Picture Gallery of Quebec History
23 August 2000
Rosary, French Catholic Church, Rochester, NH (circa 1945)
Roman Catholic Church was a fundamental institution, with its large network of
"national parishes", in fostering la survivance among Franco-Americans.
It provided them with schools, hospitals, social assistance, clubs and societies.
As soon as the French Canadian population of an area was sufficiently large to
support a priest and a church, the inhabitants would ask their bishop to form
a separate national parish, and to receive a priest of their nationality. Sometimes,
this process created difficulties and caused friction. Hundreds of priests were
sent from Quebec to minister to Franco-Americans.
The church shown here is that
of the Holy Rosary in Rochester, New Hampshire. The parish was established in
1883-1884. According to Hamon, when the original meeting took place to establish
the parish, 40 heads of families had immediately pledged $100 each so that the
project would be brought to fruition. This amount of money was considerable for
workers whose wages were never high. Yet, fully 20% of the heads of families of
the French Canadian community of Rochester were prepared to make such a contribution.
This demonstrates the magnitude of their faith, and their desire to preserve the
main attribute of their culture.
The Church shown above follows the clear
pattern of many of the XIXth century churches found in Quebec with its large paintings
above and on the side of the altar.
of Holy Rosary Church, circa
to : The Emigration of French Canadians
to the United States, 1840-1930
1999 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College