Société pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Pointe-Claire

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Pointe-Claire

History of the First Church

Plan of a church similar to that of Pointe-Claire by Jean Maillou - Click to enlarge
Plan of a church similar to
that of Pointe-Claire by
Jean Maillou, c. 1715,
Musée de la Civilisation
Seminary of Quebec Archives


   
It was not until 1713 that the parish originally named Saint-François-de-Sales (Pointe-Claire) came into being. The division of territories was a result of the separation of the parishes of Lachine and Sainte-Anne-du-Bout-de-l'Île. It is then considered that the number of colonists justified the building of a church for the purposes of worship and administration.

It appears that from 1699 to 1713 no religious authority was permanently established in Pointe-Claire. In fact, the priests were coming from Lachine and from Saint-Louis-du-Haut-de-l'Île. Most notable amongst them, René-Charles de Breslay. Pointe-Claire could not have a resident priest until a proper church was built. The parish was established in 1713 and the inauguration of the "first" church took place on October 17th of that same year. French military engineer Josué Dubois Boisbertelot de Beaucours is credited with the construction of this stone church measuring 30 feet (9.90 m) wide by 60 feet (19.80 m) deep. Initially called Saint-François-de-Sales, six months later, on May 1st, the church was renamed Saint-Joachim-de-la-Pointe-Claire. It was located on the site of the present "fourth" church. The village's spiritual life could now come together within the parish. Furthermore it was used for social, economical and political activities. It acted as a focal point for the colonists providing them with a strong means of identification and in turn creating a sense of belonging. With the arrival of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame and their convent, the Catholic Church had all it needed to consolidate its power and maintain its prerogatives in the new parish.

The second church | The third church | The fourth church | Monumental architecture | Main church page