Living our faith since 1837
During the early settlement of the Paris, Catholics mostly of Irish descent, had to make the 36.5 km journey to Dundas to attend Mass. In 1836 men from Brant county met to decide where they would build the first Catholic Church in the county. They built a small frame church in 1837 on land donated by Hiram Capron, founder of Paris. Priest's from Dundas served the community.
The present church was built in 1857, under the direction of Father Jeremiah Ryan, and the first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Day. The Sisters of St. Joseph arrived to teach in 1858; they served the parish until the 1970's.
During the pastorate of Father Thomas Dowling, he would later become Bishop of Hamilton Diocese, the superstructure and the tower of the Church were added in 1880. The present sanctuary was added in 1912 and the tower bell was installed in 1937. The interior of the church suffered extensive damage from a fire in 1953. Since the 1970's there have been changes to the interior decor, most notably the removal of the Gothic sanctuary and side alters.
Paris also had the privilege of welcoming home, on many occasions, a native son His Eminence George Flahiff, Cardinal Archbishop of Winnipeg. He was ordained a priest in 1930, and became Canada's fourth Cardinal in 1969. He was known as a humble and compassionate person. "A man for all people"