Catholic Church will be celebrating on June 11

Two of the priests that have served at St. George's - Father Nicholas Forde and Father Wladek.

Eighty-five years ago, in 1926, the first priest was assigned by the Diocese of Kamloops to cover the Lower North Thompson area, including Barriere.  That priest was Father Michael Phelan, known as the “Shepherd of the Hills”.

Father Phelan traveled throughout the North Thompson for 23 years, often on foot, searching for lost souls.  Some of his missions were 200 miles apart as his area actually covered from Merritt to Red Pass Junction, from there west to the Cariboo, and south down the Fraser Canyon to Boston Bar; consequently he sometimes hopped freight trains to get to the people of his widespread flock.  Few of these parishes had churches back then, so Masses were said in fields, in people’s homes, or other available spaces.

From 1938 to 1941, Father Phelan was away from the area, and three priests shared the duties of serving the area in his place: Father G. Beauregard, Father John Stule  (or Steele, depending on the source), and Father W. G. Cullenan.

Father Phelan returned to the area in 1941.  He passed away in 1949 and was succeeded by Father James A. Quigley, whose main mission was at Little Fort.  Father Quigley died on December 31, 1980, at the age of 79.

Fifty-six years ago the first Catholic church in Barriere was built in 1955 at the corner of Carlstrom and Airfield Roads.

Father James A. Quigley was the priest covering the North Thompson area at the time, and he was instrumental in the building of churches in Squam Bay, Barriere, Heffley Creek, Avola, Valemount, and Blue River.

Thirty years ago on July 4, 1981, there was a fire that destroyed the church.  For the next few years, Mass was said at parishioner’s homes until the current church was finished being built. During this time, the parish had several different priests: from 1981 to 1982 there was Father M. Cropley; from 1983 to 1985 there was Father A. Vella; and from 1985 to 1988 there was Father T. Flannery.

Twenty-five years ago the new church, built at 5024 Barriere Town Road, was dedicated on April 4, 1986.  Since the dedication, the parish has had many different priests: Father Tom O’Neill (1988-92), Father Charles de Campigneulles (1992-1994), Father Thomas Fernando (1995), Father Jim MacDonell (1996-2002), Father Nicholas Forde (2002-2006), Father Wladyslaw Karciarz (2007), and currently Father Donal O’Reilly.

Parishioner’s of Saint George’s Church and members of the Lower North Thompson C.W.L. will be celebrating the history of the Catholic Church in Barriere and the Catholic Women’s League on June 11, starting with Mass at St. George’s Church at 5 p.m., and with a Pot-Luck dinner following at 6 p.m. at the Ridge gym.  All Catholic’s from the communities of Barriere, Chu Chua, Little Fort, Squam Bay, Brennan Creek, Heffley Creek, and Louis Creek are invited to come with their families and join the celebration.

If you are planning on attending the pot-luck, please call Margaret at 250-672-9330 to register, as organizers need to know numbers for setting up the tables and chairs.






Just Posted

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

Road conditions for Feb. 14

More compact snow and slippery sections

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Cougars take bended knee for injured Osoyoos player

Vernon coach commends Barriere Cougars for showing respect to injured player

African Children’s Choir plays in cowboy country

Watoto Children’s Choir: Amazing

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read