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Memorable Manitobans: Francois Kavanagh (c1833-?)


He was of Irish descent, and came to Canadaat an early age. He entered the seminary at Montreal at the age of 28 and was received into Holy Orders in 1866. After coming to St. Boniface he was assigned to St. Francois-Xavier Parish as an assistant to the first parish priest, Reverend Father Thibault. In late 1869 he was shot in the back while riding, but he recovered.

In 1873 he had established three schools which were attended by 186 children, and later, after the railway was established, two more schools were founded. Not until 1908, when he was 75 and had served the parish for forty-two years, was he given an assistant.

St. Francois-Xavier, establishedin 1824, was the second oldest mission in Manitoba.

Kavanagh is commemorated by Kavanagh Street in Winnipeg.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 14 October 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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