Saint-Thomas d'Aquin Church

The Spiritual Heart of the French Quarter

Sources: Courtesy of Saint-Thomas d'Aquin Parish

A Gift From Immaculate Conception Parish

Photo: Guérin Ouellet

When the Immaculate Conception Church, on the north side, was transfered to the Vietnamese community, they gave the Statue of Mary to Saint-Thomas d'Aquin Church.

A prestigious Organ

Photo: Guérin Ouellet

The Casavant organ, built in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1913, is still in use in the church. It had been in the Immaculate Conception church before.

Text version of the audio

The church you are looking at is actually the second church of St. Thomas Aquinas parish. It was built in 1980 and the community hall was completed in 1992. 

In the early 1960's, the Archbishop of Edmonton, Anthony Jordan, granted permission for French-speaking Catholics in the southern part of the city to meet in the chapel of Collège Saint-Jean for Sunday Mass. 

In 1962, a small church on the Claresholm military base was dismantled and reassembled on the college grounds as the first St. Thomas Church. This military base, established to train pilots during World War II, had closed in 1958. After the new church was built, the old one was used as an improv theatre during the 1980s and 1990s, before being demolished a few years later.

The 14 stained glass windows of the Stations of the Cross that are in the church were created by Gabriel Loire in his studio in Chartres, France. They were originally created for the chapel of Holy Redeemer College of the Redemptorist Fathers in Edmonton. When the college closed, they were donated to the parish. 

The Casavant Brothers organ dates from 1913 and was brought over from the first church by the Vietnamese community and fully installed here by 2003.

The development of St. Thomas parish is a wonderful illustration of the long historical movement of Edmonton's francophones from the north to the south of the city.

Extract of
Francophone Heritage in Edmonton

Francophone Heritage in Edmonton image circuit

Presented by : Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta (CDÉA)

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