History of St. Anthony of Padua Parish

PARISH PRIESTS

1925 Rev. L. G. Desrosiers 1980-1990 Rev. Edward Lequiea, O.M.I.
1925-1928 Rev. Stephen Ryan 1990-1995 Rev. Samuel Argenziano
1928-1938 Rev. Wm. Edmondson 1995-2002 Rev. Terance McGrath
1938-1945 Rev. A. Webb 2002-2006 Msgr. Michael Moore
1945-1953 Rev.  Maurice Cooney 2006-2011 Rev. Henryk Laciak
1953-1964 Rev. Joseph Campbell 2011-2012 Rev. Mark Filips
1964-1970 Rev. C. J. Klein, O.M.I. 2012- Rev. Dominic Yuen
1970-1980 Rev. V. J. Fix, O.M.I.

ASSISTANT PRIESTS – 1925-2000

Rev. J. A. Meehan Rev. P. P. Feist, O.M.I.
Rev. C. J. Lambreck Rev. R. Stang, O.M.I.
Rev. G. T. St. Jacques Rev. J. Blatz, O.M.I.
Rev. P. Dunphy Rev. M. Doll, O.M.I.

In 1915, there were some ten Roman Catholic families in West Kildonan who attended church.  The mass was said for them at the Good Shepherd Home on Scotia Avenue where there were a full-time priest and nuns.  Masses were then held in the basement of Centennial School (240 Royal Avenue) prior to 1925 with Rev. L. G. Desrosiers.    When the congregation of St. Anthony of Padua  Parish reached 100 families, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg (Archbishop Alfred Arthur Sinnott) granted permission to build the church on the corner of Semple and Aikens.  Rev. L. G. Desrosiers was also the editor of the Catholic paper. (the Northwest Review).

1925 – 1928

In 1925, Rev. Stephen Ryan, a missionary Priest was appointed by Archbishop Sinnott to be Pastor of St. Anthony Parish.  The old church was built on the corner of Semple and Aikens (facing Semple Avenue) in the summer of 1925.  There were tennis courts where the present church is situated.  The church was a one room building which had chairs instead of pews which could be moved easily to accommodate the masses, catechism classes, meetings and social functions. There was a large heat register in the floor in the middle of the church where children would warm their hands.

The Sunday masses were held at 9:00 am and 11:00 am and catechism classes were Sunday afternoons (Sunday school).  Florence Shickele along with others taught the first classes.  Florence later became a nun at the Home of the Good Shepherd.  She was then Sister Cecilia (patroness of music).  The first group of children to receive their First Holy Communion was in 1925 and Confirmation on June 13, 1926.  The choir was formed in 1925 with Mrs. Parker, organist, and Mrs. Cissy Timmins, singer.

The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of St. Anthony of Padua Parish was formed and chartered on February 27, 1925, with only 30 members.  The first president of the CWL was Mrs. R. V. Winders.

In 1928, Father Ryan went to Italy to study Cannon Law.  During his stay there, he died and a plaque was placed at the front of the old church in his honor.

1928 – 1938

In 1928, Rev. W. T. Edmondson was appointed pastor by Archbishop Sinnott after serving St Augustine of Canterbury in Brandon, MB from 1924-1927.  He was the Archbishop’s helper and had requested to be moved to a small parish as he had a speech handicap. Rev. W. F. Edmondson was well known and respected in the municipality of West Kildonan.  He continued to be the editor of the Northwest Review and was responsible for having the 2 rooms (11’x9’, 9’x9’) built over the sacristy and office.  This two room suite served as living quarters for the pastor.  Father Edmondson served at St. Anthony’s for 10 years until his sudden death on August 19, 1938.

1938 – 1945

In 1938, Rev. J. Alphonsus Webb was appointed pastor by Archbishop Sinnott after serving St Augustine of Canterbury in Brandon, MB from 1933-1937.  He purchased a building, formally used by the Salvation Army and he moved it alongside the church.  It was connected to the church by a short hallway which connected with the partial basement under the church.  This area was a place for catechism, social gatherings, meetings, etc.  Rev. Webb resided on Semple Avenue until he was moved to Immaculate Conception Parish in 1945.

