In February of 1934, with the approval of the
parish council and the help of parishioners, work began on the
construction of a new church. 3 Each lumber contract on Crown lands
cost fifteen dollars, and the labour would be donated by the
parishioners. A contribution of 15 dollars per family was requested; an enormous sum at the time. There was only one
employee, Gaudias Tardif, who accepted to be foreman of the project
for a very minimal sum. Fr. Chalifoux had estimated the cost of the
church at $1,500, and it never had more than $400 in debts4. The
first 20,000 feet of boards were out before spring thaw from mills
near the Beaver River and the structure was up before the snows of
the next fall. Eventually 104,000 linear feet were used. Work bees
were held and money was raised through parish feasts such as St.
John the Baptist Day, raffles and community suppers. By August of
1936, the exterior of the church was almost completed, in time for a
regional Eucharistic Congress which Fr. Chalifoux had organized.
Two square towers flanked the front of the
church, joined by a portico above the porch, a design used in the
1918 church. The new church was 102 feet long and 34 feet wide
(31m/10.3). In the shape of a Latin cross, it had a transept of 56
feet (17m) at the nave. Each side of the transept had an auxiliary
altar and a gallery. Above the main entrance was another loft for
the choir and the organ. Surrounding the main altar and the
ambulatory, was a chancel screen, behind which was a hallway leading
to the confessionals and the sacristies. Four hundred persons could
now be seated.
In the patron’s honour, Fr. Chalifoux gave the
church a Spanish flair, by the exterior of a two-tone gray stucco,
with a tile trim to the roof. Inside the Moorish touch was notable
by the wooden, arabesque chancel screen. Because Fr. Chalifoux had
lived in France, the influence of the European churches he had
visited was visible throughout the décor. For example, the wooden
ceiling vault had imitation stonework arches of stucco.