Missionary Zeal

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER IV (9) start of chapter

Father Gagnon, a French Canadian, was one of these spiritual pioneers, and his duty took him along that portion of the northern shore of which Shediac may be described as the centre. And rough times they were with the missionary, who had to encounter the wild blast and the perilous wave, as he skirted the dangerous shore in an open boat, which he was himself often obliged to row. Not unfrequently did he experience the inconvenience of being wrecked; and more than once had the tall gaunt priest to wade to land, some cherished article of property or provision held high above the raging waters, to save it from destruction. Depending a good deal on this uncertain means of communication, Father Gagnon paid irregular visits to the widely scattered settlements of his extensive mission. In the same district in which the Canadian priest thus pursued his sacred calling, there were in 1866 six large and populous parishes, with good churches and resident clergymen.