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Sacred Heart Church Paris

    Paris is located where the Grand River and Nith Rivers meet. It aquired its name due to the fact that the settlement was built upon a bed of Plaster of Paris.
    Catholics resided in the area as early as the 1830's, but did not really have the numbers required to have any level of organization. In 1834, local Catholics gathered together to vote on the location of a Catholic Church in Brant County. The choice was between Brantford and Paris. The vote was 13 - 12 in favor of building in Paris.
    The policy in Upper Canada during this period of time was to build at designated points in order to draw newly arriving Catholic immigrants to those areas. Since resources were rare, decision such as this were made.
    It was not until 1837 that the Catholic Society in Brant County had enough resources to undertake the construction of a Church building. Thomas McKeog was chosen from the Catholic Society to go address the village of Paris concerning a site for the new church. On April 12th 1837, the Catholic Society was given the deed to village lot 4, the west side of Burwell Street.
    Within the year a new wooden Chapel was erected and dedicted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was officially the first Catholic church in Brant County.
    In 1857, under the direction of Father Jeremiah Ryan , the construction of the present day Sacred Heart Church started. The work in progress was not completed upon his departure that same year. In 1880, Reverend Thomas J Dowling saw to the completion of the last of the construction of the church.
    Reverend Thomas J. Dowling served at Sacred heart from 1864 - 1887. He became the Bishop for Peterborough and in 1889 transferred back to become the Bishop of the Hamilton Diocese.