Paroisse Sainte-Famille church is privileged to serve the French Catholic community in Calgary and area. Our main focus is to to preserve and encourage growth of the french culture within our city by providing a haven for the french community to meet and pray on a regular basis. Our masses are performed in French. We also offer bilingual services on request and on special occasions: baptism, marriage, funeral.... We have a wealth of information of the French speaking clubs and associations within the city.
All who wish to join our beautiful parish are welcome. We are involved in many activities within our diocese that require us to participate in both the English and French languages.
In the early 1900's the french speaking community in Calgary would congregate at Our Lady of Peace church founded by Father Lacombe, OMI and is now St. Mary's Cathedral. Over time, demographics changed within the community. This triggered the relocation of our small french community to St. Anne’s parish in the S.E. end of the city. Many francophones' remained in the Mission area of city and wished to have a parish closer to home. They pulled together to buy an unfinished Protestant church which is the currently the site of Paroisse Sainte-Famille Church. Through their hard work and fund-raising, the French community completed the church in 1963.
It was a time of great pride for our parishioners and our parish priest. Father Armand Lemire, put Sainte-Famille under the direction of the Oblates of the Immaculate Mary. Our first pastor, Father Beauregard, would not recognize this beautiful white church which replaced the our modest church in a basement from 1928 to 1963.
Over the years, several associations and clubs have emerged within the community; Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the Knights of Columbus, the Ladies of Sainte-Famille, the French club, a French library, several choirs, the Co-operative Homes, Franco-Canadian Society of Calgary, The Friendship Club, The Dramatic Circle, the Scout and Girl Guides, the first french speaking kindergarten in Calgary, a kids club for French classes on Saturday and Catechesis,and many others run by volunteers and very generous souls.
Written from a documentary article of Carmel-Despins Klassen
The crucifix above the altar is carved by hand which is a reproduction of the miraculous crucifix which is in the church of San Pedro in Limpias, a small village in the diocese of Santander in Spain.
It represents the last moments of agony of Christ on the cross. In the sacristy of the church of San Pedro, there are over 8,000 testimonies of miracles, of which 2,500 were under oath.
The reproduction of the crucifix of the Sainte-Famille Church was carved by Peter Franssen, a native Calgarian. Mr. Franssen carved it from the trunk of a poplar tree cut on St. George Island, where is located the Calgary Zoo. We do not know who cut the tree, but the trunk was stored in the garage of Mr. and Mrs. Albert and Antonia Comeault until the wood dried sufficiently. Mr Albert and Mrs Antonio Comeault, parishioners since December 1941, paid the cost of the sculpture and offered the cross to the parish.
M. Franssen who died in 1945, was not a sculptor by profession, but a talented artist. It is not known what inspired him to make a replica of the crucifix Limpias, but the work that took about a year to finish is beautiful. Especially worth noting are the two fingers of each hand extended in blessing and the serene expression of the face.
- In everything, whether it is a thing sensed or a thing known, God Himself is hidden within.
- And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
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