta. In 1910 
he retired from the bench to become premier. 

1 hrough all of these years there are few 
men in the entire Dominion who have had 
a more interesting or successful career than 
Premier Sifton, and the commendable rec 
ord he has made in official life is one of 
which any individual might well feel proud. 

Premier Sifton is a member of the Ranch 
man s club at Calgary and the Edmonton 
club as well, and resides in Edmonton with 
his family at Garry-Kennagh. 



HON. ALEXANDER CAMERON 
RUTHERFORD. 

At the head of the list of the distinguished 
barristers and statesmen who have figured so 
prominently in shaping the destinies of the 
province of Alberta, and in creating a new 
empire from the virgin territory of the Can 
adian West, stands the name of Alexander 
Cameron Rutherford, B.A., B.C.L., LL.D., 
K.C., a name which will go down into his- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



141 



tory as that of the First Premier of the Pro 
vince of Alberta. 




Hon. Alexander Cameron Rutherford 

Mr. Rutherford was born at Osgoode, 
Carleton county, Ontario, on February 2, 
1857, the son of James and Elizabeth 
Rutherford. He received his education in 
the public schools and at the High school at 
Metcalfe, Ontario, and later graduated with 
honors from Woodstock College and from 
McGill University. He was called to the 
bar of Ontario in 1885, and began the prac 
tice of the law at Ottawa. In 1895 Mr. 
Rutherford came west to what is now Al 
berta and settled at Strathcona, now known 
as South Edmonton. He was not long in 
gaining recognition as a barrister of far more 
than average ability and not long after his 
arrival was made secretary-treasurer and 
solicitor for Strathcona. It was as the Lib 
eral representative for this constituency that 
he came into prominence by being elected to 
a seat in the Alberta Legislative Assembly, 



and immediately thereafter his selection by 
Lieutenant Governor Bulyea to be the first 
premier of the newly created province of 
Alberta. Prior to this Mr. Rutherford had 
been a member of the Legislature of the 
North-West Territories, and was Deputy 
Speaker at the last session of this body. 

During his regime as premier, Mr. Ruther 
ford also served as Minister of Education 
and as Provincial Treasurer as well. In 
1 909 he was re-elected again, but the fol 
lowing year because of a division m the 
ranks of the Liberal party in the legislature 
he resigned the premiership. 

While Alexander Cameron Rutherford 
no longer occupies an official provincial po 
sition he is still regarded as the Grand Old 
Man of the Liberal party in Alberta and his 
words of advice and counsel are eagerly 
sought by those who are active in politics at 
the present time. 

It was under his administration that the 
foundation was laid for all those institutions 
similar to those possessed by the older pro 
vinces, and long after he has been called 
to the Great Beyond his memory will be 
cherished for the part he took in this great 
work of organization. It was largely 
through his influence while Premier that Ed 
monton was selected as the capital of Al 
berta, and during his regime, also, the Par 
liament buildings were started. He also 
was a loyal worker in the establishment of 
the Normal College and the University of 
Alberta. He likewise did everything in his 
power to foster the building of railroads and 
in encouraging the development of the agri 
cultural, mining and other natural resources 
of the country. 

In private life Mr. Rutherford is a mem 
ber of the legal firm of Rutherford, Jamie- 
son & Grant, with offices on the South Side 
in the Imperial Bank Chambers and on the 
North Side at 56 McDougall avenue. This 
is not only one of the oldest, but one of 
the largest law firms of the Province in 
point of the volume of business handled. 
While pursuing a general law practice, the 
members of the firm devote special attention 
to corporation and commercial law and act 
as solicitors for many of the best known 
concerns and individuals of Edmonton and 
the Province. 



142 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



HON. CHARLES W. CROSS, B.A., 
LL.B., M.L.A. 

Attorney Genera! of the P -ovirr.p <^( AlK Pr t a . 




When one stops to consider that the pro 
vince of Alberta was only established in 
1905, and takes cognizance of the remark 
able advancement that has been made during 
this brief period of nine years, then does one 
begin to realize something of the real worth 
and ability of the men who have shaped the 
affairs of this wonderful country and who 
have made the laws for the government of 
the fairest province within the borders of the 
Dominion. 

Of these there is certainly none more 
worthy of mention in this historical sketch 
of Alberta than the Hon. Charles Wilson 
Cross, who holds the position of Attorney 
General of the province, and who has been 
a member of the Legislative Assembly from 
the very formation of the province. 

Mr. Cross was first chosen as the Liberal 
member for Edmonton in 1905, and that 
same year was named as Attorney General. 
He was re-elected in 1909, but in March, 



1910, resigned his position as a member of 
the Executive Council. In 1913 he was 
again returned for the constituencies of Ed- 
son and Edmonton and again was he called 
to the post of Attorney General a position 
he has filled so acceptably in the estimation 
of the general public. This not only be 
speaks the confidence reposed in Mr. Cross 
by the people of Alberta, but it also re 
flects something of his splendid ability as a 
barrister and solicitor, and of the early train 
ing and experience which has so well fitted 
him for public life. 

In private life Mr. Cross is a member of 
the legal firms of Short, Cross, Biggar, 
Sherry & Field and Short, Woods, Biggar 
& Collisson, with offices at 14 Howard 
street. 1 he individual members of these 
firms rank as the leading lawyers of this sec 
tion of the Canadian West, and their large 
general practice is a pretty good indication 
of the substantial success they have attained. 

Mr. Cross is still a comparatively young 
man in point of years, having been born at 
Madoc, Ontario, on November 30, 1872. 
He received his education at Upper Canada 
College, at 1 oronto University and later com 
pleted his preparation for the practice of the 
law at Osgoode Hall. He came West to 
Alberta and established himself in Edmon 
ton, where his career has been marked by 
a series of brilliant achievements. 

Mr. Cross has long been looked upon as 
one of the most talented Liberal leaders in 
the West, and in all the deliberations of 
that party his advice and counsel are eager 
ly sought. He is a member of the Edmon 
ton club, takes an active interest in municipal 
as well as provincial affairs, and in general 
is a striking example of the type of men to 
whom Alberta is indebted for her present 
greatness. 



HON. NICHOLAS D. BECK, 

A Judge of the Supreme Court of Alberta. 

Mr. Justice Beck was born at Cobourg, 
Ontario, 4th May, 1857. He received his 
education at private and public schools and 
the Collegiate Institute Peterborough. He 
was admitted to the Ontario Bar in May, 
1879, and received the degree of LL.B. 
from the University of Toronto in 1881. 
He practised his profession in Peterborough 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



143 



as a member of the firm of Hatton and 
Beck till 1 883 when he went to Winnipeg, 
where on December 1 883 he was received 
into the Catholic Church. He practised 
there for some years at one time being in 
partnership with J. E. P. Prendergast, now 
Mr. Justice Prendergast of Manitoba and at 
another of A. E. McPhillips, now Mr. Jus 
tice McPhillips, a Judge of the Court of 
Appeal for British Columbia. While in 




Hon Nicholas D. Beck 

Winnipeg Mr. Beck for some time edited 
The Northwest (Catholic) Review; and 
for a term was the representative ot 
St. Boniface College in the Senate of the 
University of Manitoba. In 1889 he re 
moved to Calgary and practised there as a 
member of the fr>m of Lonsheed, MrC^ W 
& Beck. In 1891 Mr. Beck removed to Ed 
monton. He was made a Queen s Counsel 
in 1893; was Crown Prosecutor from I 89 1 
to 1987 and Town and City Solicitor from 
the incorporation of Edmonton in 1892 till 
his appointment to the Bench in 1907. He 



edited the earlier volumes of the North-West 
Territories and the Alberta Law Reports. 
He was a Bencher of the Law Society of 
the Territory and of Alberta and for a term 
preceding his appointment to the Bench the 
President of the latter society. In 1905 he 
was engaged to advise the Dominion Gov 
ernment on the Autonomy Bills for Alberta 
and Saskatchewan, especially the education 
al clauses. He was one of the Catholic 
representatives on the Educational Council 
for the Territories and for Alberta and has 
always taken a deep interest in educational 
matter. He was elected by the Senate of 
the University of Alberta as their first Vice- 
Chancellor and thereby became an ex-officio 
member of the Senate and is Vice-Chancellor 
by subsequent election. He is a member of 
the C. M. B. A. and of the Knights of 
Columbus and a member of the Board of 
Governors of the Catholic Church Extension 
of Canada. He is a corresponding mem 
ber of the Archeological Society of France. 
Address: 443 16th street. Club: The Ed- 
mcnton Club. 



HON. WILFRED GARIEPY. B.A., 
K.C. 

Minister of Municipal Affairs of the Pro 
vince of Alberta. 

Conspicuous among the talented men of 
affairs who have attained distinction in public 
as well as private life in Alberta and who 
have been intimately identified with much 
of the great development work that has tak 
en place in recent years is the Hon. Wilfred 
Gariepy, who was last year appointed Minis 
ter of Municipal Affairs of the provincial 
government, and who, as a member of the 
Legislature is the Liberal representative for 
Beaver River. He is the first Catholic to 
hold a port folio west of Winnipeg. In 
private life Mr. Gariepy is the senior partner 
of the legal firm of Gariepy, Madore & Dun- 
lop, with offices in the Gariepy Block, corner 
of Jasper avenue and Howard street. 

Mr. Gariepy was born in Montreal, Que 
bec, on March 14, 1877, and is the son of 
Mr. Joseph Gariepy, who has been so pro 
minently identified with Edmonton s history 
since 1892, and who ranks as one of the 
wealthiest and most influential citizens of the 
province of Alberta. He received his educa- 



144 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



tion at St. Laurent College, at Laval Uni 
versity and McGill University, receiving his 
degrees in the Arts and Law Departments. 
Coming to Alberta in 1893 it was then 
that he began active practice in his profes 
sion as a member of the law firm of Taylor, 
Boyle & Ganepy, with which he continued 
until 1907 when he was associated with Mr. 
Hector L. Landry for a time, and finally in 
1914 established the present partnership. 




Hon. Wilfred Gariepy 

Mr. Gariepy first served in an official 
capacity as alderman of the city of Edmon 
ton from 1907 to 1910. In 1909 he was 
the unsuccessful Liberal candidate for St. 
Albert for the provincial legislature, but in 
1913 he was more successful, and the active 
part he has taken in the law making branch 
of the provincial government is a sufficient 
indication that the people of the Beaver 
River constituency made no mistake in their 
selection of an efficient representative. 

Mr. Gariepy is a director of the Edmon 
ton Children s Aid Society; a member of the 



Edmonton club; of St. Jean Baptiste Society; 
the Knights of Columbus, and aside from 
his prominence in professional and social 
circles is ever to be found in the forefront of 
those who are ever doing their utmost to ad 
vance the cause of city and province and 
spread abroad in the land a knowledge of the 
untold advantages of this Last Great West. 
The firm of Gariepy, Madore & Dunlop 
ranks as one of the leaders of the West, be 
ing solicitors for such concerns as the Franco- 
Canadian Mortgage Company, the Jasper 
Mines, Limited; the Empire Loan Company; 
the London & Lancashire Life & General 
Insurance Company (loan department), Ed 
monton college, and a large number of other 
firms and individuals, including a syndicate 
of French bankers who have made many 
important investments in Edmonton and 
vicinity. 



HENRY W. McKENNEY, M.L.A. 

436 Eighth Street, West, Edmonton. 




To the old time pioneers who braved the 
dangers, the perils and privations in the early 
days of the Northwest, we residents of Al 
berta of today owe a debt of gratitude that 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



145 



can never be fully repaid. In this historical 
reference to the development of the Pro 
vince, it is eminently fitting that more than 
casual mention should be made of Mr. Henry 
W. McKenney, a retired merchant of Ed 
monton, and who represents the constituency 
of Clearwater in the Alberta Legislative As 
sembly. 

Mr. McKenney was born at Amherst- 
burg, Ontario, on February 24, 1 848, the 
son of Augustus and Matilda McKenney. 
He was educated in the Roman Catholic 
separate schools and the public schools of 
Amherstburg as well as at the hands of a 
private tutor, and in 1 866 he struck out for 
the Northwest when this entire region was 
little more than a vast wilderness, and when 
Indians and the American bison were the 
principal denizens of forest and plain, and 
when it was a comparatively rare occurrence 
to encounter a white man. Mr. McKenney 
first passed through Edmonton in 1875, 
when this thriving city was little more than 
a struggling settlement on the banks of the 
Saskatchewan, on an expedition to the Rocky 
Mountains. Some years later in 1883, 
to be more exact, Mr. McKenny returned to 
this neighborhood to take up his home and 
for a considerable number of years was a 
resident of St. Albert. Here he engaged in 
the mercantile business and was also post 
master for a term of years. He also filled 
the offices of Police Magistrate and Chair 
man of the School Board for some years. 
Later he was also appointed License Com 
missioner and was secretary-treasurer of the 
first Agricultural Society formed in the dis 
trict. 

Mr. McKenney has been identified with 
the Liberal party for years, and it was a 
well deserved recognition of his valuable 
services rendered in its behalf when he was 
first elected to the Legislature in 1905 as 
the member for St. Albert. At the fol 
lowing general election he was again returned 
for Pembina. 

