January 13, 1938
The Reverend Umberto Mozzoni, (later Cardinal Mozzoni) secretary of the apostolic delegation to Canada wrote to Archbishop Edward Patrick Roche of St. John’s on 13 January 1938 with concerns about the “The necessity of providing to the spiritual assistance of the fishermen who come every year from France to the coast of Labrador”
Rome was seeking information “about the number of these fishermen and what is done to protect them in their faith.”
Archbishop Roche responded to the Apostolic Nuncio’s secretary that “With regard to the French fishermen, he does not know their number, as Labrador is in the jurisdiction of Harbour Grace Diocese.” (Now known as the diocese of Grand Falls)
Archbishop Roche also suggested in his letter that it may be the priests of St. Pierre and Miquelon who are providing to the spiritual assistance of the fishermen who come every year from France to the coast of Labrador and suggests he contact the Prefect Apostolic of St. Pierre and Miquelon, for more information.
Officials in Rome, Mozzoni noted were aware of the existence and the work of the Grenfell Institute in Labrador and the fact that the French fishermen are assisted “From the social point of view” by the Grenfell Institute. (later the International Grenfell Association. IGA)
He laments however that “the Greenfield [sic: Grenfell] Institute, is, unhappily, of Protestant inspiration.”
The International Grenfell Association (IGA) was incorporated in Canada on January 10, 1914, under the Companies Act of 1899. Sir Wilfred Grenfell, the founder of IGA, came to Newfoundland to attend to the needs of fishermen in northern Newfoundland and on the coast of Labrador. The IGA maintained hospitals, nursing stations, medical steamers, boarding schools, and an orphanage.
Recommended Archival Collection: The records of the International Grenfell Association (IGA) were donated to the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL) by IGA representatives in June 1985. The IGA magic lantern slides form the most colourful pieces of the IGA fonds. These records are now available at the Rooms Provincial Archives. http://www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/panl/exhibits/
Recommended Reading: Grenfell, Wilfred T. FORTY YEARS FOR LABRADOR. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1932, Boston: