St. Andrew Church Oakville ON

L6J 3J9

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Who we are

Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting us. We are Oakville’s oldest standing Catholic Church. Built in 1840 to service the Irish-Catholic dock workers, the church has grown and developed down through the years. Church population has increased and the building itself was recently enlarged and completely renovated, in keeping with its historical character. It is known as "the white church” and it is the crowning jewel of Oakville’s historical district.

Our mission at St. Andrew is to be apostles of Jesus Christ, to celebrate the sacraments and proclaim the word of God, to give witness to our faith in our daily life, and to share our talents in building a Catholic community of love.

We welcome you and invite you to share in the spiritual and social activities of our parish.

Pastor

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Location of worship

St. Andrew Church
47 Reynolds Street
Oakville, ON L6J 3J9
Canada
Phone: 905-844-3303
Fax: 905-844-7353
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Church Pastor

Msgr. Cornelius O'Mahony
Msgr. Cornelius O'Mahony
Pastor
47 Reynolds Street
Oakville, ON L6J 3J9
Canada
Phone: 905-844-3303
Fax: 905-844-7353
Download Pastor Msgr. Cornelius O'Mahony vCard
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Music of the Day

I'm pressing on the upward way


I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” ...

Denomination

Roman Catholic



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Affiliations

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Church Website


St. Andrew Church on Social Media


St Andrew Church Mass, 2nd Sunday of Easter, April 7th 2024 at 9.30am




Leadership

Leader Name:
Msgr. Cornelius O'Mahony   Edit
Leader Position:
Pastor   Edit
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Phone:
Fax:
905-844-7353   Edit
Leader Email:
Click here to contact Msgr. Cornelius O'Mahony   Edit
Leader Bio:
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Other Church Leaders:
Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc, Part-time Associate Pastor
Msgr. Harvey Roach, In residence
Rev. Richard Tan, Deacon
Rev. Samuel Landman, Deacon   Edit

Leadership Photos



Administration

Admin Name:
Frances Mantle   Edit
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Office Administrator   Edit
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Phone:
Fax:
905-844-7353   Edit
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47 Reynolds Street, Oakville, ON
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St. Andrew Church Mass Times

Mass Time

Saturday Vigil 5pm
Sunday 8:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am

Monday No Mass
Tuesday 12:05pm
Wednesday 9:00am
Thursday 12:05pm
Friday 9:00am

​Reconciliation

Saturday 4:10pm - 4:45pm

St. Andrew Church mass times last updated on the 7th of April, 2024
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Sunday School / Children and Youth Activities

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Parish Activities:

Bridge
Friendship Group
Hospitality
House Tour
Knights of Columbus
Stitch & Chat
Strawberry Tea   Edit

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Prayers and Hymns

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St. Andrew Church Oakville Photos




