Catholic Colored Mission of Windsor, 1887-1893, The

The first Roman Catholic mission for Blacks in Canada was established in Windsor in St. Alphonsus Parish in 1887 under the leadership of the Very Reverend Dean James Theodore Wagner. The "Catholic Colored Mission of Windsor" was created to serve disadvantaged Black children, while encouraging Blacks in Windsor to adopt the Catholic faith. It was first located in the original frame church building at Goyeau Street and Park Street East. With the support and partnership of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph (RHSJ), a new mission school and orphanage was built next to the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital near Erie Street. The sisters of the RHSJ were responsible for the management of the mission. Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary taught at the school. The mission educated and cared for vulnerable children of all races. The school and orphanage was an important initiative that provided access to education and child welfare at a time before government-funded social services were available.


Located immediately beside the main entrance steps to St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church at 85 Park Street East in Windsor.

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Essex

Municipality: City of Windsor