Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Les, I am looking for a good picture of St. Willi's  to put on the desktop of a computer I am building for Father Cameron.          Ed


arbutus MSN said...

Ed,   I found the following, may or may not be suitable for your project.     The Spirit of St. Willibrord’s 1913 -
Once these streets of Verdun were farm fields with rich earth and yielding crops. In spring of 1913 Father Patrick McDonald, with a mandate from Archbishop Bruchesi to found a Parish for the English speaking Catholics west of the Tailrace which divided Verdun from Pointe St. Charles saw not simply farmland on the outskirts of Verdun, but a place on which to build the first (and, on the same tract ultimately, the present) St. Willibrord's church. From a small flat on Church Avenue near Ross Street, Father McDonald directed the beginnings of parish life. He celebrated Mass in the Brothers’ Hall of Academie Richard on Galt Avenue until the first church was built and so began a ministry to our forebears which would last the rest of his busy life.
The birth of “the Willibrord Spirit” seemed to come about even before the first church building was raised. Most of the first Parishioners were second generation Irish and British Catholics who had migrated to Verdun from Griffintown and Pointe St. Charles. Many were skilled in carpentry and masonry crafts, were good with their hands, and they volunteered their skills and talents in the building of the first Church. Participation and generosity were woven into the St. Willibrord fabric from the earliest days.
While Father McDonald led the way, the people of St. Willibrord’s were vitally involved in the structure and health of their parish from the very outset. The westward population growth saw Verdun expand rapidly through the nineteen twenties and St. Willibrord’s grew right along with it. By 1925 the dramatic increase in parish numbers necessitated plans for a larger church to accommodate the population expansion. These were days when families were large and parish life was central to the English-Catholic community. Gary Mace Saanich, BC Original church building - interior      

sandy19465 MSN said...

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carver3570 MSN said...

Not steemies      hosties. Sorry!

edbro68 MSN said...

Gary, It's excellent. Thank You very much.  Ed

newfydog9 MSN said...

Gary - Nice little history of St Willi's......brings back memories. Does anyone remember:  Every Friday afternoon walking from school in ranks 'two by two' to go to confession?  Obliged to attend 8:30 Mass every Sunday morning with our class?  Following the Mass in Latin?(sure helps today when you do crossword puzzles :-) ). Heaven forbid it you missed Sunday Mass 'cause on Monday morning you had to stand up in class and explain to the teacher(usually a CND nun) the reason WHY you weren't there the previous day - how humiliating that was!  Does anyone remember the name Father LaPointe?  I think he was there since Methusalah(?).  He married my parents, baptized me, gave me First Communion and Confirmation too.  He was such a sweet gentle priest.  I think after he left(or died), we had a Father Sanford - he was terrifying....all fire and brimstone and banging on the pulpit!  You can just imagine our little eyes bulging out in fear! judy in NB