|Lady of Lourdes Church celebrates 100 years|
This year the Choiseul Parish celebrates 100 years since the Catholic Church was built. This is a proud moment for our parish and, on this occasion, we wish to pay tribute to all of our Reverend Fathers who served the parish from Father Abbe Jean- Jacques Joseph Gerfroy in 1765 to Father Arul, our current parish priest. The contributions by the church in the fields of education, economic, social spiritual development are unrivalled. In addition to its pastoral duties, the Church pioneered credit unions/cooperative societies, educational initiatives, youth and human development to name a few. Today, we salute the Church for its great achievements.
History of Choiseul Parish
Choiseul became an independent parish in 1765 with Abbe Jean- Jacques Joseph Gerfroy being our first Parish Priest. He served during the period 1765- 1786.
During the period 1765 - 1911, the Choiseul Parish (along with Laborie, Vieux Fort, Micoud, Praslin, Dennery and Dauphin) belonged to the group of Franciscan Parishes and it was dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi and who seek to follow the manner of life that Saint Francis led - a life of apostolic poverty i.e., without ownership of lands or accumulation of money. They all live according to a body of regulations known as "The Rule of St. Francis”
The New Church
Fr. Rene Roger, our parish priest from 1894 to 1950 (but lived in Choiseul until his death in 1959) championed the initiative for the new church. He estimated the cost to be 2, 410 pounds and began receiving collections for that purpose from 1898; and by 1904, he had collected 601 pounds (approximately $3000 EC).
Here is a chronology of the major milestones:
|The Belfry is a majestic landmark which graces the landscape|
1905 - Materials such as cement, white lime sand, stones were procured.
1906 -The Corner Stone was laid and blessed by Mr. L. Tapon on May 24
1909 -The outer walls were completed.1910 -The wooden columns supporting the clerestory were erected. The old wooden church was demolished.
1911 -The flooring was completed and the church was blessed by Archbishop Dowling who dedicated the Church to our Lady of Lourdes.
Today, we are deeply proud of those legacies and we wish to salute the church for its contributions to the Parish of Choiseul.
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