Parish History Book
The parish history book is now completed and printed. Please contact the rectory to purchase a copy. The books are full colour, are 8.5″ x 11″ in size, and are 215 pages in length. The price is $40.00 each.
1822: Flos and Vespra townships are surveyed.
1839-1841: St. Louis church in Medonte built.
1843: Fergusonvale first settled.
1847: First settlers at what would eventually become Elmvale.
1851: Town of Apto founded; population of Flos and Vespra about 400.
1855: Apto church, called St. Patrick’s, is built.
1861: Church at St. Louis seems to have been rebuilt.
1865: Parish of St. Patrick’s, sometimes referred to as Flos Parish, is founded. First resident priest is Fr. Gribbin (for three months), followed by Fr. Mullen.
1868: Town of Vigo is founded.
1869: Vigo church, St. Mary’s (also sometimes referred to as Our Lady of Purity) is built.
1870: Town of Phelpston is founded.
1875: Apto presbytery is built sometime between 1865 and 1875.
1877: Third church is built at St. Louis.
1879: Simcoe Railway arrives in the area, population increases.
1881: Wild fires destroy many homes across Flos township.
1891: Building of St. Patrick’s Church, Phelpston, commenced.
1892: Fr. Gearin leaves Apto presbytery and moves to Phelpston.
1899: Phelpston presbytery built.
1900: New altar built in St. Patrick’s, Phelpston.
1904: Sale of Apto presbytery and farmland. Church and graveyard reserved for the Episcopal Corporation. Church had only been used for funerals since building of St. Patrick’s in Phelpston.
1906-1908: St. Louis church is no longer part of St. Patrick’s parish. In 1906 the parish boundaries were changed, granting most of Medonte Township to the Waubaushene parish, but leaving St. Louis in St. Patrick’s parish. By 1908, Fr. Gearin agreed to grant St. Patrick’s remaining Medonte territory to the Waubaushene parish, which included St. Louis church.
1913: The first Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Elmvale (originally located where the Fire Station is today) was founded when a Methodist church in Elmvale was purchased by Fr. Gearin.
1914: Request made by Fr. Gearin to sell Vigo church, which has been closed since the opening of St. Patrick’s in Phelpston. Claims Mass has not been said in the Vigo church for over five years. Vigo church is eventually dismantled, with the lumber taken to St. Louis to build the rectory there. The Altar of Vigo was moved to St. Louis as well.
1919: Steam heating furnace installed in St. Patrick’s, Phelpston.
1924: Electricity wired to St. Patrick’s, Phelpston.
1926: Installation of the bell in St. Patrick’s bell tower.
1929: Death of Fr. Gearin; his grave monument laid the following year.
1952: St. Patrick’s Separate School started in Phelpston.
1963: Our Lady of Lourdes Separate School started in Elmvale.
1965: 100th Anniversary of Parish
1967: St. Alexander Mission, often referred to as the “Allenwood” church, is established after purchase of a United church.
1982: Construction of new Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Highway 27 begins; completed in about three months. St. Alexander Mission “Allenwood Church” is closed.
1984: St. Alexander Church, or the “Allenwood” church, is demolished.
1990: 125th Anniversary of Parish.
1997: Fire ravages St. Patrick’s Church and damages the rectory. Church closed for repair.
2000: Reopening of St. Patrick’s Church.
2001: Closing of St. Patrick’s Separate School
2015: 150th Anniversary of Parish.
Timeline of Priests for St. Patrick’s Parish
Priests serving the Flos and Medonte area before 1865
Fr. Dempsey 1833-1835
Fr. John Baptiste Proulx 1835-1837
Fr. Amable Charest 1837-1840
Fr. James Quinlan 1840-1845
Fr. Amable Charest 1845-1854
Fr. John McNulty 1854-1855
Fr. John Francis Jamot 1855-1863
Fr. John J. Gribbin 1863-1865
Priests for St. Patrick’s Parish after 1865
1865-1875 Fr. Arthur Patrick Mullen
1875 Fr. Philbert Rey
1875-1876 Fr. William Berrigan (Bergin)
1876-1878 Fr. John Joseph Gribbin
1878-1882 Fr. Andrew Philip Finan
1882-1885 Fr. John Bernard Skelly
1885-1929 Fr. Michael J. Gearin
1929-1930 Fr. Thomas Marchildon
1930-1938 Fr. Msgr. John Marie Alphonsus Castex
1938-1941 Fr. William Purcell Smith
1941-1942 Fr. Clement Joseph Dougherty
1942-1950 Fr. Henry B. Doyle
1950-1951 Fr. William Joseph Burdell Hipkin
1951-1959 Fr. William Raymond Morrison
1959-1964 Fr. Martin Eugene O’Grady
1964-1971 Fr. Bernard J. Belanger
1971-1972 Fr. J. Lawlor McKenna
1972-1975 Fr. Stanley E. Blackwell
1975-1976 Fr. Msgr. Vincent M. Foy
1976-1978 Fr. Neil A. Varley
1978-1984 Fr. John G. Hawkshaw
1984-1985 Fr. Charles Faleiro
1985-1993 Fr. Francis Turk
1993-2006 Fr. David Bollo
2006-2008 Fr. Stephen Szakaczki
2008-2011 Fr. Derek Ali
2011-2013 Fr. Peter Tammearu
2013- Fr. James Bussanich
Note: Visiting priests were many since 1865, but of particular note are the visits of Fr. Frank W. Stone, who performed 12 marriages and 8 baptisms in St. Patrick’s Parish between 1942 and 1980.
Permanent Deacons of St. Patrick’s Parish
2007 – 2011 Deacon Tom Dea
2011 – 2015 Deacon Joe Duncan