Our Lady of Lourdes Church Cardiff
Of all the parishes in the Peterborough Diocese, the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, raised to parish status in 1958, is the only parish in the County of Haliburton. Presently it includes the Missions of Highland Grove and Chandos. The present parish was a mission of Kinmount during the pastorate of Father Charles Kay and some details of it’s beginnings are found in the history of Kinmount Parish. In 1956, new companies started springing up because of the prospects of Uranium deposit around Center and Paudash Lakes in the extreme eastern part of Kinmount parish.
To initiate a fund for the building of a Church, Fr. Kay organized bingos, bake sales and lotteries. Once construction started, Fr. Kay who had an assistant in Kinmount spent much of his time on the town site in visiting the families and supervising the construction. On June 18th 1958, Bishop Webster erected the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes to consist of the Township of Cardiff and Monmouth and to include the mission of St. John Vianney at Highland Grove which serves the people of Wilberforce and the tourists in the vicinity of Lakes Baptiste, Farquhar and Elephant. On the same day, the Bishop appointed Father John Weiss, pastor of Kearney, to be the incumbent of the new parish. In the autumn of 1970, the mission of Minden was transferred to our Lady of Lourdes Church so as to help Kinmount Parish which handled four Churches at this time. The Mission of Chandos was eventually transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes in 1988 and together with the mission of Highland Grove make up the Cardiff parish until today.
Mission of St. Jean Vianney, Highland Grove
The chapel of St. Jean Vianney serves the villages of Highland Grove and Wilberforce as well as the surrounding areas, the lakes of which attract a large number of cottagers and tourists. The first priest to provide spiritual care for the early settlers in Haliburton County was Father McInerney, the parish priest of Maynooth who came into the area at the request of William Ayotte Sr. Fr. McInerney was followed by Father Warnock both of whom belonged to the Diocese of Pembroke. It was comparatively easy for the pastors of Maynooth to visit the villages along the I.B and O Railway on their way to Haliburton Village which belonged to the Diocese of Pembroke.
In the spring of 1939, the lot was cleared of stumps and brush by Frank Doherty who built thereon a cabin, eighteen feet by sixteen feet. During July and August, Mass was celebrated on Sundays in this cabin. Meanwhile, a basement was blasted out of rock and a foundation prepared. A building identical to the chapel at Miner’s bay was erected to accommodate sixty persons. On December 12, the chapel was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Dennis O’Connor who canonically erected a restored set of Stations of the Cross provided by Father V. McFadden. The cost of the construction and furnishing was approximately three thousand dollars. By 1940, there was no debt on the chapel, because of donations from diocesan clergy and lay persons in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Toronto. The bell for the chapel was a dinner bell donated by John O’Brien of Bancroft.
Improved roads during the fifties made it possible to have two Masses offered in Highland Grove. The priest in attendance of the mission were recipients of the generous hospitality provided in the homes of Charles McMahon, Mr. and Mrs. John Mangan and Robert Elliot in Wilberforce and in the Homes of the Ayotte families in Highland Grove. The mission of Highland Grove is still a part of the Cardiff parish until today
Mission of The Purification of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Chandos
In 1885 the lumber industry attracted two families by the name of O’Brien from Douro Township to the Township of Chandos. These were followed by the Scott family from Wellington Township and were later joined by the Horan, Finnerty, Hogan and Mahoney families. By 1870 some thirty families comprised Scott’s settlement. The first priest to visit the area was Father Daniel O’Connell of Duoro who celebrated Mass in the home of Patrick Scott in 1867.
The Chandos Mission was moved from one parish to another so many times. In 1884, it became attached to St. Peter’s Cathedral for a period of nearly fifteen years, and in 1886 Bishop Jamot promised that Mass would be celebrated every three months in the Mission. When Young’s Point became a parish with Father M. F Fitzpatrick as pastor in 1898, Chandos became affiliated with Young’s Point. In 1906, it was returned to the care of the Cathedral. Five years later it was placed under the care of Father George F. Whibbs of Campbellford who, at the time, had an assistant in the person of Father D. A Casey. In 1913, when Father Fergus O’Brien became pastor of Lakefield, the Chandos Mission was attached to Lakefield. In 1988, Chandos was transferred to Cardiff Parish and has continued to be served therefrom until today