Holy Family Parish, Kingston, Ontario
On September 7, 1954, Monsignor LJ. Byrne, Pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish, Kingston, assisted by the Reverend J.P. Ainslie, blessed and officially opened Holy Family School, Kingston, at the intersection of Wiley and Drennan Streets.
With the opening of this school the hope of a future parish was planted in the faithful living in the Rideau Heights area of the City.
The Reverend R.C. Pickett, who became pastor in 1956 and his assistant the Reverend P.R. Kelly became very conscious of the need for a church to provide a permanent house of worship for the area. After considerable discussion Archbishop J.A. O’Sullivan gave his blessing; and on August 10, 1961, ground was broken for Holy Family Church at the corner of Weller Avenue and Wiley Street.
The church was opened on Sunday, January 27, 1962, by Archbishop O’Sullivan.
Modernistic in design, the new church has a laminated arch construction, with the arches completely exposed inside the building. Finished in a light-stained fir, these arches give a pillared effect to the interior side walls which, like the ceiling, are of thick cedar planking. A stone background, 14 feet wide, rises behind the altar to the roof peak where a sky-light provides natural lighting of the altar. On the outside, the gable roof extends to within eight feet of the ground on either side of the building. Exterior side walls are of colourful natural fieldstone. The front of the church is finished in cedar siding both inside and outside. A tall peaked window rises above a canopy which protects the main entrance. The building houses dual sacristies and a baptistery with a recessed floor.
On June 14,1967, Father Pickett who had resigned earlier, because of ill health, from St. John’s Parish became the first resident pastor of Holy Family. He lived in an apartment at 125 Wiley Street. Father Pickett served the parish for four years until continuing poor health required him to resign.
The church was designed to accommodate 300 persons and was constructed to allow enlargement through the addition of a balcony or by extension toward Weller Avenue. An unusual feature of the church is the structural steel tower which serves as a chimney for the gas-fired heating system. The free standing tower, similar to a campanile, is decorative in design and is topped by a simple cross.
Monsignor AJ. Welsh was appointed administrator. His health required him to resign this temporary assignment; and in March, 1972, the Reverend D.P. Clement, a former assistant at St. John’s, was appointed administrator and subsequently pastor.
On May 17,1967 the Reverend J.H. MacGillivray ordained by Archbishop J.L. Wilhelm was the first priest from this relatively new parish.
The Sisters of Providence, through their dedicated work in the school, provided much of the basis for the parish. Their work is continued in an active fashion in the persons of Sister Timothy, a retired school teacher, who does considerable visitation; and Sister Inez Donovan, who is doing sacramental initiation and other needed pastoral work.
In 1974 work commenced on a new parish house and meeting hall, to the east of the church.
Springing from the rock (1976-2001)
Holy Family Parish established and church opened 1961
1972-84 1984-93 1990-92 1993-present
Pastors: Msgr. Donald P Clement, Fr. Thomas R. Brady, Fr. Wm. Powell (Assoc.), Fr. Charles H. Gazeley
Deacon: Rev. Mr. John Ezard (1999-present)
Parish Council, Property & Finance Committee, Family & Community Living Committee (f.2000)
Spiritual programs: Legion of Mary (f.1977),
Rosary Group Events: 1978:
An extensive balcony is added to the interior of the church, increasing the seating area by 300-400 spaces.
The Holy Family statue is relocated to the left of the altar to enrich the sanctuary area.
1980: Parishioners and their knees are delighted to receive new, light oak pews, replacing the church’s original pews.
1994: Fr. Gazeley re-establishes the Holy Family Pastoral Council.
1994-1996: Parishioners successfully raise funds for the roof restoration project, replacing the original with a new steel roof.
1998: The parish hosts the debut of Hear My Prayer, a CD of original sacred music by Holy Family cantor Tom Ward. All proceeds from Holy Family Church, opened in 1961 sales go against the parish debt.
1999: Holy Family is clustered with St. Barnaby’s in Brewers Mills and Holy Name of Jesus at Kingston Mills. Fr. Gazeley becomes the administrator of St. Barnaby’s while continuing as pastor of Holy Family, and Deacon John Ezard is appointed to assist him.
To mark the International Year of the Older Person, the parish offers special Masses and social events for Kingston seniors. These salutes to older persons become a Holy Family tradition.
2001: Parishioners volunteer for the Bread of Life Supper Club in North Kingston, helping to feed 40-130 people during the last week of each month.
Holy Family raises funds for the program with a Via Rail/ Quilt raffle.
June 2007: Father Charles Enyinnia
From the books – Built on a rock (1826-1976) & Springing from the rock (1976-2001)
~Printed with permission of the Archdiocese of Kingston~ Built on a rock (1826-1976)
You can view photos of all the Priest of Holy Family Parish by clicking here.
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