Saturday, October 1, 2016

inSPIREd Sunday

August 2016 - Toronto ON

St. Mary's Church is a Roman Catholic church located at 130 Bathurst Street at Portugal Square in the Niagara neighbourhood of Toronto's west end. The parish was established by Irish immigrants in 1852. The Gothic Revival church was designed by Joseph Connolly and completed in 1889, with the tower finished in 1905.

Joseph Connolly (1840–1904) was an Irish Canadian architect, born in Limerick, Ireland. He trained as an architect under J.J. McCarthy in his native Ireland before coming to North America.

St. Mary's Church was built at McDonnell Square (now Portugal Square), which was one of several squares laid out in Toronto's 1834 'New Town Extension' plan such as Victoria Square, Clarence Square, and West Market Square. The cornerstone was laid on 15 August 1881 and the dedication took place on 17 February 1889, but the spire was not completed until 1905.

In late September, 2012, workers discovered the church had been built atop at least one mass grave. Press reports indicate the graves are of those who died in cholera outbreaks in 1832 and '34. The church said it would dedicate an appropriate monument to the dead.

Architect Joseph Connolly designed a building that was contemporary yet evoked Irish Roman Catholic church building traditions, which was important to the Irish priest and his predominantly Irish congregation at the time
Over time, large numbers of Poles and Ukrainians began to settle in the neighborhood around St. Mary's. By 1960, there was a large Portuguese population and McDonnell Square was renamed Portugal Square, with a part of Adelaide Street surrounding the block renamed Portugal Square to reflect the change.

Mother Teresa da Anunciada ( 25 November 1658 - 16 May 1738 ) was a nun of the Poor Clares order that became famous as the initiator of the devotion to the Holy Christ of Miracles in the city of Ponta Delgada now the largest religious festival of the Azores .

She died with a reputation for holiness and has been officially declared Venerable as part of the process for her canonization .