A commemorative cairn for the Our Lady of Peace Mission is located west
of Calgary, off the road that runs from Cochrane to Bragg Creek.
The mission has
its roots in the itinerant activities of Roman Catholic priests who, beginning
in 1865, followed Aboriginal
people on buffalo hunts. Father Scollen, O.M.I. was the first priest at
the mission. Initially known as the Mission of Our Lady of the Prairies, the
first mission chapel was built in
1872, shortly after the establishment of the nearby Methodist mission at
Morley. Initially only a small wintering hut, the mission continued to
move and after several
relocations, in 1889, a stone church was constructed and the mission renamed The
Immaculate Conception. Eventually St. Mary's Cathedral, completed in
1957, replaced the stone church.
The Our Lady of Peace mission
was developed as mission to the
Blackfoot, the dominant tribe on the plains. As the city of Calgary grew
and the Blackfoot people settled on reserves further
south, the Our Lady of Peace Mission shifted its focus to the immigrant
communities of Calgary.