Notre-Dame de Fatima


Located between Stead and Saint-Georges, Notre-Dame de Fatima was approximately 100 km northeast of Winnipeg. In the early 1930s or earlier, the residents of Saint-Georges came to the area to gather wild hay to feed their livestock. They had heard about the area from the natives who hunted and trapped there. The region was then known by the locals as Grande-Prairie.

In the late 1930s, settlers from different areas moved in and much of the prairie was gradually turned into agricultural land. Eventually, a sawmill was built and a building on the farm of the Desbiens family was used as a school and a church. In 1947, father Jean Méthé, o.m.i. started recruiting French Canadians to settle the area and pieces of land started going up for sale in 1948. The settlers were primarily of French background and came from places like Saint-Georges, Stead, Letellier, Baie St. Paul and Saskatchewan.

The parish Notre-Dame de Fatima de Grande-Prairie was officially founded by the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface in 1949. The construction of the new school / church started in 1952. Built by the settlers themselves, it was officially opened by Mgr  Maurice Baudoux, archbishop of Saint-Boniface, on December 7, 1952.

The population of Fatima peaked in 1962 when there were approximately 100 people living there. In the fall of that year, the school-aged children started being sent to Saint-Georges. Their numbers had become too large for Fatima's school and the parents felt that they would get a better education in Saint-Georges. In the mid-1960s, the community saw a gradual decrease of population as people left to find work elsewhere. The church stayed open until June of 1966 when the last mass was celebrated. The mission of Notre-Dame de Fatima officially closed in early 1967. As of 2014, there are 5 households (10 people) left and none are farmers. Most of the farmers reside primarily in Stead and they seed crops like canola, soy and wheat. Many sod and topsoil operations can also be found in the area.

Granger, Marie-Claire. Fatima et lé Grangers. 2014.


Centre du patrimoine, 340, boulevard Provencher, Saint-Boniface, (Manitoba) R2H 0G7 - T(204) 233-4888 ©2010 - Société historique de Saint-Boniface
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