On June 8, 1996, His Eminence Cardinal Ambrozic, appointed Fr. Joseph Wasik founding pastor of the Merciful Redeemer Parish. The establishment of this new parish was a response on the part of the hierarchy to the needs of the Catholic families living in Central Erin Mills - particularly due to the overcrowding of the neighbouring churches of St. Ignatius Loyola, St. John of the Cross and St. Joseph’s Church. A three-acre parcel of land, at the north-west corner of Glen Erin Dr. and Erin Centre Boulevard, was purchased by the Archdiocese for the parish building.
The Archdiocese purchased the land for our church in 1994. A proposal was made to Fr. Joe to take the position of Pastor for the new parish which he accepted on April 30, 1996. On the 30th of May the name "Merciful Redeemer" was approved by the Cardinal. The devotion to the Divine Mercy is spreading and St. Faustina who saw the vision of Jesus was canonized as the first Saint of the Millennium by the Holy Father in Rome.
Fr. Joe was installed as the new Pastor by His Excellency Bishop Terrence Prendergast on October 20, 1996 at the Croatian Martyrs Church with approximately 400 people in attendance.The parish started with 70 families and has grown to over 1700 families. This is due to the developing Churchill Meadows and the overflow from the other churches.
Our secretary Patricia Pereira began working for the parish since November 1996 and started a fundraising and social committee immediately to help raise money to build our church.
We celebrated our first Mass at the Croatian Martyrs Church on September 6, 1996. In same year the rectory was purchased for Fr. Joe and he moved in November 1996. We had to add extra Masses at the Blessed Trinity School due to the need of the parish. At the beginning we had extra help from Fr. Joe O’Neil, Fr. Francis Turk, Fr. Ted Nowak, Fr. Anthony Gonsalves and many visiting priests. Fr. Vid Vlasic joined the parish as our second pastor in 2003.
After the model of the future church was shown to our parishioners, they were very excited and enthusiastic about our church that would be built in the New Millennium. In the summer of 1999 we hired Young & Wright Architects and in the fall of 2000, B. A. Ryan Ltd. was hired as the building contractor. The blessing and breaking of the ground took place on September 10, 2000 by Bishop Lacey. Construction began in November 2000 and they handed over the building "unofficially" (since some details were not yet completed) on December of 2001. We celebrated our first Mass on December 23, 2001, Saturday, at 5:00 PM, with Bishop Boissoneau as the main celebrant. The following day, Sunday, Bishop Lacey celebrated a solemn mass in thanksgiving for the new church.
April 7, 2002 was the Blessing and Dedication of the church to the Merciful Redeemer by Cardinal Ambrozic. A number of priests concelebrated in the solemn mass. The church was filled to overflowing by parishioners and visitors. The grand reception followed at the Delta Hotel in Erin Mills Parkway.
We are grateful to The Croatian Martyrs Parish for opening their doors to us, enabling us to celebrate Mass. We are also grateful to St. Joseph’s Church for their continuous generosity in our time of need. Our appreciation goes to all the parishes who helped us financially and spiritually, especially St. Ignatius Loyola Church for their financial support in the early years. We are also grateful to the Archdiocese for their assistance during the entire building process.
Today, our parish is very vibrant and active parish with various ministries and committees including St. Vincent de Paul, the Legion of Mary, Adoration Ministry, Altar Guild, Altar Servers, Bible Study, Charismatic Prayer Group. Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Lectors, Knights of Columbus, R.C.I.A., Couples of Christ, Singles for Christ, Men's Fraternity, Woman's Group, Theology of Body Group, and our Youth Ministry. We have a children’s choir, 4 adult choirs and a youth choir.
Merciful Redeemer includes four elementary schools, St. Sebastian, St. Rose of Lima, Our Lady of Mercy and Divine Mercy. We have one high school, St. Aloysius Gonzaga which is situated across from the church.