Picnic in High Park

After many (many!) months of seeing each other only over Zoom, we gathered in High Park on Saturday afternoon for a Labour day weekend picnic. Joined by clergy from both St Mary Magdalene’s and St Thomas’s, we enjoyed the lovely weather, caught up with each other over picnic fare and baked goodies, and prayed Sext together in the park. It was a nice way to reconnect and wrap up the summer.

We plan to resume in-person meetings in the fall. Once meeting dates for 2022-23 have been set, they will be posted here: https://societyofmary.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/


Highlights of 2019-20

This has been a year of introducing small changes and — along with the rest of the world — adapting to the large ones brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Starting in September, the Ward experimented with changing the day of our monthly meetings to alternate between Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We also expanded our meeting locations to include St Bartholomew’s in Regent Park and have continued to welcome guest presenters to enrich our education time. In March we held our last in-person meeting, and now enjoy fellowship and common prayer through the Zoom gatherings described below.

Below are some highlights from the year.

St Bartholomew’s, Regent Park

Our October meeting was held at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Regent Park. Kathy Lewis and Martha Riddell gave a presentation on Our Lady of Victory and the Holy Rosary.

Annual Ward Requiem & Pub Social

In November, we held our Annual Ward Requiem, followed by fellowship at a local pub. Michael Li (top right) was presented with the book The Blessed Virgin Mary by Tim Perry and Daniel Kendall, as a token of our thanks for his faithful service as Ward organist.

The BCP and the BVM

In January, our Superior, Fr Ipema presented an exposition of the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Golden Legend

In March, Fr Pearce Carefoote gave a guest presentation on Mary and the censored medieval Golden Legend.  An online version of this lecture is available here. Fr Carefoote is Head of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto and an Honorary Assistant at St George-on-the-Hill and St James Cathedral.

Online Rosaries

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we did not host a May Festival this year, but have been holding monthly meetings online to say the Rosary together. These meetings will continue throughout the summer. All are welcome; please join our mailing list for meeting details.

Education Event: The Blessed Virgin Mary, Censorship and the Reformation – March 11

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Censorship and the Reformation.  In Medieval Europe the Golden Legend — a book of the lives and legends of the saints by Jacobus de Voragine — was a best seller. At the Reformation church authorities turned against this form of popular piety.

On Wednesday March 11 at 6:30pm Fr. Pearce J. Carefoote will give a presentation on the early English printings of the Golden Legend currently in the Fisher Library’s Collection and how they survived the Reformation.  Rosary and Benediction will follow at 7:30.

Fr Carefoote is the Head of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

Refreshments and fellowship will begin at 6:15pm in the Parish Hall of St Thomas’s Church (383 Huron St).  Presented by the Society of Mary.  All are welcome.

May Festival 2019

All are welcome to join us for our upcoming May Festival.

As is traditional, the Anglo-Catholic Parishes of Downtown Toronto honour and give thanks for the Blessed Virgin Mary with a series of Masses held throughout the month of May.May Festival Poster 2019.

  • St Thomas’s, Huron St. Saturday 11 May, 10am.  Solemn Mass. Sung by Schola Magdalena. (383 Huron St.)
  • St Bartholomew’s, Regent Park Saturday 18 May, 10am.  Solemn Mass and Procession. (509 Dundas St. E.)
  • St Mary Magdalene’s Saturday 25 May, 10am.  Solemn Mass and Outdoor Procession. (477 Manning Ave.)

A light lunch will follow each of these services.  The May Festival is always a joyous event. We hope to see you there.

The Year in Review

Our August picnic and pilgrimage to Marylake – the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace and the Rosary Path


Members of the Ward attending the Newman Centre Lecture, “Mary: More or Less. The Anglican and Catholic Mariology of John Henry, Cardinal Newman,” given by the Rev. Dr. Peter Gittens in October


Our Annual Ward Requiem in November, with guest celebrant Fr Don Beyers and special music, followed by a time of fellowship at the Fortunate Fox

A special Rosary and Benediction hosted by the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and officiated by Canon David HarrisonIMG_4132


Our monthly meetings continued, with education and fellowship, followed by Rosary and Benediction. We were blessed to have guests Fr Geoffrey Sangwine, Fr Pearce Carefoote, Canon David Harrison, and our Ward Superior Fr Theo Ipema with us as officiants.

