We, the parishioners of St. David's strive to be a worshipping community that proclaims and celebrates the Lordship of Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament, and in service to others...
12,450 Gascon Street
Tel : 514-684-8434
Fax : 514-684-6618
Mary Queen of Peace Church
Monday to Saturday
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
St-David's parish territory emerged and developed through colonization and rural agricultural division of the land in the North West tip of the Island of Montreal. The sectioning of land into farms and small villages happened over the entire island and formed the various villages and suburbs of the island which we presently know such as Anjou, Repentigny, Verdun, Lasalle, Lachine and so forth.
Initiated by Monsieur de Maisonneuve in 1642, the colonisation and division of the Island of Montreal was continued by the priests of St. Sulpice to whom Louis XIV entrusted the territories of the island in 1663. King Louis gave the priests the title of, "seigneurs". The seigneurs divided up the land mass as they saw fit, employing the services of land surveyors who carefully studied the contours of the hills and valleys in order to establish some elementary infrastucture. These traced three service roads going from Lac St. Louis to la Rivière des Pairies which they named St.Rémi (later `Sources`), Montée St.Jean and Montée St.Charles. To the north, and eventually surrounding the west part of the island was a road known as `chemin du roi`. This `chemin` was much later renamed Gouin in memory of Sir Lomer Gouin, prime minister of Quebec from 1905 to 1920 and lieutenant governor of the Province of Quebec in 1929.
The west part of the island was mission territory and the missionaries established themselves here and there to serve the growing population of farmers. Small parishes mushroomed starting with Notre Dame in 1659, Saints-Anges of Lachine in 1676, La Présentation (Dorval) in 1680, St.Anne-de-bout-de-l`Ile (now St.Anne de Bellevue) in 1703 and others later.
In 1717 the territory which included the land where St.David`s is presently located, was known as "Côte Sainte-Geneviève". Old maps show the site of Fort Ste.Genevieve, constructed in 1729, and this old site was the focus around which was established the town of Ste.Genevieve.
In 1713 the French parish of St.Joachim in Pointe Claire was established. Twenty years later, in 1740 this latter parish was divided, north-south, with the northern territory of the West Island becoming the newly emerging St. Genevieve Catholic mission. The actual parish of St.Genevieve was formally established in 1834, though the civil proclamation was not until July 10, 1843. This small Catholic community was the heart of a civil establishment, the small town of Ste.Genevieve and it became a formal municipality two years later on July 1, 1845. Originally called `Village of Ste.Genevieve de Pierrefonds`, this small town included the land which encompasses St.David's parish, Mary Queen of Peace, St.Luke's and St.Suzanne's. It was a large sprawling, but sparce Catholic community in the north part of the island of Montreal.
In 1958, the city of Ste.Geneviève de Pierrefonds divided and the eastern section became the City of Pierrefonds, and the west remained, St-Geneviève. Earlier, in 1954, Mary Queen of Peace parish was established in the east and it took the parochial territory east of Brunet Street, and thus St-Geneviève parish was divided a first time.
In 1959, Ste.Suzanne parish was established to the east of Mary Queen of Peace, and in 1961, the eastern part of Ste.Geneviève was again divided to start a mission which was to become St.David`s. The first priest serving this mission was Père Louis Phillippe Lefebvre, clerc St.Viateur.
It was not until April 8, 1963 that Cardinal Paul-Emile Léger, archbishop of Montreal established St.David`s in Pierrefonds, a French parish with English services. Fr.Robert Gélinas was named the founding pastor, and the first Eucharist was celebrated on April 21, 1963 at the local school, Mgr.E. Deschamps (today, Murielle Dumont). The first meetings of wardens took place at what it today, the restaurant, `Les Trois Arches` which at the time was a religious house for the Clercs St.Viateur.
In 1965, a fundraising campaign was launched, involving both the French and English speaking parishioners, and a budget for the building of the Church was finalized in March 1966 and work begun in Octber of 1966. The dream of having a bilingual parish was close to the heart of Cardinal Léger, and this effort by parishioners of both languages encouraged the parochial unity.
On May 28, 1967, Canada's Centennial year, when Montreal hosted Expo '67, Bishop Valerien Belanger, Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal blessed the corner stone of the Church. Were present the wardens and many parishioners. Fr.Claude Turmel, vice-chancellor of the diocese consecrated the main altar in which were inserted relics of St. Zenon and companion martyrs, and of St. Janviére, also a martyr. On July 1967, the new Church was blessed by his Eminence Cardinal Paul-Emile Léger.
Fr.Jacques Fecteau was named pastor of the parish on December 9, 1968, and he continued the good work of his predecessor by his encouragement and preaching of the Word of God. The quiet revolution in Quebec was well under way, and the political situation was becoming increasingly tense.
Succeeding three years later, was a new pastor, Fr.Paul René Saint-Germain who was named on September 8, 1971. He was a very capable administrator and kept the finances in good order. A bilingual finance committee was set up in 1973 in order to dissolve the debt which the parish had incurred in doing the construction. St.Germain started the CWL, the Marguerite d`Youville circle (French womens` CWL equivalent), card parties, bazaar, a movement for couples and families, children`s festivities, choir for young adults, dance classes, a social club for couples, Sunday school for children, a children`s choir, and other community building activities. Fr.Saint-Germain stayed for six years but accomplished a great deal in this short time.
