Oakville, though originally a largely Protestant area, had its own Catholic Church, St. Andrew Parish, going back to the 1845. Due to the remoteness of the area north of the QEW, Monsignor Harrigan, Pastor of St. Andrew, in the spring of 1969 began celebrating Mass in St. Michael School. As Mass was well attended, and numbers of families living in the area increased, a feasibility study for a new parish was begun in the fall of 1972. When the results were tabulated, there were at least 700 recognized Catholic families.
On August 29, 1975, Father James Mihm was appointed as first pastor of St. Michael Parish; he used a house directly across from St. Michael School as first his home and parish office. The parish would cover the area north of the QEW, east of 16 Mile Creek, west of Winston Churchill, and south of the Milton boundary.
A Parish Pastoral Council was started on February 29 of 1976. The church was designed and built for $651,000. Bishop Paul F. Reding, Bishop of the Diocese, blessed the church on April 29th, 1979.
The Catholic population of the area continued to grow. By 1996 there were about 2500 registered parish families. In the spring of 1996 Bishop Anthony Tonnos divided the area of St. Michael’s Parish and established a new parish, Mary Mother of God on August 15th 1996 to serve the people living in what was St. Michael’s eastern section. Father Charlie Jordan was the new Pastor. Mary Mother of God was blessed by Bishop Tonnos on June 13, 2004.
Our current parish boundaries are indicated in the following Map:
St. Michael’s Parish has three Catholic elementary schools: St. Michael, St. John and Our Lady of Peace. In September 2002, the Halton Catholic District School Board built on 6th Line just north of River Oaks Community Centre, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School. It serves families from St. Michael’s and Mary Mother of God Parishes and other Catholic Parishes in Oakville. In accordance with provincial guidelines it is an open access secondary school serving families from the general population.
As of December 31st 2013 St. Michael’s Parish had 2,700 registered families. The parish has a Catholic Women’s League Council, a St. Vincent DePaul Society Conference, a Charismatic Prayer Group “Servants of the Light” a Development and Peace Committee and Youth Ministry.
In 1999 Fr. Ted Slaman started to celebrate Mass in Spanish once a month. In 2008 Father Cesar Giraldo was sent to St. Michael’s to care for the Hispanic Community and Mass began to be celebrated in Spanish every week. Pastoral care to the Hispanic community expanded to include its own parish council, various liturgical ministries, catechism for children, and preparation for the sacraments.
After conducting an extensive survey of Spanish speaking Catholics in the Halton region, June 5th 2013 Bishop Crosby officially designated St. Michael’s parish as a bilingual parish. Besides caring for the Catholics living within our geographical boundaries, St.Michael’s is responsible for serving the Spanish Speaking Catholics in the entire region of Halton. The Spanish Community celebrates Sunday Mass and Wednesday evening Mass weekly. Confessions, marriages and Baptisms are celebrated in Spanish, along with retreat, small communities, catechism for children and many other activities.
While offering services in both Spanish and English, we try to work together as much as possible. A joint pastoral council including both English and Spanish speaking parishioners was formed in Fall of 2013 to help oversee the pastoral care of the parish. A similar finance council had been established the year before. Throughout the year we host several bilingual Masses – for the Feast of St. Michael, the Assumption of our Lady, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Holy Week. Parishioners also collaborate in hosting various events to build community and raise funds for the upkeep of our building.
The parish continues to grow and adapt to meet the needs of our parishioners. Please join us and help write the next chapter of our history!