The Holy Well at St. Patrick’s

Father John McCormac, a native of Limerick, who had received his theological education at All Hallows Seminary (near Dublin) arrived as pastor of St. Patrick’s in October of 1866. He was responsible for the construction of the present church and it was he who established the Holy Well. He was familiar with the Holy Wells of Ireland, that green land of streams and springs, and he probably knew, as a place of pilgrimage, Croagh Patrick and St. Patrick’s near Ballintubber.

St. Patrick's Church Holy Well - outside view

Father McCormac discovered the spring near Constant Creek and had it stoned probably by the sexton at the time, Daniel Lynch. The well was blessed by Archbishop Duhamel of Ottawa in 1876. Throughout the years the well was hallowed by petitioners and prayers of many who sought the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Many pilgrims, from students to senior citizens, had a pleasant walk to the Holy Well “of an evening” to ask for favours, at this shaded retreat by Constant Creek.

St. Patrick's Church Holy Well - inside view

The stone memorials at the well are tributes to Father McCormac, the founder of the well, Father Dowdall who had Louis Lorrain erect the building over the well and Redemptorist, Father Goodts and Father McPhail, who preached missions and promoted devotions.

In the years between, successive pastors blessed the waters yearly and the spot became, as the Celts used to say, “Holy Ground“.

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