Charles CAHILL (1857-1917)

Charles was born on Calumet Island, Quebec on 13 June 1857. He was the son of John Cahill and Arthemise Ouellette and was educated at the University of Ottawa.

He entered the novitiate of the Oblate Order at Lachine, Quebec in 1874, took his perpetual vows in 1876 and was ordained to the priesthood 23 December 1881. Due to ill health he went to Texas where he spent three years recuperating.

In the spring of 1885 he came to Winnipeg as assistant priest of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. His clerical career lasted 36 years with 32 of them spent in Winnipeg. He was one of the outstanding figures in the Catholic clergy of Western Canada. Under his leadership St. Mary’s grew from a small parish, the first in the city, to a pro-cathedral.


In 1888, he was given charge of all the missions on the Canadian Pacific line between Winnipeg and the head of the lakes, and was stationed at Rat Portage. In 1892, he was appointed mission priest at Fort Francis and from 1896 to 1903 he was in charge of the Kenora parish. In 1903, he returned to Winnipeg as Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish and was elected provincial of the Oblate order for the province (1903-1917). During his service, he worked to establish St. Mary’s school and the cemetery chapel.

He died at St. Boniface Hospital on 06 September 1917 and was buried in the St. Boniface Oblate Fathers Cemetery.


  • Birth, marriage and death records, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
  • “Father Cahill Dies Following Long Illness”, The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, Winnipeg, 06 Sep 1917, page 14.
  • “Death Removes Head of Oblates”, Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, 07 Sep 1917, page 4.


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