Parish Our Lady Help of Christians of Notre-Dame-des-Érables

From mission to parish

The Mission

Notre-Dame-des-Érables became mission of the parish Saint-Augustin de Paquetville in 1939. The first Mass was celebrated by Reverend Stanislas Robichaud, colonizing priest of the new mission, in the house of Ernest Godin May 24, 1939. D Other masses were celebrated in private residences or in the school.

In 1941, the settlement committee had reserved 100 acres of land for the site of the future church. In July, a group of settlers followed the land agent, Monsieur Frederic Landry, and Father Robichaud for the symbolic taking of the ground by cutting down a tree on the church grounds.

In 1946, Father Robichaud built a two-storey chapel, the second of which was to serve as a parish hall. Bishop Camille-André LeBlanc blessed it on August 25 of the same year. The first Mass was celebrated on August 30 by Father Stanislas Robichaud. The parish then had 125 families. In July 1947 was the first confirmation there were 82 children.

On June 27, 1948, at the close of the first parish retreat preached by the Rev. Father Georges Bérubé, Father Stanislas Robichaud organized an impressive ceremony during which a statue of the Blessed Virgin representing Notre-Dame-des-Érables, and donated by Mr. and Mrs. Léonce Albert, was triumphantly transported from the church of Paquetville in the Chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Érables where Bishop LeBlanc blessed it. In May 1952, Father Stanisals Robichaud gave his place to a new resident pastor after more than 16 years of service to the population.

The parish of Our Lady of Help of Christians

Notre-Dame-des-Érable parish was canonically erected as a religious praese by a decree of Bishop Camille-André LeBlanc, then bishop of Bathurst, on May 7, 1952. In this decree, the Bishop mentioned the prodigious development of the colony and the constant increase of number of families, the parish had then 134 families and a population of 814 souls. He also mentioned the localities that were to be part of the new parish.

The celebration of canonical installation of the new priest, Father Joseph Roche, was presided over by Bishop JA Allard, priest of Maisonnette, on May 20, 1952 in a church filled to capacity. An address was read to the new parish priest to welcome him to the new parish and to express to him the joy and devotion of the parishioners. Another was addressed to Father Stanislas Robichaud to thank him for the hard work he had done with settlers both spiritually and temporally.

Our first priest lived for some time in the upper part of the parish hall, waiting for the construction of the presbytery to be completed. On the first day of construction there were 85 parishioners who came to work and help in more than 15 horses and two trucks. We went to the forest to cut the frame. Four months later Father Roche entered his brand new presbytery.

Father Roche remained in the parish for only ten months, and was replaced by Father Henri Levesque, who was replaced by Father Donat Albert. He organized several movements: scouts, guides, Third Order. He modernized the interior and exterior of the chapel. On May 24, 1955 the parish received the name of Our Lady Help of Christians. The father ran the parish until 1967. He set up the movements of the Children of Mary, the Ladies of St. Anne, the League of the Sacred Heart, he also organized the Chamber of Commerce. He carried out three major projects: the construction of the current church in 1964, the Notre-Dame School in 1963 and the blueberry project. He also brought the nuns of the Filles Marie de l’Assomption in 1962 as teachers.