Founding

At the time of World War II, there were few English-speaking Roman Catholics living in the Saint-Laurent area. The closest center of worship for them was the St. Laurent Parish Church on rue Principale, now known as Ste-Croix Avenue. After his discharge from the services, Rev. David F. McDonald was named curate in St. Malachy’s Parish.

In June 1948, a Mission dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima was formed to serve the English Catholic speaking people of Saint-Laurent. Father McDonald was placed in charge of the new mission and he continued to live at St. Malachy’s Rectory. Arrangements were made with the Commission Scolaire de St. Laurent to rent Beaudet School Hall and Mass was first said in June 1948. With the opening of more streets west of Decarie, both north and south of Cote Vertu and the building of Norgate apartments, the population of the new mission grew rapidly.

A house on Crevier St. was rented in December 1951 as a residence for the new pastor. A chapel was built in the basement by some men of the parish and Mass was celebrated in it beginning with Lent 1952.

On November 5, 1951, the mission became the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima. On Nov. 25 at a meeting of all parishioners, eight Wardens were elected and the late Mr. N. Curran became the first warden and he was succeeded by Mr. J.G. Barry on Jan. 1, 1952. A house on Crevier St. was rented in December 1951 as a residence for the new pastor. A chapel was built in the basement by some men of the parish and Mass was celebrated in it beginning with Lent 1952.

Mr. E.K. Pennefather, Mr. C. Tanner and Mr. W. Mines were elected as Trustees by the proprietors to assist in the arranging for the erection of a church. Land at the corner of Decelles and Laurentien had been purchased by St. Malachy’s Parish in the name of the new parish and it was transferred to Our Lady of Fatima in March 1952. Mr. F. Consiglio drew the plans for the church and F. L. Guay was chosen as the general contractor. The first sod was turned in the summer of 1952 after a bond issue of $ 375,000 had been floated. Mr. J. Fairhurst became warden for year 1953.

In spite of several problems, work on the new building went on well and the corner stone was laid by Bishop L.P. Whelan March 22, 1953. Towards the end of May, the parishioners were invited to tour the rectory and basement of the new church and Sunday Mass was said in the church basement on the last Sunday of May. The whole building was finished, the furniture was installed and the First mass was sung in the Church itself Christmas 1953 at Midnight.