Info Archives

Welcome to the page of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Montreal.

The Archives of the Archdiocese of Montreal are rich in history. They are a precious heritage that allows us to better understand who we are. Through them, it is the history of our country that unfolds before our eyes.

The Archdiocese of Montreal recognizes the importance of the transmission of the patrimony of documents for the historical culture and the mission of the Church. Through the page of this website, we want to make better known the places of worship of the diocese, its religious institutions and the great figures of our history. We also hope to highlight the significant role of religious communities for both yesterday and today’s society.

Moreover, we want to make available on internet some of our historical documents and make known some of our obscure or forgotten fonds. Each month, it is through the publication of a document from our collections that we offer an opportunity to rediscover our common history.

Since the foundation of Montreal’s diocese nearly 200 years ago, the face of the Church has greatly changed but Christ remains the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). This reality becomes tangible through the discovery of our Archives.

Our papers are echoes and traces of the passage of the Lord Jesus in the world, said Pope Paul VI. It is Him that we discover through these pages of our history.

"And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.'' (Mt 28:20)

JUNE 2015 - 400th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated at Rivière-des-Prairies

On June 24, 1615, for the very first time, a Mass was sung at Rivière-des-Prairies. It was the first Eucharistic celebration on the island of Montreal (or at least since Jacques Cartier's journeys).

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MAY 2015 - The Saint-Jean-de-Dieu asylum

On May 6, 1890, 125 years ago, the Saint-Jean-de-Dieu asylum was completely ravaged by a terrible fire. Despite the rapid intervention of firefighters, only a few fragments of walls remained standing. The psychiatric hospital run by the Sisters of Providence hosted nearly 1,200 patients.

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APRIL 2015 - On April 19, 1840, Montreal Lost Its First Bishop

175 years ago, on Easter Sunday, Bishop Jean-Jacques Lartigue passed away after a long illness at Montreal's Hôtel-Dieu hospital. Titular Bishop of Montréal for less than four years, Bishop Lartigue had been auxiliary bishop of the Quebec diocese and in charge of the district of Montreal...

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MARCH 2015 - The Liturgical Reform of 1965: 50 years of Masses in English

On March 7, 1965, Pope Paul VI celebrated the first Mass in vernacular in the Roman parish of Ognissanti officially opening the door to the adoption of new liturgical reforms. This change took place a few months before the last period of the Second Vatican Council.

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February 2015 -The Brothers of Charity: 150 years of service in Montreal

As we celebrate the year of Consecrated Life, the Church of Montreal marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival in the diocese of one of its most fascinating male religious communities. The Brothers of Charity set foot in Montreal on the 22 February 1865.

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JANUARY 2015 - Sixty years ago our cathedral adopted a new name

Every now and then, we receive a message from someone looking for Montreal's Saint James Cathedral where parents or grandparents were married. These individuals are surprised to learn that this Cathedral still exists and has now been known for sixty years as Mary Queen of the World.

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DECEMBER - 100-year-old letter to Rome

The relations of Montreal's Catholic Church with the Holy See have always held a place of importance in our history. However, the distance separating our diocese from Rome and the means of transportation of the past could lead us to question the depth of the relationships existing between the Bishops of Montreal and the Popes over the centuries.

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NOVEMBER - Consistory of 26 November 1994: Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte elevated cardinal

On November 26, 1994, a consistory was held in Rome, in which the Holy Father appointed thirty new cardinals.  In this sixth consistory convened by Pope John Paul II, the former Archbishop of Montreal Jean-Claude Turcotte was invited to join the College of Cardinals .

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OCTOBER - One hundred years ago: the blessing of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs in Verdun

One of the unsuspected wealth concealed in our archives are the annual financial reports of our diocese's parishes. Although, one could easily judge these columns of figures to be of little relevance to the historian, they in fact contain a multitude of details that allow us to better understand the history of Montreal's parishes.

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SEPTEMBER - Behind the scenes: The papal visit thirty years later

Thirty years ago, John Paul II arrived in Montreal for a two-day visit. Three decades later, the public events that filled his schedule remain engraved in the memory of those who attended them.

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AUGUST - First World War

This year, the month of August marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. On August 4, 1914, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, joining the concert of nations involved in a military conflict that would reach a new span. By doing so, the United Kingdom steered its colonies and its dominions in a war that lasted a little more than four years.

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JUNE - 175th anniversary of the Saint-Raphaël-Archange de l’Île Bizard

Originally named Saint-Bonaventure, Île Bizard was given as a fief to sieur Bizard, major of Montreal on October 25, 1678. The origin of its name can therefore be traced back to its first owner. On maps of the period, Île Bizard was also referred to as Major Island.

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MAY - Canonizations of Pope Jean XXIII and Jean-Paul II

On April 27, 2014, the Catholic Church celebrated the canonization of two great popes of the last century. One can wonder if the archives of the diocese of Montreal have kept traces of these two great men. Pope John Paul II was undoubtedly more familiar with Montréal and our Diocesan Church than his predecessor.

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APRIL - Venerable Rosalie Cadron-Jetté

150th anniversary of the death of the venerable Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, founder of the Misericordia sisters.

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