History of the Parish
|The year 1829 marked the beginning of
a new era.
The need of a church had long been felt and at this
time steps were taken towards the building of the
mother church of Cornwall. St. Columban's first
church was modestly small and ran east-west parallel
to Fourth Street. The first resident priest was Father
James Bennett, who took up his residency in 1834.
In August of 1864 the cornerstone for
church was laid by Bishop E.J. Horan. The first church
had to be replaced because it had blown down during
a fierce Gale.
In 1894 ground was broken for the construction of
the third and present church. It was first felt that the
second church could be expanded but then it was
decided to go ahead with the building of a larger
church to accommodate the growing congregation.
The church was completed in 1896 at a cost of
$47,500 and still looks after the needs of about 1000
St. Columban's has had two bells during
its many years. The bell for the first church was blessed by George
A. Hay of St. Andrew's , on March 24, 1844. It was named Mary
Christine MacDonald wife of John Sandfield MacDonald, first premier of
Ontario. This bell can now be seen on the front lawn of the church.
The bell in our present church was christened August 31, 1902, by Bishop
Alexander Macdonell, first Bishop of Alexandria. The bell was cast
in Belgium and weighs approximately 4900 lbs. With the wheel and
other attachments the bell weighs over 6000 lbs.