From the time of his arrival in Bytown as its bishop, Bishop Bruno Guigues visited his diocese. Since diocesan priests were not available he entrusted the care of souls in many new parishes to his Oblate confreres. One of these parishes was L’Orignal, situated about one hundred kilometres on the lower side of Ottawa city. In his report on the state of the diocese in 1848, he mentions L’Orignal, a parish of about 2,000 parishioners, established in 1846 and which, in a period of two years, had already seen seven priests. There had been a presbytery, a church that threatened to fall in ruins, and a pastor, Father Albert MacDonnell, who was anxious to return to his diocese of Kingston. With a view to helping the pastor and seeing to the rebuilding of the church, Bishop Guigues sent Father Médard Bourassa. The pastor left in March 1851 and was immediately replaced by some Oblates, with Father Bourassa as superior. Several priests ministered there for a time: Napoleon Mignault in 1851 and Joseph Henri Tabaret (1851-1853), Michael Molloy and Alexandre Brunet in 1852, François Coopman (1852-1853), Claude Sallaz (1853-1854) and Richard Moloney in 1854.

Some of these priests, especially Father Bourassa, ministered in some of the surrounding localities: Grenville, Montebello, Saint-André-Avellin, Papineauville, Hawkesbury, Plantagenet, Alfred, Chatham, Pointe-Fortune, etc.

In 1854 the Oblates left L’Orignal and Bishop Guigues appointed Father M. O’Malley from Montreal diocese as pastor. The date on the official suppression of the residence is May 13, 1855. It was Father Bourassa who had the church built and dedicated to Saint-Jean-Baptiste. He also built the churches of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours in Montebello and Saint Eugene in Hawkesbury.

Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.