1945 – 1953

In 1945, Rev. Maurice J. Cooney was appointed pastor by Archbishop Philip Pocock.   Father Cooney was a Navy Chaplain during the war who was responsible for purchasing the property on Aikens and Burrin where the present church was built.  The property which included tennis courts belonged to St. Anne’s Church where Father Cooney would join the youth of the parish.  He also formed a bowling league within the parish and bowled on the same league.  In 1950, the 25th Anniversary of the Parish was celebrated.  He was then appointed to St. Augustine of Canterbury in Brandon, MB.

1953 – 1964

In 1953, Rev. J. E. Campbell, B.A., M.A., J.C.D., who was in St. Augustine of Canterbury, Brandon, MB from 1942-1943 & 1952-1953, was appointed by Archbishop Philip Pocock.  he was a former Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg.  The parish was in the process of expanding; seating was insufficient and more pews had to be added. An extra mass was added to the Sunday schedule.  Rev. Campbell, with the support of a few parishioners (Mr. J. Rollwagan, John Kelsch, Ted Beeston, A. G. McGavock, J. Hocken, Wally Off ) initiated the start of the “new church” plans.  They initially started the contact with a professional firm to organize a financial campaign (Wells Organization).

In 1957 a Building Fund and Budget Canvass Committee was formed to raise funds for the new church.  The Canvass Organization Committee consisted of:

Pastor: Rev. Joseph E. Campbell

Honorary Chairmen: Mr. P. Smerchanski and Mr. J. Kelsch   General Chairman: Mr. J. Rollwagen

Canvass Chairman: Mr. E. Beeston     Team Chairman: Mr. W. Off

Arrangements Chairman: Mr. J. H. Molloy

Initial Gifts: Mr. E. Weselake          Special Gifts: Mr. A. McGavock

Team Captains: Mr. C. Runge,  Mr. R. Rose, and  Mr. A. Strack

Hostess Chairman: Mrs. J. Kelsch

By Mr. C. Runge, Team Chairman, 1957:

“Our Giving Can Be Of Two Kinds:

A TOKEN GIFT is one which is so small that it has only a NEGATIVE

IMPACT upon the Giver.

A SACRIFICIAL GIFT is one which is large enough to have a POSITIVE

SPIRITUAL IMPACT upon the Giver and cannot be paid at one time…”

The estimated cost of the present church to build, in 1961, was $150,000.  There was a canvass for weekly pledges. “An organized, intensive, face-to-face solicitation in the homes for weekly pledges held over the next 150 weeks began on April 14, 1957” (quote by Mr. Beeston).  The canvass began with a Parish Loyalty Dinner at the Marlborough Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 31, 1957.

In 1960, a Building Committee was formed and this Committee, working with Reverend J. E. Campbell, developed the plans.  The members of the Building Committee were:

Mr. E. C. Beeston              Mr. F. Keks                     Mr. J. Maxom

Mr. A. McGavock              Mr. J. Rewucki,            Mr. J. Rollwagen

Mr. C. Scarfe                       Mr. P. Smerchanski

In 1960, the architectural firm of Plumpton, Mipper and Associates Ltd. was hired.  After a year, construction was completed and the cornerstone was blessed and placed on Sunday, August 20, 1961, by the Reverend N. J. Chartrand, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, with a delegation from the Archbishop of Winnipeg, Most Reverend George Bernard Flahiff, C.S.B., D.D.  The solemn blessing was held at the church on Sunday, November 5, 1961.

1964-1970

In 1964, Rev. C. J. Klein, O.M.I. was appointed pastor by

Archbishop George Flahiff.  In 1969, the mortgage of the present church was “framed”.

1970-1980

In 1970, Rev. V. J. Fix, O.M.I. was appointed pastor by Archbishop George Flahiff.   Father Fix foresaw a parish center which resulted in the purchase of the former Baptist Church on the corner of Semple Avenue and Aikens Street.  The center was used by the catechetics and was a meeting place for the youth, Guides, and Brownies.  In 1975, the 50th Anniversary of the Parish was celebrated.  Mr. Walter Kowalski was studying to become a Deacon, and, in 1976, he was ordained to the permanent diaconate as Deacon Rev. Walter Frank Kowalski, B.Sc.Ed.  Also, during Father Fix’s term, Father Ralph MacKay celebrated his first mass.

