On July 15, 2020, the Region of English Canada assumed pastoral responsibility for St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Waterdown, Ontario. This is the sixth parish staffed by Holy Cross in the Region of English Canada. Fr. Francis Noronha, C.S.C., is the first Holy Cross Pastor and Fr. Allison Mahoney, C.S.C., is a resident priest assisting in the parish and in the Diocese of Hamilton.
The Village of Waterdown, located between Toronto and Niagara Falls, is a rapidly growing suburb with new housing developments relatively close to the cities of Burlington and Hamilton. St. Thomas the Apostle Parish is about a fifteen-minute drive from St. Raphael’s Church in Burlington, the other Holy Cross parish in the diocese.
The church building is relatively new, constructed in 2005. In addition to having an attractive worship space, it is quite spacious comfortably seating 1,100 people. The parish has two grade schools, one of which is next to the church. The Religious Sisters of Saint John the Baptist also have a daycare adjacent to the parish property.
Fr. Vijay Amirtharaj, C.S.C., Regional Superior, says because the local bishop is so pleased with Holy Cross's ministry at St. Raphael’s, he was happy to entrust the much larger and newer St. Thomas the Apostle Parish to the Congregation.
In reflecting on the Congregation's work in English Canada, Fr. Amirtharaj says, “As religious of Holy Cross, we bring the unique perspective of family, community, and collaboration to our parish ministry. This is appreciated by both the parishioners and the dioceses where we minister.”
Depending on restrictions related to the coronavirus, a formal installation of Fr. Noronha, C.S.C., as pastor will take place in the fall.