Opening of the townships of Orford (1801) and of Ascot (1803) at the junction of which Sherbrooke was founded.


According to the legends and the writings of Father Maurice O'Bready, Father Raimbault, parish priest of Nicolet, celebrated the first mass on the territory of the diocese of Sherbrooke, on 1 May 1816. Source :  La première messe à Sherbrooke, par l'abbé Maurice O'Bready du Séminaire de Sherbrooke, Le Messager de St-Michel, 1933, (2003-036-14).


Construction of the first church in Sherbrooke.



The Grand Trunk, the first railway in Canada.


The population of the « Township of Sherbrooke » is 2998.


Construction of the second church in Sherbrooke, which will become the cathedral in 1874.

The church was consacrated by Mgr. Prince of St. Hyacinthe.

First French classes in Sherbrooke, elementary level.


Opening of the Mont-Notre-Dame, a school for girls, founded by the Congregation of Notre-Dame.



The Prince of Wales comes to Sherbrooke. He came to Canada for the inauguration of the Victoria bridge, the first bridge over the St. Lawrence River.


1 469 catholic families in Sherbrooke, 49% of its population.


Canadian Confederation and foundation of modern Canada. John Alexander Macdonald, federal Prime Minister.


60 608 inhabitants in the Eastern Townships, of which 49 % are catholics


Antoine Couillard builds an organ with 20 stops for the church.



Erection of the diocese of Sherbrooke and nomination of Mgr. Antoine Racine as its first Bishop.


Foundation of Saint-Charles-Borromée Seminary of Sherbrooke by Mgr. Racine.

On request by Mgr. Racine, the Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe founded the Hospice du Sacré-Coeur in Sherbrooke.

Around 1880

Expansion of the Bishop's Palace. The choir of the cathedral is enlarged according to plans drawn by David Ouellet, architect of Quebec City, who also works on the convent in Richmond and the Mont-Notre-Dame.


14 AUGUST : Louis-Napoléon Audet is born in Lambton.

50-59% of the population of Sherbrooke is French-Canadian.


22 AUGUST : The Sisters of the Holy Cross arrive in Magog.


A native of l'Ancienne-Lorette, like Mgr. Antoine Racine, the architect Jean-Baptiste Verret settled in Sherbrooke and supervised the construction of Saint-Philippe church in Windsor Mills. He is the first architect to establish in the diocese.


17 JULY : Death of Mgr. Antoine Racine.

24 SEPTEMBER : Pope Leo XIII names Mgr. Paul LaRocque as second bishop of the diocese.

A severe economic crisis hits all of Quebec.


 Sir Wilfrid Laurier becomes Prime Minister of Canada, leading the first liberal government since Confederation.


30 DECEMBER : Saint-Charles-Borromée Seminary is partly destroyed by fire.


Wilfrid J. Grégoire arrives in Sherbrooke to study architecture with Jean-Baptiste Verret.


Reconstruction of Saint-Charles-Borromée Seminary, preserving the chapel. The building, designed by Jean-Baptiste Verret, is equiped with a 9-story tower. The highest building in the Province of Quebec at the time is the 10-story tower of the New York Insurance Company at Place d'armes in Montreal.



Louis-Napoléon Audet begins his « cléricature » (internship) with Jean-Baptiste Verret.


30 DECEMBER : Death of Verret, forcing W. Grégoire to put an end to his « cléricature ». He takes over the company and completes the current projects with Louis-Napoléon Audet as his apprentice. The following are some of the projects : expansion of the Saint-Philippe church in Windsor Mills, Saint-Hippolyte church in Wotton, and the Saint-Charles-Borromée Seminary in Sherbrooke.


Construction of St-Jean-Baptiste church in Sherbrooke, according to the plans of Brassard & Grégoire, architects. Mr. Audet, who is in training with Mr. Grégoire, is assigned to the project. They are inspired by the church of Sainte-Germaine de Pibrac, France.


In partnership, W. Grégoire and L.-N. Audet build the church at Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley.

1 OCTOBER : Arrival in Magog of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


Foundation of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Hospital in Sherbrooke East.

The Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus build the first school in Valcourt.


Notary Ernest Sylvestre organizes the first Choir of the Cathedral. The Sylvestre family is notary to the Bishop since the foundation of the diocese in 1874.


Of the 135 795 souls in the Eastern Townships, 66 % are catholics.

Architecs L.-N. Audet and René Charbonneau join under the corporate name of Audet & Charbonneau.


Arrival of the Benedictine monks who settle on farmland on the west shore of Lake Memphremagog and build the Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey.


Beginning of WWI that will end in 1918. At the time of the declaration of the war, Mgr. LaRocque is in Europe on his way back from his ad limina visit to Rome.

In the fall, Mgr. Hubert-Olivier Chalifoux, recently named Auxiliary Bishop, requests, from L.-N. Audet, the first sketches for the construction of the cathedral.


