- Patrimoine -

Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Catholic Church

Based on documents from la société d’histoire et de patrimoine de Frelighsburg

Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Catholic Church (photo : http://grandquegec.com)

On September 10, 1872, father Frederic Gigault, parish priest of Bedford, is given permission by tbe Bishop’s Office to purchase a lot with a view to build a chapel. A suitable lot is purchased from Charles M. Smith on 25 February 1873 for the sum of $250.00. That same year, a small church is erected at a cost of$2,250.00. Father Gigault and his successor Father Elphège Gravel lead all the regular masses. The chapel is canonically established as a parish church on 6 September 1878, by the Bishop Louis-Zéphirin Moreau and the first resident parish priest, Father Esdras Rivard, take charge of the new parish on 6 November 1878.

On 7 March 1926, a fire destroys the church and the decision is quickly taken to rebuild. Architect Joseph-Henri Caron is asked to design a new church and contractor Antoine Asselin of Montreal is awarded the contract to build the new church at a cost of$27,000.00.

The protruding facade supports a tower, a lantern and a small spire. The lantern is open on all four sides surrounded by a low railing and houses the bell which was cast by G.E. Morrissette Limited of Quebec City. The bell is blessed in June of 1927. The facade is fitted with a niche that holds a statue of la Vierge Immaculée and ornamented with two small towers at each top corner. The soberly decorated interior has three aisles. The central ceiling is a barrel vault of painted wood panels. Columns support the arch and separate the nave from the aisles on each side, the ceilings of which are also paneled.

The capitals of these classically inspired columns are worked in scrolls and acanthus leaves.

Interior of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes church (Photo : s.h.p.f/Nicole Dumoulin)

The altar is marble as is the lower panel of the semicircular apse. All the marble was a gift of the Missisquoi Marble and Stone Quarry of Philipsburg. Each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross was a gift of one particular donor. The windows of the church are round-headed windows, key stoned on the outside, and allow a copious amount oflLight  into the Church.

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