At the anniversary Mass held Sept. 15 at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fr. Cornelius (Con) O’Mahony, pastor at St. Andrew’s, is presented with a limited edition historical print of the church done by Oakville artist Michael Hitchcox. Kevin Gleeson and Terry Murphy make the presentation. Photo courtesy Jack Kukolic

Parish builds plans for historic church

By 
  • October 24, 2019

For St. Andrew’s Parish in Oakville, Ont., the Diocese of Hamilton’s ambitious One Heart One Soul Campaign arrives at just the right time.

St. Andrew’s will be joining the fund-raising campaign beginning in January along with 37 other parishes that will be launching Wave 2 of One Heart One Soul.

“The One Heart One Soul Campaign came at a perfect time in our history,” said Fr. Con O’Mahony, pastor at the parish along Oakville’s historic Heritage Trail.

The parish is currently discerning how it will use funds raised by the campaign, but it’s obvious that much will be needed for upkeep on a building that still counts 80 per cent of the original church, dating back to 1840, as part of today’s building.

“The church right now is in superb shape but looking down the road, we did a facilities audit and the dollar signs are quite scary for what we’ve got to put out for the next 20 years just to maintain the building,” said O’Mahony.

“When you’re talking about maintenance and when you’re talking about any future renovations, you’re talking big dollars.”

Focusing on the life of parishes is one of the defining features of the diocese’s campaign. It allows parishes to decide which projects are most pressing to the local community and these projects make up the local campaign priorities. The overall One Heart One Soul goal is $35 million with 75 per cent of money raised going to maintain parishes. The rest of the funds will go to aid parishes in need and to support shared ministries such as campus, hospital and prison ministry, as well as ministering to migrant workers.

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