 20 FEBRUARY : An agreement is arranged to board the staff of the Bishop's Palace in the Chicoyne house on Marquette Street, former home of the newspaper Le Pionnier.

APRIL : Demolition of the old Bishop's Palace.

The last project, on plans drawn by Audet & Charbonneau for the construction of the Bishop's Palace and the basement of the cathedral (Pauline Chapel), is approved. At least four projects will be submitted.


Construction of the basement of St. Michael's Cathedral following the demolition of the old Bishop's Palace. Positioning the apse towards the east, the new cathedral is now perpendicular to the old one still in use. The contractor is Mr. O. Bonin.


The first cinema in Sherbrooke.

JULY : The exterior walls of the Pauline Chapel are raised as far as the door of the present St. Michael's Hall.

SEPTEMBER : The concrete columns of the Pauline Chapel are poured to their final height. The granite covering of the exterior walls is completed. Joining it with the Bishop's Palace is ready.

NOVEMBER : Construction of the Bishop's Palace begins by raising the wall of the grand refectory.


Establishment of Doctor Noël's Hospital which will become the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital under the care of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

APRIL : The stoker's house is well advanced. The stoker was the man in charge of feeding coal to the furnace. The rear wall of the Bishop's Palace is raised up to the level of the terrace of the main parlor.

SEPTEMBER : The roof is layed down on the cathedral (Pauline Chapel). On the 27th, Father Simard celebrates the first low mass. The first high mass will be celebrated in the cathedral on the 30th.

OCTOBER : Demolition of the old cathedral, started with the tower, the roof and the sacristies. Construction of the east section of the new Bishop's Palace is well advanced : the walls are raised up to the smoking room (the present Racine Hall). On the west section, the walls are raised up to the roof line. The brick from the old cathedral will be used to raise the interior walls.


30 MARCH : «The bells of the cathedral, recently installed in a temporary turret facing the cathedral, resumed ringing this evening, as usual, for the six o'clock angelus. They had been taken down from their previous tower, on 27 October 1917 ».

26 OCTOBER : The entrance and the small temporary tower of the new cathedral are completed. The roofs of the Bishop's Palace, made of slate from the State of Vermont, are almost finished. The copper turret with its weathercock is in place.


30 APRIL : The costs of the construction of the Bishop's Palace are evaluated at $335 327.60, of which amount $180 200.86 are for salaries. 32 889 bags of Portland cement were used for the concrete. The stained glass windows cost $3 869.

5 MAY : Costs for building the cathedral amounted to $199 916.23. The Guastavino vaults cost $16 552.80.

MAY : Guests attending the double Jubilee of Mgr. LaRocque were put up in the new Bishop's Palace.

13 SEPTEMBER : Staff members of the Bishop's Palace take possession of their quarters.


Artist Ozias Leduc is asked to paint the Bishop's private chapel.

The diocese comprises 108 157 catholics and 141 members of the secular clergy.


29 MARCH : Fire destroys the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica. The Redemptorists appeal to the two architects who built their two monasteries : Louis-Napoléon Audet from Sherbrooke and J.C. Daoust from Montreal. In 1923, they call in Maxime Roisin, a french architect. Mr. Audet worked at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré until 1968. St. Michael's Cathedral has a lot of similarity with Sainte-Anne Basilica.

4 APRIL : Ozias Leduc pays his first visit to Louis-Napoléon Audet to discuss the project of decorating the Bishop's Chapel. He was recommended to Mgr. LaRocque by Mr. Audet. Leduc had just finished decorating the Sacred Heart Chapel at the church of the Holy Child, at Mile-End, Montreal. Audet and Charbonneau where the architects of the new chapel. Ozias Leduc begins work at the Bishop's private chapel, with the help of a young man from Saint-Hilaire, Paul-Émile Borduas.


15 AUGUST : Following the death of Mgr. Paul LaRocque, Mgr. Alphonse-Osias Gagnon, Auxiliary Bishop since 1923, becomes Vicar Capitular.


Beginning of the stock market crash and of the economic crisis.


Addition of a new wing to the Mont Notre-Dame by Louis-Napoléon Audet, thus closing the square of the cathedral on the Bishop's Palace side.


FEBRUARY AND MARCH : Louis-Napoléon Audet attends lectures given by Dom Bellot at the Saint-Charles-Borromée Seminary in Sherbrooke, in Quebec City and in Montreal.


Dom Bellot is in Quebec to work on the dome of Saint Joseph's Oratory on Mount Royal.


Organization of the first Asbestos Workers Union (FNTA) and of the Paper Workers Union in Bromptonville.


False centenary of Sherbrooke.


Beginning of the construction of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey under the supervision of Dom Bellot. The monk-architect remains in Quebec until his death in 1944.

Beginning of the construction of the major seminary of the Holy Apostles in Sherbrooke East, under the supervision of L.-N. Audet. Denis Tremblay completes his internship and joins Audet in 1942. Mr. Tremblay adds his name to the inscription when he transfers his archives to the National Archives in the fonds Denis Tremblay. Technically, he could not be considered an architect when the construction started.


