Our Parish

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At St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School, we work in partnership with our local parish to strengthen our Catholic beliefs.

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
903 Giffard Street
Whitby, ON  L1N 2S3

Tel: 905-6683676
Fax: 905-668-9109
Email: Sje.whitby@sympatico.ca

Pastor: Rev. Damian Ali

History of our church

Once a month, students at St. Marguerite d'Youville make the 1.2 km walk from the school to St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church to celebrate Mass together. The church is located at 903 Giffard Street, where it has stood since 1959. The current church is the third building to be home to parishioners of St. Johns.


Catholics, mainly from Ireland, began to settle in the Whitby area in the 1830s. By the end of the 1840s, they were able to attend church in either Oshawa or Pickering Village. Whitby remained closely connected to these churches for the next 100 years. The first Catholic church in Whitby was blessed and opened on May 24, 1868. It was called St John's Roman Catholic Church and was located on the corner of John and Palace Streets in Whitby. It was designed by architect Henry Langley, one of the most prolific architects in 19th-century Ontario. Langley, who was known for his training in Gothic architecture under William Hay, designed more than 70 churches for many denominations; 12 of Langley's buildings are in Whitby, including All Saints Church, St. John's Roman Catholic Church and the Whitby High School (1872).

Sadly, St. John's was destroyed by a fire in 1901. However, by 1902, a new church was built on the same site and on December 14 of that year, the new church was blessed by the Archbishop of Toronto, Most Reverend Denis O'Connor.

By 1957, there were 500 families and 1,700 parishioners, and this second church was far too small. In October of that year, Father Austin received permission from Cardinal James McGuigan to build a new church. A campaign fund with a goal of $170,000 was established. Land on Giffard Street was acquired from the Separate School Board. The church was completed the following year and was blessed by His Eminence James Charles Cardinal McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto, on June 7, 1959.

The church, which still serves the parish, is of a very distinctive design. Frank A. Burchers' contemporary design is best described as diamond shaped. From the outside, the roof resembles a saddle. With no columns or obstructions, the altar is visible from all points in the church. The year 2008 marked the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 50th anniversary of the current church.







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