St. Peter & St. Timothy Church
St Peter Church, Orangeville
Saint Peter’s “by the tracks”
St. Peter Roman Catholic Church
Museum of Dufferin collection, P-3357
Roman Catholicism in the Orangeville area itself began in the farm house of one of its earliest and most devoted Catholic settlers, Patrick Ryan. Here visiting priests said Mass for many years for the small number of Catholics living around Orangeville.
When the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railroad reached Orangeville in 1871, it became clear that this former village was to be slated for bigger things and that the influx of Catholics would require a formal place of worship. By 1873 Orangeville was a regular mission being served every second Sunday from Caledon.
The cornerstone of Saint Peter Church was laid on Sunday, August 1, 1875, by Archbishop Lynch of Toronto, assisted by the Pastor, Father John Joseph Egan.
The 30 by 50 foot compact red brick Church was designed by the architect, F. G. Dunbar. The church, situated on the east side of John Street just west of the C.P.R. station and railway tracks, became a landmark and sign of pride to local Catholics. Over the years additions were made to it especially by Father Carroll who added on the Sacristy to the south-east corner of the building in 1930 and had a furnace installed in the basement. Father Caulfield later in the 1930’s had the rest of the basement dug out so that it might be used as a Parish Hall. Upstairs in the Sanctuary interior decorations and a number of stained glass windows were added over the years.
The cost of the new church, slightly more than $2,000.00, was largely paid for by such means as lectures, picnics, dinners and concerts.
Fondly remembered as old Saint Peter’s “by the tracks”, this building served Orangeville’s Catholics for 93 years — to be exact from 11.30 a.m. January 1, 1876 until 7.30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, 1969, the starting times of the first and last service to be held in it. After the latter service the parishioners processed over to the new Saint Timothy Church, bearing with them the valuables and above all the spirit of the old Saint Peter Church.
St. Peter Church, built on John Street in less than 6 months
Museum of Dufferin collection, P-7317-E
St. Peter Church across from the CPR station
Museum of Dufferin collection, P-1416-B
Pastors of St. Peter Church
- 1885-1890 Rev. Michael Joseph Jeffcott
- 1890-1891 Rev. Denis Morris
- 1891-1896 Rev. Henry J. McPhillips
- 1896-1901 Rev. James Minehan
- 1901-1909 Rev. Hugh Joseph Sweeney
- 1909-1915 Rev. William Albert Egan
- 1915-1919 Rev. Thomas Edward Finegan
- 1920-1927 Rev. Joseph Bagnasco
- 1927-1931 Rev. Michael John Carroll
- 1931-1936 Rev. Francis Michael Caulfield
- 1936-1940 Rev. Thomas Edward McCabe
- 1940-1946 Rev. Allan Egan Quinlan
- 1946-1947 Rev. Edmund Murray McCormack
- 1947-1951 Rev. Clement J. Schwalm
- 1951-1952 Rev. Clement J. Dougherty
- 1952-1957 Rev. Henry Michael Clarkson
- 1957-1959 Rev. Merritt T. Griffin
- 1959-1968 Rev. Edward J. Mahoney
St Timothy Church, Orangeville
42 Dawson Road
St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church
Early photo with cross on roof and “east and west” entrances
A NEW CHURCH BUILDING
The growth of Orangeville’s Catholic population necessitated a new Church to hold the ever larger crowds who wanted to attend Mass there. As such, one and three quarters acres of land was purchased in 1961, to the east of Saint Peter School. The new Church site was a triangular shaped piece of land bounded by Dawson Road on the west and Centre Street on the east and the houses south of Hillside Drive on the north.
Numerous private donations were made by parishioners and friends of the Parish. One such donor, made a special bequest to the Parish for the construction of a new Church that would bear the name of Saint Timothy in memory of his father. Hence the change of name from the old Saint Peter to the new Saint Timothy Catholic Church of Orangeville. Happily the Separate School still retains the name of Saint Peter as a reminder of its past association with the former church which was still functioning when the new school was first built.
With the land secured, work began on the site on August 2, 1968, during which year the corner stone of the new church was laid. The first Mass in the new Church was concelebrated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Friday, June 13, 1969. The first regular Sunday Mass for the parishioners was held on the following Sunday, June 15, 1969. The new Church was blessed by Archbishop Pocock of Toronto at 4.00 p.m. on Sunday, August 24, 1969.
The Pastor, Father Ted Mahoney, put a great deal of thought into the design of this modern church. Based upon the theology of the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, the interior of the church is shaped like a triangle to represent the three Persons of the Trinity. At the time, all the furnishings by the Altar were portable so that the focal area in the front of the church could be used for many purposes such as religious drama and choir singing. The Eucharistic Presence in the Tabernacle was in a special Alcove directly facing the Altar at the back of the Church between the two front entrances. There were also two special Alcoves, one at each of the two main entrances to the Church. The one on the west by Dawson Road was for the statue of the month and private devotion, the one on the east side by Centre Street was for works of religious art. Saint Timothy Church is truly a beautiful addition to the religious landscape of Orangeville!
His Grace, Archbishop Philip F. Pocock of Toronto, and Pastor, Father Edward J. Mahoney
Sunday, August 24, 1969
Pastors of St. Timothy Church
- 1968-1979 Rev. Ted Mahoney
- 1979-1992 Rev. Charles Vanitem
- 1992-1995 Rev. Michael Waites
- 1995-2006 Rev. Brian Shea
- 2006-2016 Rev. Paul Dobson
- 2015-2017 Rev. Sean Lee Lung
- 2017 – present Rev. Luis Calleja
Deacons of St. Timothy Church
- 1987 – Deacon Jack Harris
- 1987 – Deacon Gene Dopp
- 1996 – Deacon Michael Robertson
- 1999 – Deacon Wolfgang Engel
*Historical information taken from THE HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF ORANGEVILLE, a commemorative publication written by Father Edward J.R. Jackman, o.p.