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Saint Patrick's Church

In the early 1880s, the Irish Catholic faithful of Halifax's north end felt a new St Patrick’s Church was needed to serve their comunity. The cornerstone was laid on August 8, 1883 by Archbishop Cornelius O'Brien, Halifax's first Canadian-born archbishop. The cornerstone contains copies of the constitution of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax. Cornelius O'Brien took a very active role to hasten the new church along. He was also destined to become a key builder of Saint Mary's University.

Funds for St. Patrick's came from merchants, labourers, professionals, the general public, and others. Those who could not give large amounts for the building gave 25 cents per month. Those who could not give a donation gave their time, so there was ample manpower at the construction site.
In August, 1883, the Catholic ladies of Halifax held a Grand Bazaar on Spring Garden Road, next to the Court House. Over 10 days, 15,000 people visited the fair, and a profit of $17,000 was realized for the church building fund.

The building had progressed so well that the Morning Herald of December 18, 1883 states: "Never during any previous building operation in the city, was so much accomplished in so short a time." This was due to three reasons: (1) The builder, Henry Peters, planned ahead and had materials on site when needed; (2) Archbishop Cornelius O'Brien visited the site every day, week in week out, to make sure the job got done; (3) The parishioners gave freely of their time, in whatever way they could, to see their new church take shape. (

Saint Patrick's Church
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