APPOLOGIZE for haven’t been posting for a few weeks. I was on a trip to Canada with my family. We stayed in Toronto for the most part, and we also visited Montreal and Quebec City as well. I must say, after being in Asia for two years, it’s nice to see some gorgeous churches built in the European style.
I had the opportunity to attend the weekly Solemn Mass at Holy Family Parish, where the Oratorian community of Toronto is located. The Mass was very well-attended and the choir sang beautifully! The professional singers of the parish sing weekly for the Solemn Mass and the Solemn Vespers. I was told that about 40 seminarians of the community would join the Vespers during the school year and I can imagine that must be quite a powerful experience for the parishioners.
I got to chat with Dr. Aaron James, the director of music, after Mass for a little bit and he told me about the history of the church and their pipe organ. The original Holy Family Church was built in 1902 and was destroyed by a fire in 1997. It was the rebuilt in 1999 and dedicated in 2001. Their organ, originally built for a residence, was given to the newly constructed church.
Another very special church I got to visit when I was in Toronto was the Cathedral Basilica of St. Michael. The interior of the cathedral is stunningly beautiful. Right across the street from the cathedral is the St. Michael’s Choir School. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to listen to their boys’ choir. The choir school was founded in 1937 by Monsignor John Edward Ronan. Boys and young men are trained in the art of music there and they play a prominent role in the cathedral’s music program. Here is a recording of the choir from 2016, and you can find more videos on their YouTube Channel.
If you ever get a chance, try to attend a Mass at the Toronto Oratory and the St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica! Finally, I leave you with some pictures of the churches I visited during the trip.