1980-1990

In 1980, Rev. Edward Lequiea, O.M.I. was appointed pastor by Archbishop George Flahiff.   In the period that Father Lequiea was Pastor of our Parish, renovations were done;  ramp for wheelchair access, the foyer and altar were renovated and an office and 3 rooms were added to the basement of the church.  He also celebrated his 40th and 45th anniversary of the priesthood with St. Anthony of Padua Parish.

Father Lequiea brought to our parish the meaningful music of the “Our Father”, which is still sung at many of our masses.  The music was composed by Leona Gibney, sister of Father Gibney of Regina who is a friend of Father Lequiea’s.  Father Lequiea received permission to use this music and passed it on to many parishes throughout his career and now it is used as part of the celebration in many parishes.

On August 23, 1988, Father Richard Arsenault and Father Darren Gurr were ordained Deacons (Sacred Order of the Diaconate) (Transitional) from our parish.  On May 26, 1989, they were both ordained priests at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Winnipeg. Manitoba.

1990-1995

In 1990, Rev. Samuel Argenziano was appointed pastor by Archbishop Adam Exner.  Father Sam came from St. Edward The Confessor Church with his pet companion Rex.  In 1994, he was instrumental in a number of renovations done in the church: doors, lighting, carpet, painting and a new sound system.  During this time, the late Sir Thomas Cropo donated carillon bells for the church.

Under the direction and guidance of Father Sam, on May 23, 1993, Father David was ordained Deacon from St. Anthony of Padua Parish (Sacred Order of The Diaconate (Transitional).  Father David was ordained at St. Mary’s Cathedral on May 12, 1994, and celebrated his first mass on May 15, 1994, at St. Anthony’s.  Father David is presently the Pastor of St. Theresa’s Parish in Middlechurch, Manitoba.  Reverend Deacon Walter Frank Kowalski died on January 24, 1995.  He served our parish faithfully until ill health prevented him from continuing his ministry.  “The Souls of the just are in the hands of God”.

In 1990, Father Sam promoted the R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation) for adults.  The Seniors Group (Leisure Club) was started in the Spring of 1991.  The “Dream Team” was a group that was visioning for the future and parish development.  The “Remembering Church” group was also formed.  This was a program which invited people back to the church.

Father Sam supported the establishing of the Knights of Columbus, St. Anthony of Padua Council. 10569.  The Council was formed in January 1991 with 43 members and the charter was signed in March 1991.

Michael Wollbaum was a Seminarian Intern at St. Anthony’s from August 1994 to August 1995 assisting Father Sam.  Prior to our Parish, he entered St. Peter’s Seminary in Ontario (1990) and onto St. Augustine’s, Brandon (1993) and in August 1994 to St. Anthony’s.  He was ordained to The Sacred Order of The Diaconate (Transitional) at St. Mary’s Cathedral on December 14, 1995.  He was ordained to the Priesthood on May 2, 1996.  Since his ordination, he has assisted in many Parishes:  St. Mary’s Cathedral, Amaranth, Swan River,  Camperville, Dauphin, and Neepawa.  Also, from June 1996 to July 1997 he was Pontifical Master of Ceremonies (in charge of liturgical ceremonies for the bishop).  He is currently Pastor of St. Charles Parish in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 1995, Father Sam went to Holy Rosary Parish on River Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1995-2002

In 1995, Father Terance McGrath was appointed by Archbishop Rev. Leonard Wall.  He came from Notre Dame Church in Selkirk, Manitoba.

Terance McGrath was born on August 28, 1943, in Lindsay, Ontario (approximately 75 miles northeast east from Toronto, Ontario).  His parents Edward McGrath and Mary Ellen Mooney had 7 children (5 boys, 2 girls); John, Lorraine (Etobicoke, Ontario), Robert (Oshawa, Ontario), Terance (Winnipeg), Barry (Calgary, Alberta), Sheila (Etobicoke, Ontario) and Edward (Reabora, Ontario).  His eldest brother John passed away in 1975.  He has 11 living nieces and nephews and one deceased.

