In the early 1960s, the Henry Farm, Forest Manor, McNicoll,
Brian Drive and Don Valley Village areas of North York were all part of Holy
Spirit Parish, Agincourt, whose pastor was Fr. Dave Harding.
With the opening of St. Timothy's school in November 1964, Fr. Harding set up a
Sunday Mass schedule in the school's 40' x 50' general purpose room. It held
two hundred people, but sometimes we packed in 250 to 300. Fr. Bernard Mahoney,
who assisted at Holy Spirit Parish, came to celebrate the first Eucharist with
us at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 19, 1965.
In February of 1966, we held our first get-acquainted dance in St.
Bonaventure's Parish Hall which had been lent to us free of charge. About 240
attended. Before the end of the night, it was announced that we would elect a
Parish Council the following Sunday. Imagine! We didn't have a parish, but
still we elected a Council giving it the mandate to prepare a brief to be
presented to the chancery office requesting a parish and pastor. One of the
first things the Council did was to organize a census of the area with the
result that five hundred Catholic families were identified.
In response to our request, in June 1966, Archbishop Pocock
created the Parish of St. Timothy and appointed our first resident pastor,
Father William O'Brien. Father purchased a house on Deepglade Road in Henry
Farm and established the first rectory there. Realizing that this rectory was
very sparsely furnished, some concerned women organized a "shower"
for Father. Some of those women became the nucleus of our original CWL Council.
Under Fr. Bill's guidance the parish community soon outgrew the general-purpose
room of the school and we moved to the cafetorium of Woodbine Junior High.
Then, as still larger quarters were needed, we moved to the auditorium in
Georges Vanier School.
What joy we experienced when the sketch-drawings of our church were first
unveiled at a wine and cheese party at Edwards Gardens. Then there was the joy
as we gathered for the beginning of the construction program. Monsignor Barnett
experienced such difficulty in the traditional sod-turning ceremony that we
felt certain we were building on a solid foundation, or as Len Crover, Chair of
the Building Committee, expressed it, "I thought I had hit the rock of St.
Peter with the shovel."
Our greatest joy had to be reserved for a Saturday in August of 1969 when the
community of St. Timothy finally came home after wandering for three years
through the desert…a general-purpose room, a cafetorium, an auditorium. What
glorious music we heard that day from 'old Bertha', our original organ, as we
walked from the parking lot to the front door of the church.
Our second pastor, Fr. Leo Perusse arrived in July 1972, fresh from the air
force chaplaincy. He remained with us until his tragic death from cancer in
Fr. Bill Lynch pastored us in the late eighties and Fr. Hugh Manley in the
Over the years we were also blessed with dedicated assistant pastors who have
left their mark upon the parish: Fathers Michael Brady, John Weber, Joe Wong,
Brian Pekeski, Tom Moore, Harry Weelink, Joe McCormick, Pat O'Dea, Lester De
Souza, Bill Petitpas, & Bill Lordon.
One of our parishioners, Peter Lackmanec, has been ordained to the
priesthood. St. Timothy's has also nurtured a number of permanent
deacons: Joe McTeague in '74, Ron McFarland in '76, Bill Callaghan in
'80, Dick Mann in '90, Tom Welsh in 2006 and Joseph Yan in 2018. In '91, Dick Wirth, a former parishioner and head usher, was
ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in
Pennsylvania, U.S.A. In the spring of
2016 another permanent deacon, David Quail, was ordained during our Jubilee
Year of foundation.
Since the Companions of the Cross assumed responsibility for St. Timothy Parish
in 1999, we have been pastored by Fr. Marc Syrenne assisted by Fr. George
Sammut, Fr. John Likozar, Fr. Fernando Suarez and Fr. Jerry Gauvreau. Fr.
Dennis Hayes served as pastor from 2004 to 2006 and Fr. Randy Hendriks since
2006, assisted by Fr. Dennis Hayes, Fr. Bernard Messier and Fr. Francis
Ching. Fr. Charles Orchard served as Pastor from 2009 to 2011, assisted by Fr. John Likozar and Fr. Bernard
Messier. In 2011, Fr. Francis Ching took over as Parish Administrator with Fr.
John Likozar and Fr. Bernard Messier as his associate pastors. Fr. Roger Vandenakker served as pastor from 2014 to 2020 with his associates Fr. Daren Bryk and Fr. Ken Lau. In 2020 Fr. Galen Bank became our current pastor and his current associate is Father Daren Bryk.