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Parish

Paroisse Sainte-Marie, Winnipeg

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  • Parish
  • est. 1948

St. Vital was an eastern suburb of St. Boniface and is part of greater Winnipeg. Paroisse Sainte-Marie contained French-speaking families and was given to the Franciscans by Archbishop Cabana of St. Boniface in 1948. Fr. Amedee Houle was the founder and organizer of the parish, which had a church and school combined. Fr. Fidelis Chicoine also served as the pastor of the parish.

St. Mary's Parish, Cochrane

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  • Parish
  • est. 1895

In 1895, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate built and dedicated a church in Cochrane, Alberta, to "The Holy Name of Mary", forming St. Mary's parish. The parish was served by the Oblates until 1947 when it was returned to the care of the Calgary Diocese. In 1948, the Franciscan Friars were requested by Bishop Carroll to set up retreats in the area and to assume administration of St. Mary's parish. The Franciscans bought land from Harry McConachie and built Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre, which was blessed by Bishop Carroll in 1949. In 1959, St Mary's second church was built after the first church had been subjected to numerous accidents from cars running into the rectory. The Franciscans salvaged lumber from the first church and built a small replica of it on the grounds of Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre. In 1970, St. Mary's parish was returned to the care of diocesan priests.

St. Charles Parish, Winnipeg

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  • Parish
  • Franciscan presence, 1949 - 1979

In 1854, Fr. Louis LaFleche, OMI, constructed a small log chapel by the Assiniboine River to minister to the Metis families in the area. The first regular church was built in 1866 by Fr. Lestanc, but it was destroyed by a windstorm in 1884. A new Gothic-style church building was constructed in 1905. On New Years Eve 1928, this building was destroyed by fire. The church was quickly rebuilt and stood until new additions were started in 1987 and completed in 1988.

In 1917, the parish was transferred from the Archdiocese of St. Boniface to the newly formed Archdiocese of Winnipeg. From 1858 to 1928, the French Oblates were the pastors of the Parish, and the German Oblates were pastors until 1949. In 1949, Archbishop Murray gave the Parish to the Franciscans who administered it until 1979. In 1979, the Franciscans returned the administration of the Parish to the Archdiocese of Winnipeg.

Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Fort Saskatchewan

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  • Parish
  • est. 1908

Our Lady of the Angels parish began as a mission of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lamoureux, Alberta, led by Father Arthur Rappard OFM. The first mass was celebrated on 3 May 1908 in the parlor of Thomas Sullivan. Later that month, on 28 May 1908, mass began to be celebrated in the hall of what was formerly the Victoria Restaurant rented from Napoleon Millette. On 27 Sep 1909, construction began on the church building on one acre of land granted by the government from the police reserve on Government Street. The first mass in the building was celebrated on 25 Dec 1909, Midnight mass and High mass. On 8 May 1910, the completed church building was blessed by Bishop Legal. Franciscan fathers served the parish until June 1950, when Our Lady of the Angels parish reverted to a mission parish of Lamoureux and the Archdiocese of Edmonton took over the parish from the Franciscan Order.

St. Jean-Baptiste Parish, Regina

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  • Parish
  • est. 1954

At the time of Bishop Mathieu, the French-Canadian Catholics in Regina had a special Mass in French on Sundays at the Holy Rosary cathedral. Beginning in 1932, at the request of Archbishop McGuigan, the Franciscans provided regular French Sunday services in their chapel at Regina Minorum Friary. For the next 21 years, the Friary chapel was used for these services until it could no longer accommodate the number of attendees.

In 1953, a building at the corner of McIntyre Street and 15 Avenue was purchased and the first mass was celebrated at Christmas. With official Vatican approval, Archbishop O’Neill signed the Decree of Erection of St. Jean-Baptiste Parish on 4 Nov 1954. The first parish priest was Fr. Sylvestre Beaudette OFM, who had arrived in Regina in 1950. He was assisted by Lucien Kemble, Sigismond Lajoie, and Raynier Chabot.

St. Jean-Baptiste Parish organized many activities including a women’s society The Ladies of the Altar, Council of French-speaking Knights of Columbus, a parish choir, and a parish school Mathieu. In 1962, construction began for a new parish complex, which was opened on Christmas Eve 1963. The old church building was also sold in 1963.

The Franciscans were priests for St. Jean-Baptiste Parish from its foundation in 1954 until 1974, when the Oblates took over parish ministry.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Calgary

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  • Parish
  • est. 1934

St. Francis of Assisi parish began when Bishop Kidd purchased the former Jewish Community Centre at 6 Ave S.E. in 1931. The building was renovated to serve as a chapel primarily to serve Hungarian immigrants with the first pastor being Rev. Joseph Racz from Montreal. It also served as a chapel of ease for St. Mary's cathedral. Due to a lack of Hungarian-speaking priests, the church was closed. It was reopened in Dec 1934 by Bishop Monahan and St. Francis of Assisi parish was created. The first pastor of the new parish was Rev. Patrick Beaton. In 1957, the original building was replaced by a church designed and built by J. Stevenson & Associates. It was opened on 28 Aug 1957.
In 1959, the parish was entrusted to the Franciscans. The first Franciscan pastor was Fr. Dunstan McLellan and the assistant priest was Fr. Michael Sieferling. The Franciscans were involved in Diocesan Social Action in the downtown area, giving spiritual and other assistance to people in the inner city area. In 1988, Bishop Paul O'Byrne entrusted the parish to the Dominicans.

Notre Dame du Lac Parish, Lac du Bonnet

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  • Parish
  • Franciscan presence, 1946 - 1963

In 1946, the Franciscans were invited by Archbishop George Cabana of St. Boniface to take over the Lac du Bonnet parish and the missions attached to it. The missions included Bisset, and Red Lake, which could be reached by plane. Besides these, there was Great Falls, Seven Sisters, Milner Ridge, Maple School district and Pointe du Bois. Fr. Sylvestre Beaudet and Fr. Stan Frytek were appointed to take over the work. Fr. Englebert Paradis after his release as an army chaplain was sent to Lac du Bonnet. He used his army pay to buy a new residence on the lake shore that would serve as the Friary.

Fr. Alberic Frechette was appointed pastor after Fr. Englebert Paradis departed to become the pastor of St. Francis Parish in Edmonton. After Fr. Frechette was offered the Parish at Maillardville, today part of Coquitlam, Fr. Ulric Ell was appointed pastor in 1953-1961. Fr. McRae arrived in 1954 to help with the missions.

In 1955, construction began for the new church building. Fr. Ulric Ell also designed and built the chapel in Whiteshell in 1968. Fr. George Hart was appointed Pastor after Fr. Ulric Ell; the assistant pastor was Fr. Bonaventure (Dureau) until he went to Peru and was replaced by Fr. Fred Doll.

In 1963, the Franciscans left Lac du Bonnet and were replaced by the diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface.