On July 1st, 1947, Archbishop Murray commissioned Fr. St. Jacques to establish a parish in the Municipality of Charleswood, and also to erect a small church. The Archdiocese of Winnipeg loaned the new parish $4230.00 and required a repayment of only $1500.00. Fr. St. Jacques rented two rooms in a house on Chalfont Rd. and immediately started to visit Catholic families in the area. On July 22, 1947 a meeting of the men of the future parish was held. It was decided at that meeting to purchase land and build a small frame church about 40x20 feet. A three-acre site was found on Roblin Blvd. across from the Vasa Lund Park. A carpenter was hired at $1.25/hour. Night after night volunteer men, women and children came to help in the construction of the church and realize a dream. Prior to the completion of the church in Charleswood, most Catholics of the area attended either St. Ignatius or St. Charles churches. It was difficult and time consuming to reach St. Ignatius if one depended on the limited streetcar service that was later replaced by an also limited bus service. To reach St. Charles, it was necessary to cross by ferry in the summer or walk across the frozen Assiniboine River in the winter. The only reference to the naming of the early church is found in the records kept by Fr. St. Jacques which stated “The original name given this church was St. Catherine and later changed to Our Lady of Peprpetual Help” When the first Mass was celebrated on August 24, 1947 at 10:15AM, the church was far from finished. Old timers tell us they sat on planks supported on nail kegs until chairs and wooden kneelers were purchased. By the fall of 1947 Sunday school classes began. Catechism classes were taught on Sunday afternoons by some of the ladies of the parish.  A ladies group was organized to plan social activities and the youth formed a C.Y.O. Both organizations became very active and had tremendous enthusiasm. In October of 1947, the pastor moved into four rooms located in the back of the church. In the early part of November, Father was given permission to leave the parish and register at the University of Montreal to take a two-year course in Social Science to receive a Bachelor’s Degree. Fr. J. Fitzgerald was appointed pastor in November 1947. Father moved into the rooms at the back of the church but soon found the accommodations very inadequate for winter living. The attendance at Sunday Mass had increased to the point where a second Mass was now needed. A small house across from the church (now Vasa Lund) was purchased for the rectory. Fr. Fitzgerald was asked to accept an appointment as Chaplain to the Home of the Good Shepherd. It was with regret that Fr. Fitzgerald left the work he had started in the new parish. Fr. Russell Manning was appointed pastor in 1948. There was little change during the following year. On June 26, 1949, thirty-six ladies signed the Catholic Women’s League Charter to form a Council in the parish and become part of the National Council. In those days, most of the population increase was taking place in the east end of the municipality. As the congregation grew larger, it was thought that the church was not well located. Accordingly, in October of 1950, a more central location was purchased as the corner of Roblin and Hedley (now Grant). Preparation to relocate began. The parishioners cleared trees and underbrush from a portion of the present 2 fi acre site, a foundation for the church was laid and a very old four room house situated on the property was renovated for a rectory. The church building was moved in the summer of 1951 and placed where the staff parking lot now exists. A small addition was added to the rear of the church. Worship was held in the small church for the next several years. As the parish grew, it became necessary to introduce a third Sunday morning Mass which was celebrated by visiting priests, Fr. James Mulholland and occasionally, Fr. Leo McDonald. The Holy Name sisters and students from St. Mary’s Academy played a major role in the religious education program, assisted by our own parishioners in these earlier years. The men of the parish formed car-pools to transport the Sisters each Sunday. In 1957 Fr. Manning warned of the need to plan a new church for the near futures due to the continued growth of both the community and the parish. A fund raising campaign was started. The parish was canvassed and pledges taken. Finally, in 1962, a new church was designed and construction commenced that fall. The total cost was $100,000.00, not much by present prices, but an ambitious undertaking for about 125 families at a time when an average salary was $6,000.00 per year.  The men cleared more land for the new church and parking lot.  The driveway in front was one of the first to be designed to facilitate wheelchairs.  The first Mass celebrated on Palm Sunday, 1963.  The solemn blessing by Archbishop Flahiff took place on June 23 of the same year. Fr. Manning's 25th Anniversary in the priesthood was celebrated at the 1962 annual smorgasboard at Vasa Lund.  Our Lady of Perpetual Help men's club was formed in 1962.  They were very active in conducting bingos, picnics, dances and parish work projects. Fr. Manning went into semi-retirement in September 1970 and was assigned as an assistant priest at St. Mary's Cathedral.  He was replaced in our parish by Fr. Eugene Oroskovits on September 19, 1970.  During the time Fr. "O" was with us, we elected our first parish council.  We gathered together and rejoiced as a parish family at the burning of the church mortgage on December 6, 1975.  A new rectory and administration centre was built in 1976 at a cost of $71,000.00.  We felt privileged to celebrate with Fr. O in 1978 on the occasion of his 40th anniversary in the priesthood.  A roast dinner was held in his honour and a gift presented to him. Due to the increase in students for religious classes, it was decided to ask Sister Storey from the convent of the Sacred Heart to be program co-ordinator.  Fr. started visits to the local nursing homes and spent many hours each week visiting the sick and shut-ins.  