View from the Pastoral Centre, Stella Maris Pastoral Unit, West Arichat, NS
“Gloire soit au Père et au Fils et au Saint-Esprit, comme il était au commencement, est maintenant et toujours sera, monde sans fin. Amen.”
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was, in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Acadians have populated our province and our diocese since the 1630s. Their expertise in trades, farming, fishing, and land reclamation, and their collaborative friendship with the M’ikmaki built thriving communities that fuelled the economic and social growth of our region. Le Grand Dérangement of 1755, in which British government soldiers forced thousands of Acadians onto ships and into exile, decimated the Acadian population but not its spirit. Some hid to avoid capture. Others spent years returning to their homelands to find their land claimed and resettled by the British. They built new settlements. Still, others returned generations later and today, Acadian communities remain a destination for the thousands of descendants of those original settlers.
Our Diocese includes five Acadian parishes:
Our Lady of Assumption, Arichat
St-Joseph, Petit de Grat
Ste Croix, Pomquet
St-Joseph, St. Joseph du Moine
Our Lady of the Assumption is the Patron Saint of the Acadians.
The Virgin Mary and Mother of Jesus was selected
as a patron saint by the first delegation of
the National Acadian Convention in 1881.
The star in the Acadian Flag represents Our Lady
and the star of the sea that guides sailors home
through stormy seas
August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption
and celebrated by Acadians worldwide as
Fête nationale de l’Acadie/National Acadian Day.
July 28 is also an important date in Acadian culture,
declared as the Day of Commemoration of Le Grand Dérangement of 1755.
It is not a celebration, but rather a day to remember and reflect.
On this anniversary, at 17h55 (5:55 pm), church bells ring as a sign of respect.
(Prayer written 1955, updated 2010 – see English below)
Seigneur, Dieu tout-puissant, Maître absolu du ciel et de la terre,
écoutez en ce moment la voix de nos clochers et la prière de nos coeurs.
Nous sommes agenouillées dans un geste de foi et de reconnaissance.
Il y a deux cents ans, nos aïeux étaient chassés de leurs pays.
Vous savez, vous, ô mon Dieu, ce qu’ils ont enduré et souffert.
Vous ne les avez pas abandonnés.
Vous avez donné le courage aux martyrs, l’espérance aux captifs,
la résignation aux mourants et la grâce de pardonner.
Vous avez béni leur descendance.
Vous avez rebâti le peuple acadien
et vous lui avez donné comme héritage la foi catholique.
Merci, mon Dieu, merci pour nos épreuves, merci pour notre survivance.
En ce jour mémorable, les Acadiens vous adorent
et se consacrent entièrement à votre service.
Nous promettons d’obéir à vos lois et de vivre toujours en bons chrétiens.
Nous remettons entre vos mains notre sort et nos vies;
nos propriétés et nos entreprises; nos paroisses et nos écoles;
notre clergé et nos institutions; nos vieillards,
nos pères et mères de famille, notre jeunesse, nos enfants.
Bénissez notre peuple. Éclairez nos chefs.
Convertissez nos pécheurs. Donnez le ciel à nos chers disparus.
Gardez notre pays catholique et français.
Qu’il soit à jamais le royaume du Christ
et le royaume de Marie, notre mère du ciel.
Lord, Almighty God, Absolute Master of heaven and earth,
listen at this moment to the voice of our steeples and the prayer of our hearts.
We are kneeling in a gesture of faith and gratitude.
Two hundred years ago, our ancestors were driven out of their country.
You know, O my God, what they have endured and suffered.
You have not abandoned them.
You gave courage to the martyrs, hope to the captives,
resignation to the dying and the grace to forgive.
You have blessed their offspring.
You rebuilt the Acadian people
and you gave them the Catholic faith as a heritage.
Thank you, my God,
thank you for our trials, thank you for our survival.
On this memorable day, the Acadians adore you
and dedicate themselves entirely to your service.
We promise to obey your laws and always live as good Christians.
We place our fate and our lives in your hands;
our properties and businesses; our parishes and schools;
our clergy and our institutions; our old people,
our fathers and mothers, our youth, our children.
Bless our people. Enlighten our leaders.
Convert our sinners. Give heaven to our dear departed.
Keep our Catholic and French country.
May it be forever the kingdom of Christ
and the kingdom of Mary, our mother in heaven.
So be it
Msgr Norbert Robichaud
Archevêque de Moncton
Our Diocesan History
began on July 15, 1844, when the Roman Curia created the Diocese of Antigonish.
The diocese included the northern mainland of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island.
The first seat of the diocese was Arichat.
Our first bishop, Bishop William Fraser, administered the Diocese of Arichat from Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral, built in 1837 before our diocese was formed.
St. Francis Xavier University was also born in Arichat.
The university was founded in 1853 by Bishop Colin F. MacKinnon, our second bishop.
Bishop MacKinnon saw a diocesan seminary and college as a way to build and strengthen this new diocese.
Bishop MacKinnon’s desk is
displayed in the Pastoral Centre, Stella Maris Pastoral Unit, West Arichat
The need to protect this newer, smaller diocese from possible absorption by neighboring seats caused subsequent church officials to seek a mainland seat for our diocese. In 1886, the name was changed to Diocese of Antigonish and the seat moved to St. Ninian Cathedral in Antigonish.
Arichat remains the historical root of our diocese and an important chapter in our diocesan story.
Bishop George Landry
with Bishop James Morrison circa 1943.
Bishop Landry was the first Acadian priest of Antigonish Diocese
to be ordained in the Diocese of Antigonish
Link and learn:
A view into Acadian culture,
genealogy resource centre and library, and more
Listen live via the web:
Also at 92.5 FM in Pomquet and 97.5 FM in Sydney
Broadcasting from Petit de Grat
“Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grâce.
Le Seigneur est avec vous.
Vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes, et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni.
Sainte Marie, mère de Dieu, priez pour nous pauvres pêcheurs, maintenant et à l’heure de notre mort.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace.
The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women and Blessed is the Fruit of your Womb, Jesus..
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
“O mon Jésus, pardonne-nous nos péchés, préserve-nous du feu de l’enfer et conduis au ciel toutes les petit âmes surtout celles qui ont le plus besoin de ta miséricorde. Amen.”
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell.
Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.