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From 1857 until 1884 Conception Harbour was a mission of Harbour Main. Its original boundaries extending from Middle Cove to Brigus Barrens. The first R.C. church was dedicated to St. Anne and this was built between 1857 and 1861. In 1869 the Sisters of Mercy came there to teach school. The parish of Conception Hr., on of the oldest of the Diocese was established on Jan 01, 1884. The first priest to reside there was rev. Patrick O'Donnell from 1884 to 1891. He was succeeded by Rev. William Veitch from 1891 to 1917. During Father Veitch's pastorate a new church as built in 1904. This church is still used today and is in excellent condition and is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Newfoundland.
Many fine prominent people came from this parish. Rev. Patrick Hearne was born in Colliers (Apr 08, 1888) and died Jul 05, 1931. He is buried near the church in Conception Hr. There is a beautiful shrine built in honor of St. Anne in memory of Sister Gerturde Kennedy, who was miraculously cured at the shrine of St. Anne De Beaupre, Quebec. Patrick Kennedy, student for the priesthood, two Christian Brothers, John Costello and Leonard Dalton are of this parish as well as three priests living in the US, whose parents were born and raised in Con. Hr. as well as a doctor (Paul Walsh), two magistrate's (M.F. O'Toole and John Trahey), a supreme court judge (John J. Mahoney), Ph D's (Robert O'Driscoll, William Gushue, Patrick Gushue and Kevin Burke who are now with the Cdn Vice Consul in Texas). And fourteen residents of Conception Hr. became Sisters of Mercy.
Information and Records for
Updated by Robert Keating with additional information relating to past serving Priests - December 2008
Original Information Contributed by Barbara McGrath (July 2000)
I would like to thank Sister Magdalen O'Brien for sending me the original
history of St. Anne's Parish and to Mrs. Frances Laracy for the beautiful
photo from her personal collection of memoirs (Barbara McGrath - July 2000)
Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)
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