We were saddened by his death on February 27, 1979. Many felt they had lost a dear friend and the name Father "O" had become synonymous with the virtues of dedication and devotion. As a memorial to Fr. Oroskovits, the parish founded a scholarship fund. Parishioners and friends donated $9,082.25 which was divided between St. Charles Academy, St. Mary's Academy and St. Paul's High School to be used as bursaries to tuition only.  Following the death of Fr. Oroskovits, the parish was administered temporarily by Fr. Eugene Grzesko.  Father spent from March 9, 1979 to July 1979 with us.  He was appointed to St. Michael's Parish in Gimli. Fr. Michael Moore, now Monsignor, was welcomed as our new pastor on July 8, 1979.  This was a time of liturgical change.  Father encouraged greater participation in the liturgy and the interior of the church took on a new look.  The communion rail was removed, the altar elevated and the choir was relocated from the choir loft to a position near the main altar.  An alcove altar was completed as a special place for the Blessed Sacrament.  Fr. Michael also brought life and vitality to the parish.  Many new programs were started, for example a Bible Study.  The Knights of Columbus Council, which received its charter in 1980, meets regularly at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  Although not a parish society, many of the members are active in parish programs. Religious Education part-time coordinator, Sister Kathleen-Anne Tomenko of Our Lady of the Missions, was with us for a short time.  Sister Pauline Greschner of the Ursuline Order came to our parish on August 22, 1981.  The talents and ingenuity of Sister and her many lay assistants were greatly appreciated.  A dinner was held in the parish hall in honour of Sister's 25th anniversary on September 18, 1983. Fr. Michael's administrative ability was recognized by the Chancery Office. On January 18, 1983, he was asked to serve as Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg.  A farewell wine and cheese party was held.  A large number of parishioners attended to wish Father well in his new post. An interim appointment was announced in the person of Fr. Sean Cahill.  Fr. Cahill was with us from January to August of the same year, when he was appointed to St. Jude's Parish in Erickson. On Sunday, August 28, 1983 Fr. Terry McGrath celebrated his first Mass as our pastor.  A steady growth in Charleswood had increased the parish to 700 families. The church had become a very busy place.  Programs had been expanded and new ones introduced. Due to the additional numbers the facilities were then inadequate and church expansion had to be considered.  A Feasibility Committee of five members was established to study two options: (1) expand the current facility, (2) build a new structure.  After an extensive study, the committee recommended to parish council that expansion was the better choice. The estimated cost was over $1.3 million and would increase the seating capacity to over six hundred.  The expansion would also allow for much needed space for religious education, youth and senior programs and social events. The new facilities would also house the church's administration offices. His Grace Archbishop Adam Exner turned the first sod on April 30th, 1989. During the time of expansion, Sunday Masses were celebrated in the auditorium of St. Paul's High School.  His Grace blessed the church on April 29, 1990.  In memory of two former pastors the main hall was named the Fr. Manning Hall and the smaller hall was named the Fr. Oroskovits Hall. After nine years as our pastor, Fr. Terry was appointed to Notre Dame Parish in Selkirk, Manitoba.  Fr. Stan Jaworski celebrated his first Mass on August 16, 1992.  Father brought years of dedication and experience to our parish. We were fortunate to have Sr. Pauline as Pastoral Assistant and Religious Education Coordinator from 1981 to 1996.  Sister was indeed an asset and an example.  Sister accepted a position as Associate Chaplain at St. Paul's College on the University Campus.   For a brief period, Marie Florian served as Religious Education Coordinator. In 1997 Sherry Matteotti was hired for this position.  Sherry has been very instrumental in bringing to the parish the Catechism of the Good Shepherd. In 2001, after 45 year in the priesthood and 9 years at OLPH, Fr. Stan submitted to the Archbishop his request for retirement.  It was accepted, and in June of that year a celebration dinner was held in his honour at the church. On August 1st, 2001 we welcomed Fr. Barry Schoonbaert as our new parish priest.  Fr. Barry has brought a fresh new approach in parish ministry, and has introduced such philosophies and programs as stewardship and adult faith enrichment sessions.   For many years, the parish had several volunteers leading a variety of youth group events.  In 1997, OLPH along with Blessed John XXIIIrd and St. Paul the Apostle hired Tracey Spelay to work as the Youth Ministry Coordinator for all three parishes.  After one year, she accepted a teaching position and was no longer with any of the parishes.  Shortly after, Kent Whiteside worked for a brief period as the parish Youth Coordinator.  Then in 2001, at the recommendation of the Pastoral Council, Nicole Hoard was added to the parish staff as Coordinator of Youth Ministries.  Nicole has adopted the comprehensive model of youth ministry.  To date, the largest undertaking of the parish Youth Ministry has been promoting, planning and preparing 19 parish 'pilgrims' to meet with the Holy Father and 350,000+ other youth (ages 16-35) from around the world, at World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. Being only 60 years young we remain a relatively new parish. Inspired by God's Spirit we are sure to look forward to many more fulfilling years as God's family giving praise to God and building His Kingdom
Our Lady of Perpetual Help church 2017 
We are His people, the flock of the Lord
History of Our Parish
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