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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
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
Contributed by Barbara McGrath (July 2000)
Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)
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