Tours of St. Peter Celestine Church, April 6-7

Interior guided tour of ST. PETER CELESTINE CHURCH, 139 Renfrew St. Pakenham

April 6 & 7 @ 1:30

In conjunction with the Pakenham Maple Run Studio Tour (www.mapleruntour.com). Take part at this rare opportunity to view this spectacular ‘Lanark Wonder’ which is the St. Peter Celestine Church to view its impressive architecture and ecclesiastical artwork on guided tours on April 6 & 7 at 1:30. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Millstone photo (Brent Eades)

In 1885 Father Lavin began saving towards a new Catholic church in Pakenham. He pledged $500 of his own and traveled the roads of the parish encouraging every family to donate towards erecting a new and impressive house of worship. Some of the donations were pathetically small, just a couple of dollars a year.

Others, like Father Lavin’s, were spectacular for the times. Father Foley donated his nearly new buggy in lieu of cash. The vehicle had a value of over $100 or half a year’s wages for a working man. Every parish family was asked to pledge a special donation each year until enough money could be saved. Mrs. Peter Farrell sold a yearling heifer and donated the price, while Margaret Farrell raised and sold a flock of turkeys as her contribution. As young men, John and Will Coady went to the shanty and worked all winter for $75.00 each. By 1891, there was enough money to begin the construction of a new church.

From this humble start, a spectacular church was erected in a style quite different than other churches in eastern Ontario is built in the Classic style traditional in the southern countries of Europe.