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St. Mary's

Cape Croker

Mass times:

Sunday 1pm

Confessions: 30 minutes before all Masses

Address: 20 Lighthouse Rd., Neyaashinigmiing, ON N0H 2T0

Although it is a parish unto its own, St Mary's & the Missions has maintained a close working relationship with Cape Croker over the years.

Neyaashiinigming (Cape Croker)

A Roman Catholic log church was built on the Cape Croker Reserve in 1857.  It was destroyed by fire and replaced by a frame church dedicated to St Joseph in 1859.  A stone church was then built in 1908, and the frame church made into a parish hall.  When the new stone church was dedicated on June 15, 1908, it was named St Mary.

For many years, the community in Cape Croker suffered from the lack of a resident priest.  In 1902, however, Fr Gaston J Artus, the son of a French count, became the first resident priest on the reserve.  he was also responsible for Tobermory, the Saugeen Reserve, Christian Island, Parry Island and Agawanaga.

He was succeeded in 1904 by Fr Joseph Clovis Cadot, son of a wealthy Montreal Family, who served the mission until 1937.  His successful work was noted by all, though not always approvingly.  In January 1910, John Ashcroft, reeve of Albermarle Township, wrote to A Southerland, Methodist Superintendent of Missions, "Father Cadot is a man of middle age who smokes, drinks, and drives fast horses, encourages card playing, has fitted up an amusement hall and makes himself generally agreeable to the Indians as well as the whites.  He attends all of the sessions of the Indian council meetings and has a prominent say in all their affairs... Some years ago the Protestants outnumbered the Catholics on the reserve; now the Catholics are largely in the majority."

Father Cadot's years of service were honoured by a plaque unveiled in 1937.  The driving force behind the erection of the cairn was Horace Kaye, minister of St Paul Presbyterian Church in nearby Wiarton - a striking example of ecumenical goodwill.

Many dedicated pastors have served the parish since that time.  In 1944 a major realignment linked Cape Croker with Tobermory and Saugeen.

Presently, Cape Croker is without a pastor but has a resident Deacon on staff: Deacon Ron Johnston.  St Mary's & the Missions has had a solid working relationship with Cape Croker for many years and now offers Mass there weekly.

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