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Friday, February 23, 2024
P10473 - Courtesy of St. Angela Merici Church
  Fr. DeSantis went about the task of building the church. The first step was the most difficult: obtaining the necessary funds. Italian families, a large number of whom were dependent upon construction work, found it difficult to contribute monetarily. Fr. DeSantis understood the problem, and instead of pressing for funds, solicited physical help for the

P10473 -Feast of Christ the King, October 29th, 1939. Blessing of the Corner Stone. Courtesy of St. Angela Merici Church
  construction of the new church.

A construction committee under the direction of Baldo Camilotto was

formed, and labourers and tradesmen alike responded warmly by donating their time and skills toward the construction of the new church. Many worked for free or for less than their standard wage. Keystone Contractors Limited generously carried out the excavation for the basement and laid the foundation without charge. Sterling Construction Co. Limited supplied the construction materials at a reduced price.

In the meantime, a fund-raising campaign was under way. Dinners, dances, movies, bingos (called buncos and kenos) and parties sponsored in private homes were held to raise money. Between January 1 and June 30, 1939, a total of $615.95 was raised through such events.

Spaghetti dinners – costing 75 cents – were another successful fund-raising device. The Christian Mothers Society donated $198.21, which represented the amount collected at their socials. The Holy Name Society donated $184.67, Senior Girls C.Y.O. $98.58, Boys C.Y.O., $98.58 and St. Angela’s Ladies Society, $25.00. Donations from January 1 to June 30, 1939, amounted to $723.30 and from July 1 to December 31, 1939, totalled $2,114.32.

The Diocese of London loaned the new parish $16,640.00 and the church building was well on its way.

On October 29, 1939, the Feast of Christ the King, the cornerstone of the church was blessed by His Excellency, the Most Reverend John T. Kidd, Bishop of London. On Christmas Day 1939, just one year after his arrival in Windsor, Rev. Father C. DeSantis celebrated the first Mass in the basement of the new St. Angela Merici Church.

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