In 1913, the population of McBride was substantial with over two thousand men working to complete the railway. Church records have the first Mass in McBride occurring in 1914 by Father Patrick Beaudry in a private home. Father Beaudry was a missionary who travelled along the Grand Trunk Pacific preaching missions in Canada and the United States. For several years Mass would alternate between various homes.
The next missionary in McBride was Father ‘Louis” OMI in 1918. Father Louis, with the help of John Lyons Jamieson promoted the building of a church in town. This first Catholic Church (the third church established in McBride) was a converted house on 2nd Ave between King and Main Street. The front was used for Mass and the back was renovated as the priest’s residence. While the house was used for many years, it proved difficult to heat due to its size and plans were made to construct a new building.
In 1936, work on the new church was begun and in 1937, the church was officially blessed. While some renovations have occurred, including the removal of the hall in the back, the Church itself looks much like it did in the 1940’s.
Photo courtesy Sisters of Service Archives