Saint Mary's Church is a Roman Catholic Parish of the Diocese of Peterborough, in Ontario, Canada.
It was founded in the late 1800's and the present building was erected in 1900 when the previous building underwent a fire during the night of Christmas Eve to Christmas Morning, in December 1899.
This present structure, as it stands was built in only eleven months, for the price, at the time, of $22,000.
OUR PARISH PRIEST
Father John Rathinaswamy
I have met most of you by now, but I wanted to take some time to write a little bit about myself, so that you can know a little bit about where I came from and who I am!! I am very happy to be at the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Campbellford, and also very grateful for the people I have met and the experiences I have had along my journey that brought me here. I was ordained a priest in India on February 9th 2000. I come from Pushpagiri in the South of India; a small village. Most people are farmers, and I grew up on a farm with three brothers and three sisters. Sadly we lost our eldest brother, Paul Raj, in 2008. Our parents always called us The Seven Sacraments!!!
We all worked on the farm and we learned to work very hard.
After my ordination, I was sent to Rome, Italy, for further studies. I learned to speak Italian and completed my studies in Italian. I completed my Masters of Theology and achieved my Licentiate in Spirituality. I really enjoyed studying and spending time in Rome. After that, in 2002, I came to Canada to work in the Peterborough Diocese.
I began as Associate at St. Alphonsus Parish in Peterborough, followed by St. Mary’s in Lindsay. Then I was appointed Pastor at St. James the Great, in MacTier. After eight years, I went to St. Mary of the Assumption in Huntsville. After three years there, I was appointed as Hospital Chaplain and Vice-Rector at St. Peters Cathedral in Peterborough. Now I am here at the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Campbellford.
I have fourteen nieces and nephews whom I am very close to. I have returned home often to see the whole family and several times to say wedding masses for nieces and nephews. My parents still live in our little village, and the rest of the family are in surrounding areas. It was wonderful to bring my parents to Canada for the first time a few years ago!
I like to be active and began to try some Canadian things when I moved up north. I took up hunting and fishing and learned to golf. I found that these are wonderful ways to get to know people in both the Church community and the local community, and to help bring people together from all faiths and walks of life, and also just for sheer enjoyment and relaxation! I also spend a lot of time reading and learning, and I like to dabble in electronics and technology!
Throughout my years of shepherding people, I have come to realize that the way we treat others is the way we treat God, and the way we treat God is the way we treat others. Hospitality in the life of
my priesthood shows itself in my approachability. Approachability is central to the ministry of the priest. The priest can only be a channel of the Lord’s approachability if the priest himself is approachable.
Approachability is at once both a very human and a very divine gift.
I look forward to meeting each and every one of you, and I hope you will feel comfortable reaching out if there is anything I can help you and your family with. As we begin this journey together, I am excited
about continuing to build our faith community together, working as a team to make any changes we collectively wish to make, and being support for one another through difficult times.
God bless you