Notre-Dame de Lourdes
435 Montreal Road
The parish of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes was established on August 4, 1887 by the Montfortain Fathers, so that the residents of Janeville would not have to cover great distances to go to church. The first presbytery and the first chapel were located in one building, known as Tara Hall, on Montreal Road. Soon, however, the need was felt to build a church. Designed by Canon Bouillon, diocesan architect, the new church was a replica of France’s Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes basilica. Construction began in the late summer of 1887, and was completed approximately one year later. The new church was consecrated on the 29th of July, 1888, and the first parish priest was Father Pierre Fleurance.
A very influential parish priest of this church was Father Edmond Ducharme, who served from 1932 to 1953. He was deeply involved in Eastview’s community affairs, and launched a number of projects, including the use of several French street names, and the establishment of a credit union named Caisse populaire Notre-Dame, of Montfort Hospital and of the André-Laurendeau high school. He left the parish in November of 1953, and went to live at the Marian Montfortain Centre in Montreal, where he died in 1974 at the age of 83.
On the night of May 27, 1973, a fire destroyed the church built in 1887, as well as the scholasticate of Saint-Jean, built in 1901. Happily, there were no deaths or injuries. However, all documents, including the books held by the scholasticate’s library, as well as the archives, were lost. Only the church’s five bells were recovered from the ashes, and they were subsequently incorporated into the new church, built in 1975 at the corner of Montreal Road and Church Street.