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. Josephs
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 Sr. 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 now have a deacon, Brian du Quesnay who joined our
parish in 1998.
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
ONeil, Fr. Francis Turk, Fr. Ted Nowak, Fr. Anthony Gonsalves and many
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. Josephs 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
continuous financial support. We are also grateful to the Archdiocese for their continued
support in this very difficult task.
Our parish is very vibrant with various ministries and committees. We
have a Building Committee who are in charge of the physical building of the church. The
Fundraising and Social Committee who organize events to raise money for the church
and charities. Other
committees include St. Vincent de Paul who look after the needy, the Legion of Mary, Altar
Guild, Altar Servers, Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Lectors, Knights of Columbus who also
help to raise money for the building fund, R.C.I.A., Couples of Christ and
Bingo. We have a children’s choir, 3 adult choirs and a youth choir.
Merciful Redeemer includes four elementary schools, Blessed Trinity,
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.
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 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.