Our Parish Administrator | Parish Council | Finance Council | CWL | Knights of Columbus | History of the Parish | Saint Declan's Mission | Parish Website

A Message from our
Parish Administrator

Pastor, Holy Name of Mary Parish, Almonte, Ontario
message content pending
The Archbishop has named Fr. Paul J. Gaudet as the new Parochial Administrator to take charge of parish affairs effective August 1, 2016. Fr. Paul was born in 1960, the fourth of five children, and raised in Montreal. In 1980 he moved to Toronto and began a B.A. in Philosophy at York University in the fall of 1983. He entered St. Augustine's Seminary in 1986 and was ordained to the Priesthood in May of 1991 for the Archdiocese of Toronto.
After serving two years in Toronto, Fr. Paul joined the Canadian Forces (CF) as a chaplain in July 1993 and served on several bases in Canada during his career, as well as tours in Croatia and Bosnia.
In 2012, Fr. Paul retired from the CF and returned to full time studies at Carleton and St. Paul Universities, obtaining a BA in Psychology and a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Fr. Paul worked briefly in the Counselling/Psychotherapy field before deciding to return to full time ministry. He has been assisting with the celebration of Mass and other sacrament at St. Monica's Parish in Ottawa for the past year.

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Your Parish Council

HNOM Parish Council serves as a representative, consultative body to the pastor. Governed by the parish constitution, its primary function is pastoral planning. Through due process, it is the parish council's responsibility to determine the needs of the parish community, formulate a plan to respond to those needs and ensure that these are met through parish ministries.

•      The 2009 Parish Strategic Plan: This was the first Strategic Plan developed for Holy Name of Mary Parish.
•      The 2014 Parish Strategic Plan Survey: The survey results from parishioner input helped to guide the revision of the Parish Strategic Plan.
•      Strategic Plan Prayer, by Cheryl Martin
•      Strategic Plan, Planning Day Report: The Results of Strategic Planning Workshop held on January 27, 2015.

The Parish Council meets at least monthly from September to June and in the summer if necessary. Minutes from each meeting are available in the church or from links (to be) posted here. The Parish Councl membership record can be found here. To contact your Parish Council, please click here for contact information.

Parish Council Members click here for access to Parish Council document repository (UserID and password required)
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Your Finance Council

Finance Council meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm in the church vestry. Individuals interested in attending should contact the Finance Council Chair: please click here for contact information.

Members of Finance Council may access the Finance Council Document Repository (UserID and password required) by clicking this button

The Holy Name of Mary Parish Finance Council is composed of the parish priest and at least three other members, one of whom is selected as chairperson and another as vice-chairperson. A secretary is selected who could also be the vice-chairperson. The parish finance council, through its parish priest, is accountable to the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa. The parish finance council, in conjunction with the parish priest shall:

      (a) Attend to the temporal affairs of the parish: e.g. revenue, expenses, loans, investments, repairs, constructions;
      (b) Establish the administrative guidelines for the temporal administration of the parish;
      (c) Prepare and approve the annual budget and publish the latter at the same time as the annual financial report; the council shall select the more appropriate means to enable the greatest number of parishioners to be informed as to the contents of the budget and the financial report, as well as of the overall financial situation of the parish. While the finance council establishes fixed and variable expenditures for the parish, once it has set aside funds available for pastoral work, it is not to decide further. Such responsibility lies with the parish priest and the pastoral council;
      (d) Prepare the annual financial reports to be submitted to the diocesan administration;
      (e) Designate one of its members to sit on the parish pastoral council;
      (f) Attend to the proper maintenance of the buildings;

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The Catholic Women's League (CWL)

CWL Mission Statement The Catholic Women's League of Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the people of God. The Catholic Women's League of Canada offers women an opportunity for Faith, Fun and Fulfillment in the service of God and Canada. Come, respond to God's call and take your place alongside the other 55,000 members in Ontario.

The Holy Names of Mary Catholic Women's League meet the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 in the vestry of the church after 7:00 pm mass. Our membership fees at present are $20 yearly, to be paid in November during the CWL's membership drive.

