History

St. Joseph’s Church History

 

For many years the first settlers of the small hamlet of Mooers did not have a local place in which they could worship. They would have to travel many miles to worship at the Catholic Mission in Corbeau, now known as Coopersville and Mass was only celebrated two to three times a year.  By 1860, the Catholic population of Mooers was able to attend weekly services at St. Ann’s Church in Mooers Forks, five miles away. This was a real hardship for the people, especially during the winters.

In 1911, the original St. Joseph’s Church was constructed under the guidance of Rev. Henry Cormerais, then pastor at St. Ann’s Church. Mr. and Mrs. RJ McDowell donated a parcel of land for which the church was built on. Many parishioners helped with the construction of the church, through their faith and prayers, donations of material, work and money. Abel Beebie, a local blacksmith, made and donated the church cross, which measured 12 feet by 8 feet. In 1912, St. Joseph was established as an independent parish, with Rev. Andronicus, as the first resident pastor.

Bishop James. J. Navagh approved plans to build a new and more beautiful church in 1958, as the original church was beyond economical repair. This decision brought much joy and contentment in the hearts of the parishioners of St. Joseph. The parish that consisted of 152 families had 147 individuals and one parish society pledge totaling $75,194 to construct the new church. The ground breaking for the new church was July 26, 1959. After much consideration, planning and devotion by the people of the parish, the church was completed in April 1960. The first mass at the current St. Joseph’s Church was held Easter Sunday, April 17, 1960 by the Rev. Armand Brunet.

Since 1960, the current St. Joseph’s Church has provided the parishioners of the small hamlet of Mooers, with much pride for its architectural beauty and serene place of worship.

Pastors of St. Joseph’s Church

Rev. Andronicus Blaigier 1921-1936
Rev. Francis Desrosiers 1936-1943
Rev. Edward Burns 1943-1946
Rev. Antonio Audet 1946-1948
Rev. Wilbert LeBeau 1948-1954
Rev. Armand Brunet 1954-1967
Rev. Albert Plante 1967-1971
Rev. Leon Legault 1971-1973
Rev. Howard Gosier 1973-1975
Rev. Lawrence Brady 1975-1992
Rev. Howard McCasland 1992-1993
Rev. Gerald Cerank 1993-present

 

 

St. Ann’s Parish History

The history of St. Ann’s Church began long before a church of stone and timber was built. A Roman Catholic Mission was established in an early settlement on the Great Chazy River called Corbeau, now known as Coopersville.

Before the War of 1812, priests from Canada traveled great distances to preach to Roman Catholics of Corbeau. People from the township of Mooers Forks would travel to the crude church to worship. The trip was long and sometimes dangerous, but it was the foundation of the faith and determination that lead to the establishment of St. Ann’s Parish.

Catholic worship was first held in Mooers Forks in the home of Mitchell Morah with Father Vancompendhaudt officiating. In 1860, Father Vancompendhaudt, the pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Corbeau, was given the task of building a church in Mooers Forks. Father Vancompendhaudt built St. Ann’s Church, a rectangular wood-framed strcture about half the size of the current church today, on land supplied by John H. Phinney. Vancompendhaudt became the pastor of the church.

In 1933, Father Arthur M. Gilbert began the many renovations and enlargement of the church. Acellar was dug by parishioners who donated their time. The transcepts, present sanctuary and sacristy were added to transform the strcture of the church into a cross. The exterior walls of the wood frame part of the church were bricked to match the new addition. A new belfry was added at a later date.

Father Gilbert worked diligently to establish the institution of a convent in St. Ann’s Parish. The Dominican Sisters came to Mooers Forks in 1942, after Mr. and Mrs. Freeman LaValley, left their house to St. Ann for the purpose of a convent. From 1942 to 1971, the sisters Catechetical Center became the largest in the diocese with over 2,000 children being instructed regularly each week, plus a six week summer school session. The sisters taught religion to the public school children in Mooers Forks, Mooers, Ellenburg, Altona, Sciota, Chazy and West Chazy.

During Father Arthur Gilbert’s ministry at St. Ann, his zealous interest in guiding young men and women in their vocations resulted in twelve people from the parish serving God in a special way. Currently, St. Ann’s Parish has a total of fifteen people serving God in the religious vocation. Our current bishop, Bishop Terry LaValley, began his religious journey at St. Ann’s Parish.

Throughout the years, St. Ann’s Parish, has been blessed with many devoted parishioners and religious leaders. The parishioners are forever grateful for their church that was built so many years ago.

Pastors of St. Ann’s Church

Rev. Francis Vancompendhaudt 1860
Rev. Octave Lasalle 1861-1869
Rev. Amable Boyer  
Rev. G. Jeanotte 1862-1866
Rev. Jeremie Crevier  
Rev. J.B. Legrand  
Rev. Louis Lapic  
Rev. Charles Clement 1868
Rev. Leon LaPorte  
Rev. J.A. Langlois 1870-1872
(first Resident Pastor)  
 Rev. Ambrose Nolin 1872
Rev. A. Delphos 1872-1875
Rev. James Scanlon 1875-1876
Rev. J. Hubert 1876-1879
Rev. John Brennan 1879-1881
Rev. J.A. Roy 1881
Rev. Joseph Beaudry Feb 1881
Rev. G. Jeanotte July 1881
Rev. Francis LaChance Sept 1881
Rev. Edward Laramee Jan 1882
Rev. Louis Demers Nov 1882
Rev. Edward Brice 1883
Rev. Francis LaChance Jan 1884
Rev. M. Brosseau Jan 1885
Rev. Louis Demers July 1886
Rev. Francis Charbonneau 1888-1904
Rev. Alfred Boulerice, Asst. 1901-1902
Rev. Leon Cochard 1904-1907
Rev. Henry Cormerais 1907-1911
Rev. Leon Cochord 1911-1914
Rev. Joseph Migneron 1914-1920
Rev. Arthur Gilbert (Msgr.) 1920-1965
Rev. Bernard Desnoyers 1965-1971
Rev. Cyril Rapin 1971-1974
Rev. George Phillips (Msgr.) 1974-1984
Rev. Thomas Driscoll April 1984-May 1984
Rev. Howard McCasland 1984-1993
Rev. Gerald Cerank  1993-present

 

                                                                                                          

Priestly Vocations from St. Ann’s Church

Priest Ordination Date
Rev. Francis White May 28, 1949
Rev. Gilbert B. Meanard May 21, 1955
Rev. Clarence Menard June 24, 1958
Rev. Roland Menard May 23, 1964
Rev. Dennis Duprey July 27, 1970
Rev. Alan Shnob May 6, 1978
Rev. Terry LaValley (Bishop) September 24, 1988
Rev. Bernard Menard May 26, 2007

 

Deacons  
Rev. Mr. Tyrone Rabideau, Permanent Diaconate October 3, 1981
Rev. Mr. Dennis Monty, Permanent Diaconate October 4, 2003
                  

 

Religious Sisters Final Vows
Sr. Anita LaValley, O.P. March 7, 1934
Sr. Rita Brassard, F.C.S.C.S. July 13, 1943
Sr. Mary Gilbert Snide, O.P. August 30, 1951
Sr. Elizabeth Menard, O.P. August 22, 1961

 

                                                     

Religious Brothers  
Brother Michael Boulerice, FIC August 4, 1920