Sunday, January 22, 2012

                                                                                                                           January 22, 2012

                                St. Stephens Catholic Church
1360 East 24th Street

St. Stephens Catholic Church
North Vancouver, B.C.

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver borders the corner of the 24oo block of Mountain Highway.  However, its actual address is 1360 East 24th Street. One of the three buildings on its campus is the Sanctuary built in 1964 and siding Mountain Highway.  Although this building was used as the original sanctuary, it was intended to be the Parish Hall.   

                                                  Entrance to Church Sanctuary

Behind the Sanctuary Altar is a large mural of a modern depiction of the Crucifixion. (See photo below.)  Along the north and south walls of the Sanctuary are plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross.  In the ceiling of the sanctuary is a skylight with a large cross in its center.
In 1978 the large hall on the east side of the parking lot was built and the original hall continued as the sanctuary. The new hall provides the congregation with a stage and kitchen.   A covered walkway joins these two buildings. 
Parish Hall

                                                          Entrance to Parish Hall

To the north of the entrance to the Parish Hall is a Memorial to all the victims of abortion.

The third building is the Parish Rectory. In the plaza between the Rectory, the covered walkway and the Sanctuary is a shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

                                                       Parish Rectory and Shrine

The History of St. Stephen's Parish (See Link 1.)
"Archbishop Duke appoints Father Albert Eisenring as the first pastor of a new parish in the Lynn Valley area of North Vancouver. Land for the new parish had been acquired several years earlier. (The land was on the corner of East 24th Street and Mountain Highway.)

"Father Eisenring takes up residence in the smaller of the two existing, rundown houses on the parish property and recommends that the new parish be named in honor of Saint Stephen, the first martyr. 

"The first Mass in the new parish is celebrated on November 17 at the Lynn Valley Community Centre on Frederick Road. Over 400 people were in attendance.

"1964, July: Renovations to the second house on the property are completed, and it becomes the parish rectory. This small house continued to serve as the parish rectory for about twenty more years.

"1964, September: Construction begins on a new building that was intended to serve eventually as the parish hall and, in the interim, as a more suitable venue for Mass. This is the present church. 1964, December: The first Mass is celebrated in the new church/hall on Christmas Eve. 1965, March: Archbishop Johnson blesses the new church on March 14.

Sanctuary Altar

"1971, March: Pierre Elliott Trudeau, then the prime minister of Canada, and Margaret Sinclair are married at Saint Stephen’s.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Margaret Sinclair

"1972–1973: Part of the parish land is sold for private housing to raise funds for the parish. 1974: Construction of the parish hall is completed. 

1978, August: The parish debt is eliminated." (See Link 1.)

Photos: Taken in November 2011 by SW.
Link 1:
Link 2:
Reference: Traditions of Faith and Service, Archdiocese of Vancouver.

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