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Masses Resume at Our Lady of Lebanon church – Toronto

Masses Resume at Our Lady of Lebanon church – Toronto

12. June, 2020Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

 

In light of the government announcement of June 7, 2020, regarding the re-opening of places of worship, in which it was indicated that places of worship may open as of today, June 12, we recognize the extensive protocols that must be in place to safely re-open our churches. These include the training of clergy, staff and volunteers as well as ensuring appropriate cleaning supplies, signage and capacity control mechanisms can be prepared.

Mindful that we are still in a period of pandemic, our goal is to ensure we can welcome the faithful and provide a safe environment for all.

Recognizing these challenges and balancing them with the understandable desire of the faithful to return to their spiritual home, Masses will resume on Sunday June 21, 2020 (But NO MASS in Pickering). For now, we still have 2 Masses on Sundays: on 10:30AM and 12:30PM.

Please note that as per government direction regarding capacity:

  • Churches are limited to 30% of their worship space. In our case, We are allowed a maximum of 150 people only in each Mass.
  • Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings are restricted to 10 people including the priest at this time.

Our Bishop continues to provide dispensation from the Sunday Mass for those who are unable to attend for health reasons or due to capacity restrictions. During this transition period, we will try to continue to live stream the Mass on YouTube or Facebook.

Acknowledging the very basic commandment of love of neighbour, we have a responsibility to care for one another in the re-opening. Thus, the procedures and manner of the celebration of Mass and the sacraments are to be very different from the situation that we have known. We know that some of the measures that will be taken may feel strange or uncomfortable. However, in these unique days of pandemic, following reasonable restrictions to contain the virus is a matter of Faith, Charity and Justice. We ask for your full co-operation and patience as we do our very best to welcome back our parishioners, even in limited numbers.

We also extend our sincere gratitude for the members of our Parish Council and for all of you, dear parishioners, for all that you have done during this period of closure and for the efforts you are taking to prepare and implement this new chapter.

We continue to remember in prayer those who have suffered during this period of pandemic and for all those who continue to care of them.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Abouna Walid & Abouna Habib

Online Donations – THANK YOU

Online Donations – THANK YOU

7. June, 2020Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

To donate using Interac e-Transfer please use this email address to send your donation to Our Lady of Lebanon:

accounting@ourladyoflebanon.ca

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Alternatively, you can donate with your Credit Card, please click here.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY

Please make sure your full name is clear to issue your tax receipts correctly

History of Our Lady of Lebanon Church buildings

History of Our Lady of Lebanon Church buildings

19. April, 2020Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

From the Anglican Church of the Epiphany to Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church
In the story of the development of Anglican parishes in the west end of Toronto, many roads lead back to the parish of St. Anne’s, Brockton (now St. Anne’s, Gladstone). In 1876 (before St. Barnabas, Halton was carved out of the parishes of St. Anne’s and St. Matthias’), the mission parish of St. Mark’s was established. This parish, located to the south and slightly to the west of St. Anne’s on Cowan Avenue (just south of Queen) is what is known today as the Church of the Epiphany & St. Mark, Parkdale.
In 1887, a new parish was carved out of St. Mark’s — the Church of the Epiphany. The new parish, located just half a mile west of St. Mark’s, was created (at least in part) in response to residential growth in the village of Parkdale, which had recently been annexed by the city of Toronto. Epiphany’s first parishioners were from St. Mark’s, and their first meeting place was the Parkdale Masonic Hall (located at Queen and Dowling in a building which still exists and is now apartments). In September 1888, the first Church of the Epiphany was opened on a lot on the south-west corner of Queen Street and Beaty Avenue (west of Lansdowne).
The first building was not intended to be the long-term building used for worship, but rather was to be converted to Sunday school use after funds could be raised for a larger building. It sat 300 and was “an exceedingly plain building both in its exterior and interior.” The architects were Strickland and Symons of Aberdeen Chambers, Toronto. The original Church of the Epiphany still exists, and is now used as a parish school. Only its north facade can be easily seen as it is hemmed in on all other sides by housing and the rest of the church buildings. By 1910, the parish was strong enough to build its intended larger space, in order “to meet the future needs of a rapidly-growing district.” The corner stone was laid in 1910 and the parish moved into its new space on 31 March 1911. This building, with a seating capacity of 1000 or more, exists today. It was designed by Henry Bauld Gordon, who also was the architect of Church of the Messiah, Toronto and the parish hall at St. Anne’s, Gladstone. (A tower was part of the architectural design but never built.)
There was one more chapter in the history of Epiphany buildings with the addition of a parish hall in 1930. This space is also now used as part of the parish school. Its east facade is visible from Beaty Avenue. The history of the parish reflects the changing demographics of the neighbourhood. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the neighbourhood was teeming with church-going Anglicans, enough to establish a massive new building such a short distance from St. Mark’s. By mid-century, there appears to be the signs of, or at least concern about, decline. By the 1960s, with demographic changes in the neighbourhood and societal changes at play, Epiphany seemed determined to survive.
Many parishioners no longer live in the parish but continue to return to keep the parish going and active. In the 1970’s there were conversations about amalgamation with its mother church, St. Mark’s, and St. Judes’ on Roncesvalles. Many parishioners no longer live in the parish but continue to return to keep the parish going and active. In the 1970’s there were conversations about amalgamation with its mother church, St. Mark’s, and St. Judes’ on Roncesvalles.
By the early 1980’s the parish community was small and the massive buildings in need of substantial repairs. On Palm Sunday 1983 the Church of the Epiphany held its final service. A decision was taken to sell the building and amalgamate Epiphany back into its mother parish of St. Mark’s. The funds from the sale were used to refurbish the buildings and the new, amalgamated parish of Epipany & St. Mark’s was born, 96 years after St. Mark’s had given birth to the Church of the Epiphany. The buildings were sold to the Maronite community, and began their new life as Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church.
Description of the church building from the archives of the City of Toronto:
The property at 1515 Queen Street West, known historically as the Church of the Epiphany, is identified for architectural reasons. It is an important feature of the south side of Queen Street West between Beaty Avenue and Wilson Park Road. There are three structures on the property. The original church was built in 1888, the second church in 1910-1911, and the Parish Hall in 1929. The latter two buildings, both erected according to the design of the Toronto architectural firm of Gordon and Helliwell. The first Church of the Epiphany was constructed in 1888 by the Toronto architectural firm of Strickland and Symons and is still situated on the southwest corner of the property. At the time of construction this church was not intended to be used permanently for divine service. It is no longer used by the congregation. The second Church of the Epiphany was erected on the northeast corner of the site. Constructed on a basilican plan and featuring elements of the Gothic Revival style, the brick church is highlighted by stone detailing. The main (north) elevation features raised, centrally placed double doors surmounted by a large tudor window containing perpendicular tracery. The east and west corners of this elevation have stepped angle buttresses. The northeast corner is marked by a 2-storey tower containing a side entrance. The east elevation is four bays in length and is marked by single stepped buttresses. Each bay contains a single raised basement window surmounted by a tudor arched window with perpendicular tracery. To the south, a transept arm contains two bays marked by large tudor arched windows. The west elevation has an aisle entrance, is five bays in length has a transept arm of two bays in width, and shares the fenestration and but east elevation. The clerestory contains tudor arched windows. The south elevation of the church features a large window which contains perpendicular tracery. A gabled and shed roof cover the various portions of the building. The church interior comprises a narthex, a nave with side aisles, and a raised chancel. The aisles are separated from the nave by an arcade consisting of slender columns. An open wooden beam roof covers the nave while lower wooden roofs cover the aisles. The church contains 19th Century stained glass windows executed by the Toronto firm of Robert McCausland Limited. Adjoining the southern elevation is a 2½-storey polygonal Parish Hall with a raised basement. The openings on the first and second stories have paired trefoil windows and are highlighted by stone sills and lintels. A polygonal roof covers the building.old church epiphany sketch
epiphany-1910-cornerstone
epiphany project - not completedepiphany old inside
Pentecost – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

