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Legacy in wood - The Fretwork Decor of St.Vincent Church: The Sacred Works of Art of Father Charles Chalifoux, CSSP  

Introduction

 

Doorway PanelThe community of St. Vincent, established in 1906, had been subject to numerous upheavals and deceptions before the arrival of Fr. Charles Chalifoux in December of 1933. Early on, the village had been relocated to a more central location. The hoped for railroad bypassed the town in 1918 and that year an arsonist reduced to ashes the large church which was still under construction. Intensive lobbying failed to bring a railroad spur to the town and consecutive efforts to rebuild the church were failures.

By 1933, two successive parish priests had died there, and the Doorway PanelEnglish language clergy had nicknamed the parish “Boneyard of the Diocese.” In spite of all these difficulties, the parish community was a dynamic one, filled with hope for a better future. In 1929, a community of teaching nuns, the Sisters of Assumption, had come to staff and manage the school. Even if the parish had debts and was feeling the effects of the Great Depression, upon Fr. Chalifoux’s arrival, the parish council agreed to his plan to build a church. Although it was to be labour intensive, comparatively little cash would be involved in the construction and decoration.

 

 


Reprinted with permission from the St. Paul Historical Museum and with members of the parish of St. Vincent.