12. Mission Hill Introduction

Mission Hill Introduction

Father Lacombe Chapel
• Constructed in 1861, it was the first building of the Mission of St. Albert.
• From 1868-1870 it served as the Cathedral for Bishop Grandin.
• It is now the oldest wooden building in Alberta and a registered Provincial Historic Site.
Open to the public from May 15 to Labour Day – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Father Lacombe Statue
• Cast in France, it was erected in 1929 to honour Father Lacombe’s work with the
Cree and Blackfoot.
• The statue is in the original location of the chapel.

The Vital Grandin Centre (Bishop’s Palace)
• The building was planned as a hospital for the Grey Nuns.
• Completed in 1887, the Sisters felt it was too grand for their needs and offered it to the Bishop.
• Designated a Provincial Historic Site in 1977.
Not open to the public.

The Mission Bells
• The bells were gifts to Bishop Grandin from his Patrons in France.
• The first was sent in 1874 and two others in 1887.

The Grotto
• Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin it is a replica of the shrine in Lourdes France.
• It was built in the 1920s with stones from the riverbank and farmers’ fields.

St. Albert Parish Church and Crypt
• Construction was begun in 1900 but due to a lack of funds the main level was not completed until 1922.
• The 1,000 seat church served much of the surrounding area.
• The Crypt, built between 1900-1906, contains the remains of Bishop Grandin, Father Lacombe and Father Leduc.
• Two angels, carved by Brother Brochart, OMI, stand in watch over the three tombs.
Tours of the Crypt can be arranged at the Chapel or through the Musée Héritage Museum.

St. Albert Cemetery
• The first burial recorded in 1861 was a ten-year-old girl named Marguerite.
• There are no surviving grave markers prior to 1890.
• The Oblate Priests and Brothers, and Grey Nuns are buried in separate sections.
Tours of the cemetery can be arranged at the Chapel or through the Musée Héritage Museum.

Image Credits: St. Albert grotto, [1920-1955]; Lacombe statue unveiling, Sep. 21, 1929.