Provincial plaque to commemorate The Catholic Colored Mission of Windsor, 1887-93

Join the Ontario Heritage Trust in partnership with the Windsor Emancipation Celebration Corporation and St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church for the unveiling of a provincial plaque commemorating

The Catholic Colored Mission of Windsor

August 19, 2015 – Celebration of Mass at 12 p.m., plaque unveiling at 12:45 p.m.

Source: “Mission for Colored Children” photograph (1888). Community of the
Religious Hospitallers of Hôtel-Dieu of St. Joseph, Fonds 08-11-001-6

In 1887, the Very Reverend Dean James Theodore Wagner opened the first Roman Catholic mission for Blacks in Canada at the St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Parish in Windsor, Ontario. The Mission served disadvantaged Black children and encouraged the Black population to embrace the Catholic faith. The mission was first located in the original church building, but, with the support and partnership of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph (RHSJ), was eventually moved to a new building next to Hôtel-Dieu Hospital. The new mission included an orphanage that cared for and educated disadvantaged and vulnerable children of all races. The initiative provided access to education and child welfare services before government-funded social service programs were available.

The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1956, over 1,250 provincial plaques have been unveiled.


St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church
85 Park Street East
Windsor, Ontario

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