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A History of Holy Family Parish

(Special Thanks to Denyse Hinca, a member of the building committee in 1981)

Holy Family Parish was officially established in August of 1978. Before then it was a Mission Church of St. Patrick's Wildfield. In the early 1960's Rev. J.E. Lawlor came from Wildfield to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in the Bolton Town Hall. In the summer a priest from Toronto would come to celebrate Mass at the "Fresh Air" camp - later known as the Bolton Camp. There were only 20 Catholic Families at that time in the area.  Fr. Lawlor said "Before you can have a church building - you need a Catholic School."

There was a certain amount of controversy in in getting a Catholic School. The long time residents in Bolton did not want Catholics in town. The town was opposed to a Catholic School. A small group of Catholics had to go to the Supreme Court to get permission to build a School.  At that time - you needed 50 students to be able to open a Catholic School.They did not have enough - only 49, so they opened up registration to the community.  One could imagine how the community responded: first of all they did not want a Catholic School, let alone sending their children to that school!  A neighbour of a Catholic teacher was of age for Kindergarden - and this non-Catholic became the 50th person.  Holy Family Catholic School was opened in 1966.

The parishioners could now attend Mass in the School. It was held in the Kindergarden Room - probably twice the size of a regular classroom these days. A Portable Church was eventually built on the property behind the current Petro - Canada gas station at Queensgate & Hwy 50.  It was larger than a school portable - but did not have running water - and no washrooms. By 1970 Fr. Joe O'Neill was the priest that came from St. Patrick's Wildfield to celebrate Mass (Holy Family was still a mission of St. Patrick's. Fr. Joe would come with his dog Bruno - who stayed in the car while Fr. Joe celebrated Mass. There was only 1 Mass on Sunday Morning - at 9:30 am.  Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals all took place at St. Patrick's.

Fr. Leslie Tamas was appointed Pastor in 1978 when the Parish was officially established. From 1978 to 1982 Funds were collected from parishioners to have enough money to start the building in 1982. The sacrifices that many families made at that time enabled the present Church to be built, and it was blessed in September 1982 by Gerald Emmett  Cardinal Carter. 

Many things have changed since the 1960's. We have 4 Catholic Elementary Schools in Bolton: Holy Family (which was rebuilt and expanded in 2005, St. John Paul II, St. John the Baptist, and St. Nicholas. After sending students to Notre Dame Secondary School in Brampton, and Robert F. Hall Secondary School in Caledon East, we have had St. Michael's Secondary School in Bolton since 2010. We are very appreciative and thankful for the many people who have gone before us and fought to have Catholic Schools and a Church here in Bolton.