ST. MICHAEL'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
Submitted by Illa Borowsky
In 1896, Fathers Albert Lacombe and Joseph Adeodat, both Oblates, founded the Metis Colony of St. Paul-DesMetis. The Metis had first choice of homesteads and a clear title to eighty-acre plots of land. Most, feeling hemmed in by "whites", preferred emigrating to other climes. In 1909, the Metis settlement was thrown open to "white" homesteaders.
The Oblate Fathers from St. Paul served the needs of the Roman Catholic families in Elk Point. On October 18, 1921, Father Connoir wrote to Archbishop J. O'Leary, D.D., of Edmonton, to ask permission to build a church in Elk Point for the fifteen Roman Catholic families who were living there at that time.
He received $500.00 from the Archbishop for that purpose, plus $135.00, to buy a horse and buggy for his travelling. A note written to Father Kennedy MacLean by Archbishop J. O'Leary in October, 1931, reads, "Do your best to establish a church there." And he did.
St. Michael's Catholic Church was built by volunteer labor, both Catholic and non-Catholic, and was completed in 1929.
St. Michael's Catholic Church and Manse.
CONFIRMATION CLASS 1947 or 1948
St. Michael's Catholic Church
Bishop Boudeux officiating
FRONT ROW: Maryann Fisher, Joan Kepke
MIDDLE ROW: Marie MacDonell, Lucille Bartling, Delcie Kepke, Fr. Morin.
BACK ROW: Milton Ross (All Left to Right)
Mr. Joseph Keller built a beautiful altar for the church. Father Fitzgerald, Mr. Keller and Auburn Kepke built pews in Mrs. Keller's kitchen. All planing and sanding was done by hand. The pews were hauled to the church by horses and wagon.
Mr. Keller's daughter, Nellie Kepke, always had a hot dinner for the priests. She tells of cooking Sunday dinner for the Bishop, who was six-foot-four, and her front door was only six feet high. Despite her saying her little log house wasn't quite the right place to entertain a Bishop, everything turned out well and was greatly enjoyed by all.
In September, 1936, a donation of $500.00 from the Catholic Church Extension was sent to build a rectory, the estimated cost of which was $469.48
The congregation has recently formed a Parish Council --president, Father Fortier; Chairman, Eddy O'Kane,; Vice-chairman, (Mrs.) Louise Maas; secretary, (Mrs.) Marlyne Kryvenchuk. Other committee members are -- Sister Dubois, Mrs. Albert Boratynec, Mrs. John Lukevich, Mrs. Bill Bartling, (Mrs.) Yvonne Wyatt, Eugene Symbaluk, John Lukevich, Eddy Poulin, (Mrs.) Carolyn Onusko and Mrs. Eddy Poulin.
The purpose of the council is to provide guidance in all forms of Christian education, advise on finance, and organize parish gatherings.
Presently, Father Fortier from Fishing Lake Colony holds service in St. Michael's Church every Saturday at 7:45 p.m.
Priests who have served in Elk Point are --1921-31 Father Louis Connoir (Fort Kent); 1931-34 Father Kennedy McLean (Flat Lake); 1935-36 Father L.G. Stewart; 1937 Father V.J. Curtis; 1938-39 Father Morgan Johnson;1940.42 Father Walter Fitzgerald; 1943 Father Gerard Leducand Father Jacob Ashe; 1943-49 Father Paul Morin; 1949-50 Father Leo Bartley; 1950.51 Father Alfred Quirion; 1951-53 Father Pierre Houben; 1953-56 Father Emile Champagne;1956-58 Father Patrick Heffernan; 1958-60 Father J.M. Martineau; 1960-61 Father Ronaldo Benoit; 1961-62 FatherClaude Robitaille (St. Paul); 1962-64 Father Rosaire Morin (St. Paul); 1964-65 Father Henri Bois (St. Paul); 1965-66 Father A. Beaupre (St. Edouard); 1966-67 Fathe L. Desgagne(Idem); 1967.69 Father A. Houde (St. Paul); 1969-70 Father R.Bissonnette (Id.); 1970-71 Father R. Simard (Idem);1971-73 Father A. Tetu (Idem); 1973-76 Father R. Grondin(Lafond); 1976-77 Father Fortier (Fishing Lake Colony)