27. June, 2019Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

This feast of the Pentecost is of great importance as it marks the coming of the Holy Spirit. The “Rabulla Gospels” were with the Maronites since the 6th Century. They are one of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts and are based on the Syriac Peshita version of the Gospel. They also contain this icon of Pentecost. The icon invites us to contemplate the scene of the Gospel and live it in your own life.

The large blue arch in the icon symbolizes the heavenly realm. The trees that are growing above the blue represent the Garden of Paradise. The Holy Spirit descends on the Upper Chamber where the apostles are assembled at Pentecost. “Blessed is He who exalted Adam and caused him to return to Paradise.” (from Hymns on Paradise from St Ephrem)

The dove descending is the Spirit of the Living God. It descends from the blue heavenly realm and enters the earthly realm to rest on Mary who is speaking with the apostles. The dove echoes Jesus earlier baptism. This is also reflective of the scene in Acts 2:3 where tongues of fire res on each disciples head.

The inclusion of Mary in the icon is important. Syriac theology has been instrumental in the development of early Marian theology. Mary is not mentioned in the scene in Acts 2, however she is mentioned as being with the Apostles earlier in Acts 1:14. The icon puts Mary center stage in the scene and puts her in a place of prominence. Her dark blue robe stands in contrast to the paler blue of the apostles and her halo is golden in comparison to the violet of the apostles. The icon is depicting the the gathering of Christ’s Church. Christ had ascended nine days earlier and left Mary as the leading Church custodian among the apostles.

Around Mary you can see a concentration of red which is representative of the divine. This is a typological reference to God who in the Old Testament is fire, for example the burning bush at Mt Sinai. The rocky sapphire stones on which they stand are a reference to Exodus 24:10 “and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.” They now see God by way of the Spirit.

Take a moment this Sunday and contemplate the icon. Feel the warmth of the Spirit in your life, it is the link for us between heaven and earth.

rabbula-pentecost1

June, the month of the Sacred Heart

June, the month of the Sacred Heart

2. June, 2017Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

June is Devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The month of June is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque is recognized as the saint associated with the Sacred Heart of Jesus due to her private revelations in 1673-1675. She responded to Jesus by promoting the Feast Day of the Sacred Heart, First Friday devotions, and the Holy Hour of Reparation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 478) states that Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me.” He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings” without exception.

When Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon your shoulders and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will rest, for My yoke is easy and My burden light.” (Mt 11:28-30) he is truly calling us to share in his love … love poured from his Most Sacred Heart and we are called to respond to his love by building a loving relationship with him and with our neighbor.

 

The Sacred Heart Feast Day is June 23 and here is a beautiful prayer to the Sacred Heart:

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.