About Us

Our Past

Our story is marked by growth, excitement and passion for the faith. We date
back to 1874, when the Basilian Fathers of Amherstburg first came to celebrate
Mass at the home of William Farren, near the present site of St. Michael's
church. The original twenty families soon grew with the arrival of peoples from
Belgium, Italy, Holland, the Ukraine, Croatia, Germany, Slovakia, Austria,
Lebanon, Portugal, United States, Korea and many other nations. Recently
families from Latin American nations have come, among whom are thousands of
Mexicans who arrive seasonally to work in the farming industry. St. Michael's
families have given Leamington the reputation of being a mini United Nations!
Catholic schools have grown in number to accommodate anglophone and francophone children. Catholic education was seeded productively by the Sisters of St. Joseph who maintained a convent in Leamington from 1932 to 1987. In Wheatley, the Ursuline Sisters taught catechism to publish school children for many years.

A rich tapestry of human culture and tradition encircles the town and is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Faith in St. Michael's parish. The parish itself has one parish centre and three churches: St. Michael's and St. Joseph's in Leamington and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Wheatley. Ukrainian Catholics enjoy their own mission church, St. Peter's, and the Lebanese people make their home at St. Anthony's where they celebrate their Catholic Faith in the Maronite tradition and from ancient times enjoy full communion with the Holy Father. Ecumenical relations are honoured and engendered by the Anglican, Lutheran, Mennonite, Pentecostal and many other Protestant communities of faith, through prayer for one another, daily associations and the collaboration of pastors in the region.

Many volunteers reach out to minister to the sick and shut-ins, or to take part in youth programs, educational opportunities and prayer groups and in music ministry. Parishioners are also involved in the apostolic activities of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Catholic Women's League, the Knights of Columbus, and the Ministry of Mexican Migrant Workers. The parish is devoted to the cry of the Poor, and reaches out to our brothers and sisters through Development and Peace, and also to Haiti and Angola in a particular way. We share the concerns and ministry of
Bishop Ronald Fabbro, a successor of the Apostles, chosen by Jesus to shepherd his church.

St. Michael's is blessed with Mexican Catholics who find here a home away from home. Various courses are offered in English and Spanish, and hospitality is provided by parishioners after the Spanish language Mass on Sunday afternoons.

Mass is celebrated in English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, and occasionally through multi-language Liturgies. During the summer months, many festivals take expressions of our Catholic Faith to the streets, through the Portuguese, Italian and Mexican traditions.