South Gloucester is an area situated about thirty kilometres to the south of Ottawa, not far from the Rideau River. It was peopled by Irish colonists who had built there a little timber chapel. From the time of their arrival in Bytown in 1844, the Oblates ministered in the surrounding townships. Fathers Jeremiah Ryan, Damase Dandurand and Pierre Telmon each went there in their turn. Father Hercule Clément was the first to take up residence there in 1848 and he was succeeded by Father François Déléage from 1848 to 1853. During his brief sojourn in South Gloucester, Father Clément purchased eight acres of land around the chapel and commenced the building of a church. Father Déléage accelerated the work and a church, of gothic architecture with three naves, was blessed in July 1852. Father François Coopman succeeded Father Déléage from 1853 to 1855.

During this period there were about twelve priests who came occasionally from Bytown to help Fathers Déléage and Coopman and who ministered in several missions where they built chapels: Saint John the Evangelist in Osgoode (Prescott Road), Sainte-Brigitte des Rideaux or Manotic, Sainte-Catherine de Melcalfe, Saint-Joseph d’Orléans, Saint-Jacques d’Embrun, etc.

In 1855, Father Jacques Santoni, the Provincial, recalled Father Coopman. Bishop Bruno Guigues of Bytown sent a diocesan priest to take his place.

Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.