St. Andrew Church History

History of the Parish St. Andrew’s Church, Oakville 1840‐1990 The word "parish" comes from the Latin parrochia, which is derived from the Greek  words, oikia which means "home" and the prefix para means "to be away from". Thus, "para‐oikia" describes being away from one's home a traveller or pilgrim. A  parish is a place for those who are pilgrims in this world. A parish is our home while  we are away from our eternal home. From its beginnings, St. Andrew's has been a "para‐oikia—a "home‐away‐from‐home" for its people and in more than one sense. St. Andrew's extended its hospitality to the early immigrants from the British Isles. St. Andrew's welcomed the refugee slaves as a terminal in the Underground  Railroad. St. Andrew's was the mother church to many of the parishes in the south of  Halton. St. Andrew's continues to welcome peoples from diverse lands and cultures. All find they are at home here because they find a constant Catholic tradition and  the generous hospitality of God's people. Many thanks to those in the past who by their selfless dedication have given witness  to their faith and those who continue today, by the generous gift of themselves, to  make St. Andrew’s an expression of the living Jesus Christ, living yesterday, today,  and forever. THE EARLY DAYS  By David Dooley  The 1830's and 1840's in Upper Canada were a period of roughing it in the bush. In  her excellent historical account, 'Oakville and the Sixteen', Hazel Chisholm Mathews describes what the area looked like in 1823 when her great‐grandfather, William  Chisholm, bought the land which would comprise the port of Oakville. There were  only a few clearings, "cut out of the wilderness, as stones hewn out of quarries,  insignificant indentures apparently in the boundless forest." It was pioneer territory  and mission country. Writing in October 1830, to Bishop MacDonell in Kingston, Father W.J. O'Grady,  pastor of St. Paul's Church in York, related what his curate, Father Edward Gordon,  who had responsibility for the missions, had to endure: He is a sensiblemodest  unassuming man, and very willing to  promote the cause in which he is engaged to the utmost extent of his  ability, but then his means are limited and must continue to be so, as  long as he is under the necessity of carrying a large trunk with his  vestments and a large folio missal and an altar stone weighing  about a quarter of a hundred on the pummel of his saddle from  Township to Township. Father O'Grady's "sensible" and "modest" man was to become a great builder of  churches, longtime pastor of St. Mary's Church in Hamilton, and first Vicar‐General  of the Diocese of Hamilton when it was established in 1856. In the 1830's, however,  he was following trails through the forest from one clearing to another, the clearings  being about 15 miles apart. Between 1830 and 1833 he performed 306 baptisms in  settlements all the way from Niagara to Lake Simcoe. None of these took place in Oakville, though a number of them were performed in  Trafalgar Township at a location about 10 miles north. On the Ninth Line, just north  of Britannia Road, there is a church with the following inscription near its front  door: "1823/St. Peter's R.C. Church/First in the area." The boast is not an idle one. As Ken Foyster relates in his Anniversary Reflections on Hamilton Diocese, as early  as 1818 the first Irish immigrants were settling on the 8th and 9th concessions in  Trafalgar; the area soon became known as the "Catholic Swamp." In 1819, two  young men, Bartholomew O'Connor and Charles O'Hara, walked the many miles to  Dundas to persuade a Father O'Reilly to come to visit them. He celebrated Mass at  O'Hara's cabin (Lot 1, Concession 9). Foyster writes, "From many miles around,  settlers converged on the little cabin to receive the Sacraments and to participate in  the Holy Sacrifice for perhaps the first time since they had left Ireland." A log church  was constructed in 1823 on an acre of cleared land donated by Dan Hyland, so St. Peter's Trafalgar does date back to 1823, though the present church was built long  after. In a curious way, the question of when our own church was erected involves the  letters of the alphabet. Foyster writes that "Land for a new church at Oakville was  acquired in 1835 and the following year still more land was acquired for the use as a  cemetery. At about this time, St. Andrew's Church was constructed." He is probably  following Theobald Spetz, who was quite specific in his account prepared for the Diamond Jubilee of the Diocese of Hamilton in 1916: "Site November 19, 1855; Lots  A, B, C in Block 35..." However, the church is not on any of Lots A, B, or C, but on Lot  D. Several writers, Spetz included, say that there was a Catholic church in Oakville as  early as 1831. But accounts dealing with that period make this seem very unlikely,  as we have seen Father Gordon performed baptisms in the Trafalgar area in that  year, but not in Oakville. Justus W. Williams, a Wesleyan Methodist, recalled that  when he moved to Oakville, in March 1833, "there was no place set apart for the  worship of Almighty God but the schoolhouse...was used for that purpose by all who  desired it." TRAFALGAR MISSION   Hazel Mathews writes that in 1835 the mission at Trafalgar was being attended by 150 persons some of whom were undoubtedly from Oakville' and that in the  following year a mission was established in Oakville by Father W.P. McDonough  another great missionary and builder of churches' Born in the Archdiocese of Tuam  in 1808, he was ordained in 1833, and came to Canada in the same year. For about  nine years he was in charge of the mission at York; it was while he was stationed  there that he visited Oakville. Appointed pastor of St. Catharines in 1842, he built  churches there and in Thorold; he moved to the Diocese of Kingston in 1851, and  died at Peterborough in 1863. He was described as a man "of commanding presence,  and familiar with the language and habits of the Irish immigrant." “Within two years of saying the first Mass in 1836,” Mrs. Mathews continues, "preparations began for building of a church, and for this purpose land at the corner  of King and Reynolds streets (Block 35, lot D) was given by William Chisholm. Tradition says that it was because of his appreciation of the work of his Irish  labourers that the founder of Oakville gave them the land on which to build a  church; and that, in gratitude for this favour by a Scottish Presbyterian, the  congregation named the church after the patron saint of Scotland. George K. Chisholm and his wife conveyed the other five lots in Block 35 on  November 19, 1855 as Spetz says; these were initially owned by the Diocese of  Toronto, and only transferred to the Diocese of Hamilton well over a hundred years  later in July 1972. Lots A and B, the property on which the convent now stands, were  turned over to the School Sisters of Notre Dame shortly after. Lot D, however, had  been transferred from William Chisholm to three trustees—Nicholas Boylan, Peter  Case, and John O'Laughlin—on April 3, 1837. When the church was insured for $2,000 with Royal Insurance in 1882, it was  described as follows: "On building only of a frame shingle roofed church 36 x 68 and 16 x 18 marked A on diagram isolated to the extent of 80 feet and situate on the  North East corner of King and Reynolds Streets, Oakville, Ontario." When the church was built, it did not have to be of large dimensions: the total population of Trafalgar  Township in 1841 was 4,375, of whom 1,098 were Anglicans, 1,007 Wesleyans, 963  Presbyterians and only 281 Catholics. A note in the Oakville Museum describes a  Strange happening during the construction: When building St. Andrew's belfry, John  Cavin father of Martin Cavin, a carpenter, gave freely of his time and labour to help  erect the church and was engaged high up when the rope that went through  the...pulley was let loose by some incompetent workman at noon hour and the wind  blew it over to where Mr. Wm. Davis now lives With quick thought and presence of  mind, he took off his stocking, unraveled it, let it down and the ground men tied the  rope to it. John was soon down for dinner."  Hazel Mathews writes that St. Andrew's is the only church in Oakville, which  survives in its original form, and is a charming example of the churches of Colonial  design built in the western section of the province. If William Chisholm were to  return to this earth, she adds, St. Andrew's is the only public building in Oakville,  which he would recognize. John Cavin's spire is described by David and Suzanne  Peacock as an octagonal louvered loft over a short tower; it is 150 feet high  Underneath the church are hand‐adzed pine beams, some of them 60 feet in length,  set upon a mortarless stone foundation; the stumps of some of the pines cleared  from the site are still underneath the floor boards, stone dry and hard. The church  originally seated 200; about 1870 it was extended to accommodate 300. THE FIRST MASS  During the years 1838 to 1840, when funds were  being raised by  subscription, Hazel  Mathews writes: The  congregation was  attended by F Eugene  O'Reilly who said the first  Mass in the finished  church late in October 1840. His is a curious  story, as is suggested by  the history of St. Patrick's  Wildfield (north of  Brampton and south of  Bolton):  In 1961 "a centennial  memorial Mass was  offered to honour Rev. Eugene O'Reilly on the hundredth anniversary of his death. His great‐grandson, Rev. J.R O'Reilly, was present at the ceremony". Not many  Catholic priests of the Roman rite have had descendants who were also priests; Father O'Reilly had two great‐grandsons who were ordained to the priesthood and  who taught at St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto. Eugene O'Reilly had been a married man. Soon after the death of his wife, he left his  home in County Cavan, Ireland, and came to Canada, bringing his little daughter  Margaret. This was in 1832, when he was 36 years old. After providing for the care  of Margaret, he entered the classical college at Chambly, south of Montreal, and on  June 19,1836, he was ordained by Bishop Provencher of St. Boniface. He spent a few  months at Glengarry, and then was appointed to St. Patrick's where he remained  until a few months before his death. His daughter married a second cousin, another  O'Reilly and they had five children, all baptized by their priest grandfather. Father O'Reilly was responsible not only for St. Patrick's Wildfield, in Toronto Gore,  but for all of Toronto Township and, at times, Halton County as well, including  Trafalgar, Oakville, and Milton. In his homily at the memorial Mass, Father J. Lawlor  paid tribute to his courage and stamina, including the hardships of riding a horse  along primitive forest trails in all seasons of the year. He also pointed out that  Father O'Reilly had to use all his powers of persuasion to keep his hot‐blooded Irish  parishioners from becoming embroiled in the Upper Canada rebellion of 1837. Ten  years later, he sent lumber wagons to the fever sheds on the Toronto waterfront —  where the cholera‐stricken arrivals from Ireland were quartered — to move  patients up to the Gore where homes awaited them. "He visited them, heard their  confessions, anointed the dying, and buried the dead," said Father Lawlor. There is another contender for the honour of having said the first Mass in the new  church however. (Spetz has a third: Father McDonough. An anonymous account,  which Mrs. Mathew found at St. Andrew's, reads in part: The first Mass in said church (still standing July 1st, 1890) was by Father Eugene McDonell in the latter part of October 1840. He was a young priest, ordained a short time before in Rome, and resided here in a house opposite the present residence of George J. Sumner, hear