Parish History

About St-Patrick of the island

St. Patrick's is the only unilingual English-Catholic parish between the western tip of the island of Montreal and the Ontario border. The church is located, appropriately, on Shamrock Drive in Pincourt(on the island of Île Perrot). About 90 per cent of the parish's 600 active families are young.  In a given year there are approximately 20 baptisms, and the same number of first Communions and confirmations (Confirmees travel to St. Cecilia's Basilica, in the diocese of Valleyfield, where the sacrament is conferred by Bishop Noël Simard). There are approximately a half-dozen marriages each year, and a similar number of funerals.

 

Origin and early years...

The parish was founded as a mission in 1960, and worship first took place in the basement of a French parish church and then, in 1962, at the newly constructed St. Patrick of the Island elementary school.  By 1965 there were 400 families on the rolls and the church was built.  The original priests were of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate. See below for pictures of the church under construction. In 1973, bingo games and dances at St. Patrick of the Island Parish in Pincourt were held in the church, while mass was celebrated in the parish hall.  This unusual arrangement ensured the parish's survival at a time when a $400,000 mortgage and a dwindling number of parishioners threatened its financial solvency. That is not the case today in this parish of 600 active families. But back in the early 1970s, there were fewer than 200 families left in the parish, owing to political unrest and a poor economy.  Faced with rising heating costs and its hefty mortgage, the parish was in crisis.  A drastic decision was made to relocate religious services to the small and plain parish hall, and to convert the church to a revenue property.  The original church was used as a hall for bingo, for dances and for selected social activities, from 1973 until 1989, at which time the parish was clear of debt. 

Fr. Francis Kocik came to St. Patrick's in 1980 from his diocese in Camden, N.J., "to help a friend for a few months.", Fr. Roland Demers, the friend he came to help, is current pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas, a bilingual parish, in Hudson.  Fr. Kocik was named parish administrator in 1985. Renovations and modifications were completed in time for Palm Sunday celebrations in April 1990.  St. Patrick's had returned to its roots. 


 

 

The church...

The church itself holds 400 and is covered with a shingled mansard roof that almost hugs the ground.  The rectory, built for the "good old days," is large and contains suites for six priests.  The interior of the church is open and warm, and the rows of pews are set at an angle towards the sanctuary. A feature that strikes the eye is the Stations of the Cross, which are large framed oil paintings donated by the late Frank Morahan of St. Gabriel's Parish. 
 A new feature of the Parish, since October 1995, is Perpetual 24-hour-a-day eucharistic adoration.  This takes place in a sea of tranquility: a small chapel originally built for founding Oblates.  The chapel is windowless but has two skylights, emphasizing a quiet separation from the busy world.  The Blessed Sacrament has not been alone from the beginning:  about 250 parishioners participate and others have begun coming from neighboring parishes. 

 

The parish...

Over the past 20 years, St. Patrick of the Island parish has had its share of tough times, but it seems that the community is now growing steadily and reaping the benefits of its earlier sacrifices. 


The parish is a bustling one.  There are three well-attended masses each weekend, and groupings abound: wardens, eucharistic ministers, teachers of sacramental initiation, hospitality group, adult religious education, special-events committee, altar servers, ministry for the sick and elderly, ladies' altar society, senior choir, junior choir and Knights of Columbus.