Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Have you heard of a place called Saint Paul de Kent? It is a small village in Kent County New Brunswick. I would like to share with you an article I read in my book of Saint Paul. I am translating it to English. A young priest age 30 by the name of Father Louis Joseph Ouellet arrived in Sainte Marie de Kent September 13 1870, he knew there was a settlement 12 miles further which needed a priest. Here is what Father Ouellet writes in his journal;
"From my arrival to Notre Dame (Sainte Marie was known as Notre Dame du Mont Carmel) I was put in charge of the new colony of Saint Paul,where I built the new church in 1873 at a cost of $1,700.Only God knows the work, the sacrifices and hardship the settlers and missionaries had in founding these colonies of Saint Paul,Saint Norbert,Adamsville from down below and Upper Bouctouche River.
The poor settlers came from everywhere with their bare necessities.
From 1870 to 1889 the roads were in a very bad state.The horses as were the rest were old and in poor shape that many times we had to walk to take care of the sick.We ate what we could catch, and lodged in cabins or huts that were comfortably heated.
During my first years in Saint Paul and Adamsville I said the mass in the homes of the poor parishioners,who were so anxious to please the missionaries and so generous. I would go to Saint Paul once a month and every two months to Adamsville. In Saint Paul we would say the mass sometimes at Pierrot Leger on the south side of the river and sometimes at Joseph Damboise or Fabien LeBlanc on the north side In 1873 I began saying mass in the new little church measurement 39 x 50 feet which today forms the "sacristie" of the new church.
The cantors or songsters? were;Thaddee Belliveau, Joseph Dambroise, Joseph Bernard,Placide Bourgeois,Placide Robichaud ,and Anase Gallant.
God was helpful, not one person died without the last rites and all the parishoners prayed for them.
When the missionaries were not available, the people would all meet at the church on Sundays and sing the mass and vespers, and Joseph Bernard would read from the bible and say the rosary. All the people would go then go home full of courage for the following week.
Everyone worked, either at hauling logs , or clearing the forest in order to burn in the spring.Many only having bread and molasses and tea for food.
The ones seeing Saint Paul today (this was written in 1897) can hardly believe their eyes. Saint Paul is a flourishing and vibrant village with its own priest,one of the largest church in the county, a rectory .
Many years before I left ,I bought 100 acres of land from the government and added it to the ten acres the church already had. I built an enclosure for the church and for the first cemetery. I also had a good well dug.
Finally before the arrival of Father Hebert I had a rectory built at a cost of $1,300.Jean Bernard was the contractor .I paid the workers $400 for two days work a year for the upkeep of the priest's property.
I would like to add , that even tho I did not like to leave my dear mission,I was very happy to have in such a short time and healthwise and other sacrifices been the first parish priest of Saint Paul."
I hope you liked this little article. I translated it the best that I could.
I also want to add that next July , there is going to be an anniversary of Saint Paul, they are going to have an exhibit on old photos, and I want to be there, to see if there are any photos of some of my ancestors among them.
Have a great day, thanks for the visit.

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