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Holy Cross Roman Catholic Parish Church - Holyrood

History of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Parish Church



Like all the other small communities in the Conception Bay central area, Holyrood was settled in the late 1700's and early 1800's primarily by Irish Catholic immigrants. The nearest large center serving the Catholic community at that time was Hr. Grace, with one of the earliest established Catholic parishes in the area. It served not only Hr. Grace, but various mission churches along the coast of Conception Bay. As settlements and communities grew, parishes were established in individual communities. Holyrood was first a mission of Hr. Grace, and later of St. Patrick's in Brigus when it was established in 1824, and then a mission of Hr. Main after a parish was established there in 1857.

In September, 1883 Holy Cross officially became a parish of the diocese of Hr. Grace. Father Gregory Battock served as its first parish priest until 1891. Since his tenure, Holy Cross has had eight other parish priests and six administrators. The parish, even though relatively young, has had three churches. The first, the mission church, was replaced in 1899 by a much larger building. Unfortunately, in 1918 this church was completely destroyed by fire. Father Finn, parish priest at the time, with the support of the congregation undertook to have a new church built immediately. In 1919, Christmas Eve Mass was celebrated in the new building. Some of the older parishioners today can recall selling blueberries or squid or doing odd jobs to help raise their share of the replacement costs. The spirit of cooperation was very strong and had been enhanced even more by the establishment of the Star of the Sea Association in 1902. From it's earlier years to late 1960's Holy Cross Parish, again like the others in the area, was directly responsible for the education in the community. The present Holy Cross Church is the one built in 1919. It has been renovated and modified in recent times to meet the changing needs of today's congregation of about 500 families. A stately church that overlooks the Holyrood Harbor, where it stands as a strong attestation to the faith of generations who have worshipped here over the years.

Information and Records for Holy Cross Roman Catholic Parish

Holyrood, Conception Ba Newfoundland
A0A 2R0

Telephone and Fax #:
(Office)(709) 229-6250
Fax #: (709) 229-4994

e-mail address:
Holy Cross Roman Catholic Parish - Holyrood

Home page:
None Available

Father Tony Hageman

Ms. Patricia Penny

The Church opened in 1883 and records prior to that can be found at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish , Hr Main (1857-1883) and the Immaculate Conception Parish in Harbor Grace (1806-1824). Records from 1825-1856 were held at St. Patrick's Parish in Brigus, however, a fire in 1836 burnt all records from 1824 to 1912. (St. Patrick's managed to save from 1912 to 1936 records from the fire)

Anyone researching the areas from Holyrood to Colliers should also look at the St. Paul's Anglican Church in Hr. Grace from 1775 to 1806 for earlier records and you will be surprised to find some entries there, as well they should also check the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John's, as entries have been found there as well.

Following are the records that are available at the Parish and at the PANL.

Births: 1883-1909 Box 1
Baptisms: 1883-1909 Box 1
Marriages: 1883-1909 Box 1

There are no Vital Statistics Volumes (DPHW) available for this Parish They do have the All Newfoundland Births - Vital Statistics Division microfilm available for this parish at the PANL for the period from 1891 to1926 for baptisms and from 1891 to 1922 for marriages.

The death records for Holy Cross Parish start from 1950 onwards There are microfilms at the PANL from the Vital Statistics Division from 1891 to 1949 for deaths.

The following cemeteries were used:

1. Holy Cross Cemetery - The Point Road (across from Lewis Fish Plant). This is the oldest cemetery and is not used anymore.

2. Holy Cross Cemetery - Top of the Valley Hill on the North side across from the RCMP Building on what is known as Kennedy's Lane - not used anymore.

3. Holy Cross Cemetery - Southside of Holyrood (one that is now in use)

A list of Priests who have served the Holy Cross parish:

    1883-1891  	Rev. Gregory Battcock, PP.
    1891-1900  	Rev. Michael Hanley, Adm. (native of Ireland)
    1900-1908  	Rev. Joseph Murphy, Adm.
    1908-1910  	Rev. Gregory Battcock, PP. (buried beneath 
					 Holy Cross Church)
    1910-1913  	Rev. James Donnelly, PP. (died of T.B. 
					 on May 1916 at age 32 yrs)
    1913-1935  	Rev. William P. Finn, PP. (native of Carbonear
		died 1935 and is buried in Southside Cemetery - Holyrood)
    1935-1940  	Rev. Joseph Peddle, Adm. (elevated to 
					 Monsignor 1953 - died 1976)
    1940-1959  	Rev. William McCormack  Murphy, PP. 
		(died in St. John's 1964 and is buried in Holyrood's 
					 Southside Cemetery)
    1959-1965  	Rev. Michael J. Kinsella, PP. (died Apr 12, 1965)
    1965-1981  	Rev. Edward Shea, PP. 
		(retired for health reasons and still lives in Holyrood)
    1980-1982  	Rev. Raymond Lahey, Adm.
    1982-1988  	Monsignor William P. Hogan, PP.
    1987-1988	Rev. Joseph Crawford, Adm.
    1989-1991  	Rev. William Houlihan, PP.
    1991-1996  	Rev. Edward T. Bromley
    1996-1998  	Rev. Wayne Bromley
    1998-pres  	Rev. Brian Dunn



I would like to thank Patricia Penny of the Holyrood Parish for
the history brochure she sent and also to Sister Magdalen O'Brien
for the history and photo of Holy Cross Church.

Contributed by Barbara McGrath (July 2000)

Page Revised by Craig Peterman (February 2004)

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