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St. Patrick's R C Parish Brigus and Our Lady of the Snows Mission

History of St. Patrick's R C Parish
Brigus and Our Lady of the Snows Mission



The history of the Brigus parish began almost 180 years ago. The site of the present cemetery is where the first Catholic Chapel was situated. Then land was given to the first parish priest, Rev. Dean Mackin (1824-1856) and a new church and rectory was built. Both the church and the house were destroyed in a fire in 1934. Before Father Mackin came to Brigus, the town was a mission of St. John's where a priest would visit about twice a year. The second priest, Father Edward O'Keefe (1856-1868) built a convent which opened in 1861, where the Sisters of Mercy taught school. The first Catholic school was opened in 1805 by Mr. Robn Power. It was a one room school in his own home and he continued to teach this way until 1826 when the first church was built. And the sacristry was used for a school. Mr. Power taught the girls and boys of Brigus until 1861 when the Sisters came, they looked after the girls and Mr. Power looked after the boys. The education was of the highest standards that could be attained in any parish. The next priest was Father Duffy who died in Brigus at age 65 yrs. The fourth priest, Father Edward Walsh built the rectory and church that was destroyed in the fire of 1934. The new church started in the spring of 1935 and was opened the last Sunday in October 1936. The first wedding in the new church was of James Curran and Grace Roberts. It was Grace's father Percey who built the new church. The first funeral was that of Thomas Noseworthy of Cupids. The last wedding in the church that was burnt was of Nelly James of Brigus and Jake Mahoney of North River. This parish serviced the people of Brigus, Turk's Gut (Marysvale) and Goulds Road from its earliest start. North River and Bay Roberts were also part of this parish at one time. Brigus was part of the Diocese of St. John's until 1856, when it was transferred to Hr. Grace Diocese. Today, St. Patrick's Parish has one mission, Our Lady of Snows in Marysvale which cornerstone was laid on the Feast of the Assumption three days before the chuch in Brigus burnt (1934).

Information and Records of the Our Lady of the Snows Mission
(Marysvale & English Cove) a Mission of
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Parish - Brigus

P.O. Box 25
Brigus, Conception Bay
A0A 1K0

Telephone and Fax #:
(709) 528-4337
Fax #:(709) 528-1092

e-mail address:
not available at this time

Home page:
not available at this time

Rev. William Houlahan

Ms. Rose Walsh

The "Our Lady of Snows Mission is the mission church for Marysvale/English Cove and part of the St. Patrick's Parish. All records pertaining to this mission are at the St. Patrick's Parish Office. There was never a full time Pastor at Marysvale/English Cove Mission.

The St. Patrick's Church opened in 1824 and records prior to that would have been at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Harbor Grace (1806-1824). All records for St. Patrick's in Brigus burnt in 1936, which included all records from 1824 to 1912. The Parish managed to save the records from 1913 onwards. Anyone researching this area can obtain at PANL, the Vital Statistics Division records from 1892 onwards on microfilm.

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.

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 St. Patrick's Parish start from 1913 onwards There are microfilms at the PANL from the Vital Statistics
Division from 1891 to 1949 for deaths.

The following cemetery is used
(including burials for Marysvale and English Cove):

St. Patrick's R.C. Cemetery - located on Cemetery Road in Brigus (started in 1924)

A list of priests who have served the parish of St. Patrick's:

Rev. Dean Mackin		1824-1856
Rev. Edward O'Keefe 1856-1868
Sister of Mercy 1861
Rev. Bernard Duffy 1868-1869
Rev. Edward F. Walsh 1869-1912
Rev. Joseph Murphy 1912-1944
Rev. Edward Jones 1944-1964
Rev. Gregory Pumphrey 1964-1970
Msgr. Edward T. Woodford 1970-1977
Rev. Brendan J. McCarthy 1977-1984
Rev. Linus Coady 1985-1992
Rev. Ronald Bromley 1992-1994
Rev. Wayne Cummings 1994-1997
Rev. William Houlahan 1997-present



I would like to thank Rose Walsh of Brigus for sending me the photo
of the Church and for all her information as well to Sister M. O'Brien
and her assistant Ina of the Archdiocese of Grand Falls for all their
wonderful information.

Contributed by Barbara McGrath (July 2000)

Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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