70 years: Sts. Peter and Paul, Welland
On October 1st, the parish community of Sts. Peter & Paul warmly welcomed some special visitors during the celebrations around the 70th Anniversary of Oblate ministry in the parish. The bishop of the Diocese of St. Catharines, Most Rev. Gerard Bergie, came to celebrate Mass in honour of this special occasion. He was joined by Fr. Alfred GRZEMPA, the recently appointed Provincial of Assumption Province, who paid his first visit to the parish. Fr. Grzempa was accompanied by Br. Tadeusz ORZECHOWSKI.
Parishioners packed the church for a bilingual Mass in English and Polish, in which thanksgiving was rendered to God for the Oblate ministry in this parish. Bishop Bergie offered his deep gratitude for the work of many dedicated pastors over the years. Their work helped with the building and sustaining of the Polish community in Welland, as well as care for the conditions of the neighbourhood around the parish. Fr. Grzempa replied by thanking Bishop Bergie for his kind words, and his openness to the work of the Oblates in his diocese. (Tom Dillon, parishioner)
60 years: St. Hyacinth’s Parish, Ottawa
St. Hyacinth’s Parish in Ottawa is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The main jubilee celebrations took place from October 21 to 22. The jubilee Mass on Saturday, October 21, was presided by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, assisted by the Bishop of the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson’s Bay, Most Rev. Antoni Wiesław KRÓTKI, and the auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, Most Rev. Christian Riesbeck CC, and 14 priests. Among the priests was former pastor of the parish, Fr. Janusz BLAZEJAK, as well as Fr. Mieczyslaw BURDZY, who was the administrator of the parish for a time. On Sunday, October 22, there was a Mass offered in thanksgiving for the 60 years of the parish, presided by Bishop Antoni Wiesław Krótki, assisted by Fr. Alfred GRZEMPA, provincial of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Assumption Province, and Fr. Professor Wojciech KOWAL, who has served the St. Hyacinth parish community for over 20 years.
These events were preceded by the first parish mission in the history of the parish, carried out by Missionary Oblates from Poland: Fr. Sebastian WIŚNIEWSKI and Fr. Sebastian ŁUSZCZKI. A missionary Cross was blessed and placed in front of the church, to commemorate this mission.
In the post-war years (1945-49), a large group of soldiers from Great Britain and Italy, prisoners of concentration camps and refugees arrived in Ottawa. From the very start, it was important to them to have a Polish church and a Polish priest.
Since 1948, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate have provided Polish émigrés in Ottawa and surrounding areas with pastoral care. In 1949 Father Francis ORSZULIK organized a mission for the Poles living in Ottawa. In 1951, Fr. Jan SAJEWICZ came to Ottawa to undertake the construction of a church for Poles. At the end of January 1957, an official act established the parish for Polish emigrants. In July 1957, the construction of the church was completed. The first Mass was celebrated on August 4, 1957.