It was destroyed by fire in 1977.
Église Notre-Dame-de-Foy was the fifth church in over 350 years to stand on this corner in Quebec City. Each one was destroyed by fire – however this one would be the last.
When I first went to Quebec City to visit my future in-laws in the 1980s, the church was just a blackened shell, particularly eery in winter as the snow fell and accumulated in the burnt out ruins.
It wouldn’t be until the mid 1990s when the site would be renovated into a small urban park – a quiet place of reflection.
The parish of Notre-Dame-de-Foy is one of the oldest in Quebec which can trace its roots back to 1637. It is now designated a historical site. The original building served as a fortified post for the English during the Battle of Sainte-Foy in 1759-1760.
It is this location where the Simard family gathered this past Labour Day weekend on an unseasonably hot day to lay my father-in-law to rest in the small adjacent cemetery.
This was once their parish church – the place my in-laws came on Sundays and Holy Days to attend Mass with their young family. It is now where Paul-Emile has come to rest, only a few blocks away from the place he called home for over 55 years.
Even though the family patriarch passed away in February, there were fresh tears on this day – to be expected – but also smiles and laughter, remembering the soft-spoken man who was honest, hard-working, and kind. We could all be so lucky to be remembered with such love and affection.
This is not intended to be a sad story, but one of legacy – of time well-served and the passing of responsibility to future generations. Of lives long lived, overcoming the hard years and celebrating the good.
This is the story of a once-grand cathedral and an ordinary man. Over their lifetimes, both experienced great loss and gain.
… but now both have come to rest together.
This post was inspired by Thursday Doors, a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.