He is an honored member of the Catholic 
Mutual Benevolent Association, and was 
president of the organization in Edmonton in 
1905. He is likewise a member of the 
Knights of Columbus and in all Catholic cir 
cles is regarded as one of the representative 
men of the times. 



JEAN LEON COTE, C.E., M.E., D.L. 
S., M.L.A. 

42 Jasper Avenue, West. 




The land surveyor and the civil engineer 
may well be termed the real pioneers of 
every new country, and close upon their heels 
comes the vanguard of civilization. These 
are the men who have established boundary 
lines; whose maps and surveys give to the 
world a knowledge of mountain ranges, of 
river courses and the general contour of a 
country, not to mention the mapping out of 
highways and the building of railroads. And 
furthermore, these are the men whose names 
should be indissolubly linked with the his 
tory of every country. 

One who has figured prominently in much 
of this work in the West and Northwest of 
Canada is Mr. Jean Leon Cote, senior mem 
ber of Cote & Smith, Land Surveyors and 
Engineers, with offices at 42 Jasper avenue, 
West. 



146 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Mr. Cote was born at Les Eboulements, 
Quebec, on May 6, 1887, the son of Cleo- 
phas and Denise Cote, and received his early 
education in the Commercial Academy at 
Montmagny, Quebec, afterwards graduating 
with the degrees of civil and mechanical en 
gineer from Ottawa College. 

Mr. Cote began life as an engineer and 
surveyor with the Department of the In 
terior at Ottawa in 1893, and continued 
these relations in the employ of the Govern 
ment until 1900. The summers of 1893, 
1894 and 1895 he spent as a member of the 
staff on the Alaska Boundary Survey. Mr. 
Cote also did Government survey work in 
the four Western Provinces of the Dominion, 
and is undoubted! v one of the best posted 
engineers thai the West today possesses. 

From 1900 to 1903 he was engaged in 
legal surveying at Dawson, Y.T., and in the 
latter year became a permanent resident of 
Edmonton, although his first visit to this 
community was paid in 1 886. 

Mr Cote first came into prominence in 
political life in 1909, when he was elected 
as the Liberal member for the constituency of 
Athabasca to a seal in the Alberta Legis 
lative Assembly. In this capacity he has 
proven a most valuable member because of 
his familiarity with conditions throughout the 
Province, and his advice has been heartily 
welcomed on numerous occasions. 



ALBERT FREEMAN EWING. B.\, 
K.C., M.L.A. 

Agency Block. 

Throughout all of the Canadian West 
there are few communilies, indeed, which 
offer such splendid advantages for attaining 
success in the general practice of the law as 
Edmonton, and it is no exaggeration to state 
that the membership of the local Bar in 
cludes many capable men who have not only 
attained eminence in their profession, but 
who have rendered very material assistance 
in the general development of the city and 
province. 

Included in this list is Mr. Albert Free 
man Ewing, B.A., K.C., M.L.A., who is 
the senior member of the legal firm of Ewing 
& Harvie, with offices in the Northern 
Agency Block. Inasmuch as Mr. Ewing had 
for years demonstrated his ability as an in 



terpreter of the laws, it was quite fitting that 
he be chosen to assist in the making of the 
provincial laws, and so last year he was 
elected as the Conservative member for Ed 
monton, winning out by a handsome major 
ity in the face of great odds. This speaks 
volumes for the personal popularity of Mr. 
Ewing and for the splendid support he re 
ceived from a host of friends throughout this 
district. In 1909 he had made the race 
unsuccessfully, but this defeat did not dis 
may him in the least, but only led to a more 
determined effort in 1913. 




Albert Freeman Ewing, M.L.A. 

Mr. Ewmg comes originally from Elora, 
Ontario, where he was educated in the pub 
lic and High schools, and later graduated 
from the University of Toronto with the de 
gree of Bachelor of Arts. When he first 
started out in life it was as a school teacher, 
but after one year of this work he took up the 
study of law at Calgary in the office of 
Premier Sifton. In 1902 Mr. Ewing was 
called to the bar of the Northwest Territories, 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



47 



and here in Edmonton he has since been ac 
tively devoting his attention to the law in all 
its branches, forming the partnership with 
Mr. Harvie in 1909. 

As a member of the Legislative Assembly 
Mr. Ewing has displayed the same inherent 
ability as has characterized his work as a 
lawyer, and notwithstanding the fact that 
the Conservatives are in the minority in the 
present government he has proven a most 
valuable member of the provincial parlia 
ment a staunch supporter of every move 
ment and every measure tending to promote 
the welfare of the people and to advance the 
development of this young and growing pro 
vince. 

Mr. Ewmg is an honored member of the 
Edmonton and Country clubs, and in all 
social circles is greatly esteemed for his many 
excellent qualifications as a man and as a 
citizen. 



JOSEPH H. PICARD. 

248 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton. 




A pioneer in the fullest sense of the word, 
and one who has witnessed some wonderful 
transformations in this Northwestern country, 
is Mr. Joseph H. Picard, retired merchant 
and capitalist, of 248 Jasper avenue, Ed 
monton, who came to this country a little 
more than thirty years ago. 

While thirty years is not in itself such a 
wonderfully long period of time, it has been 
sufficient to work wonders in Alberta. Towns 
and cities have sprung up as if by magic. 
Railroad lines now traverse the province in 
all directions, and fields of grain have sup 
planted the native prairie grass. Surely it 
has been an age of progress for this garden 
spot of the Dominion this famous land of 
"Sunshine and Flowers." 

Mr. Picard was born at St. Jean de Ma- 
tha, Joliette county, Quebec, on February 
18, 1857, the son of Joseph Picard and 
Angele Roy. He was educated in the public 
schools of his native Province, and began 
life as a contractor and builder in 1880. 
Four years later Mr. Picard moved to Al 
berta and in 1887 took up his home in Ed 
monton. In 1 889 he engaged in the gen 
eral merchandise business which he disposed 
of in 1907, and since that time has devoted 
his attention mainly to looking after his pri 
vate investments. 

Mr. Picard is a director of the Jasper 
Coal Mine Company, The Edmonton Brew 
ing and Malting Co., Ltd.; Edmonton Port 
land Cement Co., and the Arrow Lake 
Lands Company, Limited. He is also vice- 
president of the Franco Mortgage & Loar< 
Company, Limited and the owner of con 
siderable valuable real estate in Edmonton 
and vicinity. 

In public life Mr. Picard served the city 
as Alderman from 1893 to 1906 except an 
interval of one term and for many years was 
a member of the school board. He was one 
of the active advocates of municipal owner 
ship when that question was finally approved 
by the people in 1 899. 

Mr. Picard is a charter member of the 
Edmonton club; a member of the C.M.B.A., 
and secretary-treasurer of the Alliance Na- 
tionale. His political affiliations are with 
the Liberal party, while all of his life he has 
been a loyal member of the Roman Catholic 
Church. Such men as Mr. Picard have in 
deed been the makers of history in Alberta, 



148 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



and their unswerving confidence in the great 
future of the Province has led to the ac 
complishment of many great undertakings. 



CORNELIUS GALLAGHER. 

408 Eleventh Street. 




In the preservation of the Western spirit 
and its traditions, the inculcating of the les 
sons of those who came before and the im 
parting of the many examples of self-denial, 
tireless energy and the indomitable determin 
ation to win regardless of the odds against 
them have placed the stamp of individuality 
upon the West and given to the nation a 
people as hardy as they are progressive. 

In the East one encounters an individual 
ity that is not real, and when one leaves the 
congested centers of population and draws 
in a breath of the pure, sweet air of the Last 
Great West a wonderful transformation takes 
place. Journeying westward the landscape 
changes as do the customs, and one possesses 
a -feeling of independence quite foreign to 



anything ever experienced in the older coun 
tries. 

As one views this region for the first time, 
memory paints a picture of the descriptions 
that have been written of those early days. 
Here on this very spot the Indian was wont to 
congregate; on yonder prairie the buffalo 
ranged at will. Along these northern trails 
one can picture the fur clad trapper and hun 
ter wending his way. Another shift of the 
scenes and there is brought into view a herd 
of cattle in lieu of the buffalo, and in place 
of ihe hunter there is a man with his hand 
to (he plough the prairie grass has given 
place to immense stretches of golden grain. 

Hut here in Alberta there is but little trace 
ot the old days left. Memories of those 
days si ill exist in the minds of the old timers 
who have survived those strenuous days and 
who are reaping in the present the fruits ot 
their pioneer labors. 

Among those who have witnessed the great 
metamorphosis which has been wrought dur 
ing the past third of a century, there is none 
better known throughout Edmonton and all 
of northern Alberta than Mr. Cornelius Gal 
lagher, who has now practically retired from 
active life and who resides in this city at 
No. 408 Eleventh street. 

Coming here in the early days when the 
Hudson s Hay Company s post was the chiet 
object of interest here, Mr. Gallagher re- 
alized something of the possibilities of the 
future with the result that he set about the 
acquisition of a goodly amount of real estate. 
Down along the Saskatchewan river is a long 
stretch of desirable known as "Gallagher s 
Elats." Cornelius Gallagher was at one 
time the sole owner of all this land and today 
still retains a considerable amount. He if 
also the president of the Hardstone Brick 
Company, Limited, and has many other 
large and profitable investments in industrial 
and financial enterprises that entitle Mr. Gal 
lagher to be classed with the leading men of 
affairs of the West. 

In the more splendid development of Ed 
monton m recent years and in all civic and 
municipal affairs Mr. Gallagher takes a 
deep, personal interest a big-hearted des 
cendant of Old Erin whose friends are legion 
and whose name is indissolubly linked with 
that of Edmonton and Alberta for all time 
to come. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



49 



MR. JAMES GIBBONS. 
1068 Twenty-fifth Street. 





That Edmonton and Alberta have at 
tained the proud place they now occupy has 
been due in large measure to the unremitting, 
zealous labors of that little band of hardy 
pioneers who came here in the early days 
when Edmonton was simply a trading post 
conducted by the Hudson s Bay Company; 
when there was only a handful of white peo 
ple in the entire country. Back in those 
days the Indians comprised the major por 
tion of the population of this region. The 
Buffalo ranged over the prairies and all 
kinds of game abounded in profusion. Civil 
ization had scarcely advanced this far in the 
Northwest, but the intrepid souls who had 
ventured into the comparatively unknown 
wilderness were of the sort who feared not 
the perils of the frontier, and who loved the 
call of the wild. 

One of this little band was none other than 
Mr. James Gibbons, who is now in his 77th 
year, who has retired from active life and 
residing at 1068 Twenty-fifth street. Mr. 
Gibbons was born in Ulster, Ireland, on 
Christmas Day, 1837, and who early in life 
started out to see something of the world on 
ihis side of the Atlantic. In 1 854 he crossed 
the Isthmus of Panama and for a number of 
years worked as a miner along the Pacific 



coast in the United States, and finally in 
1 865 made his way as far as Fort Edmon 
ton. For a time he was engaged in operat 
ing freight and merchandise between Winni 
peg and Edmonton. Still later he took up a 
homestead in what is now known as Laurier 
Park. He was also Indian Agent for the 
Government for several years, and still later 
on engaged in the wholesale liquor business 
in Edmonton. 

When the Old Timers Association was 
formed in 1 894, Mr. Gibbons was its first 
president an honor most worthily bestowed. 

He is indeed one of the few survivors link 
ing the past with the present, and the many 
interesting reminiscences that he is able to 
recall bear witness to the stirring scenes and 
incidents that were a matter of such com 
mon occurrence in those days, and of which 
today have such little conception. 



STANISLAUS LARUE. 

248 Jasper Avenue, East. 




50 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



We who visit Edmonton for the first time 
in this year 1914 and behold stretching in 
every direction a modern city of metropolitan 
aspect, find it difficult to conceive that this is 
a community which has sprung out of a wil 
derness in but little more than a quarter of a 
century. As we view the broad paved 
streets and boulevards, the lofty office build 
ings and magnificent private residences it 
seems scarcely possible that only thirty years 
ago this was simply a trading post for the 
Hudson s Bay Company and a rendezvous 
for hunters, trappers and a few adventurous 
spirits who faced the perils of the frontier 
and paved the way for the oncoming of civil 
ization. 

From those early days the Indian and the 
buffalo have given way to the white man and 
the automobile, while the transcontinental 
railway lines have brought the East within 
easy communication. I ruly the Last Great 
West is coming into its own, and the early 
day pioneers who survive those stirring time. : 
back in the early 80 s have only pictures in 
their memories to remind them of the clays 
that have gone never to return. 

Edmonton of today certainly owes a debt 
of gratitude to those intrepid souls who made 
the present development possible, and among 
the list of those who are deserving of more 
than casual mention in any historical connec 
tion is Mr. Stanislas Larue, member of thai 
well known real estate firm of Larue 5: Pic 
ard, with offices at 248 Jasper avenue, East. 

