In 1997, Vladyka Kyr Isidore (Borecky, reposed 23 July 2003), first bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada, sent Monsignor Conrad Dachuck, at that time pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada, on a fact-finding mission to the town of Bradford, about an hour north of Toronto, to report on the feasibility of establishing a new parish there. The town of Bradford was a consideration because from 1969 to the late 1980’s a priest from St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Toronto used to serve Liturgy there at least monthly. Father Conrad advised that any eventual parish should be located in the much larger nearby town of Newmarket, in view of the fact that Bradford, a rural town, no longer had a viable Ukrainian community, and because Newmarket,a very rapidly growing suburban center closer to Toronto, already had several families of Ukrainian background.
On 18 October 1999 the second bishop of the Eparchy of Toronto, Vladyka Kyr Cornelius (Pasichny, OSBM) assigned Father Conrad to the task of organizing a parish in Newmarket to be dedicated to the heavenly patronage of St. Catherine of Alexandria. Father visited families, obtained the use of a local Catholic school for divine service, and place announcements in the media and in the bulletins of local Latin-rite parishes. He served the first Divine Liturgy in Newmarket on Christmas day, 25 December 1999. The new community was canonically erected as a parish as of the stroke of midnight, 1 January 2000. And so St. Catherine’s, Newmarket, became the first Catholic parish to be established in Canada in the new millenium! Two months later Father Conrad was able to purchase the house which now serves as the parish rectory, weekday chapel and office.
In the spring of 2001, St. Catherine’s Building Fund was opened as a fund separate from the parish’s operating fund, and on Sunday, 24 June 2001, parishioners organized our first major fundraising event, a dinner in Newmarket. Now an annual affair, our fourth and largest fundraising dinner to date was held in the parish on Sunday, 14 March 2004. The present bishop of the Eparchy of Toronto, Vladyka Kyr Stephen (Chmilar), took the occasion to make his first episcopal visitation to Newmarket and in his homoly inspired us in our efforts for the growth of the parish.
St. Catherine’s is still in its infancy. We number about 50 families and have had three christenings and one marriage. Two of our founding parishioners have gone to the Lord. With God’s help we hope to gather many more faithful, to pass on to our children the precious heritage of Faith no nobly exemplified by the 27 Ukrainian martyrs and confessors beatified by Pope John Paul II during his trip to Ukraine in June 2001.
56 Hearn Street
Bond Head, Ontario, L0G 1B0
16 Hearn Street, Bond Head, Ontario, L0G 1B0
Sunday Divine Liturgy: