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Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 1 Sutton Way, Labrador City, NL A2V 2K6 CA - Basilica History

Basilica History

City came into being with the arrival of Newfoundlanders and others to the mining operation at what was then known as Carol Lake.  The Catholic Community assembled in a mine garage for a first Mass at Christmas, 1959, presided by a visiting priest from Schefferville – Fr. Jacques Laperrière, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate.  As the church in Labrador City grew in numbers, the need for a place of worship also became very real.  In 1960, Fr. Theodore Roussel, o.m.i. became the first pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish and spearheaded the drive to build a church that would stand the test of time in the cold northern climate of Labrador. 



Over the years, the parish expanded and in 1976, Bishop Peter Sutton, OMI, received a decree in response to his request that the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Labrador City become a co-Cathedral in conjunction with the Episcopal seat of the Diocese which was at that time situated in Schefferville, Québec.  With the eventual demise of mining operations in Schefferville, the Episcopal seat was transferred to Labrador City on August 25, 1980 thereby elevating Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the status of Cathedral.


At the 40th anniversary celebration of the Cathedral in September of 2002, a new Baptismal Font was dedicated to the memory of Bishop Henri Goudreault, OMI, who served in the diocese diligently from 1988 to 1996.  On September 29th, 2002, Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI blessed three bells which were later installed in the Cathedral bell tower.  The three bells received the names of the Oblates who were most involved with the construction of the Church.  The first bell was named Lionel, in memory of Bishop Lionel Scheffer, o.m.i. bishop of the diocese when the church was built; the second bell received the name Theodore, in honour of Fr. Theodore Roussel, o.m.i – the first pastor; and the third bell was named Jules in recognition of the hard work and dedication of Br. Jules Auclaire who worked untiringly to build an enduring monument of prayer and worship in our community.


On June 1st, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree raising the Cathedral to Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.   It is the second Basilica in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and only the 21st for Canada.   An official installation ceremony took place during the Sunday liturgy on September 23rd, 2007.


We are the Roman Catholic Church of Labrador West. 
We gather as a family of faith at the Eucharist.
We welcome one and all.
We share our gifts of time, talent and treasure.
We help one another experience the love of God.


In another decree, news was received concerning boundary changes for the new Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador.  This decree became effective upon its execution on September 9th, 2007.

The current parish administrator of the Roman Catholic parishes of Labrador West is Father Joy Paul Kallikatukudy.

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