Saint Matthew Parish established by the Bishop of Hamilton, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Anthony F. Tonnos, DD, on August 1, 1988.
DECREE OF ESTABLISHMENT
I do hereby establish a parish under the title of Saint Matthew
in the Town of Oakville, Ontario, as of the first day of August,
in the Year of Our Lord
nineteen hundred and eighty-eight.
The boundaries of this Parish shall be the Sixteen Mile Creek to the East,
Bronte Road to the West,
Lower Base Line Road to the North,
and the Queen Elizabeth Way to the South.
The Pastor of the Parish at the time of its establishment is
The Reverend Leonard Strohmeyer.
I pray that the establishment of this Parish may be
for the greater glory of God
and the pastoral care of His people.
+Anthony F. Tonnos
BISHOP OF HAMILTON
Reverend Peter Hundt
- The Bishop's decree establishing our parish recognized the potential of this growing area of Oakville. Long before 1988, the need for a new parish north of the Queen Elizabeth Way became evident. Thanks to the hard work of a group of parent volunteers a needs survey was conducted and the results presented to Bishop Tonnos. The survey showed that the Glen Abbey area would be a fast growing community in North Oakville. This has proven to be true.
- The first Mass was celebrated in the parish on the opening weekend of August 13/14, 1988. Father Strohmeyer had moved into the parish rectory and the Masses were celebrated in Saint Matthew School Gym.
- The parish rectory was furnished through the generosity of many parishioners who donated extra furnishings and household items. For the first five years of the parish the rectory was much more than a residence. It served as a weekday Chapel, administrative offices, meeting space and a focal point for the young parish.
- The new campus for Saint Bernadette School was opened on Heritage Way in the early 1990's. It relieved the over crowding at Saint Matthew School. Mother Teresa School was blessed in 1999. It serves the area north of Upper Middle Road. A fourth school, Saint Joan of Arc opened in 2002 to serve the north-west area of the parish. In May, 2007, a fifth school, Pope John Paul II was blessed by Bishop Tonnos and services the area of west of Bronte Road. Our latest school is St. Mary School. Along with serving these 6 Elementary Schools, we also care for St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic High School. There are also many parishioners attending public and private schools who take part in our sacramental programs set up for them.
- Work on the current church building began on May 28, 1991 with the formation of the Parish Building Committee. This hard working group assisted Father Strohmeyer in overseeing the construction of a truly beautiful and worthy ìhouse for the Church. The official ground breaking celebration was held on September 13, 1992. Hundreds of parishioners joined Bishop Tonnos, Father Strohmeyer and the Building Committee for this very festive occasion.
- Sunday, June 23, 1993 the Diocese of Hamilton joyfully celebrated the dedication of its newest church building. Bishop Anthony Tonnos and many clergy, parishioners and guests, crowded into the partially finished structure to dedicate the building to the greater glory of God. The regular celebration of the Eucharist began in the church in September 1993. Since then the church has been furnished with a statue of the Virgin with Child, a statue of St. Joseph, and a painting of Saint Matthew. More recently a statue of St. Gianna Beretta Molla with her 3 children has been set up in the Narthex main entrance of the church.
- The major work of liturgical art in the Church - Christ the Teacher - was blessed by Bishop Tonnos on Sunday, October 27, 2000. This masterful piece was executed by Mr. Aachim Klaas after much input from the parish community. It stands as a dramatic reminder that the teaching of Christ comes through the Gospels and the Church to all of us. We are all part of proclaiming Christ's life and teaching in our parish, our homes, our workplaces, and in the world. Mr. Klaas is also the artist responsible for the other statues in our church.
- A parish exists to gather God's people for the praise and worship of Almighty God and to help people grow in the life of grace. The first Baptism in the parish took place on Sunday, September 18, 1988. Since then, over 2000 children and adults have been born into new life through water and the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Each year children are further initiated into the life of grace through the Sacrament of Confirmation and are welcomed to the Lord's Table in the Eucharist. Weekly people encounter God's loving forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many young couples enter into the commitment of Marriage by celebrating the exchange of their vows in the presence of our Christian community.
- All these celebrations help and strengthen us in our journey of faith with the Lord. Through the Sacraments we are nourished by the abundant grace and mercy of Almighty God who seeks to gather us to Himself.
- Saint Matthew Parish has been served by three Pastors. Father Leonard Strohmeyer, the founding Pastor, was here until 2000. He was followed by Fr. David Wynen, who was Pastor until 2006. Our present Pastor is Fr. Mark Gatto who has been here since 2006.