It was back in 1882 that Mr. Larue came 
from the E^ast to Winnipeg, which was then 
only a town of about 15,000 population, 
and the following year he came on to Ed 
monton, where the Hudson s Bay Company 
had established a post and where there was 
a little handful of white men gathered 
freighters and trappers who realized some 
thing of the possibilities of this great west 
ern country which was destined to turn into 
the greatest gram producing region the world 
has ever known. 

Among other things, Mr. Larue was em 
ployed in the making of surveys of Alberta 
and in this occupation gained a comprehen 
sive knowledge of the country which has since 
stood him in good stead in the making of in 
vestments. For a time he was engaged in 
the work about St. Albert and Lake Waba- 
mun, and when the rebellion broke out Mr. 
Larue tendered his services as a scout and 



did valiant duty along the trail between Ed 
monton and Calgary. 

In 1 889 he formed the partnership with 
Mr. J. H. Picard and Larue & Picard was 
the firm name under which they conducted a 
mercantile business until 1907. Mr. Larue 
was the first man to erect a residence on 
Kinistino avenue and in 1 890 the firm erect 
ed the block on Jasper avenue, East, where 
the present offices are located. Both of these 
pioneers have practically retired from active 
business life and now devote the major por 
tion of their time and attention to their private 
investments which include a goodly portion 
of some of the most valuable realty in all of 
Edmonton. 



HENRI MILTON MARTIN 

Real Estate and Financial Broker Telger 
Building, Edmonton. 




In this general resume of the able men of 
affairs who have taken such an active part in 
the development of Alberta and the great 
Northwest country, it is with pleasure we 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



151 



refer to the splendid record of achievements 
made by Mr. Henri Milton Martin, real 
estate, insurance and financial agent of Ed 
monton. Although Mr. Martin only estab 
lished himself in the present business in Ed 
monton in 1 906, he has previously been ac 
tively identified with this western country 
for years and is thoroughly familiar with the 
region as a whole. 

Although born at Clintonville, N.Y., on 
June 6, 1872, Mr. Martin received his 
education in Canada, where he has spent 
the greater portion of his life. He was a 
student at Plateau Academy, Montreal, as 
well as at the College de Joliette, and when 
he started out on his career it was as a 
book-keeper, clerk and accountant at Van 
couver, B.C., in 1887. In 1890 he was 
assistant paymaster with Hugh Keeper, a 
contractor at Nelson and from 1891 to 1893 
he was accountant and manager at New 
Westminster for Lowenberg-Harns & Com 
pany. The succeeding four years Mr. Mar 
tin spent in mining in the Kootenay, and in 
1 898 he entered the government service in 
the Yukon. The next year he filled the 
position of mining recorder. In 1900 he 
was Assistant Crown Timber and Land 
Agent at Fort Selkirk, Y.T., and from 1902 
to 1906 filled the post of Crown Timber 
and Land Agent for all of the Yukon Ter 
ritory with Headquarters in Dawson. 

Since coming to Edmonton and establish 
ing his present business enterprise, Mr. Mar 
tin served as vice-president of the Edmonton 
Board of Trade in 1911 and as president of 
the Greater Edmonton Board of Trade in 
1912. He was also chosen as a trustee of 
the Separate School Board and is a director 
of and stock holder in various Edmonton 
industrial enterprises established in recent 
years. 

He was appointed attorney in fact by His 
Grace the Archbishop in 1 908 and given 
charge of the material interests of the diocese 
of St. Albert and he is now in charge of all 
financial affairs of the archdiocese of Edmon 
ton. 

Mr. Martin is a member of the Edmon 
ton, Edmonton Country, Columbian and 
Capital City Curling clubs as well as of the 
Knights of Columbus. His political affilia 
tions are with the Liberal party, and in every 
forward movement tending to advance the 
welfare of the people of the province, Mr. 



Martin has always signified his willingness 
to lend a helping hand. 



ROBERT MCDONALD. 

Proprietor Hotel Selkirk and Yale Hotel, 
Edmonton. 




Among the progressive men of affairs who 
have taken an active, personal interest in the 
development of Alberta and who has es 
pecially been an important factor in the up 
building and improvement of the City of 
Edmonton, is Mr. Robert McDonald, pro 
prietor of two of the best known hotels in 
the entire Province the Yale Hotel, on Jas 
per avenue, and the Hotel Selkirk, formerly 
the Windsor, at the corner of First street and 
Jasper avenue. 

Mr. McDonald, who ranks as one of the 
most popular hotel men of the Canadian 
West, has spent the greater portion of his 
life in this line of business, and ever since 
1902 has been one of Edmonton s most loyal 
and sanguine supporters. 

It was a little more than four years ago 
that Mr. McDonald acquired ownership of 



152 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



the Yale Hotel, which he preceded to oper 
ate on the European plan, the rates ranging 
from $1 to $1.50 per day. 1 his was some 
thing of an innovation for Edmonton and 
Mr. McDonald made good from the begin 
ning. I he Yale has 50 guest rooms, a 
spacious cafe and one of the best appointed 
bars in the West. 1 he house is furnished 
throughout in modern style and provides its 
guests with every convenience that can be 
desired. 

Having thus made good with his first ven 
ture it was the logical sequence for Mr. Mc 
Donald to expand his interests in keeping 
with the general growth of the community, 
and so last year when the opportunity came 
for him to acquire possession of the old and 
well known Windsor Hotel, he lost no time 
in embracing it. 

Under his direction the building occupied 
by the Windsor was completely overhauled 
and remodeled, and greatly enlarged and im 
proved throughout, while the name, Hotel 
Selkirk, was chosen for the transformed 
house. This hostlery now contains a total 
of 100 modernly furnished guest rooms, 26 
with private baths, a bar of ample propor 
tions, a magnificent grill and cafe, and like 
the ^ ale is conducted strictly on the Euro 
pean plan, the rates ranging from $1.50 
to $2.50 per day. Both of these hotels 
cater to the very best class of trade and are 
specially favorites among commercial travel 
ers and tourists. Mr. McDonald has two 
very capable staffs of assistants for these 
hotels and the utmost courtesy and consider 
ation is shown to every guest. He spends 
the major portion of his time between the two 
places giving his personal direction to the 
management and to a general supervision of 
the many details which enter into the con 
duct of hotels of this magnitude. 



varied field for the activities of the individual 
who has thoroughly prepared himself for the 
law. 



HYNDMAN & HYNDMAN. 

Barristers and Solicitors Third Floor Royal 
Bank Building. 

In the general practice of the legal pro 
fession there is probably not another com- 
munily in all of Canada offering such ex 
ceptional advantages as Edmonton. Not 
only is this the capital city of Alberta, but 
its growing importance in a commercial and 
industrial way has opened up a broad and 




J. D. HYNDMAN. 

To illustrate the truth of this statement it 
is only necessary to refer to the splendid pro 
gress which has been made by Hyndman & 
Hyndman, a successful firm of barristers and 
solicitors with offices occupying the entire 
third floor of the Royal Bank Building. The 
senior member of this firm, Mr. James D. 
Hyndman, although but forty years of age, 
ranks as a veteran in point of experience. 
Mr. Hyndman was born at Charlottetown, 
P.E.I., on July 29, 1874, and received his 
education at the Prince of Wales College, 
at Charlottetown. He then took up the 
study of law and when he responded to the 
call of the West in 1899 it was to engage 
in active practice as a member of the firm 
of Macdonald & Hyndman, at Portage la 
Prairie. Four years later Mr. Hyndman 
came to Edmonton, and for the next two 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



153 



years was identified with the firm of Ken 
nedy & Hyndman. In 1905 he formed the 
present partnership with Mr. H. H. Hynd 
man, and so rapidly did their business de 
velop that last year Messrs. Milner and 
Matheson, two capable representatives of 
the younger generation of Edmonton bar 
risters were taken into the firm. 

Mr. J. D. Hyndman, aside from his law- 
business, is vice-president of the Northwest 
Mortgage Corporation, Limited; director of 
the Dawson Coal Company and of the Ed 
monton Mortgage Corporation. He served 
as a member of the Board of Aldermen of 
the city in 1910-1911 and also as a member 
of the Hospital Board in 1 9 1 0. In 1908 
Mr. Hyndman was the unsuccessful Con 
servative candidate against Frank Oliver for 
a seat in the Dominion Parliament, but the 
strong fight put up by Mr. Hyndman marked 
him as a man worthy of political preference 
and in the 1913 provincial campaign he was 
selected as a candidate against the Hon. 
J. R. Boyle for the Sturgeon constituency. 
Although again unsuccessful, Mr. Hynd- 
man s spirit is undaunted, and it is altogether 
likely that the future has in store for him 
great political honors. He is a born fighter 
and defeat does not discourage him. 



E. S. McQUAID, B.A., LL.B. 

Barrister and Solicitor Gariepy Block, 

Edmonton. 

While the upbuilding of Edmonton and 
the general development of the province of 
Alberta has in large measure been the result 
of the patient, untiring efforts of the early 
day pioneers, we should not lose sight of the 
part that has been played by the younger 
generation in recent years and of the in 
domitable energy and pluck which has won 
for them the respect and admiration of the 
older heads. 

In this connection we know of no better 
example to cite than in the case of Mr. Ed 
ward S. McQuaid, barrister and solicitor, 
whose offices are in the Gariepy Block. 
This capable and talented young lawyer 
made his debut in Edmonton in 1 908. Here 
he hung out his shingle, and with only a 
limited amount of capital at his command 
started in on his career. He came at a most 
opportune time, at a time when Edmonton 
was just beginning to come into her own, 
and it was not long before Mr. McQuaid had 



built up considerable of a general practice. 
But all the time he was practicing law he 
was keeping his eyes open for profitable fin 
ancial investments, with the result that he 
soon began to acquire considerable valuable 
real estate. Following this he turned his at 
tention to finance as well as the law, and 
now devotes his spare time to making loans 
and various kinds of financial investments 
for his many clients who have come to repose 
perfect confidence in his judgment and ability. 




Mr. McQuaid was born in Elgin, Albert 
county, N.B., on August 25, 1881. In 
turn he was educated at the Provincial Nor 
mal School, at Fredericton, N.B., at Mount 
Allison University and at Harvard and Man 
itoba Universities, receiving degrees in Arts 
and Law. This thorough preparation well 
prepared him for his chosen profession and 
throughout the Canadian West it would be 
difficult to find another of his age who has 
won so many laurels. He is a member of 
the Canadian and Edmonton clubs, and a 
prominent character m all social as well as 
professional circles. 



154 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



SKETCHES 



OF INDUSTRIAL CONCERNS IDENTIFIED WITH THE 
PROGRESS OF CENTRAL ALBERTA 



BLOWEY-HENRY COMPANY. 

Furniture and Furnishings 292-300 Jasper 
Avenue, Fasl, Edmonton, 




Coincident with the general growth and 
development of Edmonton in recent years 
has been the splendid progress made by 
many of the mercantile firms, for, as a trade 
center in both a wholesale and retail way, 
this city already ranks as a leader in Alberta 
and one of the most important in all of the 
Canadian West. 

A typical example of this is to be found 
in the advancement which has been made by 
the Blowey-Henry Company, dealers in fur 
niture and furnishings, with finely appointed 
show rooms at 292 to 300 Jasper avenue, 
East. Eight years ago this progressive firm 
began business in a modest way in a little 
two-storey frame building, while the working 
members of the staff could be counted on the 



fingers of one hand. Today the company 
occupies a modern four-storey structure hav 
ing more than 100,000 square feet of floor 
space available for the storage and display 
of its immense stock of everything coming 
under the general heads of furniture and 
furnishings. Not only does the Blowey- 
Henry Company do a large retail business 
in supplying the wants of the people of Ed 
monton and vicinity, but its wholesale trade 
has developed accordingly, and it regularly 
supplies dealers in all the principal com 
munities throughout the northern portion of 
the province. 

1 he stock embraces the ordinary lines of 
moderate price which have a place in the 
modest cottage as well as the costly, ex 
clusive creations for the palatial mansion. 
One floor alone is devoted to draperies and 
floor coverings and the array of carpets is 
representative of everything from a medium 
priced Tapestry to the high-grade Wiltons 
and Axmmsters. 

The success the firm has attained is due 
in large measure to the superior quality of 
goods handled and to the wide experience in 
the furniture business possessed by the indi 
vidual members of the company. Then, too, 
there has been the loyal support of the em 
ployees, who have always sought to show 
their appreciation of good treatment by the 
personal interest they have taken in the busi 
ness and the courteous treatment shown all 
customers. 



W. B. POUCHER. 

The Builders Material Man Wholesale 

and Retail 635 Fifth Street, 

Edmonton. 

Truly one of the marvels of the age has 
been the wonderful advancement made by 
the province of Alberta during the past de- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



cade. Not only has splendid progress been 
made m the development of the natural re 
sources of all this vast region, but in all 
other lines as well, and the manner in which 
the flourishing towns and cities have grown 
can only be termed as phenomenal. Best 
of all, this growth has been a healthy one. 
It has not been due to any so-called "boom" 
or any fictitious basis of values, but because 
of the real worth of this country and the 
substantial backing which means a long con 
tinuance of the present prosperous condi 
tions. 

