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From the Archives: Roman Catholic Parish Created South of the Canal

From the Ottawa Citizen Tuesday, November 12, 1929, the creation of a Catholic parish in Ottawa South. The Catholic diocese subsequently purchased the former Calvin Church on Sunnyside at Fairbairn for St. Margaret Mary's Church.

Father A.E. Armstrong Appointed Parish Priest and Will Start Organization Work at Once

Roman Catholic residents of Ottawa South have been granted a parish. It was announced yesterday by His Grace Archbishop William Forbes. Some two years ago a petition was forwarded to the archibishop's palace requesting a new parish in this district. Rev. Father A.E. Armstrong has been appointed parish priest and will immediately begin the organization of the parish, the boundaries of which will be the Rideau canal on the north, the Rideau river on the south, Bronson Avenue on the west, and a point separating Holy Family parish, Ottawa East and the new parish on the east. The latter boundary is not yet decided upon.

The Sisters of Precious Blood, Echo Drive, have placed their chapel at the disposal of the new parish and the first mass will be chanted next Sunday at 8 o'clock.

The new parish will embrace about 125 families, the majority of whom have been attending Blessed Sacrament church.

Announcement Read

The following is the announcement read in both St. Thomas Aquinas church, Billings Bridge, and Blessed Sacrament church [Glebe] yesterday morning, being the first official statement regarding the new parish : " His Grace the Archbishop of Ottawa has announced that he is forming a parish in Ottawa South and that he has chosen Rev. Father Armstrong as the parish priest. Father Armstrong announces that beginning next Sunday, Sunday mass will be held in the Precious Blood Monastery chapel at 8 and 10 o'clock. Father Armstrong will, until further notice, reside at Glebehouse.

Dr. O'Gorman's Comment

Commenting on the above announcement in Blessed Sacrament church, Rev. Dr. J.J. O'Gorman spoke as follows: "These announcements convey very joyous news to the English speaking Roman Catholics of Ottawa South. For some time they have felt that they were sufficiently numerous to need and have a parish of their own. A committee petitioned Archibishop Forbes for a parish and their request has been granted.

"Archbishop Forbes desires nothing more than the development of religion is his diocese. Building upon the firm foundation laid with God's help by his predecessors, he has succeeded in a brief year-and-a-half in enriching his episcopal see with four very important Roman Catholic institutitions: The Immaculata High School, St. Theresa's parish, St. Patrick's Ottawa College and the Ottawa South parish. He has earned the right to add the civic motto to his episcopal coat of arms "Ottawa Advance". Ottawa is advancing, and please God, will continue to advance under his apostolic pastorship.

"The Roman Catholics of Ottawa South parish have our very best wishes for success and happiness. While we shall miss them, we rejoice in their having a parish of their own. They are to be congratulated also on the parish priest whom Archibishop Forbes has chosen for them. The more they know Father Armstrong, the better they will like him. I can speak from an intimate friendship of 30 years. The parishioners of the Blessed Sacrament parish congratulate the parishioners of Ottawa South.