the town hall. It is not clear why Mrs. Mathews gave the distinction to Father O'Reilly instead of to  Father McDonell. In any case, Oakville seems to have had a resident priest for a  short time at least around 1840 (a letter from a bishop, as we shall see, provides  further evidence). In January 1842 the Trafalgar Catholics wrote to Bishop Gaulin of Kingston to  report, "we have with considerable exertion succeeded in completing our Chapel  from various causes long discontinued." They complimented His Lordship on the  appointment of "a distinct clergyman to these parts," regretted their inability to  support a resident clergyman because of the insufficiency of their numbers, and  suggested that a priest might be stationed in "the rising and central village of  Streetsville," only 10 miles away. This might influence Catholic families to settle in their neighbourhood, in Streetsville, and in the equally rising village of Oakville. Following this, Bishop Gaulin wrote to his VicarGeneral from the Hamilton region,  Father William P. MacDonald, to suggest that the Rev. Mr. Mills should settle at "Branford" and another missionary be assigned to Dundas and surrounding area,  including Oakville and Trafalgar. Soon Father James O'Flynn was parish priest of  Dundas, with these added responsibilities as well. FINANCIAL WORRIES  When Michael Power became the first Bishop of Toronto in 1842, Oakville came  under his jurisdiction. The first mention of our parish in his letter book mentions  there having been a resident priest, and also makes it evident that, as usual with the  Catholic Church in Canada, especially at that period, financial worries were very  pressing: You must let the people of Oakville and Trafalgar know that unless  they defray your traveling expenses and contribute, according to  their means, to your support, I shall not insist upon your visiting  them; they should have endeavoured when they had a Clergyman to  keep him. You must not be too severe with them nor require more  than what is just and equitable; moreover a great deal must be done  for pure charity. On the other hand, they must comply with their  duty as Catholics and contribute to your support and maintenance. I  would advise you not to correspond in writing with those committed  to your care, especially on money matters; you know that they may  occasionally make use of letters for the purpose of annoying and  even injuring their Pastor. The following May, however, the Bishop moved Father O'Flynn to the missions of  Tecumseh and Adjula (now Colgan, some 20 miles north of St. Patrick's Wildfield)  and appointed the Rev. Peter Connolly "to the mission of Dundas and the  neighbouring missions of Oakville, Wellington Square (Burlington), Trafalgar etc."  The people of Oakville must have been glad to see Father O'Flynn go, for he was  evidently a man with a violent temper. In February 1844, Bishop Power rebuked  him for getting into a quarrel with a good old man, Thomas McGoey, because the  latter had refused to plough for him; for allowing political meetings on church  property, for using violent and abusive language; and for allowing his hogs into the  burying ground. An entry for 1844 in the Toronto archdiocesan records, reads, "St. Andrew —  Oakville, St. Matthew, Trafalgar vacant." This is the first time that the name of the  mission Oakville appears. At the time, the Trafalgar church was called St. Matthew's;  this was later changed to St. Peter. FIRST BAPTISMS Father John O'Reilly took over St. Augustine's Church in Dundas in January 1847,  and the first entries in the church records concerning Oakville began with him. On  March 21 of that year, he baptized two daughters of James and Johanna Fitzgerald,  Mary and Catherine, and on his next visit to the Oakville mission, on April 18, he  married Michael Butler and Anna O'Laughlin. Like many of his colleagues in the  priesthood, he had been born in Ireland. He came to Canada in 1842, studied at the  Grand Seminary in Montreal, and was ordained in 1846. Like his namesake from St. Patrick's Wildfield, he was one of the heroic figures working to alleviate the  sufferings of those who came from Ireland in the "fever fleet": "Father John O'Reilly  was summoned from Dundas, and he worked incessantly for 14 weeks in the shed  administering to as many as 45 patients in a day." He also contracted the disease, "but worked on until he was unable to move." He recovered, to serve in Dundas and  surrounding towns for another 20 years, and to become the Very Reverend Dean  O'Reilly. The first resident pastor after the church was built was Rev. Jeremiah Ryan, who  came to Oakville from Brantford in 1859, and remained at St. Andrew's for 17 years. He had responsibility as well for Trafalgar, Milton, Burlington, and Hamilton (or  Burlington) Beach. Within a year of his arrival, he had established a separate school. The County of Halton Directory for 1869‐70 said, The Roman Catholic separate school is a good twostorey  building 24 by 36 feet with basement. It was erected in 1860 through the  exertions and at the expense of Rev. J. Ryan, Roman Catholic priest. The average attendance of pupils is about eighty to ninety. — Miss  Ellen Higgins is teacher, assisted by Miss M. Fitzgerald. ST. MARY'S SCHOOL  When he had opened his school a decade before, however, Father Ryan had induced  the Sisters of St. Joseph to staff it, and had provided them with a residence. By 1863,  apparently, it had proved too difficult to continue this school, and it closed;  obviously it was open a few years later, with a lay staff. When Father E.P. Slevin  became pastor in 1884, he persuaded the St. Joseph Sisters to return to what was  then known as St. Mary's School. After 13 years, they again withdrew, and for many  years afterwards lay teachers were in charge. When Inspector William Prendergast  visited the school in the fall of 1899, Miss Lamphier was there on her own (at a  salary of $300); he was "glad to report that Miss Lamphier is a willing teacher, who  is giving general satisfaction." He described the school building as frame, and the  school grounds as "shaded on 3 sides by beautiful maple trees." The school library at  that time consisted of one book — "a large dictionary."  Father Ryan was evidently a shrewd businessman. Hazel Mathews was told by  Father Harris 1948 that his predecessor had purchased a property on the corner of  Reynolds and Colborne Streets, given bursaries to St. Michael's College, and  contributed to the Ryan Ward in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton. His generosity to St. Michael’s and the Basilian Fathers extended well beyond bursaries. He brought two  nephews over from his native Ireland — Patrick Ryan and Lawrence Brennan; both  of them went to St. Michael's; both of them became Basilians and they were  ordained priests on the same day. But that is only the beginning of the story. Father Ryan left a large sum, perhaps $20,000, trust to Father Brennan. The latter  was as shrewd as his uncle, and when he saw an opportunity to buy a tract of land in  the wilds of North Toronto, he did so — despite the opposition of some of his  confreres. It consisted of 50 acres located east of Bathurst Street and between St. Clair and Eglinton Avenues. Of course the property has increased at least a thousand  times in value; part of it was sold, a century after it was bought, to help finance the  building of Kelly Library at St. Michael's. No wonder one of the College buildings is  named after him — Brennan Hall. George Sumner, an Oakville resident who kept a diary for many years, noted in April 1880: "I was at the funeral of the Rev. J. Ryan, Catholic priest — there were 18  priests in the church." Father Ryan is buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Toronto  with his two nephews, in a plot, which was reserved for them. He was followed by Rev. R.R. Morris, a priest about whom one would like to know  more. A native of England and a convert from Anglicanism, he is described by Spetz  as having both an M.D. and an Ll.D. (which cannot be right, since it is ordinarily an  honorary degree). Arriving in Hamilton in 1856, he served for three years at Arthur,  and for six at Mount Forest. He was in Oakville only two years, from 1876 to 1878,  when he returned to England. Father Harris told Mrs. Mathews that he had heard a legend of a priest being buried under the church, but when the workmen were putting in a heating system they  found no evidence of it. However, he said, they crawled under only part of the  church. If the legend was true, the only place the priest could have been buried was  in front of the small altar on the north side of the church. In fact, the successor to  Father Morris, Father Terence O'Reilly, is almost certainly buried under the church,  because his tombstone was there. The inscription on the stone read as follows: I.H.S. Rev. T. O'Reilly P.P. Oakville, died 28th March, 1884 in the 39th year of his life and the 7th of his Priesthood R.I.P. Erected by the Catholics of Oakville  At the time of the 1870 renovations, the exterior of the church may have been given  a roughcast stucco finish. On the other hand, when the building was insured with the  Royal Insurance Co. in 1882, it was described as follows: "On building only of a  frame shingle roofed church 36 x 68 and 16 x 18..." Insurance on the rectory in 1884  covered not only the building but also some etceteras: $500 on brick singleroofed  dwelling $250 on furniture therein $75 on the frame barn $175 being $125 on a horse $50 on a Buggy therein In a photograph taken in 1897, there are two details missing from the church as we  know it: there is a small porch in the front, and there is a large cross on the roof at  the back. Father Slevin, who had been curate at St. Andrew's, was pastor from 1884 to 1890,  when he went to Galt. He died in 1901, before he had been 25 years a priest. He was  succeeded by Rev. John J. Kelly (1890‐92), later rector of St. Mary's Cathedral in  Hamilton, Vicar‐General of the diocese, and a Monsignor. From 1892 to 1900, the  pastor was Rev. R.T. Burke, who had been a student at the Galt Grammar School  under a famous headmaster, William Tassie — a man who had "the bearing and  dignity of a field‐marshal and the walk and tread of an emperor." Father Burke left  in 1900 to join the Basilians; later he was pastor at Owen Sound and administrator  at St. Basil's in Brantford. EASTER 1899 Large congregations attended both services on Easter Sunday, and the church was  handsomely and abundantly decorated with flowers; also statues of "The Adoring  Angels," one on each side of the large altar. These were donated and in use for the first  time in the church. Rev. Father R.T. Burke delivered an eloquent sermon, and the choir  sang Zangl's Mass in C in the morning. At the evening service musical vespers were  sung, including the "Magnificat", solos of which were sung by LV. Coty, "Regina Coeli," "0 Salutaris" and a quartet, "Tantum Ergo," by Misses Shaughnessy and Condon and  Messrs. L.V. Coty and Jas. Sherrin. Miss A. Shaughnessy presided at the organ. The Oakville Record, April 6, 1899 1900-1950   After a period of prosperity, based on its activities as a port trading in ships' masts,  barrel staves, wheat, and other commodities, Oakville suffered a decline when the  railways began to take away its business. The Historical Atlas of the County of  Halton, 1877, shows it as a fairly wide strip of land south of Colborne Street (now  Lakeshore Road) and a narrow strip on the east side of Sixteen Mile Creek going as  far north as Spruce Street. Trafalgar Township completely engulfs it on the map. Its  future did not seem to lie in commerce but in recreation. "The town has become  quite a favourite watering place," said the Atlas, "being thronged in the summer  season with visitors, who have come to enjoy