May Festival 2015

The Society of Mary is once again sponsoring the May Festival to honour Our Lady.   There will be three Masses, as well as a special lecture by the Rev’d Dr Tim Perry.  Dr Perry is a priest of the Diocese of Algoma and the author of three books on Mary.  His latest book, The Blessed Virgin Mary (Eerdmans) was co-authored with the Rev’d Daniel Kendall, SJ.  Come out and enjoy this month of special devotion.

may fest 2015



Rosary and Benediction April 15th, 2015


A service of Rosary and Benediction was held at St Thomas’s Church on Wednesday, April 15th.  The SOM was joined by members of Fr Walter Hannam’s study group from St Bartholomew’s Church.  About 25 people attended.  Fr Mitchell celebrated Benediction and Fr Hannam was the deacon.  Richard Woolrich was the subdeacon.

Rosary and Benediction – March 11th, 2015

Over 50 people gathered at St Thomas’s Church, Toronto, on March 11th, 2015, to recite the Rosary and for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Fr Walter Hannam, Vicar of St Bartholomew’s, celebrated.  Fr Hannam brought a group from his parish, and several others in attendance were participants in a Bible study called At the Cross Her Station Keeping:  Examining the Biblical Texts that Reveal Mary’s Perspective on the Passion, which Fr Mitchell is leading on Wednesdays in Lent.

Pictured below are some of those who attended the event on the 11th:



Just prior to the service, a number of participants brought forward their Rosaries to be blessed:

_DSC5355-rosaries to be blessed

Rosary and Benediction – Wednesday, February 11th

The Our Lady of Hope Ward of the Society of Mary gathered at St Thomas’s Church Toronto on February 11th, 2015 – the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – for Rosary and Benediction.  Fr David Harrison, rector of St Mary Magdalene’s, Toronto, officiated.  The Missal collect for February 11th was prayed at the Lady Statue following Benediction:

O God, who through the immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare an habitation meet for thy Son: we humbly beseech thee; that we, celebrating the Appearing of the same Virgin, may obtain health of mind and body.  Through the same …

The following, taken from, is a brief description of this Feast Day:


“On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.” During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity. Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.”

Annual Requiem, 2014

The SOM’s annual requiem was held at St Thomas’s Church, Toronto, on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, at 7:00pm.   At the requiem, we prayed for our brother and sisters of the Society who have died.  All members of the Society commit to a Rule of Life which includes a commitment to regularly saying special devotions like the Rosary and Angelus, praying for departed members of the Society, taking part in Masses on major Feasts of Our Lady, and doing other Christian work as skills and opportunity allow.  The annual requiem is our opportunity to fulfill the second commitment of this Rule.   Following the service, everyone went to a nearby pub for fellowship.

Rosary and Benediction with Bishop Peter Fenty: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014


Bishop Peter Fenty, Bishop of the York-Simcoe Episcopal Area within the Diocese of Toronto, joined the Society on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, at St Thomas’s Church, Toronto.    Following a reception in the parish hall, the Rosary was said and then the Bishop celebrated Benediction.  He was assisted by Fr Walter Hannam, Vicar of St Bartholomew’s, and Mr Jeff Creighton.  Our organist, Michael Li, led a small volunteer choir which produced some beautiful music and helped lead congregational singing.   Over 50 people came out to welcome the bishop and participate in the service, including a group of parishioners from St Bartholomew’s parish.

Solemn High Mass and Procession – Church of St Mary Magdalene

A Solemn Mass and Procession on the Feast of the Visitation at St Mary Magdalene’s (477 Manning Avenue, Toronto) on Saturday, May 31st, 2014, concluded the month-long May Festival organized by the Society of Mary.   The Mass was concelebrated by several priests from around the diocese.  The presider was Fr David Harrison (rector) and he was assisted by Fr Theo Ipema as deacon and Mr Jacob David as subdeacon.

Concelebration 3 Concelebration 2   Concelebration 1  DSCN1542 DSCN1539

The Mass was followed by an outdoor procession around the neighborhood during which Marian hymns were sung.

Procession 8 Procession 5 Procession 4 Procession 2 Procession 3 photo 1 photo 2

The service was followed by a delicious lunch prepared by members of the parish and the SOM’s Annual General Meeting.

Procession 7  Lady Statue 2