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Logo for the 9th Anniversary

CONSTRUCTION

The Slovak people had already organized  the "Privá  Slovenská  Katolícka Jednota" spolok SV JOZEFA branch 402 on April 18, 1902,  and all 35 members took part in the preparation for the building of St.Peter's Church.

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The Diocese of Sault Ste.Marie purchased a plot of land from the C.P.R., and H.Russell Halton, a local architect, and LeBrun Contracting were hired to begin the task.  With the building contract for 15,000 dollars and the yearly wage for a coal heaver being approximately 400 dollars, it was a true testament to the generosity of the families who saved for this important building to be erected. And Osada Sv.Petra, or St.Peter's Parish did come into official existence on July 28th, 1907 when Bishop Scollard D.D. of the Diocese of Sault Ste.Marie laid the cornerstone and blessed the undertaking.  Fully eight hundred Slovaks and Italians from both cities turned out for the ceremony as well as many priests from the town and  the surrounding district who heard the sermons by Father Maynard in both Slovak and Italian. The Bishop addressed  the assembly in English and exhorted them to continue working hard for the completion of this new house of worship. During the service, hymns were sung by a special choir of young Slovak girls.During the building of the church, it appears that services were held in the basement which was conceived to later act as a school for the children. Work continued fervently and the building was slated for a dedication ceremony on November 15, 1907 when disaster struck in the form of a midnight fire. By the time that the fire brigade arrived at 12:15 am on November  3, the entire church was engulfed in flames. The local paper described the scene the next morning: "there was deep mourning in the coal dock section yesterday among the Slavs, weeping and wailing children wrung their hands in frantic grief, for the splendid new Catholic Church for which these poor people have been saving for so long was but a heap of smoldering ruins." Work was begun immediately to salvage whatever was possible and to begin again. The people of the community , including children , spent days trying to salvage the bricks , many returning home with blistered and raw hands from the desperate task.  Another Catholic church,  St.Patrick's, came to the aid with subscriptions to add to those of  the St.Peter's parishioners, and so in 1908 the new church was established on the exact site and building began anew.

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Memorial plaque at St. Peterís.

St.Peter's Parish came into official existence on July 28th, 1907 at the official blessing by Bishop Scollard D.D. of the Diocese of Sault Ste.Marie when he laid the cornerstone. It was completed on October 8, 1911.

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For more details about the upcoming events, contact
Pauline Krupa
at RR14 621 Gorevale Road Thunder Bay P7B 5N1 or
Angela Meady at
ameady@norlink.net

Site Webmaster is Ondro Mihal at omihal@slovak.com.

Document written by Angela Meady (Mikita) © 1998. All rights reserved.
All graphics, design, structure by Ondro Mihal.
All contents ©  1998. All rights reserved.
Last update:
Jan 10, 1998