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The oldest Catholic parish in Canada, west of Montreal, is located in Windsor, and organizers are getting ready to celebrate 250 years since its founding.
Assumption Parish was established on October 3rd, 1767. Two-hundred and fifty years later, Assumption remains the oldest continuous Catholic parish in the Province of Ontario, and the oldest continuous Catholic parish in Canada, west of Montreal.
In 2014, the historic Assumption Church building was closed pending a restoration campaign. Since then, the parish community has held weekly masses and events at two buildings: a chapel next to the closed church, and at the former Holy Name of Mary church on McEwan Avenue.
The restoration campaign is currently on hiatus, according to church officials, but they say hope remains that the parish will once again be able to use the building.
Organizers say events are planned to celebrate the milestone year by honouring three former west-end parishes: St. Patrick’s on March 17th, Blessed Sacrament in June and Holy Name of Mary in September.
On August 13th, a community celebration and BBQ will be held at the historic Assumption church site on University Avenue, and the doors to Assumption Church will also be open to the public that day.
Then, on October 1st, Assumption Parish will celebrate its founding day with a mass and gala luncheon.
The church has set up a website for the anniversary at http://assumption.dol.ca/250th.
The 250th anniversary of Assumption coincides with other milestones this year including Canada’s 150th, Ontario’s 150th, and Windsor’s 125th.