The mission of Lac-Sainte-Anne is situated about 60 kilometres west of the city of Edmonton, capital of the province of Alberta. The territory was attached to the Canadian Confederation in 1905.
Lac Sainte-Anne, Alberta (AD)
This mission was founded in 1843 by Abbés Joseph Bourassa and Jean-Baptiste Thibault. In 1853 Father Albert Lacombe arrived there and it was there he did his novitiate 1855-1856 under the direction of Father René Rémas who had been appointed there in 1855. Fathers Célestin-Marie Frain and Jean-Marie Caer both worked there, the former from 1857 to 1860 and the latter from 1860 to 1865. They extended the chapel and built a convent and a school, which was entrusted to the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, in 1858-1859. The mission was frequented by about 800 half-breeds and Cree Indians from the prairies. From 1855 to 1865, Father Tissot, a missionary in Lac-la-Biche, came to teach them how to make lime and build houses. Some Fathers lived there quite a long time: Zéphirin Lizée (1896-1897 and 1899-1912), Pierre-Marie Lèbre (1923-1927, 1930-1939, 1944-1947).
At first the mission belonged to Saint-Boniface vicariate. It was attached to Saint-Albert in 1868, to the vicariate of Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1906 and to the Province of Alberta-Saskatchewan 1921, to the Province of Grandin in 1985 and to the Lacombe Province in 2003.
Lac-Sainte-Anne is a place of pilgrimage, inaugurated by Father Joseph Lestanc in 1889. He was then superior of the Saint-Albert mission. Whites, half-breeds and Indians come in large numbers on the occasion of the feast of Saint Anne on July 26. According to the Codex Historicus of the house, there were 1,100 pilgrims in July 1897 and 20,000 in 1977. The Oblates are still ministering at Lac-Sainte-Anne.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.