its salubrious air and healthful fruits." The editors predicted in fact that it would become "the great summer resort of Canada." The "healthful  fruit" in which it specialized was the strawberry of  which over 300 acres were under cultivation at that  time. The town did not grow very quickly. The 1871  census gave its population as 1,684 and around 1,700 until the turn of the century. In 1911 it was 2,375, in 1921, 3,289. In the first years of the  century, therefore, the Catholics of Oakville did not  outgrow their small church, with its seating capacity  of 300. Still, the Vicar‐General of the diocese, Father, or  Monsignor, Mahoney, told the congregation one  Sunday evening in April, 1910, that they needed a  new church, and apparently he had reason to believe that they agreed with him. The present church, he said, had served the parish for 72  years and was probably the oldest in the Hamilton diocese. In three years the parish  would celebrate its diamond jubilee, and he anticipated that the consecration of a  new church could be held at the same time. He hoped that conditions would permit  of an early start on a building which, on such a beautiful site, would be a credit not  only to the parishioners but to the growing town of Oakville. HARD TIMES  Interestingly, some account books in the rectory, ranging from 1909 to 1930, give  the impression that at the time the Vicar‐General made his surprising suggestion, St. Andrew's was a small church in a small town, and quite as large as it needed to be. Total receipts for the latter half of 1909 were $948.25, and expenditures $712.24,  leaving a balance of $236.01. Not only did such figures make the building of a new  church completely unfeasible, but they make one wonder what the parish priest  lived on. Offertory collections averaged about six dollars a week. Pew rent was a  major source of income; in 1909 it amounted to $112.75, and by 1915 it was up to $363.25, almost matching the total offertory collection of $365.85. If it had not been  for the annual garden party a feature of parish life for over half a century — the  church would have been in a very bad way. In 1909 it made a profit of $280, very  close to the total collections for the year; in 1919 it made $714, and in 1930 $921 —  almost a quarter of the total receipts for the year. To build a new church in such  circumstances would have been financially hazardous. Yet during these years St. Andrew's contributed to the support of its sister or affiliated churches. (In the early  years of the century, there was no Mass on the second Sunday of the month in  Oakville, because the priest was on circuit.) "Improvements to Milton Church" took $190 in 1914, and assistance to St. John's in Burlington $470.04 in 1920, and over $1,450 in 1921. And without the help of St. Andrew's, St. Peter's Trafalgar might not  have been able even to pay its insurance. In 1925 its total income was $82.50, and car expenses took $62.25 of that amount. During those years the pastor could not  have lived in the lap of luxury; his income was $611.71 in 1910 and $747.43 in 1911. During the 1920's his salary seems to have varied mainly between $800 and $1,000, depending on the state of church finances. In 1925, the last item of  expenditures reads; "Balance — support of pastor — $810.29." Either he got what  was left over, or his income varied with the effectiveness of his sermons. Of course the pastor received extra money for transportation. Livery and carfare  amounted to $76.00 in 1911, and by 1916 it had jumped to $125.80. Somehow or  other he acquired his owe vehicle in the early 1920's; in 1922 car storage and  supplies were listed at $256.85. (Father Savage, the incumbent at the time, drove a  McLaughlin.)  GARDEN PARTIES  The previously mentioned Garden Party, an annual event begun in 1896, was a  feature not only of church life but of town life for nearly 60 years Invariably the  Oakville Star and its successors paid tribute to the beauty of the setting and the  variety of the entertainment. "The brilliantly illuminated lawns of the Presbytery  grounds on the occasion of the annual garden party Tuesday evening," said the Star  in July 1925, "took on the appearance of a small but complete fairy land.” Where the  rectory now stands was a rose garden called by the paper "a mecca for flower  devotees. The newspaper account usually listed those in charge of the various  booths, from the fishpond to housie‐housie (a predecessor of bingo), and the  performing artists, including jugglers am humorists and "our own soprano, Miss  Mabel Manley" in 1903. Also featured was the Oakville Band and a baritone from the  Chicago Opera Company in 1925. Father Francis O'Reilly, who had been ordained  in Hamilton in 1878, became rector in 1900,  and remained in this position until 1905. He  celebrated his 25th anniversary as a priest  while he was at St. Andrew's, in 1903. He died  in Oakville in 1908. Father J.J. Feeny followed him in 1905, and  remained until 1908 or 1909, when Father J. Savage began a long pastorate — the longest so  far — which was not to end until 1933. Father Savage did not follow the Vicar‐General's recommendation and pull down the  church; instead he renovated it. The Oakville Star wrote that during his long tenure  of office the congregation of the church grew, the interior was remodeled, the  presbytery was re‐constructed, and "the church and presbytery grounds transferred  into a place of real beauty in design, bloom and stretches of green." He was a finelooking  man and obviously a man of taste; he loved flowers and music, and served as president of both the local horticultural society and the local musical society. The  changes to the interior of the church in 1916 included the installation of an electrical  chandelier presented by a prominent citizen of Oakville who was not a Catholic, W.S. Davis. A letter from Father Savage to Bishop McNally in 1925 referred to the missions of  Burlington and Milton, which were about to be detached from St. Andrew's. With  responsibility for the former went the care of Burlington Beach, and with the latter,  eventually, care of St. Peter's Trafalgar. Father C. Brohman, a tall thin man of  German descent, followed Father Savage, coming from Formosa. In 1939, he had to  take leave of absence because of ill health, and Father Burton Harris succeeded him. Father Harris came to Oakville after 17 years in Caledonia. His personality was very  different from that of Father Savage; he was much more brusque and single‐minded. In fact, except for his right‐hand man, he ran the parish very much himself; that  right‐hand man was Peter Watters, later an Oakville councillor, still later the Rev. Peter Watters. Father James A. Kirby, then 60 years old, arrived in 1950, after long periods in other  parishes — 13 years in Sacred Heart Parish, Hamilton; 16 years at Sacred Heart in  Kenilworth. Old‐time parishioners remember him as a Barry Fitzgerald type of  priest, very much like the Irish priest in the famous movie, Going My Way. When he took charge, however, he was faced with a dispiriting situation. The church  was badly in need of renovation and expansion, the Separate School Board was  urgently in need of funds, and parish revenue had not been sufficient to provide any  financial reserves. In March 1950, there was actually a St. Mary's Separate School  Emergency Fund Committee in existence, which appealed for support from bingo  and donations to help eliminate a deficit of $2,700. Soon after this, Father Kirby  wrote to Bishop Ryan requesting "full authority to clean up this (?), which exists in  Oakville. We have no money, a church a disgrace, what accounts owed I know not."  With the help of the bishop, Father Kirby went to work to improve parish facilities  and pay for them in a short space of time. CAPACITY DOUBLED  During 1953, the church's seating capacity was doubled and a new sanctuary was  added. At the same time, St. Mary's School was enlarged from two to six classrooms. In 1956, a new rectory was built and the former was remodeled for use as a convent  by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who came to take charge of St. Mary's. In the  same year, a new school, St. James (was it only a coincidence that James was Father  Kirby's Christian name?) was built on Morden Road, to provide for the needs of the  growing population west of Sixteen Mile Creek. In 1955, in fact, the Bronte area had  been detached from St. Andrew's to form the new parish of St. Dominic's. To meet  the costs of the various projects, St. Andrew's conducted a successful fundraising campaign in 1956. A newspaper story dated October 31, 1953, "Parish Organizations Extremely Active  at St. Andrew's," gives the impression of a very lively parish indeed. The Holy Name  Society was in operation, the Catholic Women's League had both senior and junior  divisions, St. Mary's School had a Parent‐Teacher Association, and there were two  choirs, the senior under the direction of Miss Ella McDermott, the junior under Mrs. John Lanouette. Father Kirby was also instrumental in promoting the formation of a  Knights of Columbus Council in Oakville. It was established in 1954, and he was  inducted as its Charter Chaplain. His sudden death, on May 25, 1957, was a great  loss to the parish. He was succeeded by Rev. V.A. Priester. Father Priester had taught 13 years at Cathedral High School in Hamilton and had  continued to be involved in Catholic education: Bishop Ryan had appointed him  liaison with the Department of Education and the Provincial Government, and for 23  years he was executive director and secretary of the Ontario English Catholic  Education Association. It was hardly a surprise, therefore, when he was made a  Monsignor in 1963. During its 150 years, however, St. Andrew's never had a parish hall. Its parishioners  thought it had one, when they contributed to the building of a hall on Morden Road  to serve as a Catholic Centre; the money for which was raised in approximately one  year. About the end of August, 1957, however, Father Priester began to say Mass in  the school on the site, St. James, and soon thought was being given to the opening of  a new parish. When this happened in 1961, the hall was transferred to it. In  September, 1960, a new school had been opened, St. Vincent's, on the east side of  the parish. Was it only a coincidence that the Christian name of Msgr. Priester was  Vincent?. In 1961, still another school was opened — St. Michael's, north of the  Queen Elizabeth Way, to serve another rapidly growing area. VATICAN COUNCIL CHANGES   The interior of St. Andrew's took on a new look around the end of the Second  Vatican Council in conformity with the new directive that the priest should say Mass  facing the people. As happened in many other churches, objects which had been  regarded as aids to devotion — such as a chandelier and two adoring angels —  simply disappeared; the altar rail remained, however, until the 1970's. After he left St. Andrew's in 1965, Msgr. Priester had a number of other assignments,  chiefly in the Kitchener area. He died on May 29,1984, the 49th anniversary of his  ordination. Bishop Tonnos celebrated his funeral Mass, with 77 priests in  attendance. In the eulogy delivered by the Very Rev. Edward Sheridan, he was  praised for his invincible faith, eminent personality, and great sense of humor. Fathers James Beaudry, V.J. Pickett, and J.W. Flaherty followed him in quick succession. Two issues of a well‐produced parish newspaper, “St. Andrew's  Seraphim," complete with amusing caricatures, appeared in 1966, and 1967. They  described the trouble that began in this "respectable parish, with its white colonial  church, standing sedately there under the towering oaks,” when the Second Vatican  Council introduced terms like "renewal," "awakening", and "dialog” In its second  