To contact your CWL Executive please click here for contact information.

The Holy Names of Mary CWL has a Facebook Page. Click here to LIKE
www.facebook.com/AlmonteStMarysCWL. CWL Facebook

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The Knights of Columbus (KoC)
Dr. J.F.Dunn-Council 5153 Knights of Columbus.


What do the Knights of Columbus do?
Through our fund raising activities( serving Sunday breakfasts, hosting roast beef dinners, steak dinners, BBQ,S , raffles etc) we contribute financially to local families in need, parish and charitable organization needs,and other community needs, particularly assistance to our catholic youth. Our members are involved in many of our parish ministries. The more men who join our Council- the more we will be able to accomplish together. There is strength in numbers.

Why should I join our K of C Council?
To work with a group of like minded men of our Parish( 1.8 million worldwide) who want to contribute some of their time to worthy Parish and community causes. To share your talents and abilities with those who are less fortunate through your work in Council activities. To contribute your time to an organization that is both spiritually and charitably based .

How much of my time is required?
As little or as much as you wish to give.

Must I attend Council meetings?
No. You are encouraged to attend our meetings to keep current with our activities but attendance is strictly voluntary.

Do I have to wear special K of C regalia?
No. If your are a member of the 4th degree you may choose to wear regalia for special events such as honour guards for funerals of our members.

How do I personally benefit?
Through the satisfaction of knowing you are helping others in a group effort and from the fraternal friendship of men like you. As important, by joining in a Catholic spiritual relationship with your friends in our Council. You will have access to one of the largest and most stable insurance programs worldwide rated AAA. These programs include whole life,term,disability, long term care insurance, including when you join; an automatic $2500 benefit to you and your wife for accidental death. In addition you will have access to a wide range of investment vehicles at competitive rates for members only.

Who should I contact if I am interested in joining or learning more about the local Knights of Columbus?
For information see the St. Mary's Church KoC web page or Knights of Columbus contact information on this site.

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History of the Parish

Click for larger image of Church altar.The physical site of the present Holy Name of Mary Church was established in 1842. Daniel Shipman made this gift of one and a half acres of land to Fr. John Hugh McDunagh, to enable the building of St Mary's Mission church in the community then known as Shipman's Mills. The 10m x 15m frame church was constructed in 1842.

A quarter of a century earlier, amid an influx of immigrants from Scotland and Ireland, Father John Macdonald regularly visited the settlement of "Sheppard's Falls," a hearty walk through the woods from Perth - for his parish was all of Lanark County.

The small community of mills on the Mississippi River started to flourish in the mid-1850's, and in 1856 the town was officially (and quizzically) named Almonte. The famous Mexican general and diplomat who said "No" to los Yanquis was probably never aware of the honour paid him. On Christmas night, 1868 fire claimed the old wooden church. Immediately the faithful of the parish joined to raise a new stone church. One parishioner, William Madden, even mortgaged his farm and home for $2000 to get the work started. The new church was almost twice as large as the old one. On Christmas Day, 1869 parishioners gathered for Mass at dawn. As was the custom, the letters A.M.D.G. were carved into the arch of the entrance. Those letters signal the banner of faith: Ad Majorem Dei Glorian, To the Glory of God! Three years later St. Mary's became a parish in the Diocese of Bytown.

Click for larger image.On October 7, 1875 it was consecrated by Bishop J. T. Duhamel. Although the parish has historically and formally been called Holy Name of Mary, with references to such in diocesan material dating to the 1930's, the sign on the front of the church was not changed until after Fr. William Penney (1996-2002) took over as pastor. He engaged in a dynamic renewal of the parish and the church. Renovations to the bell-tower and restoration of heritage details in the interior of the church began under him in 2002. In 1998 Holy Name of Mary elementary school - a testament to Catholic education - changed building and location; from behind the church, where it had been since 1873, to its new locale on Paterson Road. The same year the Town of Almonte became part of the larger, consolidated municipality of Mississippi Mills, Ontario.

