Church Sacred-Heart of the First Peoples

The Church Illuminated at Night

Sources: Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Edmonton

A change in 1991

Photo: By WinterE229 WinterforceMedia - Own work, Public Domain.

When the Immaculate Conception parish became too crowded in the early twentieth century, a second English-speaking parish was established at the same location: Sacred Heart. The church was built in 1913, and became First Peoples or First Nations Sacred Heart in 1991.

Text version of the audio

The creation of a spiritual home for newcomers to Edmonton, including Francophones from all over, is at the heart of the story of this site. Immaculate Conception Parish was created in 1905, and its first church was blessed in 1906. 

However, the population was growing so rapidly that a larger church was needed. Known in its French incarnation as Coeur Immaculé, this gem of French Gothic Revival architecture opened its doors to parishioners on December 25, 1913. Notable elements of its design include the rose window and side windows that create beautiful lighting for spiritual contemplation and prayer. 

Mass was celebrated in a double service each Sunday, with one service in French and the second in English. Although the French parish moved to St. Thomas Aquinas in 1959, this church was the place of worship for French-speaking Catholics for more than five decades.

In its new vocation as Sacred Heart of the First Peoples, declared a First Nations, Métis and Inuit parish by Bishop Joseph McNeil in 1991, this church and its community welcomed Pope Francis in the summer of 2022. 

Extract of
Francophone Heritage in Edmonton

Francophone Heritage in Edmonton image circuit

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

Get There

Download the BaladoDiscovery app (for Android and iOS) and access the largest network of self-guided tour experiences in Canada.