issue, the "Seraphim" wrote about "Our parish in Guatemala": Father Beaudry had  volunteered to fill the breach in Teculatan parish, the diocesan responsibility in  Guatemala. He himself described one day's work there, involving the raising of the  roof of his church, with the skillful help of a very good bricklayer allowed out of jail  by the chief of police. Father Flaherty looked like a football player, and had been one; in fact he was  described in an obituary notice as one of the finest athletes Hamilton had ever  produced. He was apparently approached by the St. Louis Cardinals to play  professional baseball. It was often said of him that he should have been a member of  a religious community; for he was assiduous in taking care of other priests with  some kind of disability, such as Father Smithbower, a marvelous preacher who  could hardly see the lectern, much less the words of the biblical text on it, and  Father Re, who had Parkinson's Disease, and had to be helped by another priest  while saying Mass. Father Flaherty was also very much interested in education; he stood for election to  the Separate School Board twice, and was elected both times During September 1968, he began celebrating Sunday Mass in St. Michael's school, forecasting the  development of yet another parish as an offshoot of St. Andrew's. During his stay at  St. Andrew's he celebrated his 25th anniversary as a priest, commemorated by a  special Mass and a dinner at the Galaxy Club organized by the C.W.L. When Father Flaherty became ill in 1972, Father G.P. Hayes acted as administrator  of the parish for some months, until Msgr. RW. Harrigan became the new pastor. Father Flaherty was attached to several parishes in Hamilton, and died at the age of 60 on June 24, 1981. OUTSTANDING MONSIGNOR   Msgr. Harrigan, one of a number of outstanding monsignors in Hamilton Diocese at  the time, and also prominent in Catholic education in the province, was not happy to  be sent to St. Andrew's to repair the damage left by the sudden departure of Father  Flaherty. He was once heard to mutter, in Scriptural terms, "let not your flight be in  winter's thinking of his own transfer from the centre of the diocesan action in  Hamilton to the eastern reaches of the diocese in Oakville. Still, he was a very  gregarious person, who loved golf and bowling and parish get‐togethers, and was at  his best when he was walking up and down smoking a cigar and singing Irish songs,  including the well known one which contains his own name. On one occasion, when  he was supposed to accompany the choir on its annual outing to the Shaw Festival at Niagara‐on‐ the‐Lake, he was smoking his pipe when he entered the bus, was told by  the driver that no smoking was permitted, and answered that if he wasn't allowed to  smoke he wasn't going to go. Fortunately, two parishioners were going down by car,  and they were able to let the bus proceed, while Msgr. Harrigan puffed away to his  heart's content. Born in 1905, Msgr. Harrigan was ordained in 1930, and elevated to the rank of  monsignor in 1963. He suffered a heart attack in the summer of 1979, and died on  August 17. Father Dennis Noon, his curate, was placed in temporary charge of the  parish until the appointment of the new pastor, Father Ronald Hodara, who had also  served as curate at St. Andrew's under Msgr. Harrigan, effective October 10, 1979. Father Hodara is a former shortstop with Brantford Red Sox of the old Inter‐County  League, and a golfer of professional ability. His 25th anniversary celebration on May 24, 1986, with a dinner at the Oakville Club, was a memorable occasion where he  suffered some good‐natured ribbing from his confreres in the priesthood, Fathers  Noon and Sherlock, while the Holy Father's alter ego, M.C Pat Hurley, invited him to  Castel Gandolfo to play golf — with the admonition that he would be expected to  lose. When Father Hodara became pastor, the church had a pleasing external appearance  and a very disappointing internal one; for example, brown paint went partly up the  sidewalls and plywood covered in the stairway leading up to the choir loft. A legacy  enabled him to carry out extensive renovations in 1980. CHURCH IMPROVEMENTS   Like Hazel Mathews, David and Suzanne Peacock in their book, Old Oakville,  emphasize the church's pleasing classical proportions, which give it a striking  similarity to many neo‐classic churches erected in England and the United States  during the 18th and early 19th centuries. But when a specialist in church  architecture, Murray McCance, was invited to suggest improvements to the interior,  he found St. Andrew's to be an intriguing example of a transitional period. As the  classical pediment outside indicated, it had started out to be a reproduction of a  simple Georgian church, and then had had a pointed arch installed at the entrance to  the sanctuary and Gothic windows on the sidewalls. The explanation was simple:  when it was built, the Gothic Revival was in full sway. In fact, Augustus Welby Pugin  was to argue in his book, True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture, in 1841, that the Italian and Grecian styles were pagan, and Gothic the only true  Christian architecture. In his own alterations, McCance did not underemphasize either the classical or  Gothic elements but tried to effect a harmonious compromise between them. Most  of his changes were not structural, though he did raise the sanctuary and widen the  steps leading to it, strengthen the supports of the organ loft, and replace the plywood‐covered stairs leading to the loft with something lighter and more graceful. A lighter effect, in fact, was what he was striving for and he tried to find something  to match the pigments, which would have been used in the middle of the 19th  century, when the lighting of a church would have been a problem. To stress the  classical proportions of the ceiling, he gave it an ornamental moulding, with  shamrocks and thistles, oak leaves and fleur de lis on small medallions set at  intervals in it, to remind those whose gaze goes heavenward of the early settlers  who were responsible for the building of the church. In many other details, the church now recalls its 19th century origin, though all of  these features, like the elegant new lights, are used with attention to the 20th  century realities. The niches in the two side altars now contain hand‐carved statues  of Our Lady and St. Joseph, both from the antique collection of the now‐defunct  Globe Furniture Company of Waterloo. The sanctuary lamp, in Gothic style, is also  antique, though it needed repairing to restore it to its original condition. The terra  cotta colour of the sanctuary walls reflects the Victorian interest in Tuscany,  stimulated especially by John Ruskin's books on the glories of Italian art and the  Italian countryside. The carpet is in the same tone a Tuscan brown or red, with  Jerusalem crosses equal on all sides. Manufactured in Durham, England, it is a  reproduction of an original on exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The gaslight fixtures are also reproductions of lamps of the late 19th and early 20th  centuries  At the rear of the sanctuary, around the altar of reposition, is a ridel screen, a small  screen used to provide a setting for an altar; it, too, is in the Gothic style. The  tapestry hanging from it, with gold threads on a white embossed fabric called a  brocatelle, is an English representation of Venetian pattern, after a design by a wellknown  Victorian architect, Sir Nivian Comper. On the front of the altar of repose is a  carving of the Crucifixion. The main altar, made of oak, is square in shape to recall a more ancient style altar  and to accommodate the spatial restrictions of the sanctuary. On its four sides are  beautiful carvings, again done by the German artisans who worked for Globe  Furniture; they are of the Nativity, Jesus in the Temple, Jesus with little children, and  Jesus in the Garden. The altar can be turned to show carvings Suitable for the  different phases of the liturgical year. Father Hodara was very proud of his church, never more so than during the biennial  Christmas house tour, when he could show it off to visitors. The tour usually ended  with carols in the church. Father Hodara was looking toward to the  sesquicentennial, but after 10 years as pastor, he was moved to a Hamilton parish. Sts. Peter and Paul to be succeeded by Father Anthony Ciavarro, previously pastor at  Holy Rosary in Aldershot. DEVOTED PRIESTS   Almost no mention has been made in this historical sketch of the many devoted  priests who have served St. Andrew's as assistants to the pastor. Besides the regular diocesan clergy, there were others who helped. When Ortona  Barracks in Oakville was the headquarters of Central Command, Lt.‐Col. the Rev. L.S. Ritza, Command Chaplain (R.C.), was a familiar figure at St. Andrew's; and there  were other military padres who also helped out. From the time of Msgr. Priester to  the time of Father Hodara, Basilian priests from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval  Studies, at St. Michael's College in Toronto, had assignments at St. Andrew's virtually  every weekend. A senior fellow of the Medieval Institute, Father Edmund Colledge,  an Augustinian, rather than a Basilian, also assisted with the parish work over an  extended period of time. Since the middle 1970's, St. Andrew's has possessed a flag of St. Andrew given to it  by Knox Presbyterian Church. A delegation from that church arrived to present it,  headed by the minister, Dr. Robert Macmillan, and in a very warm speech he  stressed the good relations, which had existed between our two churches ever since  the Presbyterian founder of Oakville, William Chisholm, made his original grant of  land for the building of St. Andrew's. Throughout 1990, a wide variety of parish activities was scheduled for the  sesquicentennial year. A highlight was a special Mass of Thanksgiving on February 27, presided over by Bishop Tonnos, with a guard of honour from the Knights of  Columbus, and a piper piping in Lieutenant‐Governor Lincoln Alexander. In his very  inspiring homily, the bishop stressed the faith and fortitude of the early pioneers  who built the church, and emphasized the need for similar qualities to be  demonstrated by their heirs and descendants as they faced the future. In the reception, which followed at the Oakville Club, some of the early history of the  parish was related, and the Lieutenant‐Governor was presented with a woodcut of St. Andrew's, one of a limited series produced by an internationally known artist  who lives in Oakville, Naoko Matsubara. As Dr. Robert McCarney, chairman of the sesquicentennial committee, observed, an  anniversary such as this is bound to make us reflect on those people who, by their  dedication and sacrifice, built an enduring structure, which we are fortunate to  inherit. May we honour their memory and preserve both the building itself and the  faith, which it encapsulates and symbolizes. ST. ANDREW'S MEN'S CLUB  By Terry MurphyJohnson  Historically, it has been through church organizations that people have done much  of their socializing and derived much of their entertainment. The story of the social  events organized by St. Andrew's parish community is a particularly lively one. One of the ways in which the people built community was through sporting  activities. At one time, St. Andrew's had its own skating rink. One of the delightful  parish events in this connection was the Masquerade Carnival, a kind of winter  carnival with ice follies. Both adults and children dressed for the occasion. The  Oakville Star of January 25,1918, describes some of the costumes: "Among the little  tots were the Kilgour twin sisters, little Nora in Indian costume, while wee Jean  represented 'the mariner.' Margaret Markey was the only fairy to be seen on the  rink and was the enchanting skating chum of "Diana" (Margaret  Flood) most of the evening."  