About Us

Parish History

Mary Immaculate Parish was founded August 15th 1965. Father. C. P. Herlihy O. M. I. was appointed as pastor and Father Kevin McNamara O. M. I . was his first assistant. There was no church and no rectory. Sunday masses had to offered in the auditorium of Sir Winston Churchill Public School. This arrangement lasted for a very short time, as the accommodations were too small. Sunday masses were then offered in the auditorium at Clarke Road Secondary School where they continued until the new Church could be built.
Ground breaking started the summer of 1966, Rt. Rev. F. J. Laverty, Chancellor of the Diocese of London, turned the first sod for the new church. Also present were Father C. P. Herlihy and Vernon Bayley representing Ellis-Don Ltd general contractors, along with some of the parishioners.
Murray and Murray, architect firm was hired and Tim Murray was the architect chosen to design Mary Immaculate. He had ideas of how the church should feel and look. It was decided that the church ought not to have a front door and back door image and those coming by car or by foot should enjoy an equal sense of arrival upon approaching the entrance to the Church. He envisioned a central courtyard with steps from the parking lot and steps from Trafalgar.
Because of the openness of the site, it was felt that the combination of the inward looking court and a very strong building would turn the corner at Trafalgar St. and Admiral Dr in an effective manner. He felt that the conventional plan with its straight aisle and pews did not truly fulfill the vision of bringing unity between the congregation and the sanctuary. It was therefore decided to develop a shape that was equal on all sides and in so far as possible, provide the greatest proximity between the pews and sanctuary. This resulted in a plan that might best be described as an amphitheatre with the pews wrapping around the sanctuary in a semi-circular pattern bringing the congregation as close to the altar as possible.
The building was finished in August 1967 and the Solemn Blessing of the church was held on Sunday December 10, 1967 performed by Bishop Gerald Emmet Carter later to be Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto.