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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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His Gracc Archbishop Beliveau blessed the new church, which took the name of "St. Hyacinth" (a Saint of Polish descent), and Father Kowalski said the first mass. Father Francis Stronski became the first pastor.
During the year 1952, the St. Hyacinth Parish was changed from a Polish speaking church into an English speaking one. Father Mark Nelissen, a Capuchin of Flemish descent was the first parish priest to establish this change.
Father Mark Nelissen had his residence in the basement of the Church un til 1958 'when a house across the street was purchased as a rectory. Father Bernard Robert, who succeeded him, sold the build ing and had a rectory built next to the Church sometime between 1959 and 1962.
Rev. Father Anacletus Mennen has been the pastor of St.
Hyacinth since 1964.
This Church, as it is today, is a parish where different people of several nationalities combine in a spirit of brotherhood as "Cana dians;', working together for the benefit of their church, and hoping to see the same prosperity and unity for our great country.
The Church of Christ was formed in 1871 and Mr. A. McLarty had the foresight at that time to realize the importance of recording events that led up to it. It is possible that very few people have seen this precious document, which is said to be the first account written, so we will quote it verbatim for you.
"Thinking a brief account of the rise and progress of the estab lishing of the Christian Church in the Province of Manitoba might in after years be interesting and edifying, I will state in as full a manner as possible and with brevity also, the rise and progress.
The first Christian disciples that came to this country were J ohn Conner and his wife, Elizabeth Conner (formerly Sissons) and sister Anna Kitson (also Sissons). This was about May, the year of 1867, although no church organization took place for a long time afterwards.
In 1868 T. H. Boddy followed to this country, although no Province was then created. The former person (T.H.B.) returned the same fall, probably in November or December of same year to Ontario, the birth place of all the above disciples. In the following March he returned with F. Ogletree to Red River settlement as it was then called, arriving on the 28th of April, 1869, and in the