St. Andrew's also had its own softball team, which competed in the town's softball  league. One high point was when, according to The Oakville Record of June 15,1933,  the team "finally broke into the winning column when they defeated the Basket  Factory by the score of 36 to 5 in a league fixture played at Victoria park on Monday  night. There wasn't any question about the strength of the St. Andrew's team with  Swayze in the pitcher's box and Roubell on first base. Markie (sic) catching for St. Andrew's also turned in a fine performance." The St. Andrew's Men's Club also had a  carpet bowling team which competed against such groups as the A.O.F. and St. John's Church. The bowling games were followed by refreshments and sing‐songs. In the 1970's Monsignor Harrigan revived this idea and bowling again became a  parish event. Many of the church's activities strengthened the spirit of community,  not only within St. Andrew's parish, but also within Oakville as a whole. Although  small‐town Ontario was the setting for some regrettable disagreements between  Catholics and Protestants, it seems that there were some very happy relations  between St. Andrew's and other churches and groups within Oakville. Aside from St. Andrew's participation in local sporting events, St. Andrew's Men's Club also held  turkey euchres, which drew large crowds. For example, the turkey euchre hosted by  St. Andrew's on April 17, 1934, and held in the school auditorium, attracted a crowd  of 170. During the Depression, these turkey euchres provided the opportunity for charity fundraising and good entertainment. For thirty‐five cents admission, one  could enjoy a game of cards, the possibility of winning a turkey or chicken,  refreshments, and dancing. Perhaps the most important social event in the early history of the parish, however,  was the annual garden party (a tradition which continued until the late 1950's). It  attracted large crowds, providing the people of St. Andrew's and all of Oakville with  a very pleasant summer evening that the parishioners planned for, and looked  forward to, all year. St. Andrew's was known for its exceptional rose gardens, and  Father Savage tended some 70 different varieties. In the evening the church grounds  would be decorated with flags, bunting, bright streamers, and coloured lights. Local  talent joined forces with entertainers who were imported for the evening to provide  music and comedy sketches. An advertisement which appeared in the Oakville  Record‐Star June 15 and June 29, 1939, suggests the flavour of this annual fete: St. Andrew's Church, Oakville, 43rd Annual GARDEN PARTY will be  held on the Presbytery Grounds, TUESDAY JULY 4th at 7 am. The  following programme has been selected, offering the maximum in  good clean variety entertainment. PERCY DAVID, Character Singing  Comedian. Offering hilarious comedy songs and chatter. CARL  THORSON: "The Jesting Juggler." This act opened at the World's Fair  in New York for a few weeks' engagement early in June. GUS  MAURO: Very Clever Accordionist. A real treat for music lovers. PHYLLIS HENNE: well known Radio Singer offers the type of  melodies everyone enjoys. Phyllis Henne will also accompany the  artists at the piano. In a beautiful garden of roses, and twinkling  lights, fancy coloured Booths will decorate the grounds, making a  very charming sight. The ladies are very busy preparing for the  event, and a great assortment of games for the evening will be taken  care of by the men. Come and spend an enjoyable evening on  Tuesday, July 4th. Admission: Adults 25¢, Children Free. The Lucky  Draw Booth: 1st Prize, Handsome 50piece  Community Plate Service  for eight persons in beautiful mahogany chest. 2nd Prize, 42piece  Tea Service "English China." 3rd Prize, Turnover Toaster. "Foursome" Tickets, 3 for 25¢. Prizes for the Lucky Draw are on  display at Grammell's Men's Wear. CWL REMINISCENCES   By Mrs. Josephine Callon From left to right: Margaret Markey (Barringham), Nellie Hunt, and Mrs. L.V. Cote. The Catholic Women's League of St. Andrew's was always a very important part of  our family life as my mother and her mother were very active in the League, and  were also charter members of this sub‐division. It was during Bishop Dowling's time  that the CWL was made the official women's organization in the Hamilton diocese,  and in 1921 the first Diocesan Council was formed. In 1923, St. Andrew's subdivision  was instituted with Mrs. Marie L. Taylor its first president. At that time the  organization consisted of, perhaps, 15 zealous women banded together on  moneymaking projects to help defray the expenses of the parish. They held euchre  and bridge parties, afternoon teas, bake sales, Christmas bazaars and also assisted  with the annual garden party. I remember well the large boxes of fancy goods and dolls' clothes that my  grandmother, Maria O'Donnell, worked on all year for the fancy table at the bazaar,  which, like all the other social events, was held in the meeting room upstairs in the  old St. Mary's school. When the bazaar was over, sewing resumed for the fancy table  at the garden party. This was started by Father O'Reilly in 1895 and continued to be  the major social event of the parish until 1953, an event also thoroughly enjoyed by  the townspeople. The garden party was a joint effort of the men of the parish and  the CWL. The CWL also looked after needy families in the parish, not only with food baskets,  but providing the necessary clothes for children making their First Holy Communion  and Confirmation. During Lent small purple flannel "mite bags" were distributed to  all families in the parish. These were placed on the dining room table with contributions made at meal times. The money was subsequently collected and sent  to the Missions. Among the other numerous duties performed by members of the  League and the Altar Society was the care of the altars and altar linens, washing and  ironing the purificators and corporals, as well as the priest's surplices and linens. No  earth‐shattering feats were performed by this small band of dedicated women  during those years, but in their quiet unassuming way every effort was made to  contribute to the support of their parish, their diocese, and their community. In the 1920's the CWL met in the meeting room above the classroom in the old St. Mary's. On the days when meetings were held, a large brown enamel pipe was set  up in the schoolroom over the one central register to direct the heat up into the  meeting room. (The classroom would be freezing!) Because of declining numbers in  the membership in the 1930's, meetings were often held in member's homes. But  regardless of their small number, the League continued to contribute to their parish  and to perform their duties as an active Council. In 1932, a Junior Catholic Women's League was formed under the leadership of Mrs. L.V. Cote, the then current Diocesan president and a charter member of St. Andrew's  sub-division. Both branches continued to operate in the middle and late 1930's and the 1940's, fulfilling all their obligations on the diocesan and provincial levels. During the  war years, the League actively participated in the war effort, working at the Red Cross  workrooms, rolling bandages, packing ditty bags, sewing and knitting. Parcels of  foodstuffs, candy, and cigarettes, knitted socks and scarves and gloves were sent to the  men overseas. Members also served as volunteers at the Drop-In Centre for the enlisted  men stationed at Ortona Barracks. It was a busy time. St. Andrew's CWL has for many years been extremely active on projects to raise money  for the parish and for charitable causes. These activities have included bazaars, pot-luck  suppers, dances, home-bake sales, bridge and euchre parties and rummage sales. A few  highlights and sidelights give only a cursory outline of their achievements. THE SCHOOL SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME  OUR LADY OF LORETTO CONVENT   By Sister Joanette Paleczny   Early in 1956, Father James Kirby invited the School Sisters of Notre Dame,  Waterdown, to St. Andrew's Parish, Oakville, to teach in St. Mary's school and live in  the former priest's rectory at 53 Reynolds Street. On September 9, that same year. Sister M. Denise Ryan and Sister M. Marcella Reitzel began teaching at St. Mary's  School. The priests' new rectory at 47 Reynolds Street was not yet completed,  however, so the Sisters commuted daily from the Motherhouse in Waterdown to  teach the 159 pupils. Four lay teachers completed the staff. Completion of the new rectory on  February 8, 1957, allowed the School  Sisters of Notre Dame to make 53  Reynolds Street their home. When the  new St. James School on Morden Road  opened its doors in September 1958,  Sister M. Laurentia Olinsky became the  principal. This school was named for  Rev. James Kirby, the former pastor of  St. Andrew's Parish. The convent was  redecorated by Rev. Vincent Priester in the summer of 1958. Shortly after, Father Priester invited Cardinal J.C. McGuigan,  Archbishop O'Sullivan of Kingston, Bishop J.F. Ryan of Hamilton, Bishop Allen of  Toronto, and Msgr. O'Mara to visit the convent. In October 1961, an addition to the  convent began, and was completed in February 1962. This provided six more  bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, a large chapel, sacristy and dining  room on the first floor, and a library, laundry, fruit cellar and garage in the  basement. Expansion in the schools was occurring rapidly, so that in September of 1961 it was necessary to open a new school in St. Dominic's Parish. St. Joseph's  School on Warminster Avenue was staffed by Sisters Denise Ryan and Mary James  Mikol. Likewise, in September 1964, Sisters Dorothea Pautler and Marita Schnurr  opened St. Michael's School in North Oakville, and Sisters Adelaide Folick and Marie  Michelle Stenpien joined St. Vincent's School staff who now had Sisters for the first  time. In 1975 a new ministry opened for the School Sisters of Notre Dame of St. Andrew's  Parish. Sister Carmel Farwell came to set up the convent as a House of Prayer. Sister  Adelaide Folick began adult education programmes in religion. Several school staffs  held twilight retreats and directed weekend retreats here. Days of recollection for  women of Oakville, Scripture prayer groups and CWL Holy Hours were all part of  the House of Prayer ministry. Sister Mary Joanette Paleczny joined the St. Andrew's community in January, 1977,  to become a member of the St. Dominic's Pastoral Team to help with parish pastoral work, and Sister Eleanor Olinsky, in September of 1978, as a pastoral worker at St. James Church. In September, 1979, the convent became the Novitiate House for the School Sisters  of Notre Dame and served as such for the Novices and their Sister Directresses for  the next two years. During this time the Sisters also conducted the Scripture Journey  Programme for groups who came to study Scripture. By 1981 the convent was no longer a Novitiate house and Sisters Alix Begin, Sister  Edwina Roberts, Sister Joanette Paleczny and Sister Marie Michelle Stenpien formed  the SSND community of Oakville. Sister Alix visited the shut‐ins of St. Andrew's  parish each week, Sister Edwina ran the music and prayer programmes at the  Extendicare Nursing Home, and Sister Marie Michelle continued leading prayer  groups and volunteer groups at St. Vincent's and St. Michael's schools. Sister  Joanette continued her parish ministry at St. Dominic's Church. 