Celebration of a Bicentenary

On Sunday, September 3, 2023, Holy Guardian Angels Parish, where the Daughters of Jesus were present for forty years,  celebrated a Memorable 200th anniversary. The parish is located in l’Ardoise, Richmond County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Beginnings of the parish

The history of the parish of l’Ardoise began in the 18th century, when the region was under the supervision of the Pastor of Arichat. In 1771, a chapel was built and missionary-travelers provided spiritual care. In early January 1823, a resident priest arrived. On January 8, 1823, the parish books record the first baptism. This was the beginning of the Holy Guardian Angels parish– the 9th parish in the Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Presence of the Daughters of Jesus

Father Alfred A. Boudreau invited the Daughters of Jesus to help in the parish educational and spiritual life. They were part of the parish for 40 years, from 1943 to 1983. Several Filles de Jésus, originally of l’Ardoise, are still alive, interested and attached to their parish. Many other Daughters of Jesus who worked in l’Ardoise for years have left their mark even to this day.

Various events to mark the bicentenary

A 200th anniversary planning committee was set up. The theme chosen: ‘Ancestry. Faith, Families’ has become the hallmark of Holy Guardian Angels parish. The Bicentenary began with a Mass on January 8, 2023. There have been many projects during the year: leisure activities, meetings and fundraising for the parish. Since January 8 I’ve felt part of the celebrations as I have been able to follow them from afar, thanks to  technical resources.

Closing of the Bicentenary

September 3, 2023 marked the closing of the celebrations with a Thanksgiving Mass at 3:00 pm presided by the Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish, Monsignor Wayne Kirkpatrick. Being the only Daughter of Jesus to participate in this special celebration was a great joy for me as a former parishioner and Daughter of Jesus. As such, I was asked to proclaim the 1st reading. Several priests came to celebrate with us. It was a celebration filled with gratitude for the wonders the Lord has done for this parish. Following the Eucharistic celebration, we headed for the parish hall, where a delicious meal awaited us, served by members of the parish. The moment has now come to convey our gratitude and offer presentations. All was very heart-warming. We left with grateful hearts for everything that has been experienced since January 8, 2023.

The future of the Holy Guardian Angels parish

We felt that there was so much life in all the activities that have taken place during the year. These present parishioners have certainly followed in the footsteps of our ancestors. That same spirit is still very much alive in this  vibrant community now looking towards the future.

We read on their flyer:

In Memory of our Ancestors, may we continue

to serve with joyful spirits for many years to come.”

Margaret Wincey, f.j.

Moncton, N.B. Canada

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