Street Address : 512 Frontenac
Period: After 1950
Although catholic churches existed in Kingston before the 1950’s, including St Mary’s, they did not usually have masses in French. The members of Club Champlain (the francophone club) were very catholic and aware of the fact that the Catholic Church was a force that assured the survival of the French language in Quebec. The group contacted the chief administrative officer of the Jesuit College of Regiopolis, to request that the francophone community can attend the college.
The college accepted and, every Sunday, there was a sermon in French.
In 1958 it becomes necessary to move to the Soeurs de la Providence Chapel, which is more spacious. The church wanted an exclusive francophone catholic place of worship, run by a francophone priest. Archbishop of Kingston at the time, Mgr. J.A. O’Sullivan offered to make a request to the other bishops and received a positive response. On July 26, 1958, Father Henri Perron of St. Boniface came to set up in Kingston. The mass was held for the first time on August 3rd of that year, at the chapel of the Soeurs de la Providence. On August 26th an association of “dames auxiliaires” was formed. Following quickly was the formation of a children’s choir and Sunday school classes. Religious authorities gave the name St. Francois d’Assise to the Church, to commemorate the St. Francois chapel, built by the Recollets in 1675 at Fort Frontenac. A fundraising campaign started for the construction of the new church and more than $10 000 was raised. The church, situated at 512 Frontenac Street, received the benediction of Mgr O’Sullivan on March 12, 1961. Father Perron, and the other priests that followed, including Father Rozen and Father Wolan, were very committed to the creation of French classes and schools, and often worked with other francophone social organisations, especially the Club Champlain.
Léopold Lamontagne «Hospitalité des Jésuites », L’Appel, 1st year, num. 3, 6 july 1958, p. 1
2Anonymous, «L’union fait la force », L’Appel, 4th year, num 5, mid-march 1961, p. 1.