‘Twas a beautiful autumnal day in September, 1896, when Bishop Narcisse Lorrain of Pembroke boarded a train destined for Barry’s Bay.  He picked up his colleague Father James McCormac, pastor in Brudenell and together they spent the next several days in the Bay, searching for a suitable site for a new chapel to serve approximately 50 Catholic families, mostly of Irish extraction.  There already was another Catholic Church in the area, the Church of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, which served a large Polish community.  Perhaps that is the reason for locating the new chapel at the other edge of the village and naming it St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish, to accommodate the many Irish pioneers and several other nationalities.

After selecting what was an appropriate site, the Diocese of Pembroke made application for the purchase of the two-acre plot from the Crown and plans were formulated to erect a chapel which would be a mission church to the already established parishes of Brudenell and Killaloe.

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