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History of Holy Child Parish
The history of Holy Child Parish reflects the history of East Regina's growth and development. Originally, the Catholics of the area attended Little Flower Parish, but by the early 1960's, the people of the growing Glen Elm subdivision worked together to establish St. Joseph the Worker Parish, with their new church officially blessed on September 2, 1963.
The growth of the Glencairn subdivision in the 1970's resulted in the need for another Catholic parish, and Archbishop Charles Halpin established Holy Child Parish on October 9, 1977 with Fr. Louis Kubash as founding pastor.
The new parish has land but no buildings, so the gymnasium of the newly opened St. Theresa School was used for Sunday Masses, with the first regular Sunday Mass celebrated in the school gym on October 9, 1977.
Weekday Masses were celebrated alternately at St. Theresa and St. Catherine Schools. A building committee had already begun meeting in September of 1977 and the parish council, Catholic Women's League and Men's Club were established by early 1978.
The sod-turning and ground blessing ceremony for the parish centre took place on July 15, 1979, and the parish hall was completed by July 1, 1980. After the 11:00 Mass at St. Theresa School on Sunday, August 24, 1980, the parishioners picked up their chairs and carried them across the street to the new building. On August 30 the first Mass was celebrated in the parish hall. Although the church was not totally completed, it was used regularly for Mass starting on October 26, with the official blessing of the hall on November 6, 1980. With the assistance of many volunteers, a rectory, paced parking lots and landscaping were completed in the next few years. The first Mass in the newly completed church was on October 26, 1980 and the dedication and blessing of Holy Child Church was celebrated on November 6, 1980 by Archbishop Charles Halpin.
The year 1985 brought significant developments in the life of Holy Child Parish with the establishment of the Knights of Columbus Archbishop O'Neill Council No. 8896 on May 8, followed by rejoining with St. Joseph the Worker Parish to form Holy Child/St. Joseph the worker Parish Community with Fr. Joe Balzer as pastor. Construction of an addition to the building began in the late Fall of 1987 and moving in day from the basement of the rectory was February 8, 1988, which gave much needed room for a chapel, welcoming area, cry room and parish offices.
Over the years, Fr. Joe was assisted by Fr. Rick Krofchek as well as many seminarians for their internship year: J.R. Prince - 1988; Stephen Bill - 1989; Don Bolen and John Moriarty - 1991; Brian Meredith - 1992; Julien Hammond - 1994; Brad Fahlman - 1997; as well as Joe Lang, a pastoral assistant who was ordained a permanent deacon in 1999. The parish grew and thrived as the east end of Regina continued to expand. After Fr. Joe died suddenly on May 1, 1998, Fr. John Weckend was appointed pastor. With the area continuing to grow, many parishioners who lived south of Victoria Avenue worked to establish Resurrection Parish in the fall of 2000. Fr. Lorne Crozon became pastor of Holy Child in 2008 and when he became rector of Holy Rosary Cathedral in 2011, Fr. Danilo Rafael became parish administrator of Holy Child/St. Joseph Parish Community that August. In August of 2017, Fr. Dan became the rector of Holy Rosary Cathedral and Fr. Brian Meredith became the pastor of Holy Child.
Throughout the years, the work of the pastor has continuously been supported by dedicated staff members as well as retired priests such as Fr. Art Vandendriessche, Fr. Gene Schaffer, Fr. Norm Marcotte and Fr. Pat Murphy. Some international seminarians and priests spent some time at Holy Child to experience Canadian culture before being ordained and/or assigned parishes in the archdiocese. These include: Fr. Francis (Prince) Kurisinkal, Fr. Alejandro Cabonelas, Fr. Joseph Kuruville, Fr. Valentine Amobi, Fr. Paul Mau Nguyen, Fr. Xuan Thuy Nguyen. Ricardo Escalante (2017) and Andrew Lindenbach (2018) were seminarians at Holy Child Parish before being ordained to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Regina.
In September 2013, the 50th Anniversary of St. Joseph the Worker was celebrated. An Archdiocesan study on the number of churches in Regina resulted in the closure of St. Joseph the Worker Church on July 5, 2014. Weekday Masses are now celebrated at Holy Child. The St. Joseph church building was sold that August and many items from the church are now part of Holy Child, such as the St. Joseph the Worker statue, the altar for the tabernacle, the processional cross used for funerals and during Easter season and the seasonal banners.
Although Holy Child may look more like a warehouse than a church on the outside, it is well known for the beauty and prayerful atmosphere of the sanctuary, highlighted by the stained glass windows (salvation history and works of mercy) designed by Egon Stratmann, a well-known liturgical artist from the Diocese of Essen, Germany; the modern stations of the cross painted by Regina born artist Erica Grimm-Vance; as well as the powerful seasonal environment created by members of the liturgy committee.
It takes many volunteers to fill the liturgical ministry roles at our weekend Masses and parish life is very active, with many parishioners taking part in sacramental preparation, RCIA, programs such as Alpha and scripture study, gatherings for prayer and reflection throughout the year and hosting many workshops at Holy Child. Many parishioners are involved in ministry to the sick at home, hospitals and care homes and the parish is always responsive to the social justice committee's requests to assist those in need locally and beyond, especially assisting the settlement of refugees. The first homes in Canada for many families were furnished through donations from parishioners. Catering continues to be a good source of income to assist in our parish operations, with many dedicated volunteers assisting in catering and bartending groups.
The parish works closely with St. Theresa and St. Catherine Schools in their liturgical life and religious education programs. Children from these schools as well as other elementary schools in the area assist the parish as altar servers and members of the children's choir. Parishioners attending Miller, LeBoldus and other area high schools take part in liturgical ministries as well as offering Christian service for sacramental preparation, parish breakfasts, the Fall Supper, the CWL bazaar, the social justice garage sales and other parish events.
Some renovations have been necessary in recent years, such as new carpeting, more energy efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning, opening up our Blessed Sacrament Chapel more to the church, washroom and kitchen improvements to keep our building in up to date working order. Our parish also welcomes community groups such as AA and is often a venue for Archdiocesan events and non-profit group events.
Many children have grown up at Holy Child throughout the years and now attend with their own children, giving our parish up to five generations of families! Recent immigrants have joined our community throughout the years, reflecting the multicultural diversity of Canada and becoming part of our parish family.
At present we have about 950 families. Our parish has seen times of growth and change throughout the years and remains a welcome home for all whose lives have been touched by our faith community!