Sunday, December 20, 2009

St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Toronto Observes Its Golden Jubilee


St. Lawrence of Martyr Church as seen from street level

Sunday Mass inside the church

Two of the several stained glass
windows depicting the life of Jesus

Two of several other windows showing some saints

The 50th anniversary souvenir on the church
Photos (December 20, 2009) © Jerome D'Costa

St. Lawrence the Martyr Church, founded in 1959 on 1737 Lawrence Avenue East in Scarborough section of Toronto, observed its 50th anniversary recently. The place, where this impressive church now stands was once a playground of nearby St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School.

This area previously belonged to the Precious Blood Church. Catholics of the locality felt the need for a church here for quite some time. Then in answer to a special joint petition, the then archbishop of Toronto granted a new church. Some women were at the forefront of this petition and subsequent fund-raising efforts. With the blessing of the archbishop, the church was built with Father William (Bill) W. Breen as its first pastor. The present pastor is Father Raffaele (Ralph) Paonessa, O.F.M.

Initially, the greater number of the parishoners were of European descent. Now it is really a cosmopolitan parish with people coming from different continents. According to the 2006 Church census, there were 6,919 Catholics in this parish.

Attached to the church is a friary, where some Franciscan priests and seminarians live. Bookmark and Share