During the early years, most of the settlers in Sudbury were of French descent, and many of these practiced the Roman Catholic religion. They were ministered to by the Jesuit priests who had previously come to the area to encourage conversion of the native residents.
The first Catholic mass was celebrated in Sudbury on March 30, 1883 and was performed by Reverend Joseph Specht. In April of that same year, Reverend Jean-Baptiste Nolin came to the area and began working to build a chapel for the local parishioners. By the time the first train pulled into Sudbury on November 28, 1883, the chapel was complete and was ministering to fifty families.
In 1884, Nolin was joined by fellow Jesuit priests Francis-Xavier Santerre and L.S. Côté. The three men proceeded to divide the preaching needs of the countryside amongst themselves with Nolin ministering to Sudbury and the northern portion of the railway's main line, Côté working towards the east, and Santerre along the Algoma Mills branch line to the west. Around this time, Reverend Nolin decided to name his countryside Sainte-Anne-des-Pins.
Due, in large part, to the efforts of these three Jesuit priests, Catholicism became increasingly accepted and by January of 1887, it was the religion practiced by more than 376 people.