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Church Development (1)

建堂過程 Church Development
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天主教真福曹桂英堂是香港前來加拿大的意大利米蘭宗座外方傳教會司鐸 陸之樂神父 於一九九二年創立, 取命 真福依搦斯 為紀念中國殉道真福曹桂英依搦斯。 真福曹桂英依搦斯於二零零零年被教宗冊封為殉道聖人, 堂區名稱也隨之而命名為天主教聖曹桂英堂。 

一九九二年, 陸之樂神父被米蘭宗座外方傳教會委派前來多倫多服務華人社區。同年六月,陸神父去函多倫多教區主教作初步成立堂區申請。十二月六日在基督君王學校首祭彌撒。十二月十五日獲主教批准堂區命名為“真福依搦斯天主堂”,兩天後, 主教府正式批准堂區成立。 

堂區成立初期,因為沒有正式堂址, 故只能暫時租用烈冶文山市一所天主教學校舉行主日彌撒及靈修聚會。有見及此,陸神父認為需要一間屬於華人的聖堂。 

一九九三年六月, 陸神父向多倫多主教府申請撥地建堂。 同年十一月獲撥地兩英畝(即現時的堂址)。陸神父於獲撥地後,立即展開籌備建堂工作,並於一九九七年八月委任華人則師單志廣先生為新堂則師,負責策劃新堂之設計。 

The Blessed Agnes Kouying Tsao Catholic Mission was established in 1992 by Rev. Fr. Nicola Ruggiero, P.I.M.E., an Italian missionary preaching in Hong Kong. Agnes Tsao died in 1853 in China for defending her faith. She was beatified in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII and canonized on October 1,2000 by Pope John Paul II. 

The Parish was then renamed Saint Agnes Kouying Tsao. 

In 1992, Fr. Nicola Ruggiero accepted the mission of looking after the Chinese Catholic Community in Toronto. In June 1992 Fr. Ruggiero filed an application for establishing a Catholic Mission and permission was granted by the Archdiocese of Toronto. 

We celebrated our first Mass on December 6, 1992 at Christ the King Catholic Elementry School. 

A week later, on December 15, 1992, the Parish Title "Blessed Agnes Tsao Kouying" was approved by the Archdiocese of Toronto. Two days later, the Decree of Establishment was granted. 

In light of the rapidly growing number of Chinese landed immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area, Fr. Ruggiero foresaw the need for a church serving primarily this ethnic community. In June 1993, Fr. Ruggiero filed an application for a site to build a new church. Our prayer was answered on November 3, 1993. A permit was granted to set aside a 2-acre site at our current location. Fr. Ruggiero immediately started the fund raising campaign and conceptual design. 

In August 1997, an architect Mr. David Sin was appointed to design the new church. With confidence and hope, the dream of having our own church was within sight. Unfortunately, Fr.Ruggiero's health prohibited him to continue and he had to retire in Italy in late 1998.