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Moreover, we want to make available on internet some of our historical documents and make known some of our obscure or forgotten fonds.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 2016: Mother Teresa visits Montreal

2016 will be the year of Mother Teresa of Kolkata's canonization. The foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity will be canonized on 4 September 2016 in a ceremony scheduled to take place in Rome.

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May 2016: 180th anniversary of the diocese of Ville-Marie

This month marks the 180th anniversary of the foundation of our diocese. It is on the 13 of May 1836 that Pope Gregory XVI canonically erected the district of Montreal into a new diocese .

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April 2016 - The division of Montreal’s Notre-Dame parish

Ignace Bourget, second Bishop of Montreal, was at the head of our diocese for more than 35 years. During his long episcopacy, he implemented many initiatives and took important decisions with consequences extending to our own days.

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MARCH 2016 - 35 years of dedication. A short history of the permanent diaconate in Montreal

Permanent deacons are familiar figures to anyone who regularly attends Mass in our diocese. It is not unusual to notice a deacon assisting the priest in the Sunday liturgy or celebrating the baptism of a child. .

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FEBRUARY 2016 - The Cardinal’s hospital

On 24 January 1956, the Archbishop of Montreal made a rather surprising acquisition. Cardinal Léger acquired the former Montreal General Hospital located on Dorchester Boulevard (now René-Levesque).

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JANUARY 2016 - The struggle around Curé Antoine Labelle

On the night from the 3 to 4 of January 1891, the renowned Curé Labelle passed away in Quebec City. Although his name is typically associated with the Laurentian region, we often forget that Antoine Labelle was first a priest of the diocese of Montreal.

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DECEMBER 2015 - The Inauguration of Montreal’s Church of the Gesù

On December 3, 1865, feast day of Saint Francis Xavier, a new church opened its doors in Montreal.

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NOVEMBER 2015 - November 7, 1840: the signing of a concordat leads to the foundation of Montreal’s Grand Séminaire

Sources : ACAM, Fonds Derome, Ph3a 0084Unlike what we might be led to believe, the beginning of the 19th Century in the diocese of Montreal was characterized by an important lack of priests. As the Catholic population of the district of Montreal continued to increase...

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OCTOBER 2015 - Inauguration of the Catholic School of Social Service

Sources : BAnQIn October 1940, 75 years ago, Montreal's new Archbishop Joseph Charbonneau, inaugurated the Catholic School of Social Service.

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SEPTEMBER 2015 - The inauguration of the Saint-Sulpice Library, 100 years later

Source: Archives de la Ville de Montréal, VM94-Z176-1100 years ago, on September 12, 1915, the Saint-Sulpice Library was inaugurated on Saint-Denis Street. This project was primarily the initiative of the priests of Saint-Sulpice, who funded its construction

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AUGUST 2015 - On 31 August 1940, Bishop Charbonneau becomes Archbishop of Montreal

In many respects, Archbishop Joseph Charbonneau remains the most misunderstood bishop of Montreal. Despite spending ten years at the service of our diocese, his surprising and unexpected resignation has absorbed everyone's attention.

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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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