Category: St. Mary’s Parish

Fr. Alex McDonald – 1927-2010

Fr. Alex Collage-3

Fr. Alex and some of his parishioners from Ichinomiya, Japan at Scarboro in 2006

Fr. Alexander Duncan McDonald SFM

– A native of Alexandria, Ontario in Glengarry County, passed away June 4, 2010 one day after his 83rd birthday. Fr. Alex was ordained at St. Finnan’s Cathedral  in Alexandria, Ont. on December 22, 1951 and gave 52 years of generous missionary service to the Church in Japan with over 40 years as pastor of Ichinomiya. Since his return to Canada he has been in an active retirement offering pastoral assistance in parishes in Scarborough, Lancaster and Williamstown (St. Mary’s Parish), and as chaplain to the Japanese Catholic community in Toronto.


30th Anniversary of Japanese Community

Toronto, Ontario

His priesthood and missionary commitment are greatly appreciated by his fellow missioners at Scarboro.


Fr. Alex is survived by his brother Wilfred McDonald (Donna) of Espanola, ON and his sister Mary Beth Thompson (Joseph) of Spokane, Washington and several nephews and nieces: Amy (Dan), Fraser (Jana), Michael (Kerrie), Anne, John (Anne), Paul (Amber), Jennifer(Vin). Visitation will be at Scarboro Missions, 2685 Kingston Rd., Scarborough (corner of Brimley and Kingston Rd.) on Monday, June 7th from 7-9 p.m. and June 8th from 9:15-10:15 a.m. followed by the Mass of the Resurrection at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be in Our Lady of the Clergy Cemetery immediately after Mass. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the work of Scarboro Missions would be appreciated.

Williamstown, Ontario – A Pictorial Essay and History

Today Williamstown is a quiet country village, but in days gone by, it was far much more. One of the local villagers, Monique Major, put together a  76 page pictorial essay for the 200th Anniversary of Williamstown. I scanned this wonderful document filled with pictures and various clippings etc., and posted it on the parish website:  It is posted as a slide show on Flickr. (The cheapest way I could make it available for viewing and reading.) Take a look, and have a little read by visiting my Flickr posting. (See if you can identify the buildings in this websites header.) Make sure to manually control the slide show, and have it fill your whole monitor. This way you will be able to proceed at your own speed, and fully read and digest the clippings. Enjoy, here is the Link: Beautiful Historic Williamstown by Monique Major

The Ladies of St. Mary’s Host Their Annual Tea

For as long as anyone can remember the Ladies’ Guild of St. Mary’s Parish have held a tea in November. At one time, before the parish had a suitable hall, the tea was held in private homes. In those days, women from the parish would volunteer to host this annual event, and the women of the parish would bring their fine china, silver teapots and cutlery to serve tea, home baked cakes, cookies, squares, and special party sandwiches. Today, many years later, the Ladies’ Guild still sponsors the event in our small parish hall, and numerous women still provide the baked goods and sandwiches. (Years ago the Guild acquired the fine dishes to serve the tea.)

Collage of Guild Tea 2008

The event now incorporates a baked goods and crafts sale, and the money raised is used to maintain the projects of the Guild. The most marvellous aspect of the tea, however, is the tea itself. Women from the local community and surrounding area gather to socialize and share their stories. In an era of fast food. and constant rush, it is wonderful to go back in time to an era when people gathered just to chat and to enjoy a quiet afternoon together, and of course,  in the regal splendour of fine china and silver. 

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Lent Is Not Just About You and Me, or
The Here and the Now,
It Is About Our Eternal Destiny!


Lent is a time to take a serious look at one’s relationship with God. It is a time to train ourselves to more earnestly seek God through reflection, prayer, and sacrifice. Some miss the whole point of lent by turning it into a time of self-improvement or self-realization, missing the whole point of lent which is union with God. It is not just about now, but eternity. Example: We fast not to lose weight, but to become less attached to the things of this mortal world, and to more fully enter into the mystery of God’s love for us and God’s ways.
This year lent is early. It begins this Wednesday, February 6th, (Ash Wednesday), a day on which Catholics cut back on their food (fasting), and abstain from meat (abstinence). It is a day on which we anoint our selves with ashes, and remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Ash Wednesday is a day to really give thanks that dust is not the end.
As Christians, we know, in faith, that the dust of death is really a beginning. During lent we remember that we have been saved from death’s terrible fate by Jesus, the Son of God. Lent is a time to appreciate God’s love for us, and to deepen our union to the God who created us, became one of us, and died for us.
Let us pray for each other as we journey through lent together, and join our own sufferings to the Cross of Christ for the world’s salvation.

Ash Wednesday Mass will be at 7:00pm – St. Mary’s

mark and val’s asian stir fry

Mark and his wife Val are on a one year Asian Tour. [Mark (just married) is the son of Paul & Annie R… of St. Mary’s Parish]. Both Mark and Val have been studying International Relations, and this voyage is part of their career development. Some of you might like to follow their voyage, or look in now and then to see how they are doing.

God be with you, Mark and Val, and thank you for sharing your adventure. Fr. Bob

75th Anniversary – St. Mary’s Ladies’ Guild

Sometime during the month of May in 1931, Fr. Alex MacDonald, the Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish (1929-1958) called together the Altar Society and the women of the Parish to enlist their help in the Parish. The meeting resulted in the formation of the Guild:

“In order to comply with this request a larger group of ladies would be organised with several convenors and committtees, working under a president and vice-president. A secretary would also be elected. Convenors for six committees would be chosen. These committees were: Linens, Vestments, Altar Care, Charity, and Catechism. From this group of six convenors, the executive was chosen.” (History of the Parish by Archibald MacDonell-1997)

In 1997 the Parish History book summarized their acivities to that date:
Through the years, the Ladies Guild has been dedicated to caring for the church and the needs of the parish. The sanctuary, the altar, linens, and flowers have been special areas of work to the members. Money has been donated to the missionaries and local charities. A needy child in Brazil has been supported for the last eight year. Church Suppers and euchres were popular means of making money.”

In 2006, the work of the Guild continues, this year the guild raised over $17,000 for an accessibility ramp for the church entrance. It also spear headed an effort to frame pictures of all the former Pastors of the Parish. These pictures will decorate a wall in our small Hall.

This year the Guild celebrates 75 years of Service. A Mass will be celebrated in thanksgiving for all past and present members of the Guild on Sunday May 28, 2006 at 10:30am.

Deo Gratias!See More Photos: