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Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church

9440 Main Street, Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/12/15

Photo of Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church, taken in 2009; Bernard LeBlanc
Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church
Photo of the forms used for the concrete roof during the construction of the church in 1963; Private collection
Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church
Image of the new church beside the old church prior to its demolition.  The former church was built in 1864.; Private collection
Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Church

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1964/01/01 to 1965/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/17

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.

Heritage Value

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

Character-Defining Elements

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.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


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

Arcade Albert


Pelletier Construction Co. Ltée

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

- Richibucto Town Hall - Centre d'études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson, Université de Moncton

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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