St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church History Father Jack McDonagh, pastor of Napanee, had been assigned the care of Mill Point in 1878. Until that time, the village’s Catholic population had relied on occasional visits from the Marysville parish priest. In 1879 the Rathbun Company allowed Father McDonagh to use the hall over the company’s store on Main Street as a place to celebrate Mass. This room was large enough to hold the growing congregation. Plans for the construction of a brick church were soon made and land was donated by the Rathbun family at the eastern edge of Deseronto, on the north side of Dundas Street. A brick church, 55 by 35 feet was built in 1883, with the first Mass celebrated in it on November 11th of that year. A service of blessing and dedication took place on September 15th, 1884, when the church received the title of St. Vincent de Paul. The total cost of the church was given as $4,021.84 The original church building was short-lived. A disastrous fire destroyed much of the eastern end of Deseronto on Victoria Day, 1896, including the church of St. Vincent de Paul. Eighty families were left homeless by the blaze, which was reported to have done over $250,000 worth of damage to the town. As the town had expanded westwards since the earlier church was built, it was decided to locate the new building on the western side of Deseronto. Once again, the land (at the junction of Dundas and Brant Streets) was donated by the Rathbun family. The altar, costing $350, was donated by the local branch of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association. Work began on September 1st, 1896 and was completed by November. On November 29th, the first Mass in the new building was celebrated by Father John Hogan, who had taken over the care of the parish in 1889. The service of dedication was held on September 12, 1897. Architecture Thomas Hanley of Belleville designed the new church. Hanley also designed Naylor’s Theatre [site 27] in Deseronto and Glanmore House in Belleville. The new church of red brick was 128 by 38 feet, with a 72 foot high tower, 14 feet square, built of pressed brick, with rock-faced brick over the doorways. The building was capable of seating 400 people. Presbytery By 1900 the population of Deseronto had reached its peak. There were now 165 families in the congregation: enough to justify separating the parish of Deseronto from that of Napanee. This necessitated the construction of a residence for the parish priest in Deseronto. Work began in April 1905 and the Presbytery was completed on March 31st, 1906. Deseronto became an independent parish on June 19, 1906, with Father P. J. Hartigan as the town’s first resident pastor. Since 1980 the parish has been looked after by the priest of Holy Name of Mary parish, who lives in Marysville.

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St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church

History

Father Jack McDonagh, pastor of Napanee, had been assigned the care of Mill Point in 1878. Until that time, the village’s Catholic population had relied on occasional visits from the Marysville parish priest. In 1879 the Rathbun Company allowed Father McDonagh to use the hall over the company’s store on Main Street as a place to celebrate Mass. This room was large enough to hold the growing congregation.

Plans for the construction of a brick church were soon made and land was donated by the Rathbun family at the eastern edge of Deseronto, on the north side of Dundas Street. A brick church, 55 by 35 feet was built in 1883, with the first Mass celebrated in it on November 11th of that year. A service of blessing and dedication took place on September 15th, 1884, when the church received the title of St. Vincent de Paul. The total cost of the church was given as $4,021.84

The original church building was short-lived. A disastrous fire destroyed much of the eastern end of Deseronto on Victoria Day, 1896, including the church of St. Vincent de Paul. Eighty families were left homeless by the blaze, which was reported to have done over $250,000 worth of damage to the town.

As the town had expanded westwards since the earlier church was built, it was decided to locate the new building on the western side of Deseronto. Once again, the land (at the junction of Dundas and Brant Streets) was donated by the Rathbun family. The altar, costing $350, was donated by the local branch of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association.

Work began on September 1st, 1896 and was completed by November. On November 29th, the first Mass in the new building was celebrated by Father John Hogan, who had taken over the care of the parish in 1889. The service of dedication was held on September 12, 1897.

Architecture

Thomas Hanley of Belleville designed the new church. Hanley also designed Naylor’s Theatre [site 27] in Deseronto and Glanmore House in Belleville. The new church of red brick was 128 by 38 feet, with a 72 foot high tower, 14 feet square, built of pressed brick, with rock-faced brick over the doorways. The building was capable of seating 400 people.

Presbytery

By 1900 the population of Deseronto had reached its peak. There were now 165 families in the congregation: enough to justify separating the parish of Deseronto from that of Napanee. This necessitated the construction of a residence for the parish priest in Deseronto. Work began in April 1905 and the Presbytery was completed on March 31st, 1906. Deseronto became an independent parish on June 19, 1906, with Father P. J. Hartigan as the town’s first resident pastor. Since 1980 the parish has been looked after by the priest of Holy Name of Mary parish, who lives in Marysville.

Gothic Revival Style

This style was inspired by buildings from medieval Europe. Initially introduced in Canada in the 1820s-1830s , the style persisted across Canada for over a century, especially in religious architecture. Identified by features such as the pointed arch for door and window openings, buttresses and pinnacles, the style evolved through various stages: the rational phase promoted by a group of British theologians known as the Ecclesiologists; the High Victorian Gothic phase, which sanctioned polychromy, asymmetry, texture and picturesque effects; and the beaux-arts phase, which witnessed a return to symmetry and monumentality.

St. Vincent de Paul
The original design of Deseronto’s Roman Catholic church has all the key stylistic motifs of the Gothic Revival style on the exterior: pointed arches over the windows and doors, rose window over the main/south (Dundas St.) entrance, stepped buttresses at the corners and lower buttresses along the walls, corner tower pinnacles, quatrefoils as windows above the doors and purely ornamental in the middle of the asymmetrically placed tower. However, much like the United Church, these stylistic references do not form the essence of the style, but are a decorative treatment, that could easily feature an overlay of other revival styles of the time such as Romanesque, Renaissance or Baroque. Some of the original decoration is no longer present, such as the tower pinnacles, and entrance porches have been added to the front.