After 123 years ministering at midtown Toronto’s Holy Rosary parish, the Basilians are saying goodbye, allowing the order to focus its commitment on Windsor, Ont.’s historic Assumption parish. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Basilians bid adieu to Holy Rosary parish

By 
  • June 10, 2015

TORONTO - After 123 years the Basilian Fathers are moving on from Toronto’s Holy Rosary parish. But “as one door closes, another one opens,” said Basilian general superior Fr. George Smith.

Smith will preside at a final, farewell Mass at Holy Rosary June 18, at 7 p.m.

About a year ago the Basilians and the Archdiocese of Toronto mutually decided it was “appropriate to conclude our ministry at Holy Rosary,” said Smith.

Letting go of the midtown parish will free the order to make a much deeper commitment to Assumption parish in Windsor, Ont. The historic Gothic Revival church that opened its doors in 1845 has been in the news mostly because of on-again, off-again efforts to save the building.

The building needs $10- to $15-million worth of architectural restoration and was named number four on the National Trust for Canada’s Top 10 Endangered Places in Canada list. While the Diocese of London has had trouble securing verifiable commitments from potential donors for the building, the Basilians have decided their priority in Windsor’s downtown west side is ministry not architecture.

The religious order will commit four young priests to minister in the neighbourhood near Casino Windsor, where 45 per cent unemployment, prostitution and the drug trade all blight the social fabric, Smith said.

Leaving Holy Rosary after such a long period is bittersweet, but the Basilians “can only thank the archdiocese for the privilege of ministering there,” he said.

Former St. Augustine’s Seminary president Msgr. Robert Nusca will take over as pastor at Holy Rosary on July 2.

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