During his youth Terance attended:

–    St. Dominic’s Catholic School for Boys in Lindsay, Ontario for grades 1-5.

–    St. Mary’s Catholic School in Lindsay, Ontario for grades 6-8.

–    Lindsay Collegiate, Lindsay, Ontario for grades 9-13

At age 18 (1961), Terance was called to become a priest.  He entered  Novitiate Nazareth House in St. Mary’s, Ontario for one year of spiritual theology in preparation to go into the Society of Scarborough Foreign Missions (priests for foreign lands).  It was compulsory at that time to complete this year in preparation for the Seminary.

At age 19 (1962), Terance entered St. Frances Xavier Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, and attended classes at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary. He studied for three years and received his Bachelor of Arts, B.A. majoring in philosophy, (Thomistic Philosophy, Latin, psychology, ethics, anthropology, and logic, etc.).

He continued his studies for the next three years and majored in theology (scripture, church history, canon law, missiology (missionary studies).  At age 22 (1965), he went onto Language School for 6 months for Spanish Immersion in St. Mary’s, Ontario.  Terance speaks Spanish fluently.

In 1968, Terance was sent to the Dominican Republic to work with the missionaries.  He was there for almost two years.

At age 27 (1970), he went back to the Seminary (St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto) for one year to complete his studies in theology.

Reverend Terance was ordained to the diaconate in May 1971 from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, Ontario by Archbishop Pocock.  From May to June 1971, he was a deacon and was appointed to St. Gertrude’s Church to assist the pastor.

On July 31, 1971 (age 28) – Reverend Terance was ordained by Bishop Morocco in Lindsay, Ontario.  His first mass was the next day – August 1, 1971, at his home parish, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Lindsay, Ontario (where he was baptized, received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation).

During the month of August he enjoyed a short holiday and in September, he continued his education (pastoral studies in counseling)  at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa for one year.  In summer of 1972 (age 29), Father Terance (Father Terry) completed his master’s degree majoring in pastoral studies accenting on individual and group counseling.

At this time, The Scarborough Fathers loaned Father Terry to Winnipeg for a one-year term (1972-73) as there was a shortage of priests.  He was sent to St. Edward’s Church as an assistant priest (part-time) with Father Louis McCloskey.  During this period, he was also a marriage counselor at the Pastoral Centre on Wolseley Street.

Father’s term was extended for another year at St. Edward’s Church (1973-1974).  He continued to assist Father Louis McCloskey part-time and continued to help with marriage counseling at the Pastoral Centre and in addition,  co-ordinated the marriage preparation classes from the Pastoral Centre.

In 1974, Cardinal Flahiff appointed Father Terry to Stony Mountain Federal Prison and Rockwood Institute as Chaplain and the town’s priest (1974-1976). He commuted from Winnipeg and also conducted youth masses every Sunday evening at St. Paul The Apostle Church in Charleswood.

During this time on request by Cardinal Flahiff, Father Terry started the process of incardination into the Winnipeg Diocese to be completed three years later (1977).

In 1976. Father Terry was asked by the B.C. Region to coordinate the Chaplaincy Services at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford, B.C (federal prison).  He became a Federal Peace Officer and coordinated the religious programs for the inmates at Matsqui, B.C.,  Mission, B.C., and the Region Medical Centre.  He worked closely with the Chaplains in learning to meet the religious needs of the many inmates.   He was also involved in the process of closing the B.C.P. Prison.

In the Fall of 1978, Archbishop Flahiff appointed Father Terry to St. Peter’s Church in Winnipeg, replacing Msgr. Michael Moore.  During his four-year stay (1982), the church debt was decreased,  re-organizing of storage areas and a garage was built.

In 1982-1991 (nine years), Father Terry was appointed to Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Parish.  His involvement was:  planning and developing, renovating and expanding the church, hall, administration and education area, social area and worship area.

From 1991-1995 (four years), Father Terry was appointed to Notre Dame Church in Selkirk, Manitoba.

