Father Leo J. Austin was born in Toronto and ordained there on June 3, 1939. He served in several Toronto parishes before coming to Whitby in 1956. He organized a building fund campaign for the new church in October 1957, with a goal of $80 000. By December of that year, contributions had reached $100 646, surpassing all expectations. The sod was turned for the new church on Giffard Street on May 4, 1958 and the church was officially opened at Christmas 1958, with Midnight Mass.The new church’s unique architecture attracted considerable attention for it was one of the first buildings in Canada to have a hyperbolic paraboloid style roof, and Father Austin was instrumental in choosing this design.Catholic education was of particular interest to Father Austin: in 1959 he brought the Grey Sisters, a teaching order of nuns, to Whitby; under his guidance, St. Theresa's was build, and St. Leo's in Brooklin; he build four additions to St. John's school, and started Denis O'Connor High School in 1964 in Whitby.