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  • A Brief History of Our Lady of Guadalupe

    In May 1951, Rev. T.G. Dill, was advised by then Bishop Cody that he was to establish a new parish in the City of Windsor. It was to be called Our Lady of Guadalupe. The parish would be made up of portions of Holy Rosary and St. Rose of Lima parishes, as was to be bounded on the west by Jos. Janisse St., on the east by St. Louis Ave, on the north by the Detroit River and on the south by the CNR tracks.

    In early July of 1951, Fr. Dill organized an Ushers Club and these men spent many summer evenings clearing and preparing the property for construction. On Oct. 3rd, 1951 ground breaking ceremonies were performed. A London Ontario lumber company was given a contract to provide material for a pre-fabricated church 40' by 110'. Footings for the building were poured by the men of the parish on Thanksgiving Day 1951 and the first building materials were delivered on November 1st, 1951.

    Despite setbacks and disappointments the building was completed on schedule. Both men and women from the parish worked hard to prepare for the official opening which took place on Christmas Day 1951. The following summer, sidewalks to the church were laid, and the foundation for the present parking lot installed. The cost of the entire establishment including buildings, furnishings, sidewalks, etc., was less than $35,000.00 dollars.

    In January 1st, 1953 it was all paid for, and preparations for a rectory were begun. Fr.Dill’s living quarters behind the sacristy were inadequate. In addition, there was no meeting rooms for religious and social affairs; no office space for the conduct of parish business, but above all there was a lack of privacy for the parish priests. All these conditions would be corrected with the construction of a new rectory.

    Work began in May 1953 with the blessings of the Diocese. By December 1953, a beautiful new home was ready to be occupied by Fr. Dill, his new assistant Fr. John Mooney, and their housekeeper Mrs. Joseph Conway.The official blessing took place on January 24th, 1953. The cost of the furnished rectory was $40,000 and it was paid for in four years.

    By the year 1962, it was evident that the original church was no longer adequate for the needs of the congregation. All masses were crowded and Corpus Christi
    High School (now F.J. Brennan) auditorium had to be engaged to accommodate the over-flow crowds at the noon masses on Sunday.

    Father Stan Nouvion. Parishioners, and diocesan officials met and all agreed that the construction of a new church was essential. At a special parish dinner there was a drive for funds initiated. People of the parish canvassed the parishioners asking for pledges and were greatly encouraged by their generous support. The architects were Sheppard, Masson, Brand, and Langlois. It was a modernistic building in the shape of a “cross” with a seating capacity of 750 people. The altar would be visible from every part of the Church. The 1st sod turning was turned by Monsignor J. A. Roney on May 19th, 1963. Bishop G. Emmett Carter presided at the laying of the cornerstone on November 21st, 1963. The first Mass was celebrated on April 3rd,1964. Bishop Carter officially blessed the new Church on June 7th, 1964.The cost of the new church was $168,000.