As always, we look forward to capping off the year with our annual May Festival. Details to follow.

May Festival 2018

Starting tomorrow, the Society of Mary, Our Lady of Hope Ward will be celebrating our Annual May Festival. Each Saturday we will be celebrating Mass at a different Anglo-Catholic Parish in Downtown Toronto, followed by a light lunch. Please see below for details.

The festival begins tomorrow, May 5, at St. Bartholomew’s (509 Dundas Street East) at 10 a.m., with The Very Reverend Professor Andrew Louth as our guest preacher.

May Festival Poster

A Visit to St. Silouan’s

As a follow-up to our talk on the “Akathist to the Theotokos,” on March 16th, the group took a trip to St. Silouan the Athonite Mission Parish, where we participated in the singing of the Akathist service.

The Akathist Hymn, which we sang according to their tradition for the 4th Friday in Lent, was combined with the Small Compline service and a Canon. At the conclusion, we were invited to each receive a flower and be blessed with myrrh from a Myrrh Streaming Icon of the Mother of God that had previously visited the parish.

We finished off the evening with some food and a time of fellowship at Prohibition Gastrohouse on Queen Street E.

We are thankful to St. Silouan’s (http://www.stsilouan.org/) for their hospitality and for the opportunity to participate in this beautiful service of devotion to Our Lady.

(To learn more about the Akathist to the Theotokos, feel free to visit http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/Akathist.htm)

The May Festival continues…

A big thank you to St. Bartholomew’s and St. Thomas’s for hosting and all who have joined us so far for this year’s May Festival events. The Festival continues this Saturday, May 20th with a Quiet Day at St. Mary Magdalene’s (477 Manning Ave), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

Behold Thy Mother: Understanding Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima in Today’s World
In honour of Our Lady’s month of May, and of the 100th anniversary of her appearance at Fatima, Portugal, we will spend a day meditating on three important apparitions of our Lady — Guadalupe (1531), Lourdes (1858) and Fatima (1917) — and how these events speak to us of God’s desire to heal a broken world.

Our final event will be a Solemn Mass and Outdoor Procession at St. Mary Magdalene’s on May 27th, 10 a.m., followed by lunch and our Annual General Meeting.

May Festival

Ward Update – January 2017


Fr Theo Ipema, our new Ward Superior

This Fall has been a time of transition for Our Lady of Hope Ward. With our former chaplain, Fr Robert Mitchell, taking a new post in the Diocese, we started off the year by electing Fr Theo Ipema as our new Ward Superior. The election and general meeting was held at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene following a votive Mass of our Lady and breakfast. In the past Fr Ipema has participated in the activities of the Society of Mary, Our Lady of Hope Ward, and has officiated at a number of its services. He is an Honourary Assistant at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and regularly assists at St. Thomas’s Church. We wish Fr Mitchell well in his new position and look forward to Fr Ipema’s leadership.

Continuing our tradition, we remembered departed members of the Ward at our annual Requiem in November, gathering afterward at the Fox and Firkin for a time of socializing and reconnecting. At our December meeting, we reflected on an Advent reading by Caryll Houselander before gathering in the church for Rosary and Devotions.

The Fox and Firkin, following our Annual Ward Requiem

This January we started a new education series on the devotional titles of Mary, beginning with “Our Lady of Hope”—the namesake of our Ward. We invite you to join us on February 15th as we learn the story and meaning behind “Our Lady, Star of the Sea.”

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
6:15 p.m. Fellowship & Discussion (Parish Hall)
7:30 p.m. Rosary & Benediction (Church)
St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, 383 Huron St.