A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. PIUS X PARISH, BRANTFORD, ON

In late 1953 plans were underway to establish a new school in the north end of Brantford and on October 17, 1954, Bishop Joseph F. Ryan formally opened and blessed St. Pius X School. As the school population grew, a group of men approached Father Gordon M. Ryan, pastor of St. Basil's Church, to discuss the possibility of having Mass celebrated at the school each Sunday. On the Feast of Christ the King, October 28, 1956 the first Mass was celebrated in the corridor of St. Pius X School. For the next two years the school served as a mission of St. Basil's Parish. Early parishioners provided the furnishings for Mass in the school and kneelers were made by the Holy Name Society and were sold to parishioners for $1.00. Each Sunday parishioners could be seen approaching the school with kneelers under their anms.

The school Mass became quite popular and in a matter of months, a second Sunday Mass was added. In February 1957 Father Ryan proposed that a new parish be established in this growing community. And so, on April 16, 1958 Bishop Joseph F. Ryan established the new parish of St. Pius X and appointed its first pastor, Father John Bulbrook, a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection. For the next forty-two years the parish would be served by members of the Congregation of the Resurrection.

Within an incredibly short time construction began on the church. On December 7, 1958 an official sod turning ceremony was held. Almost a year later, on October 4, 1959 the comer stone was laid. On November 15, 1959 the blessing and official opening of the new church took place during Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph F. Ryan. The building of the parish rectory was completed in January 1965.

The present church was renovated in 1974 under the direction of the pastor, Father Don Marrokal, CR in keeping with the liturgical renewal of the Second Vatican Council. Further substantial renovations to the church took place in 1989 under the direction of the pastor, Father Chris Grabiec, CR in order to accommodate an ever growing community and to provide accessibility for handicapped persons. Two of the outstanding features of this renovation were the construction of the large baptismal font in the narthex of the church and the establishment of a beautiful chapel for weekday Masses, dedicated to Our Lady of Providence. On February 5, 1989 Bishop Anthony F. Tonnos, celebrated the Rite of Dedication in the renewed church building.

When St. Pius X Church was opened there were 325 families; almost fifty years later there are over 3,000 families who call St. Pius Church their spiritual home. In the beginning there was a single four room school in the parish; now there are seven elementary and one secondary school within the parish.

Over the years, the people of St. Pius X have put a great deal of energy into their celebration of the Sunday Eucharist and into their care for the poor in Brantford, especially through their participation in the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

In June 2000, the Congregation of the Resurrection asked to be relieved of the pastoral care of St. Pius X Parish. Father Mervin Perera was the first diocesan priest appointed as pastor. At that time, Sister Mary Walter, CSJ joined the parish staff with special responsibility for ministry in our parish elementary schools.

In June, 2003 Monsignor Murray Kroetsch was appointed pastor of this large and vibrant parish. Upon his arrival in the parish, parishioners were invited to express their hopes and dreams for the parish. As a result, a full program of adult formation has been offered each year. In addition, relations between the parish and our many schools have been strengthened, youth ministry is being developed and an increasing number of social activities fill our parish calendar each year.

One of the most exciting activities in recent years has been our parish commitment to a mission in Africa. In 2005, in collaboration with Sister Sheila Fortune, CSJ, parishioners contributed funds to build a school in Mbala - a rural community in the northern part of Zambia. In 2008 during the celebration of our 50th anniversary year, parishioners provided funds for the completion of a residence for disabled children in Kasama, also in Zambia.



Last updated August 21, 2009
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