ST. DOMINIC'S PARISH HAS A NEW Email: ( Please note the upper and lower case on the email.)/

About Us

"When we build, let us think that we build forever.
Then, when men look upon our labour, they'll say
- "See, this our fathers did for us."

With these words, our founding pastor Dominican Father F. M. Charbonneau, along with two other Dominican priests Fr. A.M. Robert and Fr. Francis Drouin arrived in August 1955, responding to Cardinal McGuigan’s invitation to establish a parish in the rapidly-growing area of Lakeview. The new parish, named St. Dominic in honour of the founder of the Order of Preachers, was formed out of territory previously cared for by St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Port Credit.
The first parish Mass was celebrated in November 1955, in the then Queen of Heaven School on Hartsdale Avenue. Property was acquired at the corner of Cawthra and Atwater Avenue and Christmas 1957 marked the first celebration of Mass in the new church.
The parish continued to grow under the direction of the popular Fr. Charbonneau, until he died very suddenly in Holy Week 1963 as the result of a heart attack.. Fr. Claude Poirier, o.p. was appointed as Pastor and during his twelve year tenure (1963-75) sought to make St. Dominic’s a leader in the implementation of Vatican II, especially with respect to liturgical renewal, faith education and ecumenical dialogue. During this period the church interior was renovated and the altar moved forward with a semi-circular area of prayer in the space of the old sanctuary. In 1971, the Dominican Sisters from Adrian, Michigan joined the parish staff with involvement in catechetics and adult education.
Following Fr. Claude Poirier’s appointment as Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Liturgy and Professor at St. Augustine’s Seminary in 1975, Fr. Kelly Walker, o.p. became pastor. His short pastorate (1975-78) was marked by an increase in opportunities for faith formation and adult education, expanded lay involvement in the areas of home and hospital visitation, and vibrant youth ministry. In 1978 Fr. Claude Richard, o.p. became the new Pastor , a position he would hold until the departure of the Dominicans from the parish in 1985. During this time there was further expansion of lay involvement in liturgical and music ministries, as well as the establishment of a Refugee Resettlement Committee - a work that continues to this day. The parish also welcomed the Mississauga Deaf Community, and signed masses were conducted each Sunday. A second phase of renovations and repairs was undertaken in advance of observance of the 25th anniversary of the Parish in 1980: the heating system was converted from oil to gas and the front entrance to the church fitted with a ramp to facilitate wheelchair access. In 1983 Miss Bernadette Gasslein, who had been co-ordinating catechist, was replaced by Sr. Joanne Kelly, who intensified the programme of religious education and catechetics - removing it from a strictly school context to a family orientation involving parents.
It came as a shock to the parish to learn early in 1985 that the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) were leaving the parish due to a shortage of Dominican priests to staff the parish. An agreement was entered into with the Archdiocese of Toronto to transfer property and administration of the parish, and the Dominicans moved to a house close to the University of Toronto. In May 1985 Fr. Robert Ouellette was appointed as pastor of St. Dominic’s – beginning a tenure that lasted twelve years until 1997.
During this time the priorities of the parish continued to be community oriented. In 1987 parish native , Father Brian Clough (ordained at St. Dominic’s in June 1968) who had returned from studies in Washington to work in the Marriage Tribunal in Toronto, came home to live at St. Dominic’s and provided weekend assistance until 1997. In 1990 the Parish raised the funds to purchase a new organ, which was installed in September and consecrated at a choral/organ recital.
It was in the early 1990’s that St. Dominic’s pioneered Parish Social Ministry (PSM) in the Archdiocese, with its first Co-ordinator Jocelyn Kealy working very closely with Fr. Ouellette. This programme has become a model for other parishes across the Archdiocese, and in late 1996 Jocelyn left the parish staff to act as a Parish Social Ministry Consultant in the Archdiocese. Long time parishioner and registered nurse Beverly Carpenter became PSM Co-ordinator in January 1997 – a role continues to be of great importance in helping St. Dominic’s identify and assist all in our local community.
In 1997 Fr. Ouellette was named as Pastor of St. John Crysostom Parish, Newmarket, and our current pastor Fr. Tim Hanley was named as new Pastor of St. Dominic’s Parish. That same year Sr. Joanne Kelly retired and Beverly O’Grady joined the Pastoral Team as Parish Catechist. Drawing on Fr. Tim’s experience as the former Vice-Rector of St. Augustine’s Seminary, the parish has become a training ground for newly-ordained priests, welcoming Fr. Jim McLenaghen (1998-2000), Fr. Joseph Tap Tran (2000-2003) and Fr. Robert Mignella (2003-present).
In 1998 a Property Condition Report carried out by the Archdiocese indicated that the parish buildings and property were facing some immediate and major repairs. In addition, the parish faced two substantial existing debts: $250,000 resulting from the departure of the Dominican Priests (which was later re-negotiated to a more realistic capital figure of $100,000) and another $100,000 resulting from 1985 rectory renovations and tower repairs.
These property and financial challenges meant that, after consultation with the parish community, a Capital Campaign entitled “Together in Faith” was held in the fall of 2000 with a goal of $750,000 for the following projects: 1. Removal of the Bell Tower, 2. Re-roofing of peaked church roof and flat roofs (excluding the Rectory), 3. Elevator/Lift to the basement and handicapped washroom, 4. Parking lot expansion and resurfacing, 5. New Church windows, 6. Sanctuary and Church Interior Renovations, 7. Repayment of $100,000 capital debt.
This campaign, the first to be held at St. Dominic’s since the early 1960’s,involved almost 200 volunteers and was managed by the firm of Paul J. Mack and Associates of Burlington, ON. Our “Together in Faith” Campaign was an overwhelming success, raising just over $1 million in cash and pledges over 5 years. Since the fall of 2000 all debt has been repaid and the first five projects completed. We look forward to the completion of our final project – Sanctuary and interior renovations in the summer of 2005, just in time for the completion of our 50th Anniversary. celebrations in October 2005.