RIVERSDALE, ONTARIO, CANADA
* we now have resident priest *
Father Gordon Kennedy, CSB
Fax 519 - 392 - 8566
Please Pray for Repose of the Soul of our last resident Pastor, Father Omer Fagan
R.I.P. November 19, 2000
Buried in Teeswater
LORD'S DAY MASSES
There is much historical information about the early days of the Catholic Church in Riversdale.
Much of the following information was obtained from the History of Riversdale and Holyrood, published by Rev. W. Goodrow in 1926.
On November 9, and 29th, 1860, two respective donations of land were made to the church, Jean Baptiste Cascagnette giving two acres of ground and Luke Chatreau giving three acres.
In 1861, Father J. St. Aubin was stationed in Riversdale as the first parish priest. During Father Aubin's time, a two and half storey house was erected for the parish priest on the land South of the present west parking lot. A log cabin was built to serve as church and separate school in the north-east comer of the church lot. The school opened on October 24, 1861. On Sundays, the school became the House of Worship. The cemetery began where the present frame church stands.
At this time, the only other priest in Bruce County besides Riversdale's Father St. Aubin, was Father Gstir; Pastor of Formosa. This gives the reader some idea of the part that Riversdale first had in the Catholic missionary endeavour of Bruce County.
Occasional Indian bands roamed through the forest hunting and trapping. Many of them camped in this locality and on Sunday, some of them were seen at Mass.
It was in 1865 that Father Kelly was appointed Parish Priest of Riversdale. He decided shortly after his coming that the log cabin which had served as church and school should not be used any longer for church services. Thus the cemetery was changed to its present location and the bodies were moved. Preparations were quickly under way for the erection of the present frame church which has served the Riversdale parish to this day.
With characteristic energy and zeal, a beginning was made and the Catholics then living here combined their efforts in the hewing of timbers, framing the building, etc., and in the fall of 1866, their House of Worship, was finished at a very small cost to them.
About the year 1868, Father Kelly made arrangements with the Public School Board that the Catholic children would attend their school. This was likely the result of fewer children and the impossibility of paying a teacher's salary. It wasn't until 1923, that once again, a separate school was established in Riversdale beside the Church.
In 1910 Father A. Capps was appointed Parish Priest and it was at this time, that a shed was built on the grounds with the assistance of Charles Bechler and the parishioners and that the last vestige of the second parish rectory was removed.
In 1922, Father William Goodrow, was appointed Pastor and Riversdale, after years of more or Iess retrogression had returned to the pristine glories of its early history, when it was a parish unto itself, again.
In l 923, efforts began to construct a new Catholic school. Debentures were issued and the school was built on St. Ann's church property. After months of unbending effort, the school was finally made ready with full equipment for the formal opening in January 1924 at a cost of about five thousand dollars.
During 1923, another important enterprise was initiated and a supplementary parcel of adjoining property was purchased. A magnificent permanent residence for the Riversdale parish priest was built on this site directly east of the church.
Some sixteen hundred trees were planted on the church grounds with the hope that sometime in the future they would develop into a miniature forest something akin to the early days.
In 1941, the church was raised and a new foundation was substructed.
In 1966, the St. Ann's Separate School was closed and the children bussed to the new Chepstow Central School. The Riversdale Catholic Women's League became the caretakers of the former school and renovated it to become the community hall.
In 1974, our rectory was closed and Riversdale became a Mission Church of Formosa and then Teeswater in 1975. Since that time the rectory has been rented for housing accommodations.
St. Ann's Church continues to be well
received by the Catholics in our
We acknowledge the summer people who attend St. Ann's during the summer months.
We look forward to ensuring St. Ann's Church stays a humble place of Christian worship for the parishioners of St. Ann's, Riversdale.
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The Diocese of Hamilton in Ontario
Parishes in Bruce-Grey Counties
Cape Croker (Neyaashiinigming 1st Nation) - St. Mary email
Cargill - St. Joseph
Carlsruhe - St. Francis Xavier
Chatsworth - St. Stanislaus
Chepstow: Mary Immaculate email
Collingwood - St. Mary
Dundalk - St. John the Evangelist
Durham - St. Peter
Formosa - Immaculate Conception
Glenelg - St. John
Hanover - Holy Family email
Hepworth - St. Mary
Kincardine- St. Anthony email
Lion's Head - St. Mark
Markdale- St. Joseph
Meaford - St. Vincent
Melancthon - St. Patrick
Mildmay - Church of the Sacred Heart
Owen Sound - St. Mary and the Missions
Port Elgin - St. Joseph email
Riversdale - St. Ann
Sauble Beach - Holy Family
South Proton - St. Patrick
Southampton - St. Patrick
Stayner - St. Patrick
Teeswater - Sacred Heart
Tobermory - St. Thomas the Apostle
Walkerton: Sacred Heart email
Wasaga Beach - St. Noël Chabanel
Wiarton - St. Thomas Aquinas
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November 29, 1997, 1998 -