Saturday, November 12, 2011

St. Anne's of Ottawa: New FSSP Church in Nation's Capital

Canada is the world's second largest nation.

Very nice to see the Archbishop of the Ottawa See offer this fantastic historic parish to the FSSP, in the nation's capital.

Ste. Anne was constructed in 1873 by French Catholics. It is a gorgeous limestone "heritage" church in a quiet neighborhood, located just across the river from Quebec in the old francophone neighborhood of Ottawa. This church wins with location, location, location.

Very important: the church is within walking distance from the hub of Ottawa, the trendy Byward Market, located on the edge of downtown. And the beautiful parkland and city bike paths along the nearby Rideau River are a nice extra. There is ample parking.

Across the street from the church is a Catholic high school, football field with tennis and basketball courts and the Chinese Embassy. Behind the church is a city park with playground, a baseball field, outdoor and indoor pools, a hockey rink and two more elementary schools.

From the street in front of the church can even be seen the spire of the cathedral as well as the spire of the city's most prominently visible Catholic church steeple, the old Irish church of St. Brigid.

The only down side is that there is no parish hall, which will have to be constructed along the side of the church.


  1. Is this replacing St. Clement? And if yes, what's going to happen with St. Clement?

  2. The diocese has already sold the rectory to Protestants. The real gem is Corpus Christi in the Glebe. St. Brigid was also sold by the diocese for a song.

  3. St. Clement will likely be sold for multi-family residential development. Mind you, there IS a modern rectory next to the church which is still owned by the diocese and goes with the church. Can a historic church change its name? Ste-Anne has already been consecrated so. Will it be re-consecrated St. Clement???

    Interior pics!

  4. The church itself would remain St. Anne's, as it is a city-designated heritage. However, the parish of St. Clement would occupy the building. It would still be referred to as simply "St. Clement" or "St. Clement Church".

  5. With the church being a historical landmark and one tied to Catholic history, it would seem particularly apt if the community were to adopt the name of the historic parish itself, thereby continuing the legacy of that historic community.

    We should recall as well the particular historical devotion to St. Anne in this part of the world.

  6. John,

    Beautiful. Will this be your new parish?

    I'm a parishioner of the FSSP apostolate down in Harrisburg. We have a splendid old church as well.

    Ottawa's a beautiful place. I used to go there often when I was in college (SUNY Plattsburgh) back in the 80's. What will you be doing for sustenance now that you're no longer giving tours of Rome?

    Your fandom wants to know!

  7. As I said, the building would be St. Anne's, but St. Clement parish has a fascinating, hard-working history (the faithful created their own parish from scratch) and would retain their patron for sure.

  8. Yes, I am indeed familiar with the history of St. Clement's of the last few decades, prior to the days of the FSSP, and I certainly think a nod should go in that direction by way of a prominent visible memory and devotion to St. Clement.

    At the same time, we also have the even deeper historical legacy of French Catholics (so in need of revival!) in the nation of Canada.

    Perhaps the best solution will be, as you say, that the name of the historic church be kept, but then within the parish the community foster a dual devotion to St. Anne and St. Clement as co-patrons.

    There could be something quite poignantly symbolic in that... a working toward the revival of the Faith within the nation of Canada and a going back to its roots.

  9. Why not buy back the old rectory for a social hall?

  10. A side altar and social hall can be dedicated in honor of St. Clement. But keep Ste-Anne name and parish!

  11. To Anonymous: "Yes, I am indeed familiar with the history of St. Clement's"...

    I like your idea about a revival of faith within Canada, as St. Clement parish, a champion of the liturgical movement via the Extraordinary Form, moves into a formerly French church with a deep heritage.

  12. I don't get it..(off topic): When did you move to Canada? And why did you leave Rome? I had always hoped someday that I cold go to Rome and have you as a tour guide. Oh well..

  13. I'm with you, Denita!

    John, did you really move from sunny Rome to frozen Canada? How come? Please tell us!

    (Back to topic), is St. Clement's being sold? Why?

    Barb from NY

  14. Can someone tell us about the two schools begun under the parish of St. Clement's -- the English St. Clement Academy and the French Notre Dame du Mont Carmel?

  15. St. Clement Academy shut its doors this past June. Not enough students to sustain it, I believe.