Stained Glass of Jesus as Priest, Healer of Body and Soul and Teacher

Pastors - Past and Present

Most of the history below (to 1998) is taken from the booklet prepared for the 75th Anniversary of OLPH, celebrated by Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic on April 19, 1998. Some updates since April 1998 have been added to bring these highlights up-to-date.

Msgr. Jim Photo
Monsignor James Hannah
Eighth Pastor, July 2002 - Present: Msgr. James Hannah was appointed pastor of OLPH Parish on July 1, 2002. He had previously served as Associate Pastor of St. Mary of the People Parish in Oshawa from 1972 to 1979. From 1979 to 1982, he was on leave from the Archdiocese doing specialized training in Clinical Pastoral Education. When he returned, he was appointed as Director of the Office of Lay Ministry and Chaplaincy for the Archdiocese. Msgr. Hannah maintained that position until he was appointed pastor of OLPH.
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Fr. Cyril Robitaille Photo
Father Cyril Robitaille
Seventh Pastor, 1998-2002: Fr. Cyril Robitaille was appointed as pastor in July of 1998. Father had served as associate pastor and pastor in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
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Fr. Wilfred B. Firth Photo
Father Wilfred B. Firth
Sixth Pastor, 1993-1998: On December 15, 1993, Fr. Wilfred B. Firth was appointed the pastor. Father had served as associate pastor and pastor in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
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Fr. Basil Courtemanche Photo
Father Basil F. Courtemanche
Fifth Pastor, 1978-1993: Fr. Basil F. Courtemanche was appointed pastor on September 7, 1978. He had been a professor, the Dean of Studies, and a vice president at St. Augustine's Seminary, and had served as pastor and associate pastor in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
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Msgr. Lucius F. Barnett Photo
Msgr. Lucius F. Barnett
Fourth Pastor, 1953-1978: Msgr. Lucius F. Barnett was assigned pastor in September 9, 1953 and arrived to the parish on September 12. It was his only pastorate. Msgr. Barnett had been a professor at St. Augustine's Seminary, and had held several key positions on the Toronto Marriage Tribunal.
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Msgr. William A. Egan Photo
Msgr. William A. Egan
Third Pastor, 1930 - 1953: Fr. William A. Egan was appointed pastor on March 25, 1930. The church was under construction, with rising costs and the stock market crash greatly reducing the invested parish funds. The debt inherited by Fr. Egan was estimated to be between $250,000 and $300,000, said to be the largest in the Archdiocese. He saw his pastorate as one of nurturing the spiritual growth of the parish and paying off the massive debt. Through his business acumen and fiscal conservatism, the debt was paid off in 20 years.
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Fr. Francis J. Morrissey Photo
Fr. Francis J. Morrissey
Second Pastor, 1925 - 1930: Fr. Francis J. Morrissey, D.D. was appointed pastor on September 8, 1925. Prior to coming to OLPH Parish, Fr. Morrissey had been a professor and vice-rector at St. Augustine's Seminary and was was among the very first faculty when the seminary was established in 1913. As pastor, he immediately changed the name of the parish to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and began the search for a permanent site for the church and an architect to design it. The Archdiocese purchased property from the Gibson family at the northwest corner of St. Clair Avenue East and Clifton Road; the deed was dated March 1, 1926.
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Fr. Francis H. Pennylegion Photo
Fr. Francis H. Pennylegion
First Pastor, 1923 - 1925: Archbishop Neil McNeil, writing from New York City, established the parish of St. Charles (later named Our Lady of Perpetual Help during the tenure of the second pastor) for the "Moore Park" section of Toronto, and appointed Fr. Francis H. Pennylegion as its first pastor on February 20, 1923. It was Fr. Pennylegion's first pastorate.
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Quick List of Pastors Who Have Served OLPH

  • Father Francis Pennylegion 1923 - 1925
  • Father Francis Morrissey 1925 - 1930
  • Monsignor William Egan 1930 - 1953
  • Monsignor Lucius F. Barnett 1953 - 1978
  • Father Basil F. Courtemanche 1978 - 1993
  • Father Wilfred B. Firth 1993 - 1998
  • Father Cyril Robitaille 1998 - 2002
  • Monsignor James Hannah 2002 - present

Priests Who Have Served (or Currently Serve) the Parish

  • Monsignor John Fullerton
  • Father Alphonse McNicholl
  • Father F.X. O'Reilly
  • Father Leo J. Murray
  • Father John G. Brennan
  • Father Gerard Breen
  • Father Joseph Johnston
  • Father William O'Brien
  • Father George Annett
  • Father Paul Lennon
  • Father William Stock
  • Father Denis McPolin
  • Father Gregory Teskey
  • Father Philip Wiley
  • Father Ronald Krafchik
  • Father Ambrose Sheehy
  • Father Christopher Walsh
  • Father J. Anthony MacDonald
  • Father Matthew Gyamfi — cds@africaonline.com.gh (ordained Biship of Diocese of Sunyani, Ghana, West Africa in June 2003)
  • Father Deogratias Rutisaire — ryanrugomwa@yahoo.com (Kenya)
  • Father Adrian D'Cruz — adcruz@jesuits.net (India)
  • Father Lawrence Martis
  • Father Joe Oriasel — joriasel@utoronto.ca
  • Father Joseph Ogbonnaya — okeymbang1969@yahoo.com
  • Father Guenter Petricek
  • Father Daniel Donovan (currently serving the parish)

Priests Who Have for Many Years Been Associated with the Parish and Frequently Assisted

  • Bishop Robert Clune
  • Father John McGoey
  • Father John Moss
  • Father Robert Moore
  • Father John Brennan
  • Father Jerry Dunn
  • Father Chris Cauchi

Many other priests were in residence and shared with the appointed priests.