In the 1950's the Diocese of Hamilton was faced with a pressing need for new elementary schools due to a rapid increase in population. The Board of Trustees of the Hamilton-Wentworth Roman Catholic Separate School Board purchased land on the east mountain in the planned subdivision of Huntington Park. Three years later, in September of 1957, St. Margaret Mary School opened its doors. The four room country school, built in the middle of a fallow field, became the foundation of our parish community.
The school was under the aegis of Blessed Sacrament parish. Monsignor Arthur J. O'Brien visited the students once a week to oversee religious instruction. First Communicants and Confirmandii walked from St. Margaret Mary School to Blessed Sacrament Church along Fennell Avenue. Baptisms, marriages and funerals were conducted from Blessed Sacrament Church.
In 1966 Father Kyran D. Kennedy was sent to found the new parish of St. Margaret Mary and build a new church to house the parishioners. With the arrival of Father Kennedy, the St. Margaret Mary parish community was born. Now, Mass and Baptisms were celebrated in the school gymnasium.
From 1966 to 1969, a bungalow at 35 Kenwood Avenue served as St. Margaret Mary headquarters. The basement became the office and parochial meeting place. For three years, from 1966 to 1969, the parish focused on the construction of a new church. A group of parishioners formed a building committee to assist in its development. On July 5, 1968, the sale of land adjacent to the school was agreed upon. Just four days after the agreement, the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph Ryan turned the sod.
Burlington Architect Frank Burcher was contracted to draw up the plans for the new church, which would be built by Patrick Daly Contracting Limited. Father Kennedy said, "Our new church is to be unreservedly contemporary in design". Soon Father Kennedy's thoughts and ideas would be drawn into plans.
St. Margaret Mary Church would be symbolic and interpretative of Pope John XXIII's vision of the future. The Church is not so much a building as a community of worshippers. Therefore, the structure is almost circular to accentuate the sense of inclusiveness.
In February 1969, with construction well underway, the cornerstone was laid. On June 15, 1969, at 3:00 in the afternoon, Bishop Ryan held a concelebrated Mass and the church was blessed. Nearly one year after the turning of the sod, the church was complete and the 600 parish families were inspired by the structure that was truly "unreservedly contemporary in design".
Today St. Margaret Mary Parish is a vibrant, active community numbering 3,000 families, making it one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of Hamilton. The parish serves three elementary schools (St. Margaret Mary, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Daniel's) and one secondary school (St. Jean de Brebeuf). Our priests, staff and numerous lay ministers continue to serve the growing community in a spirit filled with God's love and joy.