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in 
the upbuilding of the city of Edmonton 
a community which now boasts of a popula 
tion of approximately 70,000 people. Ac 
companying this wonderful expansion in 
recent years has been a corresponding ac 
tivity in building operations, and the many 
large and substantial structures that have 
been erected reflect the fullest measure of 
confidence that investors possess in the sta 
bility of city and province. 

Closely identified with the building in 
terests of Edmonton are the firms and in 
dividuals who are devoting their attention 
to the supplying of contractors and builders 
with the requisite materials for such work, 
and an acknowledged leader in this con 
nection is Mr. W. B. Poucher, whose office, 
yards and ware rooms are at 635 Fifth street, 
with a South side branch at the corner of 
First street, West and Fourth avenue. South. 

Mr. Poucher is a wholesale and retail 
dealer in practically everything coming under 
the general head of building supplies. In 
fact, so well established is Mr. Poucher that 
the sobriquet of "The Builders Material 
Man," is a most unique and appropriate ap 
pellation, and one that he has well earned 
in giving the general public such a superior 
service. 

Mr. Poucher made his establishment in 
Edmonton in 1902, and during the period 
which has since intervened his well directed 
efforts have kept steady pace with the city s 
general growth. He has been a leading 
factor in the promotion of building of every 
description, and some idea of the scale on 
which he operates may be gained from the 
statement that he gives employment to a staff 
of 22 workmen and assistants and utilizes a 
force of 14 teams in making deliveries to 
all required points. His stock is a most 



comprehensive one, including sand, lime, 
brick, cement, sewer and drain pipe, building 
paper, roofing materials, hardwall plaster, 
etc., and these are provided in quantities to 
suit the customer, no matter whether it be a 
car lost or less. 

Mr. Poucher is a loyal, enthusiastic sup 
porter of Edmonton interests, and a splendid 
example of the type of men who are doing 
so much to promote the welfare of all this 
section of the Last Great West. 



CANADA PERMANENT MORT 
GAGE CORPORATION. 

1 38 McDougall Avenue, Edmonton. 

Incorporated in 1855, the Canada Per 
manent Mortgage Corporation has not only 
enjoyed a long and prosperous career, but 
ranks today as one of the leading financial 
institutions of the Dominion. The company s 
head office is at Toronto, while large and 
important branches are maintained at Ed 
monton, Regina, St. John, N.B., Vancouver 
,and Winnipeg. It has a paid up capital of 
$6,000,000; a reserve fund of $4,250,000 
and total assets amounting to $31,826,618. 
37 a showing which indicates something of 
the big scale on which the Canada Perma 
nent Mortgage Corporation operates through 
out all parts of Canada. 

This old established concern is purely an 
investment company; not a speculative enter 
prise, and its solidity is largely due to the 
fact that ninety per cent of its assets is in 
the form of mortgages on real estate. 

The Edmonton branch at 1 38 McDougall 
avenue is one of the most prosperous of all, 
and for the past eight years the manager has 
been Mr. W. T. Creighton, a gentleman 
who has been identified with the company for 
the past twenty-eight years, and who is wide 
ly known and most highly esteemed in all 
business and financial circles of the West. 



E. N. MOVER COMPANY, LIMITED 

Canada s School Furnishers McKenny 

Building, No. 665, 104th Street, 

Edmonton. 

The advancement which has been made in 
the development of the province of Alberta 
within the past decade, and particularly in 



56 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



the growing towns and cities, is especially 
apparent in Edmonton a community whose 
population is now close to the 70,000 mark 
and whose building operations average some 
thing over $1,000,000 per month. Whole 
sale merchants and manufacturers in general 
are beginning to realize more and more the 
advantages to be derived by the establish 
ment of branches here, for not only is the 
local business a matter of increasing impor 
tance, bul the trade throughout the adjoin 
ing territory tributary to Edmonton is rapidly 
attaining large proportions. 

A well known Canadian Concern which 
has appreciated the value of this western 
country is the E. N. Moyer Company, Lim 
ited, manufacturers, publishers and importers, 
and which ranks as the premier hrm of the 
Dominion in supplying schools, churches and 
other institutions with furniture and other 
supplies. 

I his company made its beginning in 1 o- 
ronto in 1884, and its thirty years of life 
have been most prosperous ones. 1 oday it 
has branches in Winnipeg and Edmonton, 
the latter having been opened in 1909 and 
the scope of its operations embraces practic 
ally all of the Dominion. Here in the West 
the E. N. Moyer Company, Limited, has 
supplied such well known institutions as the 
Edmonton Jesuit College, St. John s Col 
lege, St. Boniface College, Calgary Separate 
Schools, Edmonton Separate Schools, Ed 
monton Public Schools, as well as those at 
Red Deer, I rochu, Lethbridge, Camrose 
and other points. 

Some of the lines handled are the New 
Empire desks. Harvard desks, Moulthrop 
chairs, Teachers desks, Steel desks, New 
Empire Maps and Globes, Hyloplate black 
board and Mover s Clean Air System of 
heating and ventilating. 

The company s facilities for supplying or 
ders of every description and in any quantity, 
great or small, are unsurpassed, while the 
superior quality of its wares makes the Moyer 
goods standard in every locality. 



is especially apparent in such thriving com 
munities as Edmonton a city whose sub 
stantial and permanent growth has made the 
whole world sit up and take notice. 1 hrough- 
out the down town section stately and im 
posing office buildings have sprung up as if 
by magic, and in the residential districts 
luxurious homes add greatly to the general 
appearance of this City Beautiful. 

A contributing factor to the splendid up 
building of the city in recent years has been 
the firm of Schwarz Brothers, importers and 
contractors for tiling, tiles and marble for 
all uses, and whose office and display rooms 
are at 551 Fourth street. I his enterprising 
firm comprises Messrs. E. R. Schwarz and 
A. E. Schwarz, who formed the partnership 
in I 9 1 0, and who have more than made good 
with their venture in this western country. 
1 hey carry in stock and take orders for 
everything in the shape of geometrical, en 
caustic and plain tile; art mosaic and ceramic 
mosaic floors in various arrangements and 
colors for use in entrance halls, porticoes, 
lobbies, kitchens, conservatories, churches, 
etc. ; enamel tile, dull glazed faience, matt 
glazes, terra vitrea, mouldings, skirting, white 
gla/ed tile for dadoes, fire-places, hearths, 
bath rooms, kitchens, sink backs, stairways, 
store fronts, signs and the like. They also 
stock with grates and fire-place furniture and 
marble for all purposes, and have every 
facility for supplying of special and original 
designs to suit any particular or exacting 
need. 

I he Messrs. Schwarz operate with a force 
of 20 competent and expert tile workers and 
examples of their proficiency in this form of 
decoration are to be found in many of the 
better class of buildings that have been erect 
ed in recent years. Altogether the firm per 
forms a most useful service to the general 
public and certainly merits the support of 
all in its efforts which are of such value 
in enhancing the beauty of interior construc 
tion. 



SCHWARTZ BROTHERS. 

Tiles, Mantels and Grates 551 Fourth 
Street, Edmonton. 

While the province of Alberta has made 
a most astounding record in all forms of de 
velopment work during the past decade, this 



JOHNSTON & BOON, LIMITED. 

Wholesale Tobacconists and Confectioners. 

Kelly Block, Jasper Avenue and Fifth 

Street, Edmonton. 

That Edmonton is rapidly developing in 
to a wholesale center of growing importance 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



157 



is evidenced by the splendid advancement 
made by such progressive concerns as John 
ston & Boon, Limited, wholesale tobaccon 
ists and confectioners, with offices and stock 
rooms in the Kelly Block, at the corner of 
Fifth street and Jasper avenue. 

This successful company had its origin in 
Fort William, Ontario, something over seven 
years ago, being founded by Messrs. R. C. 
Johnston and C. W. Boon. Two years after 
it started the firm broadened its scope of 
operations by opening a branch at Sault Ste 
Marie, under the management of Mr. J. J. 
McCormack, who had previously been in the 
retail cigar and tobacco trade there for ten 
years. 

About eighteen months ago the business 
was incorporated as a limited company with 
head office at Fort William in charge of 
Mr. R. C. Johnston. Since that time a 
second branch has been opened, viz., the 
one here in Edmonton, which is under the 
supervision of Mr. C. W. Boon. 

The officers and directors of the company 
include Mr. R. C. Johnston, president; Mr. 
C. W. Boon, secretary; William Buchta, 
Fort William; J. J. McCormack, Sault Ste 
Marie and J. H. Duff, Fort William. 

The stock carried in Edmonton is repres 
entative of that at the other houses, em 
bracing a fine selection of imported and 
domestic, cigars, cigarettes, tobaccos, pipes, 
smokers supplies and choice confectionery. 
The line of pipes and smokers sundries can 
not be surpassed and dealers who are am 
bitious to fill their shelves with seasonable 
goods in these and the other lines will make 
no mistake by extending their patronage to 
Johnston & Boon, Limited. 

From this western house the firm covers 
practically all of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 
and the big stock carried in Edmonton is 
sufficient to meet all demands promptly and 
in an eminently satisfactory manner. No 
matter whether you call in person or send 
the order by mail it will receive the same 
careful and considerate attention, and as to 
the quality there is never any question. This 
is the asset on which the company has built 
up such an excellent reputation throughout 
all of Western Canada. 



ALEXANDER-HILPERT FUR COM 
PANY, LIMITED. 

MacLean Block, 609 Jasper Avenue, West. 
Edmonton. 

In this far northern country where the 
human framework demands adequate pro 
tection from the chilly blasts of winter, there 
is nothing more essential than good fur gar 
ments such, for example, as the high class 
lines manufactured and sold by the Alexan- 
der-Hilpert Fur Company, Limited, whose 
work and sales rooms are so centrally located 
at 609 Jasper avenue, West. 

This company of genuine fur specialists 
made its establishment in this city in 1910, 
and the splendid success that has crowned 
its efforts is the result of long experience on 
the part of the management in the buying and 
manufacturing of furs in such big centers as 
Montreal, Toronto, Vienna and Paris. 

In addition to the manufacture of a gen 
eral line of fur garments for men and women, 
the company also buys choice raw furs and 
skins and has every facility for the remodeling 
and renovating of old furs. 

The president and manager is Mr. N. D. 
J. Alexander, a successful and enterprising 
business man of the highest standing in all 
circles. 



WAINWRIGHT & JACKSON. 

Funeral Directors 30 Second Avenue, 
S.W. Edmonton, South. 

The wonderful advancement that has been 
made in all the arts and sciences during the 
past quarter of a century is nowhere more in 
evidence than in the improved, scientinc 
methods employed by the funeral directors 
of the present day and generation. Not only 
has the art of embalm/rig come inio general 
use by the members of this profession, but 
other approved practices as well, and the 
visits of the Grim Reaper have been shorn 
of much of their horror by the careful and 
painstaking manner in which the Twentieth 
Century funeral director prepares a body for 
burial and conducts the funeral ceremonies. 

An Edmonton firm which has attained a 
most enviable position in the estimation of 
the general public during the eighteen years 
it has been engaged in the undertakin busi- 



58 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



ness is Wainwright & Jackson, whose finely 
appointed establishment is in Edmonton 
South, at No. 30 Second avenue, S. W. 
The individual members of this partnership 
are Messrs. Sam Wainwright and R. O. 
Jackson two of the city s most capable and 
successful men of affairs. In connection with 
the general undertaking business, the firm 
also operates a full livery, cab and hack ser 
vice, and its modern, up-to-date equipment 
is unsurpassed by any similar company in 
all of Alberta. The firm is prepared to 
answer all calls for its services at any hour 
of the day or night, having a competent staff 
of assistants and drivers who are noted for 
their courtesy and infinite attention to all the 
little details which are so essential. It also 
has ready for instant use at all times a well 
equipped, heated ambulance which affords 
comfortable transportation for the sick or in 
jured in the very coldest weather. 

Messrs. Wainwright and Jackson are in 
deed open to congratulation on having given 
the people of Edmonton an enterprise of such 
real merit and such practical utility to the 
community at large. 



FARNEY TRUCK COMPANY. 

Office, Storage and Garage 554 First 
Street, Edmonton. 

Among the energetic individuals who have 
been quick to take advantage of the op 
portunities for success offered by the thriving 
city of Edmonton is Mr. D. V. Farney, who 
is the active head and owner of the Farney 
Truck Company and the City Messenger Ex 
press Company, two allied enterprises with 
headquarters at No. 554 First street. 

It was only a little more than four years 
ago that Mr. Farney invested his limited 
amount of capital in a single team and 
started the work of moving furniture, trans- 
fering baggage, delivering parcels and hauling 
anything and everything that came along. 
From that modest beginning the above com 
panies have made wonderful development. 
Foday the Farney Truck Company operates 
with seventeen teams and three motor trucks 
and twenty-eight employees are on the pay 
roll. 

Of course all of these men and all of the 
equipment were not added at one time. As 
the business grew Mr. Farney increased his 



facilities in accordance with the demands put 
upon him, and so he will continue adding 
to his teams and motor trucks in keeping with 
the general growth of Edmonton. 