1983 returned Sister  Eleanor Olinsky to the convent community to work as a pastoral minister at St. Joseph's Portuguese Parish. Mother Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, foundress  of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Sunday,  November 17, 1985. A special Mass in honour of the newly beatified was celebrated  in St. Andrew's Church and St. Dominic's Church on November 20, 1985. Sister Jude Marie Sweeney, a member of the Lieutenant‐Governor's Board of Review  joined the SSND community in September of 1986. As a member of this Board, she,  with the other members, each year reviews cases of members of institutions for the  criminally insane of Ontario. The convent continued to be a guest house for Sisters  for days of private retreat, days of recollection and relaxation. Many Sisters from  various Religious Congregations, as well as SSND's from countries near and far,  enjoyed the hospitality of Our Lady of Loretto Convent. The convent community  expanded to eight Sisters in September of 1987. Sisters Clarice Missere and Zita  Merkowsky now conduct the Hamilton Diocesan Catechetical Correspondence  Course for children attending public schools in the parishes of St. Andrew's, St. Matthew's, St. Dominic's in Oakville, and also the Burlington parishes of St. John's,  Holy Rosary, St. Patrick's, St. Gabriel's and St. Raphael's. To date the number of these  students is well over 200. Sister Betty Lackenbauer worked as secretary to the  health care unit at the Motherhouse, Waterdown, while Sister Lois Zettler was  appointed Provincial Accountant at the Motherhouse. One of the most valued and  appreciated members of the community is Sister Germaine Schneider, the convent  homemaker. In November 1987, huge wrecking hammers and balls, and heavy‐duty trucks  arrived on St. Mary's School property; old St. Mary's was marked for demolition. The  building was condemned by the health department, so its use as a school or  reconverted church hall was not feasible. Sister Mary Joanette watched the wrecking  with a deep sense of history — an era of the School Sisters of Notre Dame's original  reason for answering God's call to this parish was coming to an end. Sister Joanette  chose carefully 22 red bricks from the building and lined them up along a convent flowerbed as a tribute to all the Sisters who had taught in old St. Mary's. All the Sisters assigned to Our Lady of Loretto Convent at St. Andrew's Parish to  minister to God's people of Oakville are listed below. SISTERS AT OAKVILLE 1956 M. Denise Ryan  M. Marcella Reitzel 1957 M. Fbntia Freiburger  M. Bertrand Mittelholtz  M. Laurentia Olinsky 1958 M. Claretta Zettel 1959 M. Louisita Dietrich 1961 Mary Grace Diebolt  M. Loyola Chamberlain  M. Teresa Prohammer  Mary James Mikol 1962 M. Caia Martin  M. Xavier Gilles 1963 M. Petranda Buckler  Mary Robert Farwell  Marita Schnurr 1964 M. Aloysia Zimmer  M. Francesca Raleczny  M. Adelaide Folick  Marie Michelle Stenpien  M. Dorothea Pautler 1965 M. Paulette Tomlinson 1966 M. Clementine Baessler 1967 Kathleen Marie Pappert  Mary Dominic Mansfield 1968 M. Diane Ditner 1969 Mary Christopher  dishing 1970 Louis Marie Seifried  Catherine Boser  Doreen Lackenbauer 1971 M. Tarcisia Weber 1972 Valentia Leibel 1973 Marjorie Henderson  Mary Gerard  Schmidbauer 1974 M. Adelaide Folick  Irene Freeman 1975 M. Carmel Farwell  Rose Marcuzzi  M. Bernardine Zettler 1977 Bernice Kroetsch  M. Ruth Kuntz  M. Joanette Paleczny 1978 Eleanor Olinsky  M. Dorothea Pautler 1979 Delia Calis  M. Harriet Schnurr 1980 Valentia Leibel  Marie Michelle Stenpien 1981 M. Alix Begin  M. Edwina Roberts 1982 Eleanor Olinsky 1984 M. Salome Wallner  Bernice Kroetsch 1986 Jude Marie Sweeney 1987 Betty Lackenbauer  Zita Merkowsky  M. Clarice Missere  M. Germaine Schneider  M. Lois Zettler The foundress of the School Sister of Notre Dame CHRISTMAS HOUSE TOUR By E.C. Farrell   In a season when frantic bustle is mislabeled  merriment and the meaning of Christmas for  many is lost in commercialism, the House Tour  organized by women of St. Andrew's Church is an  enjoyable trip into a more leisurely past. Oakville  is a pleasant little town with wide streets and lots  of trees. It has no pretensions to being a big city. It  will never bid for the Olympic Games or Expo. But  it does have a great deal of charm. People stop on  the streets and chat with friendsand neighbours. No one seems to be in a great hurry. The House  Tour is held every two years in early December. The tour began in 1981 and was the brainchild of  Eileen Stothers. She had read about a similar tour in the United States and thought it could work in Oakville with its stately homes and  history. Other CWL members agreed and women began to arrange the first tour. It was a great success, so much so, that over the years, the work has grown too much  for the CWL to handle, and other women from St. Andrew's have been recruited to  help with the organizing. The 10‐member committee, five of whom are interior  decorators, begin their planning in June and hold regular meetings to decide on the  final list of houses to be included in the tour. Different homes are chosen for each  tour. "We really spend quite a lot of time on the selection," said Mrs. Stothers. "We don't  select only big houses, we prefer a variety, including bungalows, and split‐levels. The last tour numbered nine houses; of course, people don't have to visit them all". The tour generally starts early in the morning and finishes in late afternoon. The  tickets describe the special characteristics of each home. One may have the aura of  an English manor with matching furniture and leaded windows. Another may have a  Quebec ambience with lots of French‐Canadian pine. After a list of houses and a map identifying the streets is finally decided upon, the  tickets are printed. Like a well‐rehearsed team, which they are, since most of them  have been active in each tour since 1981, the decorators and assistants, hostesses,  lunchroom supervisors and treasurer transform planning into practicality. A church  member is on hand at each house, where visitors are asked to take off their shoes  before entering. They are then given a tour of the home. Refreshments are available  at St. Vincent's School and generally consist of a lunch of substantial sandwiches,  wine and coffee, served by husbands of the committee members. A Christmas  boutique provides opportunities to buy Yuletide gifts. "It takes about two days to  decorate a house," says Mrs. Stothers. "We ask the owners how they usually proceed  and then we follow this pattern. There is a close co‐operation. It involves a lot of work, but we have a lot of fun and laughs as well, and the owners feel complimented  that we have included their houses in our tour."  Apart from the aesthetic and convivial combination of holly, soft candlelight, antique  furniture, family heirlooms and flickering firelight, the House Tour generates  goodwill and community pride. More than 2,000 tickets were sold on the last tour,  and proceeds are usually distributed between the CWL, St. Andrew's Church, the  House Committee and some worthy institution. Funds from the 1987 tour were set  aside to furnish a room at the new chronic care facility to be built by Oakville  Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, while the most recent contribution is being used to  train a guide dog at Canine Vision Canada. St. Andrew's Church, of course, is one of  the foremost attractions of the tour, beautifully decorated, as always, for the festive  occasion. ST. ANDREWS CHOIR   by Mary Smithbower   When St. Andrew's church was built, 150 years ago, there was no money available  for such things as a large pipe organ and a library of music. But singing there almost  certainly was — hearty singing by the whole congregation, and probably every  family had its own hymnbooks. But, as the parish grew and prospered, came  changes. A Casavant organ was purchased — probably at a cost of about $10,000 — and the  pastor's sister, Bridget O'Shaughnessy, was organist. There may have been others  before her, but Miss Isobel McPherson — possibly the oldest parishioner — could  only go back about 90 years: and the names could not be recalled in chronological  order. She recalled Mr. and Mrs. Kilgour. Mr. Kilgour was organist, and Father  Savage trained the choir. Then, while he discharged his priestly duties, Mrs. Kilgour  conducted the singing. The Kilgours also sang in the Mendelssohn Choir in Toronto. Frank Cornin conducted the choir when Mary Walters was organist. Another  organist Miss McPherson recalled, was Lillian McCartney, whose daughter, Mary,  had a exceptionally fine voice, trained by the well‐known Toronto teacher, Nina  Gale. When Father Harris became pastor, he brought his housekeeper with him. She  considered it to be part of the housekeeper's duty to play the organ. Furthermore,  she was convinced that playing the organ did not require talent or training, merely  determination. The results were, to say the least, odd, and membership in the choir  dwindled. Fortunately for the choir, Father Harris's tenure was relatively brief, and  when he left, so did his housekeeper. Another name that comes to mind is Corita  Lamourette, who trained a children's choir. I think Mr. Coty trained the senior choir  at this time. Ella McDermott Frid played for several years — apparently to  everyone's pleasure — until the Casavant organ was replaced by the Walcker, presently in the church. I have not been able to find out why this was done, but  presumably finances were involved. The Walcker, though it has only eight stops and  three couplers, has a very good tone, especially in a small church, but it does present  problems to an organist schooled in the changes in tone colour available on a larger  instrument. Tim Elia was the first graduate of St. Michael's Choir School to be hired  as organist at St. Andrew's. By then, Vatican II had taken place, and the importance  of choirs was diminished. Though Tim played every Sunday at all the Masses, a choir  was only assembled for Christmas and Easter. He was a fine musician, but he and  Father Flaherty did not see eye to eye, and when he, with his wife, took a year's  leave of absence to tour Europe as a roving reporter, I was appointed to fill in for  him. I proceeded in the same program, with a choir only at Christmas and Easter. Then came the Isherwoods. Diana came up to me after Mass one day, and wanted to  know why a parish the size of St. Andrew's had no choir. The upshot was that she  volunteered her husband, Brian's services. Informing Brian was overlooked. Msgr. Harrigan in his customary role of a good executive, when he delegated authority,  gave his whole‐hearted support. From a beginning with 10 voices, the choir flourished and eventually grew to about 30 members. There was a pleasing blend of good solo voices and musically  supportive voices — the backbone of most choirs. The Christmas music that year  was very beautiful and inspiring. Brian expanded the repertoire to include The  Messiah, Seven Last Words, a Christmas pageant, Amahl and The Night Visitors, and  a satisfying list of Mozart, Schubert and other challenging Masses. There was a good  rapport, plus several social events — in other words, the choristers found it both  fun, and stimulating. I bragged, with great assurance, that St. Andrew's Choir was  the best in the diocese, with the possible exception of the Basilica. Good choirs  attract good singers, which further improves the choir. But age took its toll, and I felt that it was time for me to retire while my friends could  still remember when I was a good organist. Jerzy Cichocki — known as George — became the new organist, and Brian soon  became a chorister, turning over the whole operation to George who has brought  the choir along from its very high standard to outstanding. The repertoire has  expanded too, from excellent classical to ultra modern. His broad musical education — beginning at St. Michael's Choir School, to Master's and Doctoral candidate at  Yale, B.Ed., to