Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cathedrals of Canada - 5. Baie-Comeau

The Diocese of Baie-Comeau in Québec is another of the remarkably small Dioceses of Canada with an overwhelmingly Catholic (98%) population it still musters only 90,000 Catholics.  The Diocese is also an example of the Canadian phenomenon of frequently changing names.  In 1882, the Prefecture Apostolic of Golfe St.-Laurent was erected out of the Diocese of St. Germain of Rimouski (itself only erected in 1867 from the Archdiocese of Québec).  By 1905 it had been raised to the status of the Vicarate Apostolic of Golfe St.-Laurent.  In 1945 territory was lost to the Vicarate Apostolic of Labrador, although it was regained in 2007 when the Diocese of Labrador-Schefferville, which never had a population greater than 20,000, was suppressed.  In the same year (1945) the Vicarate Apostolic became the Diocese of  Golfe St.-Laurent, becoming, in 1960, the Diocese of Hauterive, and, in 1986, the Diocese of Baie-Comeau.  The Catholic population (98%) rose from 28,000 to 95,000 during the second half of the 20th century, although it fell to 90,800 by 2006.

The Eudists were a major influence in the life of the Diocese and every Ordinary from 1905 to 1956 was a member of the Eudist Congregation.  It's no surprise, therefore, that the modern Cathedral of the Diocese is dedicated to St. John Eudes.  Built between 1958 and 1960, it is shockingly modern in materials and design.  According to the Diocesan website, it will appeal to lovers of religious architecture...


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