In August 1995, Father Terance was appointed to St. Anthony of Padua Parish.  During these last five years, he has supported many projects such as new windows in the rectory, new boiler, new ventilation system, patio area renovations, new sunroom, new kitchen (hall), new floor tiles (hall), office renovations and security system, etc.  He also guided our many parish groups; P.P.C.-Parish Pastoral Council, CWL-Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, the three Choirs, Altar Servers, Liturgy, R.C.I.A.-Right of Christian Initiation for Adults, Catechists, Marriage Preparation, Bingo Committee, Leisure Group, Finance Committee, Collection Counters, Decorating Committee and Children/Youth Liturgy.

A special honor was bestowed to Edward Winiarz upon receiving the Benemerenti Medal.  The conferral of this honour took place on Sunday, November 14, 1999, at St. Mary’s Cathedral.  This is a special award given by the Pope to an individual who has given many dedicated years of service to the church.

2002-2006

In 2002, Msgr. Michael Moore was appointed by Archbishop Rev. V. James Weisgerber.  He came from St. Charles Parish in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Msgr. Moore semi-retired in July of 2006

2006-2011

In 2006, Fr. Henryk Laciak was appointed by Archbishop Rev. V. James Weisgerber.  He came from Our Lady of Victory Parish in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Fr. Henryk retired in July of 2011.

2011-2012

In 2011, Fr. Mark Filips was appointed Parochial Administrator for a 1-year term by Archbishop Rev. V. James Weisgerber.  He came from St. Charles Parish in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

On June 3, 2011, Fr. Mark Filips was ordained at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Fr. Mark was born on September 29 in Kenora, Ontario.  His parents are Donald and Alicia and he has two brothers Greg and Ian.

Education:

– Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, Toronto 1994-1995

– Funeral Service Program. Apprenticeship with Jenkens Funeral Home in Thunder Bay, 1995-1996

– Funeral Director and Embalmers License 1997

– Worked in the Funeral profession for 10 years in Thunder Bay, Kenora, and Winnipeg

– University of Manitoba (St. Paul’s College) Winnipeg, 1999-2003: undergraduate degree (BA) major – Religious Studies: minor – Philosophy.

– Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corners (Milwaukee) Wisconsin, 2007-2011, Master of Divinity (MDiv)

While Fr. Mark was at the University of Manitoba, he studied Modern Greek language for 3 years and in the Seminary studied Spanish.

In his childhood, he took piano lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music up top Level Four.  He still enjoys playing the piano and the organ.  Fr. Mark also danced Ukrainian Dancing with the Junior Vesalka Dancers in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Fr. Mark had a handrail built and installed on the steps of the altar to the ambo for the readers and had a beautiful stained glass window made and put into the confessional while he was here.  The stained glass window was made by one of our parishioners, Ray Mazur and donated by him and his wife Peggy.

Fr. Mark was appointed Pastor of St. Jude’s in Erickson on July 3, 2012.  From that parish he will also serve St. Alphonsus Parish in Minnedosa, Sacred Heart Church in Elphinstone and reduced service at St. Elizabeth of Hungry Church in Polonia.

2012 – Present

In 2012, Fr. Dominic Yuen was appointed Pastor by Archbishop Rev. V. James Weisgerber.  He came from St. Augustine of Canterbury Church in Brandon, Manitoba.

Father Dominic was born and grew up in Brandon. He received all of his sacraments of initiation as well as celebrated one of his first masses at St. Augustine’s Church.

He received his diploma in Psychiatric Nursing at the Brandon Mental Health Center where he worked for some fourteen years. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at the Brandon University and his Masters of Divinity at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON.

A graduate of St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Father Dominic served as an assistant at Holy Rosary Parish in Winnipeg and as pastor in Russell and Rossburn until being sent to St. Augustine’s as pastor in July 2006.

Father Dominic attributes his relationship with Jesus Christ and his early spiritual development to his mother, the priests of St. Augustine’s and to many of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions whom he holds with deep affection. Father considers it an awesome privilege to have been able to serve his home parish as pastor.

On July 3, 2012, Fr. Dominic has been appointed Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish (WK) in Winnipeg.

In 2014, the rectory and office areas were upgraded and renovated.  In 2015, new lights and fans were installed in the parish and in 2016, the roof was reshingled.  By the end of May 2017, we should be starting the renovations for the sanctuary wall.