St. Richard'S
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Parish History

In 1903 Cote St. Luc was incorporated as a village but, prior to that, there were sufficient farm families in the area to warrant concern over meeting the spiritual needs of the people. In 1835 the Sulpicians erected a chapel at what is now the northeast corner of Cote St. Luc Road and King Edward Avenue to serve the large area to the west of Girouard Ave.

During the early 1920's the Sulpicians withdrew and the spiritual needs of the area became the responsibility of the Dominican Fathers at Notre Dame de Grace Church. The old chapel was sold in 1927 and subsequently demolished in 1963.

The Cote Saint Luc School Commission allowed the use of Pius XI school at the corner of Westminster & Cote St. Luc Road for Sunday mass.

When Ste. Catherine de Sienne pari sh was founded in 1950, the responsibility for the Catholics in the are fell under its jurisdiction. The use of the Pius XI chapel for Sunday Mass only continued as before with Ste. Catherine de Sienne being used for other ceremonies.

During the 1950's the village of Cote St. Luc experienced an explosion in population and the area changed from a farming community to a residential one as thousands of homes were built. The Village became a Town and the Town became a City}

Among the new home owners and apartment dwellers was a considerable number of Catholics, mainly English and French, with a number of others of various ethnic backgrounds. The Chapel in Pius XI school became jammed at Sunday mass despite the fact that many of the newcomers attended neighbouring churches such as Ste. Catherins de Sienne, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Monica’s etc.

It was felt that our numbers were sufficient and the time had come to form our own parish. Concerned individuals held meetings in private homes in an effort to formalize an approach to the Archdiocese towards this end. The petition ultimately ultimately presented was successful and on February 4th, 1959, Paul Emile Cardinal Léger issued a decree founding the parish of Saint-Richard. This was followed on February 10th, 1959 by a letter from the Cardinal appointing Father Joseph Chamberland as parish priest. He was authorized to form “un corps de Fabrique” and on March 2nd, 1959 a meeting was held at which eight wardens were elected.

Immediately after the founding of the parish and the arrival of Father Chamberland, parish activities commenced. A good rapport still continued with the Cote Saint Luc School Commission which allowed the new parish to use the “new” Cote Saint Luc School for all its functions, with the Pastor in residence in an old cottage immediately adjacent to the school. Daily mass and the sacraments were available, a chaplain was available for the school children and spiritual and social activities commenced.

One of the main objectives of the new Parish was to have its own church and, towards this end, a great deal of activity was given to fundraising through various means. Father Chamberland was tireless in his efforts to build a new church as soon as possible.

In 1962, property was acquired, plans drawn up and in September excavation commenced. By June of 1963 the work was nearly completed and on June 13, the first mass was celebrated in the new church.

In July 1969 our founding pastor, Father Chamberland, was transferred to St. Sixte Parish in St. Laurent as pastor.

The Redemptorist Fathers accepted the Archbishop’s offer that they take over the administration of the Parish at this time and in September 1969, Father Martin J. Foley C.Ss.R. was appointed pastor. His unceasing dedication to St. Richard’s Parish and his Spiritual guidance have strengthened our community.

During Father Foley's time as pastor, he was faithfully assisted by Father Baldwin.

A highlight in the history of the Parish was the burning of the mortgage in February 1980.

Following Father Foley’s retirement in 1990:

 Father Joe Sullivan was assigned as parish priest and served faithfully until 1996, as did 

Father Peter Laviolette served between 1996 and 2000. 

Father Herbert Schulz served between 2000 and 2003.

Father Placido Macarine served between 2003 and 2005.

Father Ron Calhoun served between 2005 and 2008.

Father Lou Cerulli served between 2008 and 2010.

Father Manus Bradley served between 2010 and 2013.

Father Victor Arockiyasamy assisted Fr. Manus from 2010-2013.

The present pastor of St. Richard’s is Father Peter Laviolette.