Ownership of Vital Grandin Centre transferred to Edmonton Archdiocese


Ownership of Vital Grandin Centre transferred to Edmonton Archdiocese

The Vital Grandin Centre in St. Albert, AB on the north end of Edmonton, has been a part of our Oblate story in Canada since 1877, when the Grey Nuns graciously gifted the property to the first bishop of the diocese, +Vital Grandin. It was home to Grandin’s successor, Bishop Legal, until 1912 when the Episcopal See moved to Edmonton. Over the decades it served many people and functions: it was a home to many Oblates, a Provincial Office, a museum for a number of years, the office for St. Albert Parish, a retirement home before the Foyer was built, and of course a hospitality house for Oblate Missionaries visiting from the North and elsewhere.

On Tuesday, March 31st we received an email from Monique Cloutier to tell us that she’d met with officials from the Archdiocese to walk through the building and hand over the keys. As Monique said, “it’s the end of an era”. Though definite plans for the building are not made yet, the gifting of the Vital Grandin Centre to the Archdiocese means this historic building will remain in the service of the Church for years to come.

We hope to celebrate the transfer of the Vital Grandin Centre from the Oblates to the Archdiocese at some point in the coming months, once the necessary COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.

As the keys change hands, I’m mindful of the many Oblates who made the VGC their home and a base for their Oblate mission, a mission that still bears fruit today.  I extend special thanks to Monique Cloutier who oversaw the care of the building in recent years, and who worked hard to prepare the VGC for transfer to the Archdiocese. Thanks also to Rob Meilleur who spent many hours working to bring this arrangement with the Archdiocese to fruition.

By Ken Thorson, OMI