A storage department is now one of the 
useful adjuncts of the Farney Truck Com 
pany s business, and the big warehouses that 
are utilized for this purpose insure the safe 
keeping of everything in the line of furniture 
and household goods. The parcel delivery 
service, too, is something that local merchants 
have been quick to take advantage of, and 
the speedy, careful messengers employed by 
the company are a guarantee of the maximum 
amount of satisfaction to the merchant as 
well as to the customer. 

Mr. Farney also owns and operates his 
own carriage shop and blacksmithing depart 
ment. He is the owner of the McGeorge 
C afe and the numerous investments he has 
made in Edmonton real estate is convincing 
proof of his confidence in Edmonton and 
of the fact that he is one of the city s most 
loyal and faithful supporters. 



THE ALBERTA GRANITE, MAR 
BLE & STONE COMPANY. 

Corner Clark and First Streets. Edmonton, 

Closely identified with the building interests 
and the other industrial enterprises of Ed 
monton is the Alberta Granite, Marble & 
Stone Company, whose office and works are 
so conveniently located at the corner of 
Clark and First streets. 

This company, which was formed nine 
years ago, is under the personal management 
of Mr. R. T. Dykes, who has had a 
thorough, practical experience in this field 
of endeavor and who has made a splendid 
success of the undertaking. 

The Alberta Granite, Marble & Stone 
Company devotes its attention to the produc 
tion of high-grade marble and granite monu 
ments, tomb stones, head stones, etc., to 
gether with marble for interior or exterior 
use in buildings, curbing, marble counters, 
and operates with a goodly number of work 
ers who are experts in the artistic execution 
of simple or ornate designs. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



159 



THE EDMONTON BREWING & 

MALTING COMPANY, 

LIMITED. 

Office and Brewery, Twenty-First Street. 
Edmonton. 

Ainong the industrial enterprises that have 
steadily kept pace with the general growth 
and development of Edmonton and the pro 
vince of Alberta is the Edmonton Brewing 
&: Malting Company, Limited, whose mag 
nificent new plant on I wenty-First street rep 
resents the very last word in brewery con 
struction. 



The huge storage tanks are all of steel with 
glass enameled interiors, and the sanitary 
arrangement of the entire plant is something 
that could not well be improved upon. 

In the operation of the various departments 
of the brewery and in the wholesale distribu 
tion of the output throughout Edmonton and 
the surrounding territory in Alberta and the 
adjoining provinces of Saskatchewan and 
British Columbia, a force of from thirty- 
five to forty employees is required all men 
of thorough experience in the brewing in 
dustry. Inasmuch as the new plant is in 
close proximity to the lines of the C.N.R. 




This progressive company was originally 
incorporated in 1903, and the following 
year began the manufacture of a general 
line of malt products which have become 
famous throughout the western country ; such 
well known and reliable brands as the cele 
brated "Yellowhead" beer; the "Edmonton 
Family Lager" and "Imperial Stout." 

The advancement made in the ten years 
of the company s existence are best illustrated 
in the handsome new brewery which was 
completed ready for occupancy but a few 
months ago. This is a substantial, five-story 
structure, of brick and reinforced concrete 
construction, and embodying all the ideal 
features which modern methods have brought 
into use in play in this line of manufacture. 



and the G.T.P., there is every facility for 
the receipt of raw materials as well as the 
shipment of the manufactured products. 

All of the barley utilized by the Edmon 
ton Brewing & Malting Company, Limited, 
comes from the farming district in the ter 
ritory surrounding Edmonton, and in thus af 
fording a market for this cereal is rendering 
valuable aid to the agricultural community. 

The plant has a capacity for the making 
of 75,000 barrels of beer per year, this in 
cluding the various brands above mentioned. 
The company, being capitalized for $750,- 
000, has ample funds at its command and is 
fully prepared to conduct the business in a 
most successful manner. 



60 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



The officers of the company are Mr. D. 
R. Ker, president, who resides in Victoria, 
B.C., and Messrs. W. H. Sheppard and 
W. E. Lines, of Edmonton, are the manag 
ing directors. 



ALBERTA SCHOOL SUPPLY COM 
PANY. 

10125 104th Street, Edmonton. 

An Edmonton firm that is carrying on a 
most commendable work in the wholesale 
handling of school supplies and many other 
things pertaining to educational matters is 
the Alberta School Supply Company, whose 
office and display rooms are at No. 10125 
104th street. 

Among the leading specialties in school 
equipment handled by this progressive firm 
are the "Preston Ball-Beanng Desks," and 
"Acme Plate" Blackboard, which have been 
adopted by many of the leading educational 
institutions of the Provine. The company is 
also agent for the "Hero" ventilating room 
heaters and the "Parkyte" sanitary closets 
the very best devices of the kind on the 
market. 

The company also has every facility for 
the handling of debentures, having, during 
the past year successfully disposed of over 
$3,000,000 worth of Alberta school bonds. 
It likewise furnishes bonds for school treas 
urers, rural municipalities, etc., and makes 
a specialty of supplying insurance for school 
buildings. 

Mr. A. F. Carrothers is the active man 
ager of the business, and associated with him 
in the conduct of the same is Mr. A. L. 
Gillies. 



EDMONTON CITY DAIRY, 
LIMITED. 

Cameron Street, Edmonton. 

Established in 1906, the Edmonton City 
Dairy, Limited, is a local enterprise which 
has made wonderful advancement and which 
stands today the acknowledged leader in the 
handling of dairy products in Alberta or 
the Canadian West. Not only has it become 
a most important factor in supplying milk, 
cream, butter, ice cream, eggs, etc., to the 



people of this community, but has accom 
plished a world of good in providing a mar 
ket for the farmers who have turned then- 
attention to dairying as a profitable adjunct 
to their general farming. 

When the Edmonton City Dairy, Limited, 
was first incorporated in 1909, it was with 
a capital stock of $50,000. The next year 
it was re-capitalized for $100,000. In 
1912 it was increased to $250,000, and last 
year it was raised to an even half million 
dollars. That is a graphic illustration of the 
healthy, steady growth which has charac 
terized all of the company s operations. 

Those who have been actively identified 
with the operation of this growing concern 
are Mr. W. W. Prevey, managing director, 
H. W. Johnston, an active director, and 
Mr. George Hazlett, secretary, while the 
board of directors include such prominent 
men of the community as D. W. Warner, 
G. A. Wilkinson, J. A. Davis, E. Gee, J. 
H. Morris and J. W. McKernan. All are 
staunch men of affairs and active in the de 
velopment of the city and province. 

A few interesting figures are to be gleaned 
from a statement of what the Edmonton 
Dairy Company, Limited, has been able to 
accomplish during the past eight years, and 
of the really big scale on which it operates. 

In 1909 the company manufactured 74,- 
000 pounds of butter. Last year it reached 
the handsome total of 1,708,203 pounds. 
In 1 9 1 2 the milk department sold 1 ,822,9 1 6 
quarts, and last year this was increased to 
2,875,764 quarts. It sold 36,782 gallons 
of ice cream in 1912, and in 1913 the 
figures are placed at 61,724 gallons. In 
1912 the firm handled 173,037 dozen eggs, 
while last year a total of 420,850 were dis 
posed of to its many customers. Last year 
272,370 quarts of cream were sold a gain 
of more than 125,000 quarts over the pre 
ceding twelve months. All told, the total 
turn-over for 1912 amounted to $674,784, 
and for 1913 it was $1,130,367. 

Such figures are indicative of the splendid 
management on the part of Mr. Prevey, and 
of the loyal support that has been given by 
the staff of approximately 200 employees. 
For 1914, judging by the business handled 
during the first six months, it is quite evident 
that a new high record will have been es 
tablished. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



61 



The importance of this industry as re 
lates to the development of the dairy interests 
in Alberta, and particularly in the Edmon 
ton district, is evidenced by the fact that the 
company receives shipments of milk and 
cream from approximately 4,000 farmers. 

It goes without saying that the men be 
hind this company have the most implicit 
confidence in the continued growth and ex 
pansion of Edmonton and the Province of 
Alberta, and that their future operations will 
be continued on the same magnificent scale 
to meet existing conditions. 



PHOENIX TAXI & AUTO COM 
PANY, LIMITED. 

630 Second Street. Edmonton. 

That the people of Edmonton are keenly 
alive to the progress of modern times and 
are ever imbued with the desire to take ad 
vantage of improved conditions and advanced 
ideas is manifest in the kindly spirit in which 
the advent of the taxicab has been received 
in recent years. People coming from the 
larger cities of the East are agreeably sur 
prised to find that rapid transit by motor 
driven vehicles has obtained such a foothold 
here, but that is only one of the many sur 
prises which Edmonton and the Province of 
Alberta have in store for them. 

In this connection it is interesting to note 
the phenomenal progress which has been 
made by the Phoenix Taxi & Auto Com 
pany, Limited, which made its beginning in 
this city in September, 1913. 

This ably managed concern, which mam- 
tains its garage and office at No. 630 Sec 
ond street and head office 14 Jasper, West, 
entered the field with but two cars, but the 
splendid service that was given from the very 
beginning spelled success, and now, within 
less than one year s time, the company has 
in constant use four taxi cabs and four tour 
ing cars, the latter being six-cylinder, 1914 
models of the famous Hudson make. In ad 
dition to the prompt service, day or night, 
the firm lays particular stress upon keeping 
all of the cars and taxis in prime condition, 
and the spick and span appearance of the 
vehicles naturally appeals to patrons with 
considerable force. 



The manager of the Phoenix Taxi & Auto 
Company is Mr. K. J. Tailyour, an ener 
getic, ambitious Irishman who came out to 
this western country in 1 902 and who is 
more than making good with his well direct 
ed efforts. The secretary-treasurer of the 
company is Mr. W. J. Butchart, who comes 
originally from Toronto, and who has spent 
some three years in Alberta. Both are men 
of ripe experience in everything pertaining 
to the auto business, and their careful at 
tention to details can only result in a con 
tinued expansion of their service and addi 
tions to their equipment to meet the ever 
increasing demands from Edmonton people. 



STRATHCONA BREWING & MAL 
TING COMPANY, LIMITED. 

10542 Saskatchewan Drive. Edmonton, 
South. 

Among the industrial enterprises of Ed 
monton that have made phenomenal progress 
during the past few years is the Strathcona 
Brewing & Malting Company, Limited, 
brewers and bottlers of export lager and por 
ter, aerated and distilled waters, with offices 
and finely equipped plant at No. 10542 
Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton, South. 

This enterprising company as it exists to 
day, was formed in 1907, although the 
original brewery was founded some fifteen 
years ago, and its officers are Mr. J. P. 
Gross, president, who resides at Wetaskiwin ; 
Mr. Alex. Dow, general manager; Mr. A. 
Schmid, secretary-treasurer and Mr. Fred 
Geisler, plant manager. These are all men 
of wide experience in the brewing business, 
and the splendid success they have attained 
has been due to well directed efforts and to 
the adoption of modern, improved methods 
in e;ery detail of the manufacture. 

This magnificent plant is really a model in 
all of its appointments, and represents an in 
vestment of approximately $350,000 in land 
and buildings. Shortly after the company 
was formed a new structure was built at a 
cost of $95,000 and in 1913-1914 a still 
larger building was erected at a cost of 
$105,000. 

This latter building is devoted mainly to 
use as a bottling and storage department. It 



162 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



covers a ground space 60 x 150 feet, and the 
cellars alone have a storage capacity for 
some 15,000 barrels of beer. 

One-half of the first floor is given over 
to the bottling works, and the remainder of 
the space to the racking off of beer. The 
second floor contains the aerated water de 
partment, laboratories and storage rooms for 
hops, and the third floor comprises the office 
and shipping department. 

One of the most striking features in con 
nection with the equipment of the brewery is 
the modern conveyor and elevator system 
that has been installed, and which greatly 
facilitates the handling of the products from 
one floor to another, with an immense saving 
of time and labor. There are automatic 
machines and appliances for the washing of 
the bottles, for the filling of the same, the 
attaching of the crown stoppers, labelling 
and pasteurizing. Then there is a unique 
piece of apparatus which is used for washing 
and cleansing the kegs, and which seems al 
most human in the methodical, automatic 
manner it does this work. 

The entire structure of this new part of 
the brewery is of brick and re-inforced con 
crete, the cement floors being easily cleansed 
with a hose and especial attention being paid 
to maintaining everything in a perfect sani 
tary condition. In the various departments 
there is a working force of from thirty-five to 
forty employees, while two huge motor trucks 
and a half dozen wagons are required to 
make the deliveries about town and to at 
tend to the shipments that are made to the 
surrounding territory. This trade territory 
extends for 600 miles east and west of 
Edmonton, and 400 miles north and south, 
the company maintaining cold storage plants 
in both Calgary and Saskatoon. 

