Parish History

1910 churchBlessed Sacrament Parish had its humble beginnings in 1910. Father Krist, a missionary who traveled to Wainwright from Saskatchewan, is the first priest mentioned in the historical records. The earliest resident Catholic clergy were four priests and a brother of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart Fathers, who came from France in 1910 to serve in Western Canada.

There were at that time only 15 Catholic families in the district and resources were few. The first masses were said in a local store, with the counter used as an altar. But a chapel, St. Luke’s, was built in the first year of the mission, and the mission became a parish in 1915. The faith community continued to grow, and after World War I, an extension was built on the chapel.

The late 1920’s and early 1930’s saw tremendous expansion, with the building of a new1932 church church in the downtown area. The church, located on the corner of 10th Street and 5th Avenue, was completed in September 1932, and the parish name was changed to Blessed Sacrament. This was also the time of establishment of the first convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the start of Catholic education in Wainwright .

The present church on 6th Avenue, was planned through much of the 1960’s, and was dedicated by His grace Archbishop Anthony Jordan of Edmonton a few days before 1968 ChurchChristmas in 1968. Its design with sandblasted concrete walls, natural cedar roof, and reflected sunlight from horizontal window panels, was intended to update and modernize the traditional look and feel of the parish. Since then, the church building has had a major extension with the addition of a new Gathering Center and expanded foyer. This has allowed parishioners to expand the type of spiritual and social activities we are able to offer.

IMG_0981In the late 1990s fundraising began for the expansion of the foyer and addition of a Parish Gathering Centre. This project was completed in 2008 and has greatly enhanced parish social events and hospitality.

In 2010, Blessed Sacrament celebrated its 100th anniversary as a parish. A Commemorative Bell Tower was added to the front of the building, incorporating a bell which had been donated by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1932. It stands as a remembrance of 100 years of Catholic faith in Wainwright.

History page photo

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