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
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.
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 Archbishops
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. Richards Parish and his Spiritual
guidance have strengthened our community.
During Father Foley's time as pastor, he was faithfully assisted by
A highlight in the history of the Parish was the burning
of the mortgage in February 1980.
Following Father Foleys retirement in 1990:
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
The present pastor of St.
Richards is Father Peter Laviolette.