Pastors of OLPH 1930 - 1953

1930 - 1953: Msgr. William A. Egan, Third Pastor

mgr egan

March 25, 1930

Fr. William A. Egan was appointed the pastor. The church was under construction, with rising costs and the stock market crash greatly reducing the invested parish funds. The debt inherited by Fr. Egan was estimated to be between $250,000 and $300,000, said to be the largest in the Archdiocese. He saw his pastorate as one of nurturing the spiritual growth of the parish and paying of the massive debt. Through his business acumen and fiscal conservatism the debt was paid off in 20 years.

June 15, 1930

At 11:00 a.m., Archbishop Neil McNeil presided over the opening and blessing of the new church and celebrated the first Mass. The Solemn High Mass was sung, accompanied by the choir of St. Michael's Cathedral directed by Fr. J.E. Ronan, Rev. Dr. Leo O'Reilly of St. Augustine's Seminary delivered the morning address. In the evening at Solemn Benediction the speaker was Fr. S.A. Corrigan of St. Mary's Cathedral, Kingston.

April 4, 1937

The new organ was officially inaugurated when, the Catholic Register reported, "the church was filled almost to capacity". Healey Willan, the distinguished composer, organist, choir director and educator, played the new organ, and Fr. J.E. Ronan spoke about the role of music in the liturgy of the church. Solemn Benediction followed. The organ was a Franklin Legge-Eaton instrument built in 1905 for the People's Church on Bloor Street East. The church bought it for $5000 on the recommendation of Dr. Willan.

December 3, 1937

Archbishop James Charles McGuigan ordained six men of the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society at the church. One was an OLPH parishioner, Fr. John H. McGoey, S.F.M. His mother lent the family's living room rug to cover the terrazzo floor in the sanctuary. After the ordination, Mrs. McGoey remarked that it wasn't the first time she had seen her son lying on the rug.

April 22, 1946

Fr. Egan was invested in the robes of Domestic Prelate, with the title of Rt. Rev. Monsignor.

Late 1940s

The first large stained glass window was installed in the nave. The Annunciation was the work of Marjorie Nazer, a textile designer and stained glass artist. Many parishioners did not like the window, finding it too "modern". Nazer's commission was cancelled even though she had completed the sketches for the other five windows. The firm of Thomas G. Browne Church Interiors decorated the interior; a highlight was a painting of the Crucifixion in the domed ceiling of the sanctuary.

1952-53

The rectory at 78 Clifton Road was demolished and a new rectory, designed by architect Robert A. Servos, was built on the site. During the demolition and reconstruction, the clergy and the domestic staff resided at 57 Rose Park Drive, a house owned by the church. The new rectory cost about $120,000, half of which was raised by a parish building committee established for that purpose.

March 1, 1953

Msgr. Egan died at age 76. He did not live to see the completion of the new rectory.