Before the Sun
In the shadow of
Mt.Paul, this wood frame church can
hope to bring comfort
Although the sign at the front of the St. Joseph's Catholic Church states it was built in 1870, its origins date earlier. When the Hudson's Bay Company moved its fort to the west side of the North Thompson River in 1843, a log cabin church was soon built to serve the community. A mission was established by Oblate missionaries here in 1846. Chief Louis, the hereditary chief of Tk'emlups (Kamloops) converted to Catholicism and became a church chief about 1866 having been appointed by the Oblates. He raised the money to build a new church which was finally constructed in 1882. The Oblates moved their headquarters to Kamloops in 1885. As the congregation grew, a new church was built in 1900 with the old log church being torn down. What we see today is how the church was reconstructed in 1900. In 1985, the church was completely renovated and its artifacts restored. St. Joseph's is the oldest church in Kamloops and a Canadian heritage site.
In light of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School nearby, the Roman Catholic Church pledges to 'do whatever we can to heal that suffering". This school was under Roman Catholic administration from 1890 to 1977. (May 29/21 blip) I hope they are as good as their word.