Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Boniface Minor Seminary / St. Philip Minh Roman Catholic Church (615 La Fleche Street, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

This facility in the St. Boniface area of Winnipeg, situated between the Seine River and the Belgian Sacred Heart Cemetery, was once home to a minor seminary, an educational facility for teenage boys training to become priests in the Roman Catholic faith. Formerly located at 680 Langevin Street, it moved to this site around 1961 or 1962. The building consisted of a chapel and two dormitories, one of which accommodated students in grades 9 and 10 and the other housed grade 11 and 12 students. There was also a kitchen, dining hall, small gymnasium, radio station, and workshop adjacent to a large sports field. In the early 1980s, fifty to sixty resident boys were supervised by two priests and two support workers. Meals were prepared by a half-dozen nuns from Quebec. The seminary closed in 1983.

In December 1984, a group of 57 Polish immigrants who had been residing at the Trappist Guesthouse in St. Norbert relocated into the facility. Known as the Kolbe Refuge Home, since the 1990s the building has been occupied by a Vietnamese congregation of the Roman Catholic Church. Starting the fall of 2016, the building underwent extensive renovations expected to be completed in 2017.

Administrators / Directors


Administrator / Director


Father Joseph Adonias Sabourin (1880-1956)




Albert “Bert” Frechette (1934-2021)


Father Jean-Louis Rocan (1935-2012)




Father Leonce Aubin
Father Allen Soucy (c1931-2002)


Among the teachers at the seminary was Rosario Brodeur (1915-1918).

Photos & Coordinates

The former St. Boniface Minor Seminary undergoing renovations

The former St. Boniface Minor Seminary undergoing renovations (April 2017)
Source: Nathan Kramer

St. Philip Minh Roman Catholic Church

St. Philip Minh Roman Catholic Church (February 2019)
Source: George Penner

Interior of the St. Philip Minh Roman Catholic Church

Interior of the St. Philip Minh Roman Catholic Church (February 2019)
Source: George Penner

Site Location (lat/long): N49.89401, W97.10735
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Redemptorist Fathers College / St. Vladimir’s College (Roblin, Municipality of Roblin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Boniface Town Hall / St. Boniface Public School / St. Boniface Minor Seminary / Carmelite Order Convent (Masson Street, Winnipeg)


“29,051 Catholics in Archdiocese of St. Boniface,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 March 1918, page 14.

“Appointed First Rector,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 September 1918, page 5.

“St. Boniface notes,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 September 1918, page 9.

“Father Sabourin has anniversary,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 June 1930, page 20.

“Two new Prelates,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 May 1941, page 7.

“Unexpected reward: St. Boniface Priest made Bishop,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 May 1941, page 13.

Obituary [Father Allen Soucy], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 November 2002, page C13.

Obituary [Father Laval Cloutier], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 October 2012, page B15.

Obituary [Father Jean-Louis Rocan], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 December 2012, page C10.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Henderson Directories Limited, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

[Advertisement – Kolbe Refuge Home Inc.], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 December 1984, page 5.

Obituary [Albert Frechette], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 2021.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Paul Trudeau, Nathan Kramer, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 April 2022

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