Rev. Remigius DeRyckere : First Helena Diocesan Priest 1866—1916
Portrait of Remigius DeRyckere, founding pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Deer Lodge. Montana's first diocesan priest, Belgian born Father Remigius DeRyckere arrived in Vancouver, Washington in September 1865. In June 1866, the Bishop of Nesqually (Seattle) sent Fatehr DeRyckere to Deer Lodge, Montana. He "together with some Jesuit Fathers bargained [with miners] to be taken up the mountains." On 27 July 1866 he arrived in Deer Lodge and "took steps toward building a little church there." Father DeRyckere went on to build churches in Philipsburg, Butte, Anaconda dn Helmville. He also built St. Mary's Academy in Deer Lodge. After forty—four years of ministering to the people of Montana, and with declining health, he was granted permission by Bishop Carroll to retire. On 16 May 1910 he returned to Belgium and died six years later.
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DeRyckere, RemigiusDeRyckere, Remigius