The principal brand of bottled beer pro 
duced by the Strathcona Brewing & Malting 
Company, Limited, is the "Varsity" a 
brand which has been received with much 
favor in all communities where it has been 
introduced. Of superior quality, too, is the 
porter and the numerous kinds of aerated 
beverages, the company handling about 
$35,000 worth of the latter each year. The 
output of the beer alone ranges from 1 7,000 
to 20,000 barrels each year, there being a 
steady increase with the general growth and 
development of the country. 



HENRY C. ULEN. 

General Contractor Edmonton. 

As an evidence of the progressive light 
in which the people of Edmonton view the 
subject of municipal improvements, one has 
only to refer to the mammoth trunk drain and 
sanitary sewer, ten miles in length, and which 
is being constructed at an approximate cost 
of $1,500,000. In casting about for some 
experienced contractor to whom this might be 
awarded, the city was fortunate in securing 
the services of Mr. Henry C. Ulen, of Chi 
cago, who for a considerable period of years 
has been engaged in sewer building in many 
of the larger cities of the United States and 
whose special knowledge in relation to this 
kind of work enables him to handle such 
gigantic undertakings to the best possible ad 
vantage. 

This extensive addition to the sewerage 
system of Edmonton begins at Thirteenth 
and Nelson streets, and runs along Sprague 
to tenth street to the Grand Trunk Pacific 
property; at Waterloo another contract takes 
in the sewer along Waterloo to Alberta 
avenue, to Gerald, and northeast to King 
and Cleave streets; north on King to Water 
loo and east on Cleave; thence northeast on 
Edmonton avenue to Gordon street. Still 
another contract awarded to Mr. Ulen is for 
a sewer from Stephen avenue, south-west to 
the slough, and north from Stephen avenue on 
I wenty-third street to Westminster. 

The big trunk sewer ranges from four to 
six feet in diameter, is to be lined throughout 
with concrete blocks, and will undoubtedly 
be the best of its kind ever installed within 
the borders of Alberta. 

The preparation for this work represented 
an expenditure of about $60,000 by Mr. 
Ulen, this including the erection of a big 
two-storey lodging house and dining hall for 
the accommodation of the two hundred and 
fifty employees, which is about the average 
number engaged on the work. This is a 
long step in advance of the usual methods of 
providing rough shacks or tents for the men, 
and not only does it make for contentment 
on the part of the workers, but illustrates the 
progressive ideas which are characteristic of 
Mr. Ulen in all of his great undertakings. 
Mr. Henry C. Ulen is the president of 
the company and Mr. J. R. Ulen, his broth 
er, the vice-president. Both are most favor- 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



63 



ably impressed with the splendid develop 
ment of the Canadian West, and even after 
the completion of the work now under way 
they will undoubtedly maintain a branch of 
fice in this city, the better to handle the 
future contracts which are sure to come from 
Edmonton as well as the other growing com 
munities of this and the adjoining provinces. 



WOODLAND DAIRY, LIMITED. 

Dealers in Milk, Cream, Ice Cream, Buttei 

and Eggs 346 Picard Street. 

Edmonton. 



strides the company has since made have 
been due to superior management and the 
splendid quality of the output, which includes 
milk, cream, ice cream, butter, eggs, etc., all 
of which have such a steady call in the every 
day life of the people of this community and 
the surrounding country. 

The quarters occupied by the Woodland 
Dairy, Limited, were built especially for this 
purpose, the structure being a three-story 
brick and concrete affair with more than 20,- 
000 square feet of floor space available for 
the several departments of the business. 1 his 
plant, the machinery and general equipment. 




One of the prime essentials to the health, 
welfare and happiness of every community is 
an adequate supply of dairy products pro 
ducts which are pure and wholesome and up 
to the required standard of excellence in 
every particular. In Edmonton one of the 
most dependable sources of supply is in the 
Woodland Dairy, Limited, whose finely 
equipped, modern plant is located at 346 
Picard street. 

This institution to which we would invite 
the attention of the general public, those in 
all the walks of life, was founded in 1912 
in a comparatively small way, and the rapid 



represents an investment of approximately 
$150,000. 

There is an immense storage room which 
has a capacity of 300,000 pounds of butter, 
while the milk capacity of the dairy is es 
timated at 5,000 gallons per day, not in 
cluding the large quantities of milk and cream 
that are utilized in the manufacture of ice 
cream. 

The capacity of the butter room is 1 car 
daily and they are now manufacturing every 
day, 5,000 pounds of Woodland Dairy 
Butter. The capacity of the ice cream room 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC C IURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



is 1 ,200 gallons per day. Eighty-five people 
are regularly employed. 

I hey now have 36 sub-stations in the 
country for the buying of cream and eggs 
and at these sub-stations farmers cream is 
weighed and tested before sending to the 
plant. 

Every precaution possible is taken to pre 
vent contamination of the Woodland pro 
ducts, and the sanitary arrangement through 
out the dairy is such as to insure the maximum 
degree of cleanliness, as this well known con 
cern has an established reputation for the put 
ting out of food products that are of un 
questioned purity and wholesomenes. . 



MOUNTAIN SPRING BREWING 

COMPANY, LIMITED. 

Calgary. 



1 ypical of this modern advancement has 
been the rise of the Mountain Spring Brew 
ing Company, Eimited, a concern which 
came into existence in 1912 and which has 
since come to be recognized as one of the 
leaders in its class for all of the western por 
tion of the Dominion. In the manufacture 
and sale of malt products of unquestioned 
purity and of a recognized standard in every 
particular so far as the element of quality i* 
concerned, this Mountain Spring Brewing 
Company, Eimited, has set an example which 
other manufacturers might well emulate. 

his is the home of two of the most fam 
ous brands that the province of Alberta has 
ever known the "Silver-Spray," a rich, 
amber-colored liquid that is one of the very 
best beverages ever concocted by a judicious 
combination of high-grade malt and hops, 
and "Wurzburger," known as the original 



pW^ ^ " ! WHSgpL 



i/- *.- 




^7*. . 



With a population of approximately 90,- 
000 people, Calgary not only occupies the 
proud position of being the metropolis of 
Alberta, but is the largest community in all 
that vast stretch of country between Win 
nipeg on the East and Vancouver on the 
Pacific coast. 1 he financial, commercial and 
industrial interests of this growing city have 
kept abreast of all the more splendid develop 
ment that has been characteristic of West 
ern Canada m recent years, and the casual 
visitor is invariably impressed with the mar 
velous achievements that have been accom 
plished here in the comparatively few years 
which have elapsed since Calgary was a fron 
tier settlement. 



Cerman beer. The latter is a slightly darker 
and somewhat heavier beer, made after the 
same methods employed in the brewing of 
the best known of the imported brands. Both 
are produced under ideal conditions, as spe 
cial attention has been paid by the manage 
ment to the equipping of the plant with the 
latest improved mechanical appliances and 
machinery, and so far as the sanitary con 
ditions are concerned it would seem that the 
acme of perfection has been reached. 

One point of special interest in connec 
tion with the making of this "Mountain 
Spring" beer is the fact that the malt that is 
utilized is made from Alberta barley. When 
one takes into consideration the thousands 



HISTORY OF THK CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CKNTRAL ALBKRTA 



65 



upon thousands of bushels of this grain that 
are used annually by this brewery, then does 
one begin to realize what an industry of this 
character means to the agricultural districts. 
Not only that, but the firm is a large employ 
er of labor, having on its payroll at the brew 
ery a force of 50 well paid workers, the an 
nual distribution in the form of wages run 
ning well up into the thousands of dollars. 
The output of the brewery amounts to 
approximately 60,000 barrels per year, this 
being put out in both the keg and bottled 
form, as one of the important adjuncts of 
the plant is an up-to-date bottling works. 
Not only is it disposed of at wholesale to 
the hotels and liquor dealers and to the large 
family trade which has been built up in 
Calgary, but the "Silver-Spray" and "Wurz- 
burger are shipped in large quantities to 
oul of town points throughout all of the ter 
ritory covered by Calgary in its ever increas 
ing wholesale operations. 



ALBERTA PACIFIC GRAIN COM 
PANY, LIMITED. 
Head Office, Calgary. 

When one pauses to contemplate the 
magnitude of the grain growing operations 
in the prairie provinces he is lost in a bewil 
dering maze of figures of startling propor 
tions startling because of the brief period of 
years which has elapsed since the agricultural 
development of this vast region really first 
began. Last year the approximate yield of 
grain in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Mani 
toba was about 200,000,000 bushels, and 
for 1914 the prospects would indicate even 
greater returns, notwithstanding the fact that 
the farmers are each year turning their at 
tention more and more to mixed farming. 

In 1900 in Alberta there were but 30,- 
361 acres of grain harvested. Last year the 




ELEVATOR AT CEREAL, ALTA. 

One of the 140 Elevators of the Alberta Pacific Grain Conrpanv, Limited. 



166 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



official figures show that 1,077,299 acres 
had been devoted to gram alone an increase 
of considerable magnitude. When it is 
shown that Alberta has a total area of 260,- 
000 square miles, of which 1 72,000 square 
miles are adapted to agriculture, it may readi 
ly be seen that there are still millions of acres 
waiting for the plough. 

After the sowing comes the reaping and 
the threshing, and then the marketing, but 
after delivering the grain at the railroad or 
elevator, the fanner s responsibility ends, and 
the work at this point is taken up by such 
representative concerns as the Alberta Pa 
cific Grain Company, Limited, whose head 
offices are at Calgary, with branches in Win 
nipeg and Vancouver. 

This sterling grain company, which was 
founded in 1903, makes a specialty of hand 
ling consignments of grain on commission as 
well as purchasing the grain outright upon 
its delivery in cars on track at any point in 
Western Canada, and its annual volume of 
business runs into the millions of bushels. 
Throughout Alberta and the neighboring 
provinces the company maintains as many as 
140 grain elevators of an average capacity 
of 30,000 thousand bushels, so that so far 
as its facilities for handling grain on a large 
scale are concerned its facilities are unsur 
passed. 

The officers and directors of the Alberta 
Pacific Grain Company, Limited, comprise 
Mr. Nicholas Bawlf, president, Winnipeg; 
Mr. John I. McFarland, vice-president and 
manager, Calgary; Messrs. P. Burns and 
R. B. Bennett, Calgary and Mr. D. R. 
Ker, Victoria. 

All the above are gentlemen who have 
attained eminence in the financial and indus 
trial circles of the Canadian West and whose 
connection with a concern of this character is 
the best evidence as to its stability and its 
ability to meet every obligation and carry 
out in detail the terms of every contract en 
tered into as relates to the handling of con 
signments of grain. It is essentially a home 
enterprise that is in every way worthy of 
Calgary and the province of Alberta and one 
in which the grain growers repose the utmost 
confidence. 



CALGARY BREWING & MALTING 
COMPANY, LIMITED. 

Calgary. 

I he phenomenal growth which has taken 
place throughout Alberta during the past 
decade in particular has been especially ap 
parent in Calgary, where some wonderful 
strides have been made by the financial, com 
mercial and industrial interests that are here 
represented. The fact that the community 
now has a population of close on to 100,000 
gives some indication of the remarkable ad 
vancement that has been made, and of the 
ever increasing importance of the local field 
as a market for the products which are man 
ufactured right here in the provincial metro 
polis. 

One of the older and more firmly estab 
lished of these industrial concerns which has 
won a national reputation for the superior 
quality of its lines of manufacture is the 
Calgary Brewing & Malting Company, Lim 
ited. This immense brewery, which was 
founded in 1 892 has made such substantial 
progress in the manufacture of malt products 
that the fame of "Calgary beer," its prin 
cipal brand, extends from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, and throughout the Western pro 
vinces there is scarcely a community where 
this standard brew is not to be obtained. 
I he leading hotels and liquor houses have 
long since become cognizant of its intrinsic 
worth, and of its purity and general excel 
lence, and the only difficulty the company 
has thus far experienced has been in produc 
ing a sufficient amount to supply the demand. 
While the brewery s facilities are such that 
it could manufacture considerably more than 
it does each year, its policy of thoroughly 
aging the output before putting it on the mar 
ket is rigidly adhered to, and as everybody 
knows, this is one of the secrets of produc 
ing a beverage rich in flavor and satisfying 
in every particular. 

Thousands of bushels of barley are used 
every year by the company in the making of 
the malt which forms the basis of the beer, 
and this fact alone is sufficient to commend 
the enterprise to the serious consideration and 
attention of the grain farmers of Alberta. 
Then, too, the fact that the company has in 
its employ a large force of competent workers 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



67 



means the distribution of an annual payroll 
of large proportions. These are features 
which combine to make this home enterprise, 
backed by home business men and home 
capital, one that is certainly worthy the sup 
port of all classes in every community. 

The annual output of "Calgary" beer by 
the Calgary Brewing & Malting Company, 
Limited, is in the neighborhood of 100,000 
barrels in the keg as well as in the bottled 
form, and this is not only disposed of m Cal 



gary, but throughout Alberta and the neigh 
boring provinces where breweries of this mag 
nitude are an unknown quantity. This fam 
ous brand of beer has probably done more to 
spread abroad in the land the name and fame 
of Calgary than any other single agency that 
can be mentioned, and that the long and 
prosperous career of the Calgary Brewing & 
Malting Company, Limited, is destined to be 
more than duplicated in the years to come 
is a foregone conclusion. 




