St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in East York will celebrate its 100th anniversary this Sunday, Oct. 25.
The celebration will feature a special mass led by Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, at 11 a.m.
Due to COVID-19 safety rules, the mass will feature a small number of parishioners in personal attendance. Many more parishioners will take part in the mass from the safety of their homes through online streaming.
Given the long COVID-19 lockdown, there was some concern that there might not be an opportunity to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the church, located at Wolverleigh Boulevard and Glebemount Avenue, at all.
However, the church community has found a way to come together and celebrate both virtually and safely in person.
“Out of love and concern for the community, during the lockdown contact among parishioners was minimal and in person religious celebrations were halted,” said a church press release. “And even now that the church is reopened, the parish’s maximum capacity has been drastically reduced to ensure physical distancing and many protocols have been put in place to limit the spread of the virus. Under these circumstances, the odds of a centenary celebration happening at all were slim. But thanks to social media, St. Brigid’s is overcoming these obstacles and is celebrating its 100th anniversary.”
Organizers of this Sunday’s celebration pointed out the St. Brigid’s parish has faced lots of adversity since first opening in 1920, including The Depression and the Second World War.
“We could either give in to COVID-19 or we could carry on,” said Father Carlos Sierra in the press release. “At St. Brigid’s we decided to carry on in spite of the obstacles we were facing. That’s what Torontonians do.”
The first mass at St. Brigid’s was celebrated on Christmas Day 1920.