In the early 1880s, the Irish Catholic faithful of Halifax's north end felt a new St Patrick’s Church was needed to serve their comunity. The cornerstone was laid on August 8, 1883 by Archbishop Cornelius O'Brien, Halifax's first Canadian-born archbishop. The cornerstone contains copies of the constitution of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax. Cornelius O'Brien took a very active role to hasten the new church along. He was also destined to become a key builder of Saint Mary's University.
Funds for St. Patrick's came from merchants, labourers, professionals, the general public, and others. Those who could not give large amounts for the building gave 25 cents per month. Those who could not give a donation gave their time, so there was ample manpower at the construction site.
In August, 1883, the Catholic ladies of Halifax held a Grand Bazaar on Spring Garden Road, next to the Court House. Over 10 days, 15,000 people visited the fair, and a profit of $17,000 was realized for the church building fund.
The building had progressed so well that the Morning Herald of December 18, 1883 states: "Never during any previous building operation in the city, was so much accomplished in so short a time." This was due to three reasons: (1) The builder, Henry Peters, planned ahead and had materials on site when needed; (2) Archbishop Cornelius O'Brien visited the site every day, week in week out, to make sure the job got done; (3) The parishioners gave freely of their time, in whatever way they could, to see their new church take shape.
The new St. Patrick's Church was officially opened December 22, 1885.
Inside St. Patrick's, visitors can find artistic expressions of the great civilizing ideal of selfless detachment and spirituality, our belief that God may be approached through beauty, our feeling of compassion, our sense of unity with others, and much more. Perhaps this helps explain the outstanding contributions of the St. Patrick's community to the religious, educational, civic and business life of Halifax.
St Patrick's Church is known for its continuing compassionate assistance to individuals facing the, often harsh, realities of the world in the inner city. Its initiatives, for example, include establishing Saint Vincent de Paul's charities in 1867 and Hope Cottage in 1971.
St. Patrick's Church, part of Nova Scotia's built heritage, continues to stand as a gracious symbol of personal faith as well as a powerful marker of community history and culture. Everyone is welcome to come and join Saint Patrick’s Community for our vibrant Sunday Mass at 9:30 am.
IMAGES OF ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH
a film by The Friends of St. Patrick's Church
"Images of Saint Patrick's Church", chronicles the beauty, history and significance of a pre-confederation parish, on the verge of extinction. Once described as... "The Most Beautiful Church in Canada." Successive waves of Acadian, Scottish, Italian, Dutch and African families advanced on the foundation and aspirations of 1840s Irish Immigrants.
Today's Saint Patrick's parish is a microcosm of Canadian multiculturalism.
Experience the sound of the massive 1890s Casavant Freres organ. Opus 90 is one of the original organs built by the legendary Quebec manufacturer. Saint Patrick's is an accusative marvel and a national treasure.
In secular terms this Gothic Revival structure has survived two world wars and the horrendous 1917 Halifax Explosion. However, despite several historical designations, this touchstone of national heritage was about to fall victim to urban renewal. This 1883 Gothic beauty is truly a "Canadian Work of Art."
In 2008 Saint Patrick's Church was identified as one of the Top 10 Endangered Properties in Canada. This video allows viewers a detailed look at what is at risk as heritage properties fall victim to redevelopment. Saint Patrick's Church remains as an inspiration to community participants everywhere determined to save what is truly important, on so many levels.
This entertaining visual journey through time, explores our collective heritage and is complemented by the sweet Celtic sounds of local artists, Ardith & Jennifer. A sound steeped in traditional energy, yet wonderfully sensitive and modern. Their exciting music is an integral part of the warmth and beauty of these images.
Images of Saint Patrick's beauty and history is an invaluable link from our past to our future.
Scheduling a Baptism
Please contact the parish office (902-429-1300) to register for your child’s Baptism or if you have questions about the sacrament and the preparation process.
In preparation for Baptism, parents are asked to make the following arrangements:
Register their child for the sacrament of Baptism and arrange for a time to meet with the Deacon to review the Baptismal rite and necessary preparation. The date of the Baptism will be discussed at this meeting.
Select one or two godparents. At least one of the godparents must be a practicing Catholic.
Parents are required to attend a Baptismal preparation class prior to the Baptism
In preparation for Marriage, couples are asked to contact the parish office (902-429-1300) to discuss wedding plans, church requirements and to tentatively book a wedding date. A minimum of 6 months advance notice, preferably one year, is required. Marriage Preparation Guidelines will be emailed to you at that time and information taken regarding your wedding plans.
Please contact the parish office to discuss funeral arrangements.
Faith formation at St. Patrick’s is family centred. The parish continues to explore and develop, with input from families, a new model of faith formation “that prioritizes the family and evangelizes, forms, and supports parents as the primary teachers of the faith.” (Equip the Saints – Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth)
Children’s Liturgy of the Word:
Children’s Liturgy of the Word takes place each Sunday at the 10:00 am Mass; the Liturgy of the Word is led by parents. All children are welcome and encouraged to attend. At the beginning of Mass, the children are invited to come forward before the Liturgy of the Word. The children are led to their program room where they listen to the Sunday readings enhanced with prayer, music and discussion at a level the children can understand and enjoy. The focus is to try to raise awareness of God’s love, the humanity of Jesus, the Seasons of the Church, the understanding of symbols in the Mass and the context of the Bible.
Please contact the parish office for information regarding parish programs for preparing for the reception of the sacraments of First Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation.
Adult Faith Formation:
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults):
RCIA is a program for adults interested in becoming Catholic or Catholic adults interested in completing the sacraments of the Church. Please contact the parish office for information or registration.