Interior Vieiv, Jackson Bros., China Depi., 1914. Edmonton, Alia. 



68 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




PANORAMA OF BUSINESS SECTION OF EDMONTON 



EDMONTON 



PRESENT AND PROSPECTIVE 

B\) Ccorgc M. Hall, Industrial Commissioner. 



EDMON 1 ON the city present and the city prospective is a highly interesting 
proposition. A few years ago a small trading post, an outfitting point for trap 
pers, and prospectors of a wild and unknown Northwest, Edmonton is today a city 
well equipped with modern appliances for trade, commerce and industries, and well found 
in those things that go to make a city of home comforts. So lately as 1901, Edmonton 
had only 3,167 people; the card census of May 1914, showed a population of 72,516. 
Edmonton has grown faster than any city in North America in the same period of time. 

At the same time, Edmonton s growth has been solid, substantial in every respect; 
its buildings are of sound construction; its streets are well laid out and paved; its civic 
government is based upon proper principles and is generally administered with a high 
degree of efficiency. 

Edmonton is strong in municipal ownership. The city owns and operates its street 
railway, power plant, and water works system; has a public parks system that embraces 
an area of 801 acres and more than two hundred acres to be devoted to industrial sites, 
leased on long terms and at low rental cost, to new industries. Edmonton also employs 
single tax and a modified form of civic government by commissioners. A plan for a cim- 
mission form of government, with referendum and recall, will be submitted for the vote 
of the people some time during 1914. 

The following comparative figures show something of how Edmonton has made 
headway under its plan of conducting civic business: 

Building permits, 1905, $702,724; for 1913, $9,242,450. 
Property assessment, 1905. $6,620,985; 1913, $187,941,920. 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBKRTA 



There are twenty-six chartered banks and branches in Edmonton and bank clear- 
ing figures show these increases: 1908, $38,484,496; for 1913, $213,053,319, 

Passengers earned on street cars: 1 9 1 1 , 6,296,824 ; earned in 1913, 17,208,487. 
Edmonton has excellent public schools. These are housed in thirty-seven build.ngs, 
nearly all of them modern and well-equipped, and follow approved educational lines from 
primary to collegiate grades. There are four good schools for higher education the 
University of Alberta, Robertson Presbyterian College, the Oblate Fathers College and 
Alberta College, with an excellent preparatory school in the Westward Ho! School for 
Boys. The Alberta College and McTavish Business College give complete business 
courses of instruction. There are also seven separate schools and the Roman Catholic 
and Ruthenian colleges. 

There are fifty-three churches in Edmonton, including all regular denominations. 
Amusement features are presented by three theatres and a number of moving picture 
houses. 

Edmonton has coal beds containing 60,000 million tons of coal directly under the 
city. Thirty mines are operated and coal is sold as low as 75 cents a ton for steam 
purposes and for $4.00 a ton for domestic use. 

Three great railway systems center on Edmonton the Grand Trunk Pacific, the 
Canadian Pacific and the Canadian Northern and the city is also the chief central point 
of the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway, the Dunvegan, Peace River and British 
Columbia Railway, and the Alberta and Northwestern Railway. These roads are 
under construction or soon to be. Twenty-eight passenger trains run to and from E 
monton daily. 

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, a province with an area of 253,540 square 
miles. New Parliament buildings were recently completed at a cost of $3,000,0( 

The country about Edmonton is very rich in agricultural and other resources, only 
partly developed. Ready market and good prices for farm products are had at Ed 
monton the year round. 

At present, four railways are building into the Peace River Valley and country 
north and west of Edmonton. This land contains 40,000,000 acres of land and bound 
less resources of minerals, timber, natural gas, water power and cattle ranges. 

All of this goes to make Edmonton a highly desirable place to live and a vantage 
point for carrying on business. Edmonton has made much progress as a railway, business 
and trade center and is doing excellently as an industrial point in what is, as yet, a 
comparatively small way. But the advantage of being from two thousand to five thou: 
and miles nearer the great market of Western Canada, than any industrial city of com 
manding consequence, will tell heavily in the scale of desirability as a manufacture 
point for Edmonton. The course of the empire of industrial growth is taking i 
westward at a rapid rate and there is no city better fitted for its seat of Governr 
the West than Edmonton. 



69 



70 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



Louis ARSENAULT 



[ N every community within the Province of Alberta are to be found representative men 
of affairs who have performed valiant service in the upbuilding and development of 
this section of the Canadian West in recent years. This is especially true of the city of 
Edmonton, and among those worthy of more than passing notice in these columns than 
Mr. Louis Arsenault, real estate and financial broke, with offices at 301 C. P. R. 
Building. 

Although Mr. Arsenault was born at Lewiston, Maine, U.S.A., on July 4, 1880. 
he has spent all of his life within the borders of the Dominion. He was educated at 
Nicolet Seminary, Quebec, and in April 1904 came west to Edmonton, Alberta. For 
a time he was employed by Messrs. Gariepy and Lessard, and then as a book-keeper 
by Kenneth McKenzie & Company, of Edmonton, and in 1905 was manager of the 

Richelieu Hotel. Erom 1906 10 1910 Mr. 
Arsenault was employed as a clerk in the 
Dominion Lands Office, and upon resigning 

i . . . 

this position it was to engage in the present 
business on his own account 

In the handling of real estate, Mr. Arse 
nault not only deals in Edmonton city pro 
perty, bul in Alberta, Saskatchewan and 
British Columbia farm lands as well, and 
also in Coal and Timber Lands and in this 
line of endeavor has been remarkably suc 
cessful. Not only does he act as the agent 
for others in the making of financial invest 
ments, but has also had sufficient confidence 
in the future of this region to make many in 
vestments on his own account. Aside from 
this business Mr. Arsenault was one of the 
proprietors of the Corona Hotel Company, 
Limited, of Edmonton in the beginning of 
1912 and sold out in June of the same year. 
In the past few years Mr. Arsenault has traveled a great deal throughout the 
western country for the purpose of acquiring more experience and general information per 
taining to the country. In 1911 he made an extended trip through the famous Peace River 
country and in 1912 he visited throughout Washington, Idaho and Montana and other 
Western States. The latter part of 1913 and the beginning of I 9 1 4 he made an extended 
trip through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. He has made a number 
of other trips over Western Canada which have given him a personal knowledge which is 
great value to investors. 

In the advancement of both city and province, Mr. Arsenault has always taken a 
lively, active interest in civic and political affairs and has repeatedly demonstrated that 
he is one of the public-spirited men of the times a splendid example of the type of men 
who are today making history in Alberta. 




HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC C HURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



71 




Ill WJ "" if f *>* 

W 5^3 f i I B fl H B B SH J " Hi Hi tt 

^illJllJjlBHljSMiBlIji 




im r :in jui jiu ur 



BJii it 
HBlffSfJi^ 

^v*^"< .^ - 



]u* ur Tm mi, " f -J -<,t 



REVILLION FRERES TRADING CCMPANY LIMITED. 

FOURTH STREET AND ATHABASCA AVENUE, EDMONTON. 

Established in Paris, France, in 1723, the Revillon Freres Trading Company, Limited, 
takes ranks as one of the world s oldest commercial enterprises the only company of 
the kind, in fact, that has proven a most formidable competitor of the Hudson s Bay Com 
pany in this great Northwest country. 

Back in the early days of its existence, this immense fur trading company was one of 
the first to send men into remote and well-nigh inaccesible regions where the fur bearing 
animals abounded, and in the course of time it naturally followed that a trading post 
should be established here in Edmonton, when this was but a tiny outpost, far beyond 
the reaches of civilization. As the country grew and developed the Revillon Brothers 
steadily kept pace with the general progress of the country, and its representatives were 
scon to be found in every community of importance in this Canadian West. 

Nowadays the operations of the Revillon Freres Trading Company, Limited, extends 
north into the farthest reaches of the Arctic wilds; south as far as Olds; east to Lloyd- 
minster and west to the Pacific coast. In addition to the Edmonton house, branches are 
also maintained in this district at Athabasca, Grouard. Peace River Crossing, Dunvegan, 
Spirit River, Grand Prairie, Sturgeon Lake, Fort St. John, Hudson s Hope. Fort Vermil 
ion and Wabasca . At all of these points the company dees an enormous business in 
trat ficing in furs, and to their big warehouses come the skins of the seal, beaver, martin, 
mink, otter, wolf, ermine, muskrat, fox and skunk. These are in turn disposed of at 
wholesale, finding their way to the largest fur manufacturing concerns on the glebe. 

This expansion of the fur trading business naturally led to the firm s branching out 
as a wholesale dealer in merchandise of every description, this line of trade being carried 
on under the firm name of Revillon Wholesale, with headquarters in a mammoth concrete, 
fireproof warehouse erected two years ago at the corner of Fourth street and Athabasca 
avenue. Here, also the Revillon Freres Trading Company, Limited, maintains its 
offices, and there is available fcr use in the six floors of the building a total floor space 
of approximately 153,000 square feet more than three and one-half acres. 

The head office of Revillon Freres Trading Company. Limited, is at Montreal, and the 
president is Mr. Leon Revillon. His son, Mr. J. M. Revillon, is president of Revillon. 
Wholesale, and has the general management of all of Revillon Freres foreign business. 
For a considerable length of time he was also manager of the Edmonton business as well, 
but this, so far as the trading company is concerned, now devolves on Mr. John Keith, 
who is the superintendent for the entire Edmonton district. Mr. Keith has long been 
associated with the firm, and his wide knowledge of the entire Northwest well quail 
his to fill such a responsible position in a most capable manner. 



72 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 



WALTER RAMSAY 




WHOLESALE AND RETAIL FLORIST 916 VICTORIA AVE., Edmonton. 

THERE is no better example of the splendid success which may be attained by well- 
directed eflorts in this western country and especially in the central portion of 
Alberta than in the case of Mr. Walter Ramsay, wholesale and retail florist, whose 
magnificent greenhouses on Victoria Avenue represent the outgrowth of a comparatively 
modest beginning. 

It was eight years ago that Mr. Ramsay first started this business which has de 
veloped into such splendid proportions, and the careful attention he has devoted to the 
work has made him the acknowledged leader in the production of flowering plants, palms, 
lerns and other greenhouse products. I oday he has fifty thousand square feet under 
glass, and besides providing amply for his own large retail trade sells a large quantity of 
cut flowers and plants to other dealers not so fortunate in the possession of greenhouses 
and other equipment so essential to the propagation of nature s delicate products in this 
northern latitude. In the several departments of his business Mr. Ramsay gives employ 
ment to a force of 20 skilled assistants and has every facility for the filling of all orders, 
large or small, in most satisfactory manner. His stock includes all kinds of choice cut 
flowers and every variety suitable for the making of floral designs for weddings, funer 
als, dinner parties and social functions in general, together with rare and beautiful potted 
plants for private conservatories or home decoration. 

Mr. Ramsay came originally from Ontario, where he prepared himself for the pro 
fession of teaching. This he followed in his native province for eight years, coming to 
Edmonton in 1898 and serving as principal of the Edmonton public schools for seven 
years, or until 1905. The next year he branched out as a florist, to which occupation 
he has since devoted the major portion of his attention. Aside from this, Mr. 
Ramsay is the president of the Riverview Land Company and a director of the Western 
Land Company, and has acquired the ownership of many valuable realty holdings in 
Edmonton and vicinity. He is a member of the Public School Board since 1909 and 
chairman of the Board since 1912, 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBF.RTA 



73 




Dmin- Room, Steamer Nasookm. Operating on Kootenay Lake Service, Canadian 
Pacific Railway, between Nelson and Kootenay Landing. 




c u; 



steamer Nasookm. Operating on Kootenay Lake Service, Canadian 
icific Railway, bet weew Nelson and Kootenay Landing. 



74 



HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL ALBERTA 




JACKSON BROTHERS 

Jewelers, 235 Jasper Ave., East EcJmonton 

The fact that Edmonton has developed into a city 
of such commercial and industrial importance is largely 
because of the fact that such sterling firms as Jaskson 
Brothers, the leading jewelers, have had the wisdom to 
make their establishment here in the past, and who 
have been confident in their belief that this city would 
develop into a community with metropolitan aspirations. 
The strides chat have been made in recent years only 
go to strengthen this confidence, and those early day 
pioneers who first put the town of Edmonton on the 
map builded better than they knew. 

Back in 1886. when Edmonton was only an ob 
scure trading post, a modest little jewelry store was 
opened here by Mr. E. Raymer. As the town grew, so 
did the store, and finally when the proprietor retired in 
1905. lie disposed of the eld established business to 
Jackson Brothers, of Toronto, the present owners of 
the enterprise which has enjoyed such a marvelous 
growth. t ne of the most striking features of the firm s 
expansion was in the erection of their magnificent build 
ing at No. ;35 Jasper avenue, East a structure which 
not only serves the purpose cf a retail store but of a 
manufacturing establishment as well. This building 
alone represents an investment of something like $250,- 
CCO, and is really one of the show places of the city. 

