|The Martyrdom of St. Stephen|
|Parish of Christ the King and Shrine of St.Anthony of Padua|
|French postcard of Maronite militia, c. 1860|
|Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church, Toronto|
In 1980, then Toronto Archbishop Emmett Cardinal Carter assisted the new Lebanese immigrants fleeing war and the latest Islamic persecution as well as the Israeli war, with the purchase of the former Anglican Church of the Epiphany on Queen Street in Parkdale, now Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church and the Maronites finally had their home. Pope John Paul II had just established the Eparchy of St. Maron in Canada (Montreal). There is now a second Maronite Church in the region with St. Charbel's in Mississauga. Given the more recent strife, we also see Chaldean Catholic, Syriac Catholic and Coptic Catholic and Orthodox churches being built.
"In the late 1920's the Parish Committee of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish filed a complaint in Italian with the archbishop regarding their pastor, Father Stephen Auad."
"The committee was highly critical of Auad; he was too busy to hear confession; it was difficult to find him in the rectory or in the church; he rarely visited school children; his masses were too short, etc."
“The following item taken from the Toronto press will show how it is possible for Christianity to catch the diseases of the old pagan religions: "What has become an annual public religious function in Toronto will take place tomorrow, when Rev. Father Stephen Auad, pastor of Mount Carmel Church (notice that they left "Our Lady" out of the title!) St. Patrick Street, will bless motor cars and other conveyances after the 11 o'clock Mass. The vehicles will thus be placed under the patronage of St. Christopher,' patron saint of travelers. The time is coming when Christianity will be purged of all alien additions. Matt.13:41.”
On this anniversary of his death, may this little Christmas story serve as a tribute to this early and long forgotten priest of the first hundred years of the Church in Toronto. May Father Stephen Auad be rejoicing on this day with St. Stephen in the presence of the LORD whom he loved and served.
|Rev. Stephen Auad|