In 1935-36, a building committee was formed, headed by Messrs. Pete Gremscheid and Henry Alberding. A plain frame building was erected, with plank benches for pews, and a barrel heater for warmth. Thus the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic parish at Loon Lake was formed.

The parish historically never had a resident priest. From 1934 to 1939, Fr. Boening would travel from St. Walburg to hold a monthly mass, even during the occasional snow storm. From 1939 to 1942, Fr. A. Riffel would journey from St. Walburg to conduct services.

In 1939 or 1940, the children from Loon Lake camped in the basement of the Barthel church, to receive religious instruction along with the children from Barthel, to prepare them for confirmation that year.

In January 1942, Fr. John Schultz became the first resident priest in Barthel, also taking on the added responsibilities of being priest in Loon Lake.

In 1954, every Catholic family in the community donated $35.00 towards a building fund, and helped put on siding and a new roof on the church building. The interior of the church was lined with donnaconna and then painted.

Fr. H. Wagner was priest from September 1955 until September 1958, and he constructed the main altar, two side altars, and new pews. A new floor was installed and boards were added to the lower four feet of the walls, all woodwork being finished off with a coat of varnish. The tabernacle was lined by Mrs. Vermette, and the Ursulines of Prelate in Barthel painted the doors. Electric wiring was installed, as well as a propane gas furnace. Josephine Arnedt, one of the parishioners, donated the church lights and the bell for the church tower.

When the church was first built, an Altar Society was formed. In 1956, the society was changed to the Catholic Women's League (C.W.L.), which became affiliated with the Catholic Women's League of Canada.

In October of 2000, the Sacred Heart Parishioners bought the Bible Baptist Church which had come up for sale. On February 17, 2001, Fr. Joe Zoeller and parishioners celebrated the first mass in the new church.

The "new" church boasts two bathrooms and a spacious basement, which has been recently painted and decorated, making a comfortable gathering space for meals, catechism and other parish functions. The altar, large cross and lectern were remodeled. Adorning the main altar area are two large, exquisite paintings of Count Von Imhoff on perpetual loan from the Imhoff family. A beautiful stained glass window, depicting the Holy Eucharist was made and donated by Mrs. Una Roberge, one of the regular summer parishioners. New entrance doors have recently been installed. Outside is a lovely manicured yard. The former Bishop, Blaise Morand, said concerning the Sacred Heart Parish, "I never worry about Loon Lake. Any small parish which can, on its own, purchase a church must be a strong parish indeed."

On April 23, 2006, the first ordination in the parish was celebrated when Brother Peter Altamirano was ordained to the diaconate.

On May 9, 2010, the parish members and visitors gathered to celebrate 75 years in Loon Lake, Bishop Albert Thévenot, M. Afr., Rev. Robert Stang (Loon Lake), Rev. Richard Doll (St. Walburg) and seminarian German Alegria came to concelebrate Mass during which three young people received the Sacrament of Confirmation. After Mass a supper was held in the newly painted basement. Two beautifully decorated cakes by a parishioner were served; one to depict the 75th Anniversary and another for the Sacraments being celebrated that day.

The early pioneers would be very proud to see the new church and know their hard labor and faith was not in vain. The words of Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, "Build something beautiful for God", are very fitting for the Sacred Heart Parish.

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For general information about the Diocese of Prince Albert, please contact us at:
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