Fonds - Saints Peter and Paul Parish (Bay Bulls, Newfoundland) fonds

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Title proper

Saints Peter and Paul Parish (Bay Bulls, Newfoundland) fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Variations in title: Also known as Bay Bulls Parish
  • Source of title proper: Title based on correspondence in the fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1841-1977, predominant 1952-1977 (Creation)
    Saints Peter and Paul Parish (Bay Bulls, Newfoundland) fonds

Physical description area

Physical description

6 cm of textual records

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Administrative history

The Parish of Saints Peter and Paul was established in 1922. Prior to this, Bay Bulls was part of the St. John's Parish which stretched from La Manche on the Southern Shore to Holyrood, Conception Bay. Sometime before 1796, Vicar Apostolic James O'Donel built the first Catholic Church in Bay Bulls. When Bay Bulls was raided by the French in 1796, this church was destroyed by fire but within the same year a new one was built. The current church at Bay Bulls was built by Rev. Nicholas Roche in 1890 and was further developed and decorated by his successor, Rev. Patrick O'Brien.

The parish of St. John's was divided in 1831. One of the new parishes created, at that time, was called St. Patrick's and included communities from the Goulds to LaManche. Rev. Patrick Cleary was appointed as the first parish priest and he decided to established the Parish centre at Witless Bay where he built a church and rectory. Cleary became very involved with education in the area and was responsible for building schools and enlisting teachers for some of the larger communities in the Parish. The first Roman Catholic school in Bay Bulls was built in 1843. In 1860 the Presentation Sisters came to St. Patrick's Parish and they established a convent in Witless Bay. They educated the girls while the boys were educated in a separate school by a lay teacher. In 1920, St. Patrick's parish priest, Rev. P. J. O'Brien built a new three-room school at Bay Bulls. The following year, 1921, the Sisters of Mercy came to the parish. They established a convent in Bay Bulls and took over the operation of the school. A new Central High school was built at Mobile and the students from Bay Bulls began to attend.

Around 1893, Mobile, Tors Cove and surrounding communities were separated from St. Patrick's and formed the new Sacred Heart Parish. This division left the communities of Bay Bulls and Witless Bay as St. Patrick's Parish. In 1922, additional changes occurred when Archbishop Roche separated Bay Bulls from St. Patrick's Parish and created Sts Peter and Paul Parish. Sts Peter and Paul Parish served, and still serves, only one community, Bay Bulls.

As the parish names and jurisdictions changed, Bay Bulls came under the care of various parish priest. As part of St. Patrick's Parish (est. in 1831) the priests were Dean Cleary (1831-1882), Dean Roche (1882-1916) and Rev. Patrick O'Brien (1916-1922). Once Bay Bulls became Sts. Peter and Paul Parish (est. in 1922) the priests were as follows: Patrick O'Brien (1922-1940); Randell Greene (1940-1952); John O'Mara (1952-1961); Cyril Eagan (1961-1965); John Hunt (1965-1969); James O'Dwyer (1969-1985); Dermot O'Keefe (1985-1999); Robert Ryan (1999-2000); and Ted O'Connor (2000-).

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of financial records (1923-30) and correspondence (1925-77) and a photocopied letter by Rev. Cleary (1841); Fonds also includes printed material which relates to the Parish's history and activities.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The immediate source of the fonds is Sts. Peter and Paul Parish but additional material has been added by the archivist and other donors.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

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Restrictions on access

Restrictions on access may apply. Consult the archivist.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Box list available

Associated materials

See St. Patrick's Parish fonds for records that predate the establishment of Sts Peter and Paul Parish.

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected on a regular basis but the fonds remain open.

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Created - May 21, 2013

Language of description

  • English

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