525 Tylehurst Street
St James Cemetery
Commemorating the Wee Souls who did not survive their mother’s pregnancies and were entrusted into the care of St. James.
Prayer for the Wee Souls
We give thanks for all the Wee Souls now in the arms of Jesus who said, “Let the little children come unto me.” May their souls and those who remember them, find peace in the knowledge of your love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
St James Cemetery interred its first soul in 1856. It is not an 'Anglican' cemetery, but a cemetery for the people who settled in this area, which became the community, then town, then city of St James. (For more information, see our History page.)
From the 1880s to 1976, St. James Cemetery became the resting place for many wee souls who did not survive their mother’s pregnancy, due either to miscarriage or still birth. These mothers were not all from Winnipeg, but also from nearby towns and First Nation Reserves. Our cemetery was entrusted with their care and they were buried in unmarked graves.
Over many years, requests were occasionally made asking the interment locations of these wee souls, but we were unable to find their names in our records. A missing register book was recently located, and it has been instrumental in creating a directory listing the names of over 2500 wee ones. Now, we are able to confirm the burial of an infant, although these graves are not marked.
This Memorial Garden is a place where people can come to contemplate the loss of the infant that is close to their hearts, wherever the infant is buried.
October 15 is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Considering the weather here, services in this church can be coolish on this day. Instead, we plan to celebrate these special wee lives at a service of caring and remembrance annually, on the first Tuesday after Labour Day, at 6:00.
Anyone, especially those who remember a wee soul in their lives, is welcome to come to this service.
You can donate to the upkeep of the Wee Souls Memorial Garden:
Commemorative services now have a permanent day: First Tuesday after Labour Day at 6:00
Heritage Church ...
Learn more about our Wee Souls:
The Winnipeg Free Press articles by Brenda Suderman
The dedication service for the Memorial Garden took place on October 7, 2020. While many people wanted to attend, we were limited by provincial health protocols. However, the service was videotaped ... and can be watched below.
It was a very windy day; I removed most of the noise from the wind, but some words are still muffled. If you would like to follow along, you can download the service text here. (But some of Father Murray's speech was not scripted)