to Top Under Fr. Pierre Champoux (2002-2009) the roof corner spires were removed for safety reasons, the parish embarked on a program to clean the enormous and magnificent stained glass windows and restoration of the rectory commenced. Fr. Lindsay Harrison (2009-2015), continued the work of restoring and upgrading the parish buildings. Concurrent with the restoration of the physical structure has been an ongoing renewal of the "living stones" that, by the grace of God, "are being built into a spiritual house.". In August 2015, the Parish welcomed Fr. Ben Iheagwara (C.S.Sp.) as the parochial administrator. In his year (2015-16) in the Parish, this Spiritan priest created and encouraged a parish mission to successfully sponsor a Syrian refugee family into the Parish. The Jarouses - and indeed all parishioners - are the beneficiaries of Fr. Ben's leadership.

For more history and archival information:
•      Read this "centennial booklet" published in 1969 about the first 100 years of "Old St. Mary's church" in Almonte.
•      In addition, flip through this fascinating account of our parish, entitled "Sketch of the Parish of St. Mary, Almonte, Ontario, 1823-1885 by a Priest of the Diocese of Ottawa".
•      The 2002 Restoration Committee examined the 1913 photo of the church interior and listed 22 detailed changes since 1913.
•      This is a string of photos of the church exterior (before or after the centennial celebration 1969?) - note: the shelters (over the 3 front doors) were not in the booklet cover picture.
•      This is a photo (circa 1953-1956?) of pastor Fr. W.Maurice Egan, Dr. J. Dunn and Joseph Brunette (d. Apr 3, 1956), father of Mrs. John Lyons - hence the erroneous notation of "J. Lynns" on the photo. Thanks to former parishioner Judith Scott Maloney for the correction.
•      Dedication of new altar, September 12, 2013. Archbishop's Homily | Article in the Millstone | Article in the Citizen |
•      She appeared mysteriously one night! Read about the statue of the Blessed Virgin..
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Saint Declan's Mission

Saint Declan's MissionSaint Declan's is a quaint rural church tucked into the hills of Lanark Highlands about three kilometres west of Brightside on the French Line Road. The parish was established in 1872 and the church built in 1889. It once served a community of mostly francophone families. The name was given by Father Declan Foley, who, at the church's blessing on July 7, 1889, named it after his baptismal patron*.

Over the years a priest's residence was built and a drive shed erected to provide winter shelter for the horses while Mass was being celebrated. The shed was later used to host the parish's famous annual sand-baked bean supper and dance. The rectory has since been removed but the shed still remains. On the grassy hill beside the little white church is Saint Declan's Cemetery, where former generations now rest.

Saint Declan's is a mission of Almonte, with the parish priest commuting from Holy Name of Mary Church to celebrate Mass with the congregation on a monthly basis.

Although small in numbers its faithful parishioners have kept the church financially self-sufficient. When the building was declared structurally unstable and threatened with closure in October 2001 local Catholics raised the necessary funds within a year to begin repairs that were completed in 2004.

For information on services at Saint Declan's contact Tom Crosbie or the Holy Name of Mary office at 613-256-1034.

* Saint Declan was an early Irish bishop. There is much confusion about his chronology. He is sometimes said to be one of four bishops to have preceded Saint Patrick in Ireland in the early 5th century. He is also made a contemporary of Saint David of Wales in the mid 6th century. According to his Life Saint Declan was of noble blood, his home was near Lismore. He studied at home and abroad. He converted the people of the Decies, an ancient principality of southern Ireland, to Christianity, and there he founded the monastic settlement of Ardmore (in present County Waterford). His feast day is July 24th.

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About Our Website

logo The current website was launced in December 2010 under the auspices of the Parish Council, the first Parish Strategic Plan and the commitment to improve parish communications. The logo chosen centered around the painting "Madonna of the Poor" (or Madonna of the Streets) by Italian/Dalmation artist Roberto Ferruzzi (1853-1934). The banner shape alludes to the symbol of the fish, so iconic in Christianity, reflecting Christ's invocation to his apostles to follow Him and become fishers of men (Matt 4:19). Ferruzzi's image of the Madonna of the Poor is in the public domain due to its age and is used with respect and legitimacy.