Monday, January 09, 2017

St. Laurence O'Toole Church

St. Laurence O'Toole Church occupies a place north of Centre Street west of Cedar Street in Spencerville, Ontario.

Originally the predominantly Irish Catholic settlers of Spencerville and Edwardsburgh township had to travel to Prescott, Brockville, or Kemptville to attend masses said there or in local parishioner's homes by itinerant priests. To reduce the long travelling distance, in 1883 construction began on this church under the supervision of Father John Masterson, Pastor of St. Mark in Prescott.

The cornerstone was laid by most Rev. James Vincent Cleary, S.T.D., Bishop of Kingston on August 19, 1883. Bishop Cleary returned to bless and dedicate the finished church on September 14, 1886. The church was dedicated to St. Laurence O'Toole (1128-1180), who became Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland in 1161.

The adjoining cemetery was blessed on 15 acres of village land obtained from the Keeler family of Edwardsburgh. After having served as a mission of Prescott, Spencerville became a parish in its own right in 1888 with St. Michael the Archangel Church in Throoptown to the west as its Mission. Construction of the rectory in Spencerville began shortly thereafter.

This historical plaque of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston was presented on behalf of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association by its Secretary-General, Rev. Edward J.R. Jackman, and blessed on Saturday, June 12, 2010 by His Grace, the Most Rev. Brendan Michael O'Brien, the Archbishop of Kingston, Ontario, Canada.