In 1881, Ste-Philomene’s Chapel was first erected on the shore of Lake Talon. The contract was
awarded to Mr. Ulric Harnois. On April 4, 1886, during his visit, Monsignor Lorrain decided the new location of Ste-Philomene’s parish would be at the foot of Lake Nosbonsing, in the farming
settlement of Bonfield. A church was built at the cost of $3,233.00. The first resident priest was
Reverend Father Thomas-Georges Gagnon, 28 years of age.
In 1905, the church was destroyed by fire. A new church was rebuilt on Gagnon Street a year later
and was renamed Ste Bernadette.
In 2002, the church was in need of significant renovations. These were made possible by
fundraising efforts and community support, to maintain the architectural beauty of the Lord’s house.
In 2006, Ste Bernadette celebrated its 100th anniversary, a significant milestone in its history. By
His grace and mercy, the parish has been sustained over the past one hundred years as a
community of faith and discipleship, centred upon the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. This
event was commemorated by Monsignor Richard W. Smith, then Bishop of Pembroke.
Today, Ste Bernadette is a meeting place to celebrate faith, a place of sanctuary and refuge for the Bonfield parishioners. Ste Bernadette is known for its annual picnic, serving its traditional meat“seapie”, prepared in cast iron pots and cooked for hours in outdoor stone ovens. This event is well appreciated and very popular among locals and tourists alike.