Links and documents
1964/01/01 to 1965/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church is a modern circular building, covered in limestone, with an undulating concrete roof. It is located on Main Street in Richibucto.
The Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church is designated as a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its use as a place of worship.
This architectural gem is representative of a long and ancient tradition of building impressive religious monuments. It is one of the most remarkable churches of the Modern Movement in Atlantic Canada and even in all of Canada. This ultra modern structure was built in 1964-65. Its elegant roof consists of twelve parabolic groin vaults of varying heights in gradation that contains stained glass windows. The form of the building is circular and the walls are covered in cut limestone. Its steeple consists of a separate concrete tower that is joined to the main building by a portico. One can imagine symbols of the sea reflected in the church’s architecture: the undulating form of the roof which resemble the waves of the sea (as well as a scallop shell) and its bell tower that resembles a lighthouse. However, these symbols weren’t the inspiration for the church’s architects. The influence of the Los Manantiales restaurant in Xochimiloc, Mexico, would not have been lost on the architects of the church. The restaurant, designed by Félix Candela and built in 1958, was one of the most publicized examples of modern architecture at the time. Nevertheless, the main stained glass window which rises behind the altar depicts a fishing scene. On the interior, the pews form semi-circles around the altar. They can accommodate 700 people.
The architectural firm responsible for the church was Bélanger et Roy of Moncton, with Arcade Albert as its design architect. The building contractor for the Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague church was Pelletier Construction Co. Ltée of Trois-Rivières, Québec. The stained glass windows are the work of the Italians Mario Mauro and Carlo Mozardo. The construction cost of the building was around $485,000.
This church replaced the former one that was built in 1864, when Richibucto was a mission of Saint-Louis-de-Kent. Richibucto became a parish in 1884.
Sources : Richibucto Town Hall - Richibucto Local Historic Places files; Centre d'études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson, Université de Moncton
The character-defining elements of the Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church include:
- the undulating concrete roof;
- the circular shape of the building;
- the cut limestone finish of the walls;
- the concrete bell tower;
- the stained glass windows;
- the pews arranged in semi-circle;
- the sculpted wooden stations of the Way of the Cross;
- its site located adjacent to that of the previous church.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Pelletier Construction Co. Ltée
Location of Supporting Documentation
- Richibucto Town Hall
- Centre d'études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson, Université de Moncton
Cross-Reference to Collection