Historic Sites of Manitoba: Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church (341 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg)
In 1898, Archbishop Adelard Langevin established a Roman Catholic parish here, at 341 Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg, to serve Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, and Slovaks residing in Winnipeg’s North End. The parish was established when two Polish priests, Fathers John and Albert Kulawy of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate religious order, arrived in the city.
A wood frame Gothic Revival church was built on this site during 1899-1900. It was veneered in brick in 1901 and doubled in size with the addition of transepts, a sanctuary, and a sacristy in 1905-1906. The parish became the focal point of Polish culture in Manitoba following the construction of the first Polish school in Canada in 1902 and a rectory in 1903. It served as the base for Oblate missionary activity in Polish communities across Western Canada.
A new school was opened in 1958. The church and rectory were demolished in 1986 to make way for the present church. In 1989, a commemorative plaque was erected in front of the church by the Manitoba Heritage Council.
The pulpit and altar of the present church were cutom-built for the 1986 visit to Winnipeg of Pope John Paul II and used in his celebration of a pontifical Mass on this altar in Birds Hill Park. The bells were originally installed on the former church in 1902 and then reinstalled in their new location in 1989. The church contains a replica in miniature of the former Holy Ghost Church. The “relics” from the old church are pews, altars, baptismal font, pulpit, chandelier, six stained-glass windows, and the Stations of the Cross.
Information for this page was provided by The City of Winnipeg’s Planning, Property and Development Department, which acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Manitoba through its Heritage Grants Program.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 April 2022