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Parish History

History Highlights of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Whitby

1822St. Paul’s, Toronto, built
1830 Father O’Grady says first Mass in Oshawa
1836 Earliest recorded baptism in Whitby township
1841 Diocese of Toronto established: Right Rev. Michael Power, Bishop
1843 Oshawa/Whitby mission established: Rev. James Bennett, Pastor
1859 First separate school is build in Oshawa
1860 St. Francis de Sales, Pickering, established: Rev. P.D. Laurent, Pastor
1860 First separate school is built in Whitby
1860 Mass celebrated every Sunday in Whitby
1867 First St. John the Evangelist church built in Whitby. It was blessed and opened on May 24. Reverend John Joseph Shea was responsible for the construction, at a total cost of $3 041.78
1875 Separate school built near church
1880 Blessing of St. John the Evangelist cemetery on October 10
1883 St. John the Evangelist Parish officially established: Rev. P. J. McColl, Pastor
1891 Whitby once again a mission of Oshawa
1901 Separate school closed due to lack of funds
1901 First church destroyed by fire in December. A second church was built, under the direction of Reverend Andrew O’Malley, on the same site as the old church, on the north-east corner of John and Palace Streets.
1902 New church dedicated by Archbishop Denis O’Connor on December 14
1913 St. John the Evangelist Parish re-established
1913 St. Francis de Sales, Pickering, made a mission of Whitby
1914 Rev. W. J. Ryan appointed pastor
1914 Rectory built
1926 St. Bernard school built
1937 Rev. D. V. Hickey appointed pastor
1939 Catholic Women’s League of St. John’s formed on Sunday, November 5
1942 St. Francis de Sales Parish, Pickering, re-established: Rev. Bernard Kyte, Pastor
1955 St. John’s school opened
1956 Rev. Leo Austin appointed pastor
1957 Campaign for funds for new church
1958 New church blessed by His Eminence James Charles Cardinal McGuigan
1958 St. Theresa school opened
1959 The Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, from Pembroke, came to Whitby to work in education and later working in the parish
1960 St. John’s Knights of Columbus received its charter, February 1.
1961 First St. Vincent de Paul conference was introduced in the Spring of 1961
1962 Rectory attached to church built
1962 Denis O’Connor Secondary School opened (grades 9 and 10) 
1964 St. Leo’s school opened in Brooklin
1973 Parishioner John Newman was ordained to the priesthood
1979 Bishop Robert B. Clune appointed pastor
1980 Holy Family Parish established east of highway 12, July 9
1981 Blessing of Resurrection Cemetery on September 12
1983 100th anniversary celebrated by His Eminence Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter on June 19
1983 St. Leo’s Parish established in Brooklin 
1991 Father Andrew Macbeth appointed pastor
1992 Parishioner Tim Hanley was ordained to the priesthood
1993 Parishioner Charles Forget was ordained to the priesthood
2003 Father Anthony Iacobelli appointed pastor 
2004Parishioner Anthony Stone was ordained Deacon and appointed to St. John's
2008Sister Ann Howard G.S.I.C celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Grey Sister of the Immaculate Conception on September 28
2008125th anniversary celebrated with Archbishop Thomas Collins on October 12