Catholic Parish of St. Thomas More

210 Haddow Close, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6R 2P3, Ph: (780) 434-6313, Fax: (780) 438-2088

HISTORY

HISTORY OF ST. THOMAS MORE PARISH

During the 1960's, development of the area bounded by Whitemud Drive, the river and the Calgary Trail significantly increased the population and expanded the boundaries of St. Agnes Parish. In 1967, St. Agnes Parish began to celebrate Sunday Mass at St. Stanislaus School for the approximately 250 Catholic families who lived in the area. Some parishioners attended Mass at Providence Centre. In March of 1968 a group of parishioners including Ron Fath, Eric Brooks, John Brosseau, Joe Kelly, Terry Gaudet and Emil Hryciw met to consider the future needs of Catholics in the area. Following that meeting, the pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Father Raymond Merchant, wrote to Archbishop Anthony Jordan to inquire about the Archbishop's plans for the formation of a new parish and about the financial requirements that would have to be met. He indicated that beginning April 7, 1968, a Pallotine Father would celebrate a second Sunday Mass at St. Stanislaus School. In his response dated March 29, 1968, Archbishop Jordan suggested that information be obtained about the plans of the City for the further development of the area and asked whether the site owned by the Archdiocese adjacent to St. Stanislaus School would be a suitable location for a church.

The group of parishioners met again on May 5, 1968 to review the situation. They concluded that there were compelling reasons for establishing a new parish. The participants endorsed the site near St. Stanislaus School as being an excellent location for the new church, which they recommended should be a name other than the school's name.

The Archbishop appointed Father M. Gerard Doyle as Pastor of St. Agnes Parish with two assistants, Father Lyle Pederson and Father Anthony Mazerolle csc, effective August 7, 1961. One of Father Pederson's special charges would be the School for the Deaf. As much as possible, Father Mazerolle would concentrate on serving the Catholics living in the area to be designated as a future parish.

When Archbishop Jordan granted permission to the Pastor of St. Anthony's Parish, Msgr. C.J. Foran, to sell some property owned by the Parish on 81st Avenue, he requested that a substantial portion of this money be donated to the proposed new parish south of St. Agnes. On December 17, 1968, Msgr. Foran reported to the Archbishop that the trustees of St. Anthony's Parish had agreed to donate $25,000 to encourage and assist their fellow Catholics in the construction of their new church.

On December 1, 1968, about 200 parishioners attended a meeting in the Cartier-McGee junior High School Auditorium to discuss the formation of a new parish in the southern area of St. Agnes Parish. The Pastor, Father M.G. Doyle, presented population and financial information for three segments of the Parish: the area south of 45th Avenue, the area between 45th and 51st Avenue, and the area north of 51st Avenue. Parishioners were also informed that Holy Cross Fathers to staff the new parish would be available about the middle of 1969.

On September 11, 1969, Archbishop Anthony Jordan omi officially announced the establishment of a new parish to be named after St. Thomas More. The boundaries of the Parish were to be Whitemud Drive (45th Avenue)) on the North, the CPR tracks on the East, the Saskatchewan River on the West, and four miles south of Township 52 (i.e. two miles south of Ellerslie) on the South. Father Paul Joseph Kingston csc, had been assigned as pastor and Father Anthony Mazerolle csc, as his assistant. However, Mass continued to be celebrated at the school and at Providence Centre. Eventually, St. Augustine School also came to be used for Sunday Mass.

It was not until May 14, 1978, following the noon Sunday Mass (Pentecost Sunday) that a sod-turning ceremony was held on the 114 Street and 40 Avenue site. The Pastor, Father Paul Kingston csc presided. Also present were the architect, Mr. Joe Donahue of the firm Dupuis-Donahue of Edmonton, Mr. Willard Dylke the former Parish Council Chair, Mr. Patrick Owens the former principal of St. Boniface School, and Mrs. Patricia O'Connor, then Parish Council Chair. In his comments, as reported by the Western Catholic Reporter, Father Kingston noted that the construction by Nu-West Development Corporation of Calgary should take about ten months at an estimated cost of $521,000. The church would seat some 470 people and serve a Parish of about 740 families. (As of February 1997, there were 1,723 registered families - a growth of almost 1,000 families since this church was built.)

The first Mass celebrated in the new church was Midnight Mass on December 24, 1978.

At a 7:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday, January 14, 1979, Archbishop MacNeil dedicated the church "of St. Thomas More" at 3935 114 Street. Concelebrating the Mass with the Archbishop were the Pastor, Father Paul Kingston csc, St. Thomas More Associate Pastor Father Thomas Hennessey csc, the Pastor of St. Agnes Parish Father Thomas J. Kroetch, the Pastor of St. Anthony's Parish Father Karl E. Raab, and Father Donald G. MacDonald, rector at St. Joseph's Seminary who was the homilist. Also assisting at the dedication were Father Colin MacKinon, Canadian provincial of the Holy Cross Fathers from Toronto and the Assistant General Superior of the order, and Father William Hogan from Rome. Father Hogan was in Edmonton as part of a visitation of Holy Cross communities in Canada and stayed over for the dedication. Unable to be present was Associate Pastor Father Joseph M. Doucet csc who was called away to a funeral. A reception was held in the auditorium of St. Stanislaus School following the dedication.

From the time the Parish was established through until August 1994, St. Thomas More Parish was served by Holy Cross Fathers. After twenty-five years in the parish, the Holy Cross Fathers reverted the parish back to the Archdiocese and Reverend Richard Theroux was appointed Pastor in August 1994.

Go to more history: Building a New Home

Since its establishment, St. Thomas More has been served by six Pastors:

Rev. Paul J. Kingston csc 1969-1981
Rev. Michael Toner csc 1981-1986
Rev. Joseph Doucet csc 1986-1994
Rev. Richard Theroux 1994-2000
Rev. Kenneth West 2000-2004
Fr. Sylvain Casavant 2004-2010
Fr. Andrew Bogdanowicz 2010 present

The Pastors were assisted by the following Associate Pastors:

Rev. Anthony Mazerolle csc 1969-1970
Rev. Hugh MacGillivray csc 1970-1975
Rev. Thomas Hennessey csc 1973-1981
Rev. Joseph M. Doucet csc 1978-1979
Rev. Michael Toner csc 1979-1981
Rev. Norman T. Bordage csc 1981-1985
Rev. Louis E. Kingston csc 1982-1984
Rev. Robert O'Connell csc 1984-1985
Rev. Wayne Carter csc 1987
Rev. Louis Keleher csc 1988-1991
Rev. Oscar Monroy 2004
Fr. Arlan Parenteau 2004-2005
Fr. Collins Okafor 2005-2006
Fr. Kazimierz Kubat 2006-2007
Fr. Daniel Abba 2007- 2009
Fr. Eduardo Santos 2009 present

Assistance was also provided by one priest who held the title of Dominical Vicar:

Rev. Wilfrid Murchland csc 1986-1989

Go to more history: Building a New Home