18th Century North American Jesuit Missionary

Joseph Fromm has an article in Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit about early Canada, and those Jesuit missionaries who brought the faith to the savages.

In 1744, after spending a year at Loretto, Quebec, in the study of the Huron language, Father Peter Potier, a Jesuit, a Belgian by birth, came to the Detroit River to assist Father Richardie as missionary to the Huron Indians of the south shore, with whom he labored for nearly forty years, or until his death, in 1781. His body rests beneath the nave of the present Church of the Assumption, at Sandwich.

There is no tradition which locates the site of the primitive structure used as a church by Father Richardie, but its successor, which was known far and wide as " The Church of the Hurons," was erected between the years of 1747 and 1750, by Father Potier, on land given the Jesuits by the Indians north-east of the present " Girardot wine- cellar." " The Jesuit Farm " was later known as " The Pratt Farm." Father Potier also built a mission house, and enclosed about four acres of land as a mission garden. The mission house is still standing and habitable. It was a notable landmark until recent years, when it was robbed of its ancient appearance, " stone foundations and tall, stone chimney plastered and whitened on the outside," as recorded in the Relations.

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Joseph!

Dieu le Roy!
de Brantigny


Joseph Fromm said...

Yet another example of Jesuit missionary zeal. Some times I wish they sold off every university and went back to working in the field and getting their hands dirty.



de Brantigny........................ said...

I have been having my catechists watching the Mission and the week coming up I shall play the Black Robe for them. The orders who have not left their Charism behind are not losing members.

I wonder what St Ignatius would be saying now?