St. Denis Parish History
The first church was built in 1909. The first priest was Father Maurice Pierquin (1909-1913). At his pastoral visit in June 1917, Msgr. Arthur Béliveau, Archbishop of St.Boniface, it was noted that there were 52 Catholic families in Haywood, and some parishioners had to stand outside during Mass, therefore, a new church, the present one, was built in 1919. The notes indicate that the cost was $6,000.00. Father Cyrille Allaire was pastor (1913-1921) then.
In January 1937, 114 households with a population of 585 were reported.
In 1941 the church was enlarged by adding two lean-tos, two bell towers and a sacristy. Mr. Pierre Dedieu and Mr. Gaston Bernard of Haywood were the directors / overseers. Electricity was brought to the church and furnaces were installed also in 1941.
In 1945 the new modern liturgical style altar along with the Way of the Cross were put in and blessed by Msgr. Georges Cabana. The new pews were installed in 1947 and two confessionals came in 1948.
A fire caused by lightning destroyed the parish rectory in 1988 and many records were lost. A new rectory was built but in 2000 we lost our resident priest so the rectory was rented out as a home. Using the existing office in those premises was at times inconvenient for both the tenant and the parish personnel so a parish office was created in the space used as a chapel in the sacristy of the church.
There are now approximately 200 Roman Catholics in the Haywood area. There are about 60 persons who attend Sunday Mass regularly. We do not have a resident priest but St.Denis Parish is a mission of the St. Claude Parish. Both parishes are served by interim priests until a resident priest is assigned.
Priests of St. Denis, Haywood
Maurice Pierquin 1909 – 1911 1st resident priest
Cyrille Allaire 1913 – 1921
Alfred Chamberland 1921 - 1925
Edmond Lavoie 1925 - 1935
Jean-Marie Gagné 1935 - 1952
Gédéon Montminy 1952 – 1958
Louis Bédard 1958 – 1962
Joseph Choiselat 1962 – 1966
Florent Labonté 1966 – 1978
James Scharinger 1978 – 1980
Rosaire Gagné 1980 – 1981
Lionel Thibeault 1981 – 1983
Marcel Chaput 1983 – 1988
Rhéal Forest 1988 – 1995
Antoine VoVanHoa 1995 – 1998
Armand LeGal 1998 – 2000
Rodrigue Bouchard 2000 – 2003 resident in St. Claude
Jean-Jacques Serceau 2003 – 2004 resident in St. Claude
Mgr. Roger Bazin 2004 – 2005 resident in St. Claude
Célestin Malengu Mubaya 2005 – 2009 resident in St. Claude
Marcel Carrière 2009 – 2012 resident in St. Claude
Guy Lavallée 2012 – 2014 priest-moderator from Winnipeg
Louis Légaré 2015 - 2016 priest-moderator from Winnipeg
Mgr.Bazin, Fr.John, Bishop, etc. 2016 – 2018 various replacement priests
Solomon Arthur 2018 - resident in St. Claude