Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church, L'Orignal
FROM NOVEMBER 5, 2017, Sunday Masses will be held at 10 am
1057 Queen St., C.P. 360,
L'Orignal, On K0B 1K0
phone : 613-675-4497
- Baptisms: For general information contact Lorraine and Michel Miner at (613) 675-4566.
- Weddings: Couples are asked to meet with the parish priest before setting the date and making the usual reservations. Marriage preparation meetings are also required.
- Pardon: may be sought upon request, before Mass; also during community celebrations or individually, during Advent and Lent.
- Shut-ins: If someone is housebound due to age or illness, do not hesitate to inform the parish office so that a visit by a member of the pastoral care team can be arranged.613-675-4497
- Choir : New members are always welcome. If interested, contact Sylvie Larivière at (613) 675-2732.
The early days
Although there have been churches of various religious denominations in L’Orignal over its long history, Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Roman Catholic) is the only one still active in 2014. The parish was originally served by a small church built in the early 1830s. By 1836 Saint-Jean-Baptiste had its own resident parish priest, and the first Register of baptisms, marriages and deaths was opened. During that era, the church was part of the Diocese of Kingston, and it was only in 1847 that L’Orignal’s Roman Catholic parishioners and their church were transferred to the Diocese of Bytown (later renamed Ottawa).
By 1851, construction of a new and larger house of worship was a necessity, and work on the exterior began. By 1861 the interior was also completed. The parish was recognized by canonical decree in 1901, and was consecrated in 1931.
Saint-Jean-Baptiste parish has seen many changes in the last quarter-century, witnessing the end of one millennium and the beginning of a new one with its own challenges, at the societal, political and religious levels. The parish celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2011. Still active despite its fragility in a world of constant change, the parish has learned to adapt to meet these changes.
The diminishing ranks of the priesthood hit home locally in 2001, when Saint-Jean-Baptiste church realized it could no longer have its own full-time resident parish priest. Since that time, committed lay people have played an increasing role in the responsibilities of the parish, supported and guided by various ordained clergy who ensure the ongoing continuity of the ministry.
In 2009-2010 a new pastoral structure, l’Unité pastorale Soleil Levant was formed, directed by Curé Gilles Marcil along with Mgr. Gérald St-Denis as co-leader. The unit includes six parishes: L’Orignal, Vankleek Hill, Saint-Bernardin, Saint-Eugène, Sainte-Anne de Prescott and Chute-à-Blondeau. Once again, lay leaders play a key role in each parish, and priests serving elsewhere continue to lend a hand to Soleil Levant’s two clergy, by conducting worship services and funerals as needed.
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church has no web site, but has a parish bulletin: Le Bord de l’eau.
Cassburn United Church, Longueuil Sector
The early days
A grey stone Cassburn Church, also known as the Seigniory church, had been built on Cassburn Road in 1840, on the same site as today’s red brick structure. Even earlier than that, perhaps as early as 1808, the area had been on the Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church, based in the United States. Between 1840 and 1903 the stone Cassburn church was served by no fewer than 25 ministers, all connected to a Methodist preaching circuit that also included Methodists in L’Orignal (who held their services in the Courthouse).
By 1900 it was apparent that the old, stone Cassburn church had structural defects and was no longer meeting the congregation’s needs. It was demolished, and a smaller, more functional brick church took its place in 1903; that building still stands today. Between 1903 and 1925 Cassburn remained a Methodist church, but when voting on Church Union came along in 1925, Cassburn Church found itself in a new, three-point “United Church of Canada” pastoral charge (which included the former St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in L’Orignal, and a newly-formed Hawkesbury United Church – both of which are now closed). Cassburn added a new church hall in 1982, and in 1990 the congregation celebrated its 150th anniversary. Still later, a chair-lift and entrance ramp were added, making the (upper level) worship space handicapped-accessible.
Financial concerns and shrinking membership prompted several United Churches in Seaway Valley Presbytery to look at different ways of remaining viable in their communities. In 2010 five congregations banded together to form an entity called the “Genesis Cooperative”. Of those five, four remain active: Cassburn United, Kirk Hill United, Trinity United Vankleek Hill, and Riceville-Pendleton United. The fifth partner, Hawkesbury United, closed in October, 2014 after almost 90 years of service.
“Genesis” rents space in Vankleek Hill for one central church office, and the four participating congregations contribute equally to all shared expenses. There is one full-time ordained minister, the Reverend Phyllis Dietrich who covers all four points in rotation. She is assisted by Licenced Lay Worship Leaders so that, most Sundays, there is a service in each of the four churches. Periodically, members of all four churches gather together for worship, Communion, fellowship – and a feast.
For more information on Cassburn United Church, visit the web site www.cassburnunitedchurch.weebly.com
To learn more about the Genesis Cooperative Community, visit the web site www.genesiscmty.com or call the central office: (613) 678-5499.