This picture shows Bishop P.T. Ryan, accompanied by Fr. A.J. Reynolds on an excursion to visit lumber camps. They look to be warmly dressed and it could be that they were experiencing the same kinds of cold temperatures that we have been experiencing lately.
Bishop Ryan (1864-1937) was born in Ireland but grew up in Pembroke. He was ordained a priest in 1887, and became the second Bishop of the Pembroke Diocese in 1916, a position he held until his death in 1937. It is interesting to note that Bishop Ryan was not only fluent in English and French but he also mastered Polish as a young priest, although it might have been the Kashub language.
Rev. A.J. Reynolds (1882-1930) was born near Madawaska and was ordained in Eganville in 1911. He became parish priest of Killaloe in 1914 and that included the mission of Barry’s Bay.
The photograph was most likely taken in the 1920s.
It wasn’t only visits to lumber camps by Catholic priests but also by Protestant ministers. Here is an article that appeared in the Renfrew Mercury of September 30, 1898:
“Rev. C.A. Ferguson, the Presbyterian missionary in Algonquin Park, had a novel experience last Sunday. In making a tour through the shanties, he visited a camp of some twenty men who were living in tents. The very high wind and splashing of the waves near by made it impossible to hold the usual open-air service – the preacher standing on a knoll and the audience sitting on logs around him. Not willing to be defeated in their purpose of having a meeting, preacher and congregation sought an old stable near by and scrambled up its log wall into the hayloft. There the audience, sitting or reclining on the hay, listened attentively, and Mr Ferguson, standing on a platform of the same material, for the first time conducted a religious service in a hayloft.”
Note to our readers: If you are interested in having a picture and story featured in The Madawaska Valley Current, please submit the information to Bob Corrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject Heritage Photos) or mail your photo to Bob c/o The Current at PO Box 1097, Barry’s Bay K0J 1B0 (originals will be returned).
Editor’s note: This article was amended on Jan.28 to show Bishop Ryan’s ordination year as 1887, not 1857 as originally stated. We apologize for the error.