St. Benedict Parish History
A Living History that Includes Every Parishioner
In Biblical times, God pitched his tent and lived among us. In our own times, God continues to live among us in our family of faith that is St. Benedict Parish. Our parish history is still being written, in the lives of all of us who make our spiritual home in this community.
How many precious details of this story are known only to you? A particular memory perhaps, or a meaningful experience of God? Maybe an event that turned things around for you, or a person who enriched your life ...a priest, a brother, a friend who made a world of difference just because they cared?
We invite you to help us write our parish history. Please visit Parish Memories to find out how.
Some Historical Facts
As for our chronololgical tale, the story goes something like this:
St. Benedict was established as a diocesan parish in the Toronto Archdiocese by Cardinal McGuigan in June 1955.
Until the church building was completed in 1957, the founding pastor, Fr. Gerald Breen, and the faith community of St. Benedict celebrated Mass at various locations: White’s Hardware Building (Rexdale Blvd.), Elmlea Public School and the church hall. The first Mass in the church was celebrated on September 29, 1957. For twenty-eight years, the parish remained a diocesan parish.
Since 1983, St. Benedict has been served by the Salesians of St. John Bosco. The Salesian Society, founded by Don Bosco (Italian for Fr. Bosco) in 1859, was named after St. Francis de Sales who was known for his kind and gentle manner, a trait which Don Bosco wanted his Salesians to acquire. The Salesian Society represents the congregration which Don Bosco personally established to launch new approaches in new initiatives for the education of youth.
The special mission of the Salesians entrusted with the pastoral care of the St. Benedict parish community is to witness to, share, nurture and develop Don Bosco’s educational method popularly called ‘the preventive system’. It is not a system at all, but a lifestyle, an educational approach, a pastoral method, and a spiritual heritage. In exercising their ministry to the young, the poor, the vulnerable, the Salesians inspire a Gospel lifestyle which leads to holiness of life. The Salesians are committed to collaborative ministry among all members of the Church.
For more on the spiritualities of St.Benedict and St. John Bosco, please visit St. Benedict & St. John Bosco: Two Saints, Two Spiritualities, One Parish Family
Over the years, St. Benedict has had a fine string of pastor, each with his own distinct style, all of them dedicated to the leadership role entrusted to them. Let us never tire of praying for our priests, and praying also for new vocations to the priesthood who will continue the good work these men have begun.