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Fr. Richard Fortin

Founded 1925
Bishop Joseph Hallé
Pastor Edgar Marleau

In Place  
Bishop vacant
Administrator Richard Fortin
Population (2000) 519
  •  P.P.C.: --
  •  P.F.C.: Mr Armand Lefort


The Parish of Hornepayne was founded on May 1st, 1925, by Bishop Joseph Hallé, under the name of Parish of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus. The parish kept that name until around 1935, when the first parish priest, Fr. Edgar Marleau, was transferred to Geraldton.

For many years, communities along the C.N. Railway line from Oba to Nakina, were missions of the Hornepayne Parish and at times, there was an assistant Pastor along with the Parish Priest.

The parish registers show that on October 9, 1934, Father J.H. Touchette of the Saint-Euphémie Parish in Casselman , Ontario, was delegated to bless the church bell, which was given the name «Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus». The sponsors for the blessing of the bell were Mr. Peter M. Copps, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Barnes, Mr. Arguillien, Mr.& Mrs. Alphonse Chouinard and Mrs. McNeil.

On July 11th, 1935, Bishop Hallé appointed Father Patrice Lafrenière, as assistant to Father Marleau. Other missions of the Hornepayne Parish, which keep reappearing in the Parish Register, are Geraldton, Longlac, Hardrock Station, Grant, Kowkash, Cavell and Armstrong.

On March 24, 1938, Bishop Hallé blessed the church under the new name of Holy Name of Jesus assisted by Fr. Zoël Lambert, chancellor of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Ontario, Fr. Achille Cournoyer, parish priest of Gogama, Fr. Joseph Proulx, parish priest of Mattice, Fr. Joseph Couture, a Jesuit missionary amongst the Ojibway people of Longlac, Fr. Gustave Lampron, parish priest of Foleyet, Fr. Edgar Marleau, parish priest of Geraldton and Fr. Patrice Lafrenière. Amongst the many witnesses to this great event, were some of today's parishioners and recent parishioners such as Vincent Whent, René Olivier and the late Willied McEwen. Fr. Lafrenière became parish priest in the later part of 1939.

On February 18, 1940, the new Bishop of the Diocese of Hearst, Bishop Joseph Charbonneau, came to bless the Way of the Cross. The report of the Parish for 1940, shows a total population of 1,000 of which 176 are Catholics, 143 practising. By the end of 1945, the total population had increased to 1,200, with 191 Catholics, of which 164 practised their faith.

On May 22, 1948, Fr. Jean-Paul Laurin took over the parish as well as the missions of Nakina and surrounding areas. He remained until 1955. Fr. Louis-Georges Dupuis then took over. With the help of his brothers, he built the parish hall, which is now our church, and made repairs to the rectory. The Parish Council of the Catholic Women's League was founded on September 18th, 1955, at a meeting in the rectory under the leadership of Fr. Dupuis and Florence Kruger, Hearst Diocesan C.W.L. President. Enella Prévost was the founding president.

On May 16, 1956, the new parish hall, now the church, was blessed by Bishop Lévesque. He was assisted by Fr. Gustave Lampron of Geraldton, Fr. Irenée-Onil Cusson of Gogama and Foleyet, and Fr. Hamel, missionary Jesuit of Longlac. The records show that the Bishop stayed all of the following day to attend a special concert prepared for the opening of the new hall.

Fr. Dobbelsteyn was appointed parish priest in May 19, 1958, and a little over a year later, Fr. Brunelle took charge of the parish until 1966. In October 1966 Fr. Léon Boily became the parish priest until August 1969, when he was replaced by Fr. Lucien Bouillon who stayed until 1973. Father Clément Filion followed for a short while then Fr. Léo Papineau from August 1974 to 1975. In August 1975, Fr. Léopold Gagnon administered the parish until October of the same year when Fr. Armand Proulx was appointed parish priest. Fr. Proulx was replaced in mid-year 1977 by Fr. Daniel O'Rourke, who was in turn replaced by Fr. Jean-Marc Pelletier in early 1979. He remained until August 1989. Fr. Pelletier was the last resident priest in Hornepayne. Under his term, the Council of the Knights of Columbus was founded. In August 1989, Bishop Roger appointed Sr. Lilianne Demers as animator of Holy Name of Jesus and he himself served as Parish Priest until his death in 1993. Sr. Lilianne was delegated to perform baptisms and to preside at funerals when no priest was available. She returned to her religious community in June 1995 and after having recruited and trained numerous volunteers to serve as altar servers, lectors, presiders, choir members, Gospel readers and ministers of Communion. She also served as church organist for the six years she was in Hornepayne. The parishioners are very grateful to her, to the former pastors, to Bishop Roger and to the priests of the Hearst zone who devotedly serve us since Bishop Roger's death, as well as to the Sisters of the Assumption of Mary who will take charge of the Holy Name of Jesus parish near the end of this year.

May the Lord God bless all who have served our parish, in the last seventy years, all who are serving it now. May we grow in faith and unity into a strong and vibrant Christian community.

Prépared by Armand LeFort
As first published in
Inter-Par: 1995 - 12 - 11

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