King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit Sherbrooke and are greeted at the train station by Mgr. Desranleau.

Beginning of WWII.


A tower is built for the elevator in the Bishop's Palace. A parlor is used to connect the different levels. A new roof is built over the tower. The plans are drawn by L.-N. Audet.


13 FEBRUARY : Mgr Philippe Desranleau succeeds Mgr. Gagnon who died the day before.


5 JULY : Dom Paul Bellot dies at Saint-Benoît-du-Lac.


The Duplessis government intervenes with authority and violence to subdue the Asbestos strikers. Mgr. Desranleau stands for the workers.

6 July : At the request of Mgr. Desranleau, L.-N. Audet reports to complete the construction of the cathedral that was interrupted in 1919.


Around 1950

Installation of the statues of the apostles, of the Immaculate Conception and of St. Michael in niches  in  the Bishop's Palace.


2 MARCH : Sherbrooke is elevated to the rank of archdiocese by pope Pius XII. The dioceses of St. Hyacinthe and Nicolet complete the new ecclesiastical province.

10 MAY : Mgr. Desranleau is enthroned archbishop.

30 AUGUST : Mgr. Desranleau is involved in a serious car accident on the road to St. Eustache.


28 MAY : Mgr. Georges Cabana succeeds Mgr. Desranleau who died as a consequence of the accident.


4 MAY : The Saint-Charles-Borromée Seminary becomes the University of Sherbrooke.


NOVEMBER : Architects Audet, Tremblay & Audet produce a preliminary report on the construction of the cathedral.


14 APRIL : Contractors are invited to tender for the construction of St. Michael's Cathedral over the Pauline Chapel. Mr. Audet, who is now 76 years old, works on the project with Mr. Denis Tremblay, architect.

1 SEPTEMBER : The scaffolds are raised up to the roofs allowing to pour the concrete walls of the cathedral and to install the granite.


The old sacristies of the Pauline Chapel are modified by adding floors half way up, creating the Cabana Hall and three other halls. Removal of the stain glass of Ozias Leduc, from the choir of the Pauline Chapel to the choir of the new cathedral, is considered. Max Ingrand, master glassmaker, is counsel to architect Audet.

4 JULY : A contract is signed with sculptor Guido Cassini for sculpting the Christ of the West façade.

9 SEPTEMBER : L.-N. Audet is named Commander of the Order of St. Sylvester by pope Pius XII, who « thought that you have designed enough plans for churches ». He is invested on 28 September, the day of the blessing of the new cathedral.


23-24 June : Consecration of the cathedral.

31 JULY : St. Michael's Cathedral is raised to the rank of minor cathedral.


Construction of the wing for the hostelry of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac by Dom Claude-Marie Cöté, pupil of Dom Bellot.

Production of all the stained glass windows of St. Michael's Basilica-Cathedral by the studio Lardeur, in France. They are all in place in 1962 at a total cost of $38 801.06.


31 DECEMBER : Total cost for the construction of St. Michael's Basilica-Cathedral amounts to $1 862 774.35.


The diocese comprises 190 479 catholics and 403 members of the clergy. We are at the conclusion of the second Vatican Council and before secularization of a large number of priests, brothers and nuns.


20 APRIL : Mgr. Jean-Marie Fortier is named Archbishop of Sherbrooke.

Aroud 1984

Replacement of the steel windows of the Pauline Chapel by aluminium windows.


6 FEBRUARY : Death of Mgr. Cabana.


22 FEBRUARY to 19 MAY : Ozias Leduc exhibition : A Work of Love and Dream at the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Montreal, where the stained glass The Fall of St. Paul is displayed. It will later be placed in a luminous box at the bottom of the main staircase of the Bishop's Palace. The other two will be temporarily installed in the gallery over the Choir of the Basilica-Cathedral.

1 JULY : Mgr. André Gaumond becomes the fourth Archbishop of Sherbrooke.


Restoration work on the masonry of the Bishop's Palace and the St. Michael's Basilica-Cathedral (balcony and roof of the chapel of the relics).


Sherbrooke Bicentennial.

31 OCTOBER : Death of Mgr. Jean-Marie Fortier.


Restoration work on the windows and on the stained glass windows of the Archbishop's Palace, as well as on the stained glass of the private chapel of the bishop.


26 JULY : Mgr. Luc Cyr becomes the fifth archbishop of Sherbrooke. He begins his Episcopal ministry on the following 29 September.


Beginning of the restoration work on the Pauline Chapel and cleaning of the masonry.


Restoration of the apse of the Basilica-Cathedral and of the Pauline Chapel. Installation of an access ramp to the Cabana Hall.


Restoration of the remaining external covering of the Basilica-Cathedral and of the Pauline Chapel, in two other phases.