In addition to the immense stock of jewelry of 
every description the firm gives steady employment to 
six jewelers in its manufacturing department. It em 
ploys eight watchmakers; three engravers and a full 
stall of salesmen together with the employees in the 
copper plate printing department. 

Jackson Brothers pay particular attention to the 
mounting of diamonds and other precious gems, and 



tlie manufacture of trophies, 
c., for exhibition and athletic 



1914 



have every facility for 
shields, medals, cups, et 
events. 

The immense stcck also embraces a superb collec- 
ticn of cut glass and silverware, and the display of 
China is unequaled by any store west of Toronto. 

The individual members of the firm are Mr. W. J. 
Jackson, Mr. J. A. Jackson and Mr. H. A. Jackson, all 
cf whom have had years of practical experience in dif 
ferent branches of the jewelry trade. 




Interior View, Jaclfson Bros., 1914 



Head Office 14 JASPER ST., next to Selkirk Garage & Office 630 SECOND ST 

Phone 2525 Phone 6262 

Phoenix Taxi and Auto Co. Limited 



Edmonton, Alta. 



The Largest and Best Equipped Auto Livery in Western 
Canada. Taxicab Service Surpassed by None. :: :: :: 
Finest 6 Cylinder Hudson Cars in Our Livery. 



FOR A REAL PLEASURE TRIP OR QUICK TAXI SERVICE 

Call "Phoenix" Phone 2525 



PHONE 1327 F HONE 6720 

-HALLIER & ALDRIDGE- 



THE STORE OF QUALITY 



BAKERS, CONFECTIONERS, 
GROCERS, FRUITERS, ETC. 



Mothers &read a Specialty Only the fQest Qoods Handled 

We Guarantee Everything We Sell 

223 JASPER AVE, EAST EDMONTON, ALTA, 



HOTEL SELKIRK 







EDMONTON S NEW HOTEL 

European Plan, Rates $1.50, $2.50 Per Day 
EXCELLENT DINING ROOM AND GRILL, SEATING ONE HUNDRED 

Hotel Sell(irl( occupies a commanding site in the very heart of things at Jasper 
Avenue and First Street, the commercial, financial anil business centre of Edmon 
ton. It is Tvilhin a fet> minutes rvallf of the principal hanlfs, s/ores, offices, theatres 
and railway stations. It is equipped throughout n>ith the most modern and approved 
conveniences. 



ROBERT MCDONALD, 



Proprietor 



YALE HOTEL 

Rates $1.00, $1.50 Per T)oy European Wan 



Electric Fixtures For The Home 
Or Store Our Specialty 




Besides We Sell 

The Famous Hughes Electric Range Electric Washing Machines 

Electric Vacuum Cleaners, Irons. Toasters, Hot Plates 

And Many Other Useful Articles that are 

Great Labor Savers. 



OUR PRICES ARE RIGHT 

You Can Buy At Home and Save Money 



Burnham-Frith Elec. Co., Ltd. 

10170-IOOth Street Edmonton, Alia. 



BANQUE D HOCHELAGA 



Head Office: 



MONTREAL 



AUTHORIZED CAPITAL 
CAPITAL PAID UP . 



.$ 4,000,000 
. 4,000,000 



RESERVE FUND $ 3,625,000 

TOTAL ASSETS (Nov. 30th, 1913)... 31,874,709 

DIRECTORS: 



President: J. A. VAILLANCOURT, Esq 

Directors: Messrs. A. TURCOTTE, Hon M 

WILSON, E. H. LEMAY, A. A LA- 
ROCQUE, A. W. BONNER. 



Vice President: Hon. F. L. BEIQUE. 
General Manager: Mr. BEAUDRY LEMAN. 
Manager of Chief Office: Mr. F. G. LEDUC 
Inspector: Mr. YVON LAMARRE. 

-.-was incorporated May 3rd, 1873, with an authorized capital of 
$1,000 COO. Its firs. President was Hon. Louis Tourville, who was succeeded by Messrs. F. X. St. 
Charles, Hon. J. D. Rolland and J. A. Vaillancourt, in 1912. 

paid up capital of $4,000,000, and Reserve Fund of $3,625 000 the BANQUE 
stands forth among the leadmg Banks of Canada. The following comparative 
statement shows its steady progress since its foundation: 



Year 

1874 
1884 
1894 
1904 
1913 



Capital Paid Up. 

$ 393,070 

703,240 

710,100 

2,000,000 

4,000,000 



Reserve Fund 

$ 1 5,000 

50,000 

270,000 

1,200,000 

3,625,000 



Deposits. 

252,120 

426,255 

5,229,036 

8,847,866 

20,105,622 



Assets. 

$ 1,021,096 

1,633,882 

6,942,138 

14,375,184 

31,874,709 



BRANCHES: 1S82, 2. 1X5)3, 7. 1903, 17. 1910. 35. 1914, 90. 
Branches in Alberta: EDMONTON, ST. ALBERT, ST. PAUL DES METIS. 

EDMONTON OFFICE: Corner Third St. and Jasper Ave. ALEX LEFORT, Manager 



Furs For All 



Quality the 
Finest 

Sfy/es the 
Latest 

Prices Most 
Moderate 

We sell Readu-madt Furs, or 

make up from the rav> furs to 

suit special laslei 

Repairs and Alterations 



The Alexander-Hilpert Fur to. Ltd. 

Phone 4094 
McLean Block 609 Jasper Ave. 



Pure Natural Ice 




PHONE 1220 



Arctic Ice Company Ltd. 



OFFICE:- 

Main Phone 5555 
Farney Truck Co. Bldg. 



OFFICE:- 

Phone 2544 
554 First Street 



Farney Truck Co. Ltd. 

In Co-Operation with the 

City Messenger & Express Co. 



Messengers on Wheels, Bills and Posters De 
livered Motor Express, Light and Heavy 
Delivery, Contract Rates to Merchants, Stor 
age Warehouse, Teams for Hire by the 
Day, Week or Month. :: :: :: 

PIANOS AND SAFES MOVED 



Dennie V. Farney, 



L t Proprietor J 

1 Edmonton, 



STORAGE & STABLES: 

Phone 2022 
465 First Street 



RESIDENCE: - 

Phone 5353 
Farney Truch Co. 



Canada Permanent Mortgage 
Corporation 

Corporation Building, McDongall Ave. 

EDMONTON, ALTA. 




Total Assets 531,826,618 

DEPOSITS RECEIVED 

4 r Interest Allowed on Savings Accounts 
Money to Lend at Lowest Cu r rent Rates 



Phone 1522 



W. T. CREIGHTON, Manager 



The 

Alberta Granite, Marble & 
Stone Co. Ltd. 






Manufacturers of 

Granite, Marble & Stone 

Monuments 

Copings 

and 
Candy Slabs 



Corner First and Clark Streets 

EDMONTON, 

ALTA. 




From 1884 Our Birthday 



To 1914 Our Thirtieth Birthday 



E. N. Moyer Co., Ltd. 

Established 1884 

Canada s School Furnishers 

A FEW OF OUR CUSTOMERS Edmonton 
Jesuit College, St. John s College, Calgary Separate 
Schools, Edmonton Separate Schools, Edmonton 
Public Schools. 

Red Deer, Trochu, Lethbridge, Camrose. 

ASK THEM 

A FEW OF OUR LINES New Empire Desks, 
Harvard Desks, Moulthrop Chairs, Teachers Desks, 
Steel Desks, New Empire, Maps and Globes, Genu 
ine Hyloplate Blackboard, Moyer s Clean Air Sys 
tem of Heating and Ventilating. 

NOT BETTER THAN THE BEST 
BUT BETTER THAN THE REST 

ESABLISHED 1884 

TORONTO EDMONTON WINNIPEG 

MANUFACTURERS PUBLISHERS 

IMPORTERS 

McKENNEY BUILDING, 

665 104th Street. (Formerly 4th St.) 

EDMONTON, ALTA. Telephone 4828 

We solicit your patronage for SUPPLIES AND 
FURNITURE, for Public and Separate Schools, 
High Schools, Colleges and Convents. 
WRITE FOR CATALOGUE AND PRICES 




ET- US-HELP 

YOU BUILD* 
YOUR -NOME- 

EWi^LL 



DE5IGMED BUILT BY US, HOUSE DESIGNS FREE 





MANUFACTURERS AND DEALERS IN 

PMOP1E 9237 TD][eT PHOhE 31535 ^ 

249 WILSON STREET !: SOUTH SIDE YARD 



ALBERTA SCHOOL SUPPLY COMPANY 



EDMONTON 



ALBERTA 



(2) 



(3) 



(6) 
(7) 



We carry the only complete slock in ihe province, of School equipment includin "Preston Ball- 
Acme Plate Blackboard. These supplies are in use in Camrose Lutheran 
College, Alberta Provincial University and ihe Government Agricultural Collects in Olds 
i Claresholm. Complete stock m our Edmonton warehouse. Prompt delivery guaranteed. 
A great many < the largest .debentures issued in Alberta are purchased by us. During 1913, bonds 
amounting to over $3,000,000.00 (Three Million) passed ihrouqh our office. Wn.e us con- 
cernmg any issue you have for sale. 

We bond Treasurers of S.D., L.I D Rural Municipalities, e.c, being agents for .he "London 
Guarantee & Accident Co., Ltd., ihe strongest concern in the world. Rales sent on request 
\Ve msure Schools etc at the lowest rates and g,ve a liberal policy. Write for rates. 
We supply the Hero Ventilating Room Heaters which are recognified ihe best on the market. 

Dtock in Kdmcnlcn ready for shipping. 

We supply complete plans and specifications for any sine of school desired. 

We sell the F arkyte Sanitary Closels, especially adapled for Towns and Villages that have no 
sewer system. 

THE FOLLOWING CATALOGUES MAILED ON REQUEST: 



(1) Large illustrated catalogue of school supplies. 

(2) Catalogue describing "Hero Ventilating Room Heaters." 

(3) Calalogue describing "Parkyle" Sanitary Closels. 



CORRESPONDENCE INVITED 



THE ALBERTA SCHOOL SUPPLY COMPANY 

The House of Quality 



EDMONTON 



ALBERTA 



SEED OF ALL KINDS 



WHOLESALE AND RETAIL 

We are growers. Our farm at St. Albert is evidence ol lln: 
fact. We "test hundreds of varieties of gram, selecting only 
those which are most suitable for Alberta. 

We have our own greenhouses and testing grounds in Fct- 
mcnton. \X e lest all seed for germination before placing i! 
on the market. 

Ornamenlal and Fruit Trees. Strawberry, Raspberry and j 
Gooseberry Planls. Currants both red and while, have proven 
a success. 

Poultry Supplies of all kinds: Incubators, Brooders. Drinking 
and Food 1 ounls. 

Drills, Garden Cultivation. 



DON T KAIL TO GET OUR 1915 SEED AND 
NURSERY CATALOGUE, 



J. J. MURRAY 




Phone 



753 to 157 Queens Ave. Special Attention Given to Pet 

House Phone 3932 Stock Foods and Medicines 



Our New and Enlarged Music Store 

Is the Finest in Western Canada 




an j oui slock of PIANOS, Musical Merchandise, and SI IF FT 
MUSK , the pick of the world. 

OUR STRICTLY ONF PRICF METHOD OK DOING 

BUSINFSS enables out of town cuslcmers io deal with us by mail, 
w!ih every assurance that their interest will be guarded the same as 
lhou< li they made a personal selection. 

OVER ONF HUNDRED PERSONALLY SELECTED 
PIANOS TO CHOOSE EROM. 

Buying a piano here is a pleasure. Very easy lenm of payment 
arranged when desired, and every curlcsy extended to our customers. 



THE MASTERS PIANO CO. 

423-425 Jasper Ave. We.t EDMONTON, ALTA. 

Home of the New Art {Bell, the Piano with the Sweet Tone. 




I 1 




E.CB , 

I^ID EGGS ^ 




E. C. D. Dairy Products 

The Choice of the People 

Butter, Velvet Ice Cream, Guaranteed Eggs, Milk, Cream, Buttermilk 

E. C. D. Devonshire Cream, E. C. D. Cream Cheese, E. C. D. Cottage Chesse 
E. C. D. Pimiento Cheete, Buttermilk Cheese 

Edmonton City Dairy, Limited 

Phone 9291 



When You Drink 

YELLOWHEAD BEER 



Note the brilliancy, the zest, the 
pleasing aroma, that are charac 
teristic of this fine brew. They 
all denote honesty in brewing and 
quality in the product. 

When you simply order beer, you 
leave the selection to the whim of 
another. Use your own discretion 
and ask f or 

YELLOWHEAD 




MADE IN EDMOVTOK BY 

The 

EDMONTON BREWING & MALTING CO. Ltd. 




CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BUILDING 
Edmonton, Alberta. 



i sketches of the f, 



authui :Leydl, Em lit Jo^e 



"em id :31 761 0199860,% 



clue; 28/1 1/2005 




8X 1422 .A34 S43 1914 
SMC 



Short sketches of the 

history of the Catholic 
AKE-3146 (mcsk)