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