History

Claude Poullart des Places

The Spiritans were founded on Pentecost Sunday 1703 in Paris, France by a young man, Claude Poullart des Places (1679-1709). Claude was not yet an ordained priest but had a deep calling to found a community of young men who would be dedicated to the Holy Spirit and who would be willing to go to where they were called by the Church. Soon this little community flourished as more people were attracted to the simple lifestyle and the dedication of the Spiritans. By 1732, the first Spiritan was sent to Canada. Tragically, the upheaval of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century nearly destroyed the Spiritans. 

However God was not yet finished with the Spiritans! In 1848, Fr. Francis Libermann merged his new young congregation of The Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Spiritans and this breathed new life into the congregation. The Spiritans quickly took on new missions in Europe, North America, Australia, the Indian Ocean and especially Africa. In 1954, Spiritans from Ireland opened our first mission in English speaking Canada. We are still here!

Francis Libermann - Our 2nd Founder
Irish Spiritans arrive 1954
Neil McNeil High School 1958