Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral / Moncton
Established January 21, 1914
The first church inaugurated March 21, 1915
First pastor named January 22, 1914
Before the Deportation of the Acadians in 1755, an Acadian Mission existed at the Coude of the Petitcodiac River, at a place called The Chapel (now the Bore Parc). This area called ‘Red Earth’ was plundered and burnt down during the Deportation.
Acadians established themselves in Moncton towards the end of the 19th century. They attended Saint-Bernard Parish, which was founded in April of 1879 and was officially bilingual.
As the Acadian population increased and became a majority in the parish, they requested a French parish. In 1914, Saint-Bernard parish was divided into two linguistic groups. The first masses of the new parish called Our Lady of the Assumption were celebrated alternately in the basement and in the principal nave of St-Bernard Church. In March of 1915, the pastor, the curate and the parishioners inaugurated the crypt. It is this crypt that served as place of worship for the new Our Lady of the Assumption parish up until the construction of the Cathedral in 1939 and where on February 22, 1937, Bishop Arthur Melanson had been enthroned as first Archbishop of Moncton.
Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral was officially inaugurated November 21, 1940 in the presence of Cardinal Villeneuve, Primate of the Canadian Catholic Church and Archbishop of Québec. The building is one of the most majestic in the city, by its architecture and decorative appeal. It holds rich works of art that recall the life and the Faith of the Acadian people. Four white marble statues and two mural mosaics are the works of Acadian artist, Claude Roussel. The stained glass windows in the transept of the Cathedral evoke the religious and civic history of the Acadian people.
Archbishop Melanson himself designated the new temple as the Monument of Acadian Recognition in homage to the Blessed Virgin, Patron of Acadia.