Our Lady of the Perpetual Help Church and Neighborhoods

Also a one hour indoor presentation can be given.


Out Lady of the Perpetual Help Church started in 1890 as the second church in Holyoke for the people coming from Quebec. That year on May 25 the first mass was held for the new parish in Temperance Hall of Holyoke.

The first church was built in 1891 as a five function structure.  It had all but the rectory in it.  The convent, school, auditorium, church, and chapel were all in one building.  The rectory was up the street a bit.

By February 10 1923, the church was left behind and a new one was built on Chestnut Street. This one had a different building for each need. In 1917 the parish knew that it wanted to move so it purchased land on upper Chestnut Street.

Perpetual Help Church started its own cemetery Notre Dame Cemetery in South Hadley in 1891. This cemetery also belongs to the Immaculate Conception Church. Perpetual Help started Immaculate Conception as a mission church.

On Prospect Street, the church campus also included a home for young girls. All these girls attended the school.

stop 1 – Perpetual Help Church

In April 1922 an architect was hired – Louis Caron. Then Louis LaFrance of Holyoke was hired as a general contractor. Caron designed the church after those that were found in rural villages of Quebec Province. These churches were made early in the colonial era of Quebec. He modeled this Perpetual Help Church after those. Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours was dedicated in October of 1922.

stop 2 – Perpetual Help School

Starts anew at this Chestnut Street location.

stop 3 – Library Commons

The Library Commons area is an adventure in itself. Read about it or walk the area by going to this LINK.

stop 4 – Apartments

Look at the Sanborn map to see the locations of the apartment complexes around this block. The Cabot formed the entire northern edge of the block abutting Cabot Street. At the back of The Cabot there was another block – The Blenheim. This was at the NE corner of Cabot and Elm. There was a street Ferguson Place to the west that had The Princeton and The Cambridge along it.

stop 5 – Perpetual Help Convent

The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary served the parish school from 1891 to 1979. Their first convent was in the old Perpetual Help complex near the river. By 1927 the new one was ready. In the late 1920s, Sister Marie Aimee du Sacre Coeur was the head of the Convent of Notre Dame du Perpetual Secours.

stop 6 – Apartments

South pass the convent was The Knowlton – another apartment complex.

stop 7 – the Churchill neighborhood and the Sacred Heart Church

The Sacred Heart Church is to the south from this location. It is an Irish ethnic church that was started in 1876. Click on the link in the sentence above to read about it.

stop 8 – the first Perpetual Help Church

LINK where you should read stops H and then G

stop 9 – Perpetual Help Rectory

In 1926 the rectory was finished so the pastor could leave the one near the old church.

1stCharles-Edouard Brunault18901904Nicolet Cathedral Crypt (Quebec)
2ndJoseph Marchand19041938Notre Dame Cemetery (South Hadley)
3rdPierre Gauthier19381960Saint Patrick’s Cemetery (Northbridge)
4thAntonio Dufault19611967
5thRosario Montcalm19671984Notre Dame Cemetery (South Hadley)
6thRoland Galipeau1984Notre Dame Cemetery (South Hadley)

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1915 map

Sanborn 1949 map

Sanborn 1956 map