parish of Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire of Gogama was founded in
1922 by Bishop Joseph Hallé, Apostolic Vicar of Northern
Ontario. The first resident priest was Fr. Achille Cournoyer
who served the parish until 1939. Mass was celebrated in Arthur
L'Abbé's poolroom. The renovated building was used as
a Church until 1947. This same year, Fr. Sylvio Nadeau built
the present Church. The construction was approved by Bishop
Landry of Hearst.
the history of Gogama it is written that as early as 1849 the
Oblate Fathers were visiting this region from time to time.
building of the C.N.R. line in 1912 contributed to the development
of this area. The railroad created jobs and encouraged lumber
companies to come to this region. During the years 1924-1939,
Gogama enjoyed a time of prosperity. The population increased
to about 4 000.
1922, the same poolroom that was used as the church also housed
classrooms. The first school built in 1924 burned in 1950. That
same year the present school was built. The Sisters of the Congregation
of the Holy Cross worked in the parish and the school from 1958-1988.
Gogama parish includes Mattagami First Nations Reserve with
a population of approximately 150 people, Morin Village for
workers of the Gogama Forest Products Co., Shining Tree and
Westree, two resort areas.
had a resident priest almost continually since 1922, the parish
is presently experiencing a major shift primarily due to the
shortage of priests. At the request of Bishop Pierre Fisette,
Bishop of Hearst, two Missionary Oblate Sisters from St. Boniface
accepted to become Parish Animators in August 1995. Sister Thérèse
Croteau does the pastoral work at Gogama, while Sister Laurenza
Lafrenière is in charge of the Mattagami Reserve, Morin
Village, Shining Tree and Westree.
Sisters' mandate is to animate the Christian life of the parish,
in cooperation with the priests and the committed laity who
are serving within the established councils, (Pastoral Council
and Finance Committee) and to promote a deepening of faith in
The Sisters' role is to work with the faithful in order that
they become empowered as baptized Christians to become responsible
leaders in the growth of their Christian community.
priest who come to Gogama for the Eucharistic Celebrations travel
long distances. From Chapleau, Fr. Lucien Bouillon and Fr. Gérald
Chalifoux take turns on the second Sunday of the month. They
are also available for confessions, funerals and marriages and
they generously give their time to meet the people. On the fourth
Sunday of the month, Fr. Denis Brisson comes from Cochrane.
His presence at the Christmas Midnight Mass and during the Holy
Week are greatly appreciated by the parishioners and animators.
The other Sundays the Sisters preside at a bilingual celebration
of the Word, homily and Communion.
also visit the schools, families, the sick and the elderly.
People are very friendly and welcoming.
How good it is for sisters and brothers to live, pray, grow
and celebrate together.
par S. Thérèse et S. Laurenza
First published in / Publié dans
1996 - 01 - 07