Date: 1885 or 1890
Source: Société d’histoire de la Rivière-du-Nord, Claude-Henri Grignon Fonds, P066,S01,SS04,D16
In 1885, the federal government entrusted Antoine Labelle with the official mission of recruiting settlers from Europe. Having been involved in immigration efforts for some years already, Canada’s “apostle of colonization” was by then well known in France and neighbouring countries. With mingled pride and sadness, the citizens of Saint-Jérôme turned out to see their worthy pastor off on his long voyage. On Tuesday, February 17, 1885, 200 parishioners, braving a winter storm, gathered at the sacristy of the Church of Saint-Jérôme to wish Labelle success. He was deeply moved by their caring attention. He boarded the first train the next morning and left the village and its people behind, not to return until six months later. His second trip to Europe would last even longer, from January 9 to September 15, 1890.