Sunday, 4 September 2016

St Michael the Archangel Parish, serving Montreal's Mile End Irish community

As I've noted here and here, my paternal grandparents were married in St Michael the Archangel Church in Montreal in September 1909. It turns out that the building that stands today at St-Urbain and St-Viateur isn't the building where they were married, or where my father and three of his brothers were baptized.

The original St. Michael the Archangel Parish was in a hall above a fire station at St-Denis and Laurier streets in 1902. The parish community quickly outgrew that space, and a small church was built and Boucher and Drolet streets, where a cornerstone was laid on 29 May 1904. It was here in this building that my grandparents were married, and where my father, Butler and his brothers Marc, Luke and Paul were baptized. Yes, three of my uncles were named after the apostles. My grandfather said the rosary daily. What can I say? Many years ago, I met the father of a friend who had dated my aunt. He remembered her because "her brothers were named after the apostles".

I've been unable to locate any photos of the church at Boucher and Drolet that served my family from 1909 to 1915, but I did find a nice early history here.

St Michael the Archangel Parish c 2016
Work on the very Byzantine structure that became the third home of the church of St Michael that still stands today began in July 1914. The first mass was celebrated in it in December 1915. My youngest uncle was the first and last of our family baptized in this beautiful setting in March 1919, probably not long before the family moved to their new home on West Hill Avenue in NDG.

Since 1964, the church has served Montreal's Polish Catholic community, with masses offered in English and Polish. It is now known as the Church of St Michael and St Anthony.

The never ending story continues....

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