St. Charles Borroméo celebrates 100 years in the community

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Manon Richard donated the special cake; ready to cut it were, from left: Father Timothy Moyle, Father Patrick Tait, Bishop Michael Mulhall, Deacon Robert Wilson, Father Francis Jaczanaka and Father Rhéal Ouellette.

Colleen McCauley



Manon Richard donated the special cake; ready to cut it were, from left: Father Timothy Moyle, Father Patrick Tait, Bishop Michael Mulhall, Deacon Robert Wilson, Father Francis Jaczanaka and Father Rhéal Ouellette.

Colleen McCauley

OTTER LAKE – About 200 people attended the 100th anniversary celebrations of St. Charles Borroméo Parish, September 22. Bishop Michael Mulhall, other priests and Deacon Robert Wilson, concelebrated mass after which the congregation attended a wine and cheese party followed by dinner, both in the church hall. Brian Presley donated the meal; Beauchamp’s Service and Le Coin Picanoc, the wine; and the Gauthier and Lafleur families, the flowers.
“An anniversary is a time to look at the past and reflect on our rich heritage, and also an occasion to look forward to the future,” said Father Patrick Tait during dinner while he reviewed the history of the church. “This anniversary is significant only to the extent that it reminds us of what St. Paul said to the Corinthians many centuries ago; that it is the people of the parish who are really God’s building, not the brick and mortar we see around us,” he continued. 
Several of the Sisters who formerly taught at St. Mary’s School, and resided in a wing of the St. Charles Rectory also attended the celebration. Parishioner Joan Dubeau paid tribute to the nuns and displayed some historical items such as the old school bell and a head covering girls were expected to wear in church.
The book “Creating a Community in Christ,” written by Gilles Quenneville and Robert Wilson, recalls the history of St. Charles Borroméo. A log chapel called St. Charles Mission was instituted in Thorne in 1871. In 1882, Father Ferreri instructed that the chapel be moved to the church’s current location because it was considered a more central site. A stone church and rectory were built between 1914 and 1918. Father Pierre Martineau was appointed the first priest of the Otter Lake mission in 1913. Fire destroyed the church in 1982; it was rebuilt and officially re-opened in 1983. There have been fourteen parish priests at St. Charles since 1913.