First church of Tracadie
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada


First church of Tracadie

The first wooden church of Tracadie was finished in 1823 under the responsibility of father Thomas Cook. Pierre Gingras of Quebec was the carpenter responsible for the construction. The blessing of the new church took place on June 22th, 1823.


Father François Xavier S. Lafrance, first resident pastor of Tracadie
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada


François Xavier Stanislas Lafrance, 1814-1867

Son of Marie Emilie Angélique Mcdonnell and Louis Charles Lafrance, François Xavier Stanislas de Kotska Héanview Lafrance was born in Quebec on February 26th, 1814. He was named pastor at Tracadie a year after he was ordained as a priest in 1841. Father Lafrance succeeded in getting the lepers transferred to Tracadie after much effort in July of 1849.

He founded Tracadie's first school in 1843. In Memramcook, he later established the foundations of the Collège Saint Joseph which would become the Université de Moncton in 1963.

Father Lafrance was transferred to Memramcook in 1852. The priest from that parish, Ferdinand Gauvreau, replaced him in Tracadie.

Father Lafrance died November 26th 1867 in the parish of Barachois, New Brunswick. He was buried in the parish of Saint Thomas in Memramcook, New Brunswick.

Father Lafrance became rightfully known as the defender of the lepers and the forerunner of education in Acadie.


Tracadie's second church
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada


Tracadie's second church, parish of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Joseph

Father Ferdinand Gauvreau made the request for the construction of a new stone church in its current location to the bishop of Chatham, Mgr.
James Rogers in 1871, but it was realized by father J. A. Babineau.
Construction began in 1874 and ended in 1899. The church's plans were drawn by architect Mathew Stead. Fire destroyed this beautiful church November 8th, 1925.


Joseph Auguste Babineau, 3rd pastor of Tracadie
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada


Joseph Auguste Babineau, 1844-1915

Joseph Auguste Babineau was born in Saint Louis de Kent, New Brunswick, April 29th, 1844. He is called upon to replace pastor Gauvreau in the parish of Tracadie September 9th, 1871. Father Babineau's immediate goal was to finalize the procedures for the construction of a new stone church. The construction began in 1874 and ended in 1896. Shortly thereafter, a presbytery was constructed. The nuns managed to have the stone lazaretto (1896) built thanks to his support and his aid.

The nuns and the doctor assumed the responsibility of taking care of the lepers
when the admnistration of the lazaretto was transferred from the provincial Bureau of Health to the federal government in 1880. Father Babineau was nonetheless named as its director and signed the agreement.

He made several trips to Ottawa to obtain both the construction of a new building and an increase in the annual allocation given to the nuns in order to take care of the sick. Father Babineau acted as the lazaretto's protector and was its supporter taking to heart its interests during his 32 years of service in the parish of Tracadie. The lazaretto was fortunate to have such a zealous supporter. He was named pastor in St.
Leonard in the spring of 1903. He would remain there until his death, March 31st, 1915.


The current church
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada


The current church

The construction of the 3rd stone church with two steeples began in May 1926 when father J. M. Lavasseur was the parish pastor. Its plans were drawn by architect René A. Rochet of Montreal.

Christmas mass was celebrated in the new church, still in construction, as early as December, 1927. Still under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Joseph, the church was consecrated in autumn of 1949 when father Joseph A. Trudel was pastor.


Joseph Marie Levasseur, 4th pastor of Tracadie
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada


Joseph Marie Levasseur, 1856-1940

The parish of Tracadie welcomed their new pastor Joseph Marie Levasseur in 1903. He was from St. Basile, Madawaska. He was a priest loved by all. He left the parish with unforgettable memories.

He arranged the reconstruction of the church which had been destroyed by fire in 1925. That monument is still admired today by all. He also arranged for a church hall to be built near the church circa 1910, as well as a chapel in St. Irénée. Lastly, with the help of the nuns, the Holy Family Academy opened in 1912.

He retired in 1937 and stayed at the Hôtel-Dieu in Tracadie where he died in 1940. Parishioners still speak of him with much emotion and call him: "Our good father Levasseur".