St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Oakville (1975-2014)
On June 24th, 2014, the short history of the Congregation of the Resurrection’s ministry in Oakville came to an end. This fruitful ministry involved many CRs who came from Poland.
The beginnings of the Congregation of the Resurrection’s pastoral works in Oakville can be identified with the activities of the Polish Catholic Mission. On behalf of the Resurrectionist order, Fr. Joseph Capiga, CR initiated the Polish Catholic Mission in 1975. In fact, Fr. Capiga, a long time pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish in Hamilton, was the first rector of the Mission until 1983. The Mission’s temporary location was at the English speaking St. Andrew’s Church, where the Holy Eucharist, other sacraments as well as various devotions were celebrated by priests from St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Hamilton.
Fr. Joseph Capiga’s successor was Fr. Joseph Kamieniecki, CR who served as rector of the Mission until 1995. In January of 1994, during his tenure at the Mission, the Polish community in Oakville purchased the former Bethel Pentecostal Church and adapted the building to Catholic worship. On January 23rd, 1994 Bishop Matthew Ustrzycki consecrated the building and designated the Mission as St. Anthony of Padua.
On September 1st, 1995 Fr. Chester Chmurzynski, CR took over this fledgling Mission and immediately proceeded to building a rectory so he would not have to reside in the parish hall. Besides the new rectory, Fr. Chmurzynski proceeded to improve the church building with the help of some prominent financial supporters. The alterations included a new roof, a steeple with a cross, a driveway and an entrance for the disabled parishioners. On June 29th, 1997 the Polish Catholic Mission received the status of a parish and Fr. Chester Chmurzynski became its first pastor. He was the parish priest of St. Anthony of Padua until June 24th, 2014.
A noteworthy legacy to Fr. Chmurzynski’s tenure as parish priest was the significant increase in the number of parishioners. On September 1st, 1995 the Mission had 196 families registered and, upon his departure, the parish registry listed 660 families. Father Chester Chmurzynski by his pastoral dedication and by his example of living the Gospel, inspired the parish to grow both materially and spiritually.
Finally, after almost 40 years, the Congregation of the Resurrection under the banner of the Risen Christ has finished a faithful and dedicated ministry at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Oakville, Ontario.
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” – “To the Greater Glory of God”