name a few of his qualifications, — plus the wholehearted support of  the then pastor. Father Ronald Hodara, has been of inestimable value to the parish. The choir has joined, with Our Lady of Sorrows, in Toronto, in presenting some  excellent concerts of outstanding quality  Going back to Vatican II — and the decline in conventional church choirs — guitars  were introduced, and the style of hymns changed from choral to folk‐music style. Everybody became a composer, and some of the stuff produced ranged from  mediocre to awful. However, St. Andrew's, as usual, weathered the Storm. Father Hayes instituted a folk  group, and immediately about 30 young singer‐players enlisted. Later, when Father  Hayes was moved, there was a lessening in enthusiasm, but with the leadership of  Diane (Sorry, Diane, I was unable to learn your last name,) the Piggott girls, the  Doirons, and others, the group survived. With the help of Jane and Susan  Gooderham, the other folkenthusiasts, they are still a need for both the parish and  for themselves, playing for the Saturday evening Mass, as well as a Mass on  Christmas morning and Easter morning. Players from other parts, such as the U.S. and Ireland, have joined, and enriched the repertoire with music from their own  countries. Junior choirs were trained by Lillian McCartney, Miss Lanouette, Miss Ryan, Miss  Eagen — known to all the parish as Mrs. Ev. Flaherty — and myself. I had some  difficulty at first inspiring a love of singing in some of the group — choir practice  took the place of recess. Finally, I had had it. I dismissed the choir — told them I was  tired of the struggle. However, some of them refused to leave. One Gr. VI pupil  queried, "Can't we have a MATURE choir?”, and so we did. They were keen, and we  only disbanded when St. Mary's School ceased to exist. This picture, circa 1904, features teacher Mary Jane McDermott  of St. Mary's school with her pupils. The pupils, not all of whom  can be identified, include Lillian and Katie McCartney, Charles  McDermott, Mary B. Hunt, Bill O'COnnor, Irene Harker and Mary  Hunt. A TEACHER REMEMBERS   By Jean Hunt As student, teacher and Guidance Consultant, my  connections with both St. Mary's and St. Vincent's schools  have spanned many years. In 1934 I entered Grade One at  St. Mary's. Miss Eagen taught Grades 1‐4 and Miss Ella  Leavey taught Grades 5‐8. There were two classrooms and  two small rooms, one at each end of the hall. One of these  was the teachers' room, the other the nurse's where we  regularly lined up, and, to the count of 1‐2‐3‐4, presented  ourselves for inspection by Miss Jarvis, the public health  nurse. Memories of those early school days include the  smell of furniture oil and wax, the steaminess of our coats  and mittens drying in the cloakroom, and the great honour of climbing on a chair, leaning out the window, and ringing the old brass handbell. On the first Thursday of each month we marched two‐by‐two over to the church for  confessions. If we had forgotten to bring a hat, Kleenex, and even toilet tissue, was  held in place with a bobby pin. Hats were mandatory for girls in those days. On First Friday, after Mass, we were allowed to return home for breakfast. By the  time we dawdled, classes often began after 11 o'clock. Once a week Father Brohman  visited our classroom. We sat bolt upright in our seats with our hands behind our  backs, praying he would not ask us a Catechism question. Woe betide the child who  could not provide the word‐for‐word answer! Most of us were members of the  children's choir and we sang at the First Friday Masses and for funerals. Our  organist was Mrs. Walters, later replaced by Agnes Lopsinger. We sang in Latin,  strictly by rote, and I still remember much of the Requiem Mass. 1 also recall one  morning, when the sermon was especially long, carving the initials of my whole  family into the choir loft railing, using the crucifix on my rosary. Every year we took  part in the Christmas concert, which was held downstairs in the "auditorium." The  practicing, the primping and preening before this great event still remain vivid. How  huge that room looked when it was packed with parents and parishioners! How  small it was when I returned years later!  In 19411 graduated from St. Mary's, little realizing that I would return. In 1948 I  was hired as a teacher, at a salary of $1,200 per annum, to take my place at the head  of that same Grades 1‐4 classroom with 19 students. Ruth Gilmartin was the  principal with 20 students in Grades 5‐8. The school had not changed. There were  no supplies and no money available. If a teacher wanted construction paper to make  Halloween pumpkins, or stars to encourage children's efforts, she bought them with  her own money. When, after two years, a raise in salary was not forthcoming, I knew  I had to move on. In 19611 was hired to teach at St. Vincent's. The school was not ready in September,  so I was once again back in St. Mary's, this time in the auditorium. By now, many things had changed regarding education in the parish. St. Vincent's  was a modern one‐storey building. Supply cupboards were stacked with art and  classroom materials. Children were well dressed and better fed. The bell was  electric; the playground was large. Teachers' salaries were on a pay schedule with  regular raises and we no longer bargained individually. Classrooms were crowded,  with desks in straight rows. Larry Loftus was our principal, James Hogan our  inspector. Forty‐nine students in my Grade 7 class meant I spent long hours marking  students' work and preparing report cards. In 1966 I became Guidance Consultant for the Oakville Catholic School Board. St:  Mary's and St. Vincent's were two of the schools where I made scheduled visits to  counsel students re high school courses and to administer a testing program. In 1968, with amalgamation, my work took me to all the separate schools in Halton  County. One evening I addressed St. Andrew's CWL to outline the Guidance program. Once again I was back in St. Mary's auditorium. The school had grown by this time  and had six classrooms with Sister Adelaide as principal. In 1970 I was offered the  principalship of St. Mary's, but this I refused, opting instead to go to St. Michael's, the  latest addition (1964) to the parish. There I remained until 1976, when my long  involvement with the parish schools ended. I believe I have spent more years in our  schools than anyone in the parish. I have participated in their growth from a tworoom  school with very few pupils, to several schools with hundreds of students. It  has been an interesting and rewarding experience. The June, 1934, First Communion class of St. Mary's. Left to right: Connie Murphy, Marion  Languay, Phyllis Gramme//, Helen McDermott, Betty  Hunt, Evelyn Quinn, Beatrice Sullivan. Boys: Maurice Mallon, the Battle Twins and Terence  Regan. LESSON FOR THE TEACHER   Franziska Schreiner‐Farrell, who taught at St. Mary's and St. Vincent's schools for  some 20 years, recalls a couple of incidents from those days. Picture a kindergarten  child's painting, pink and mauve; a most beautiful interlacing of the colours, no  smudging, overlap or drips. Teacher: "My, that is beautiful. Tell me, what is it called?"   Pupil: "God."   Teacher: "God?" with perhaps a little too much emphasis on the question mark. Pupil: rather firmly. "Don't you know that God is beautiful?" There was a knock at the kindergarten room door of St. Vincent's school during the  Advent period. There stood Msgr. Harrigan. Invited in, he asked if we had a nice  large baby doll. The surprised children and teacher wondered why Monsignor  wanted a doll, but quickly found him the nicest one they had. Monsignor said, "Your doll is going to be the baby Jesus in the manger in front of the  church. Sadly, the figure of the Christ Child had been stolen, and the doll was to be  the replacement. For the children, the giving of their doll to be the Baby Jesus was an  absolute delight. Taken in 1910, this picture shows Father Shaughnessy with four pupils making their First Holy Communion   THE POLISH CATHOLIC MISSION   Michael Musiol   The Polish community in Oakville had its origins in 1945/46. After World War Two,  many servicemen who had served with the Polish forces in the West did not wish to  return to Poland which was then under Russian domination. A considerable number  of those who were deported during the war to concentration and work camps in  Germany, in addition to those who were deported to Russia and later escaped, also  decided not to return. Many of these people emigrated to Canada. The opening of the Ford Company and other industries in Oakville attracted many of  these immigrants. By the mid‐1950s the Polish community in Oakville was quite  large, with the consequent need of a Polish priest. This resulted in a temporary  arrangement with the Oblate Fathers in Toronto. One of these priests came to  Oakville about three times a year for Christmas, Easter and special occasions. Generally, confessions took place in St. James Church with Mass celebrated in the gymnasium of the adjacent school. Over the years the population of Polish origin  steadily grew and the need for a regular religious service was apparent. Oakville is in the Diocese of Hamilton, and in order to achieve a permanent solution,  an agreement was sought with the Bishop of Hamilton. In July, 1975, the pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in Hamilton (a Polish parish) Father Joseph Capiga, C.R., was  approached and asked if he could send a priest from his parish to Oakville each  Sunday. Shortly after, a petition bearing more than a hundred signatures, seeking to have  Polish masses in Oakville, was presented to Father Capiga, who forwarded it to  Bishop Reding. The accompanying issue was to find a church in Oakville where  masses could be celebrated. In the Fall of 1975, the 10am Sunday Mass at St. Andrew's was cancelled. Father Capiga approached the pastor of St. Andrew's, Msgr. B.W. Harrigan, to enquire if a Polish Mass could be celebrated in lieu of the cancelled  Mass. Msgr. Harrigan agreed, and the first Mass was celebrated in St. Andrew's  December 21, 1975. Since then, our Masses have been celebrated at the same hour  every Sunday and Holyday. In addition, we have other services in the church: in  May the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary; during Lent the Way of the Cross; at  Corpus Christi a celebration and exterior procession around the church; in October  the recitation of the Holy Rosary. Religious family celebrations and services also  take place in the church (baptisms, wedding anniversaries, funerals, etc.)  In our Polish Catholic Mission we have a copy of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. This painting has a particular significance for our Mission, not only because of the  subject, but also because the picture was painted by an artist of our Mission and  donated by him as a thanksgiving for his liberation from a concentration camp after  World War II. Additionally, this painting was blessed by the Holy Father John Paul II  during his visit to the U.S. in October 1979. Father Capiga was in charge of the  Mission until the spring of 1984, and was succeeded by Joseph Kamieniecki, C.R.

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St. Andrew Church Historical Photos

The power of Christian prayer Open our ears.
Blessed Lord, open our ears to hear what Thou speakest and our eyes to see as Thou seest. Give us hearts to beat in sympathy with Thine at the sight of every little child; and above all, our Lord, to understand and experience how surely and how blessedly Thou fulfilest Thy promise, "Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me."
St. Andrew Church listing was last updated on the 7th of April, 2024
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