The Church of the Assumption

The Church of the Assumption, situated on a hilltop in the center of Avondale, Conception Bay is popularly known to motorists as the: Disappearing Church". Quite visible upon entering Avondale from the north, the church gradually disappears from view as the highway descends to sea level, only to reappear further down the road.

From 1886, when construction started on the first church, until 1909, Avondale, a community of over 800 people was a mission of Harbour Main. During the 1909 year Rev. Richard M. Shean became the first resident priest and stayed there for 12 years. In 1911 Rev. John Roe who served the parish as a mission died and on that same night the original Avondale Church was struck by lightning totally destroyed it. In June 1911, just one year later the cornerstone was laid for an impressive gothic style church which could accommodate 600 people. In 1921 Father John Kavanagh became the first parish priest and maintained this position for 34 years until Sept 19, 1955, when, at age 72 and in ill health, retired. However, church activity had been quite evident for many years and indeed two churches had been erected prior to this date. In 1972 lightning was the cause of yet another fire, resulting this time in the destruction of the famous steeple. It was not until December, 1982 that a new 36 foot steel and wooden steeple was skillfully placed in position by the Ironworkers of the parish.

Like so many other projects, the new steeple had been planned by volunteers and financed by the parishioners. Indeed, cooperation and generosity has been the mainstay of Assumption Parish, from the erection of parish buildings to the renovations and beautification of church property and grave sites, Avondale has been a parish alive with the results of volunteers and hard work. Also through the generosity of the parishioners a new sound system allows familiar hymns to call the parishioners to worship and the hillside " grotto" of the Blesses Mother proclaims to all that this is indeed the Church of the Assumption. Although the parish does not have any missions as such today, people from Brigus Junction still come here for educational purposes and to attend Church services


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