Central Saanich Today

Our Lady of the Assumption

Our Lady of the Assumption

A remarkable history marked the birth of Our Lady of the Assumption. Set in arguably one of the most beautiful locations on Vancouver Island it had the humble beginnings of a mission to serve the First Nations in the area. Although idyllic beyond measure there was a lot of conflict between the First Nations Tribes of Tseigurn, Pauquechin, Tsardip, Salish, Haida, songhees, Snohomish, and Cowichan to name a few; who all vied for the rights to the beauty and rich resources. These were later diminished by the Douglas Treaties.

The Oblate priests originally established the mission and did much to serve the First Nations people in the area. They still have a long lasting relationship there today. Rev. Father Lempfrit was the first to come in 1850; leaving a legacy of baptizing over 250 First Nations in the week he visited. Father Lempfrit was known as “Black robe” amoungst the first Nation people of the area. He was followed by Father Chirouse in 1859. It wasn’t until 1860 that Father Jayol, Brother Blonchel and several First Nations People built a log church. Father Mandart was officially ordained for the Victoria Diocese and he came in 1865 to establish a formal mission complete with a proper church. He was recalled to Victoria in 1886.

Father Eugene Chirouse and Father Mandart

The tradition of Dutch priests continued with Father Vullinghs who served from 1893-1909. Father Vullinghs performed his first baptism after being there one year. He took great pride in and was renown for his vegetable and flower gardens, shrubs and trees. He was recalled to Holland, and returned to Victoria in 1910. From then on Fathers Scheelen, Ronden, Contenraad, Boshouwers and Lemmens of the Marists Fathers of the Company of Mary served the Saanich Mission. To this day the Dutch are still involved with Father Rolf Hassenack as Pastor of the church and St. Elizabeth in Sidney.


7742West Saanich Rd
Brentwood Bay, BC Canada
V8L 3S6 

Mass is held at 8:30 a.m. every Sunday.

Designed by Blair Deering

Copyright © 2016