In writing the history of the Catholic church in Morden, information of the early years is very sketchy. It appears from the attached list of pastors, Morden became a mission around 1896.
The congregation was predominately rural and
ethnic with some living as far as 15 miles away. Transportation was a problem
due to poor roads and a dependency on horse drawn vehicles. Cars did not appear
in any numbers until after 1915. Some families were only able to attend church
on rare occasions. Morden did not have a resident priest and was served in
conjunction with other missions as well as
Little is known about the earlier priests
except that Father J. H. Prud’home (1909, 1917-1921) was later named as Bishop
of Prince Albert, and in 1923 the town of
It will be noted that most of the early priests served only a short period of time in Morden, one or two years at most. In 1924, a change took place. Father Poitras , being a resident of Manitou, took charge of Morden for the next ten years. Masses were then alternated between Manitou and Morden. After the transfer of Father Poitras, Morden was served by Father Brunet from Starbuck. During that period, a fire at the church in Starbuck destroyed most of the records of Morden. These were the depression years and it was a struggle to maintain the church. The church was not used during the winter months, and Masses were occasionally held at the Manitou Hotel courtesy of the Gilbert’s, and in later years at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Degelman.
When times got better and the population of
Morden increased, so did the congregation. The church itself began to
deteriorate. The foundation, which was built of stone, began to crumble and was
rebuilt by volunteer labor. Later on, under the direction of father Baxter, a
complete renovation of the church took place. A small basement was dug to
accommodate a new oil furnace to replace the old pot bellied heater inside the
church, which stood over 6 feet tall. The inside of the church was renovated
and also an addition was placed on the
For the next few years, the congregation
continued to grow and began to outgrow the old church. A committee was set up
to study the possibilities of building a new church. During the studies that
were being conducted, the
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History always has a way of repeating
itself. As of today, Fundraising efforts have continued for the past few years with the hope of building
a new church for the parishioners of Morden. It will be located on
All parishioners have shown this dedication, and we will have the actual building in the near future. Keep up the good work!
1896 – 1898 Father E. B. Rocan
1899 Father F. Viens
1899 Father Woodcutter
1900 Father W. Bitter
1901 Father A. Enk O. M. I.
1902 – 1903 Father Augusta Sufa
1904 – 1905 Father Paul Hilland O. M. I.
1906 Father J. Riedinger O. M. I.
1907 Father Paul Hilland O. M. I
1908 Father J.
1909 Father J. H. Prud’home
1910 – 1916 The Oblate Fathers from Holy Ghost and
1917 – 1921 Father J. H. Prud’home
1923 Father J. Ad. Sabourin
1924 Father J. Bellavance
1924 – 1934 Father G. Poitras
1934 – 1941 Father L. Brunet
1941 – 1952 Father M. Messier
1952 – 1957 Father Robert Baxter
1957 – 1966 Father Azarie Gauthier
1966 – 1968 Father Clayton Purcell
1968 – 1975 Father Maurice Jeanneau
1975 – 1980 Father James Gray
1980 – 1985 Father Renato (Ron) Pasinato
Sept. 1985 – Jan. 1986 Father H. Perron V. G.
Jan. 1986 - June 1986 Father G. Trudeau P. H.
July 1986 – August 1987 Father Fred Olds
Aug. 1987 – April 1988 Father L. Berard
May 1988 – Sept. 1988 No Priest
Sept. 1988 – Dec. 1988 Father Gagnon & Deacon Paul Martin
Feb. 1989 – August 1992 Father Fred Olds
Aug. 1992 – Aug. 1994 Father Renato Pasinato
Sept. 1994 – Aug. 1997 Father Wenceslao Rebillaco
Sept. 1997 –Father Romuald Szumierz
August 2002 – Father Joseph Tran
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