The first anniversary celebrations, ten years later. On October 21, 1973 the parish celebrated it`s 10th anniversary and four years later, May 1977 there were festivities for the anniversary of the construction of the building.
The next priest to arrive was Fr.Yvon Lauzon who, arriving Sept.29, 1977 was named parish administrator. Times were beginning to change significantly in Quebec, and the suppression of religious education in the schools was under way. Under Fr.Lauzon`s leadership, the sacramental preparation of children continued in the schools, both in French (Mgr. E.Deschamps), and in English ( Fathers of Confederation School). This effort was led by trained lay persons who did the sacramental preparation during the hour of religious education allotted to the schools.
December 1980 a French choir was started under the leadership of Mrs. Edmée Charbonneau, with organist Rita Massé and with Lucille Joron as coordinator.
The 27th of November 1982 Fr.Lauzon fell ill and was temporarily replaced by Fr. Rosaire Pépin, a few months, until April 1983. The first of June, 1983, both choirs of the parish performed an evening concert, in view of the 20th anniversary of the parish and the 25th priestly anniversary of Fr. Lauzon.
Fr.Serge Giroux, the next pastor who came in October of 1983, was a fine musician. He was keen to encourage concerts of various kinds, and over the years, there was a variety of styles. There was an ethnic music concert in 1984, for instance.
On April 9, 1989 an exterior cross was erected and blessed in this, the 25th anniversary of the parish by Mgr. Turcotte who, at the time, was vicar general of the diocese. He is presently our archbishop, cardinal.
In 1990, on the 21st of September, a new pastor was named in the person of Fr. Richard Siok. He was a well liked and very sympathetic man who was very present to parish activities, and attentive to his people and their needs. He shared people`s joys and sadnesses through the many weddings, funerals and other celebrations he presided. Because of his Polish heritage, the Polish community became associated with St.David`s and they began to share the Church facilities.
In 1995 Fr.Sylvio Jean, c.s.c., already well known in the Pierrefonds region, became pastor of the parish. He had worked a great deal in school ministry, and was keen to communicate the faith to children. He started a special ``school bag`` blessing ceremony at the beginning of each academic year, in September. This has, over the years, become a very popular event. Increasing numbers of lay people became involved in the ministry, as children`s faith education shifted decisively from the schools to the parish settings. It was during the pastoring of Fr.Sylvio that the Quebec educational boards began the process of eliminating religious instruction in the schools. The parish, under Fr.Sylvio`s leadership was quick to respond to the new requirements of catechetical work in the parish. To ensure more regular attendance at the Lord`s Day Eucharist, Fr. Sylvio ensured that the catechetical training of children was done just prior to mass.
Under his leadership, many initiatives were taken: Celebration of wedding anniversaries, annual celebration for the deceased and other such events.
In October 2004, a new pastor was named for St.David`s, Fr.Francis McKee. Because of the diminishing number of priests in the diocese and also because of the drop in the numbers of practicing Catholics he was also named pastor of a second parish, Mary Queen of Peace in Roxboro. This twinning of parishes is a regular occurrence in the diocese since the late 90`s. With the help of a temporary assistant priest, Fr.Louis Turcotte, Eudist, the Sunday Eucharist was celebrated by the pastor every other week at St.David`s. Alternative weeks were celebrated by Fr.Turcotte. This temporary arrangement continued til July 2005 when mass times were planned in such a timing that the pastor could be present at all the Sunday celebrations of both Churches each week. This involved his traveling between Churches every Sunday morning. Two deacons are part of the pastor team, deacon Owen Carter (English), and deacon Sylva Russell (French) and these carry out such ministry as baptismal services, occasional preaching, liturgies of the Word and other services as become necessary to the life of the Catholic parish. As the population profile of the Catholic Church changes, over the next number of years, the Church will have to adapt itself. Unlike the early days of the building of St.David`s, the lay participation in the mission of the Church will become more central and vital.
St.David`s is a lovely little bilingual parish hidden in the suburbs of Pierrefonds. Over the years, many wonderful people have served it. Though we have named the pastors, an army of individuals over the years have served it generously. Many of these anonymous individuals remain hidden in the recesses of the heart of God.
Times change, and each generation of Catholics needs to face it`s unique challenges. St.David`s had it`s birth into existence in 1963 when the Catholic population was growing and faith was strong. Building a Church and strengthening the parish life was an arduous but exhilarating task. Forty years later, for varied reasons, demographic as well as cultural, the numbers of parishioners has dropped and the challenge of instilling the Catholic faith in the new generation of parents and children has taken on a new form. It is a difficult task. The ambient culture is not favourable to religious practice, and at times, it is even hostile to Catholicism and it`s values.
But this is but a new challenge for Christians to face. Our brothers and sisters who built the Church faced their own daunting tasks: We have our own. But, in the end, not much has changed. We continue to follow the same Lord Jesus Christ, and walk in the same path of this Crucified and Resurrected One. St.David`s continues to be a light of Faith and salt for the earth for the people of Pierrefonds. It is the little mustard seed which continues to be a home for many people who frequent it, and who long to hear the voice of the Great Shepherd.
May the Lord`s Shalom be with all of you who read this little history of our parish, and may you always find solace in the Heart of Jesus