Date: September 1st, 1889
Source: Fonds Mgr Paul Labelle, Société d’histoire de la Rivière-du-Nord
During his lifetime, Labelle was much-loved by his parishioners. Over the years, many a celebration was held in his honour. One of the grandest was the party held to mark his 50th birthday. For two days straight, the people of Saint-Jérôme and the curé’s friends celebrated along with him. There was a play performed by students of the college, a torchlight procession, a grandiose mass, and an oyster supper with guests including the Honourable Louis-Olivier Taillon, Jean-Baptiste Rolland and Raymond Préfontaine. For the occasion, the parishioners of Saint-Jérôme and other villages of the North gave their curé a fur-lined overcoat, a fur cap and a new cassock, symbolizing their profound reverence and gratitude. Speeches overflowing with emotion, affection and admiration were given by the mayors of the town and parish of Saint-Jérôme. Had not been for Curé Labelle, Saint-Jérôme would never have had a college, the railroad, or its large industries. He was honoured and lauded even in his lifetime, but always remained humble before his parishioners.