A Growing Community
In the late 1960's and early 1970's Calgary experienced unprecedented growth. Much of this growth was occurring in Southwest Calgary. The need for a new parish to serve the Catholic families in the districts of Braeside, Palliser, Bayview and Oakridge became imminent. To fulfill this growing need Bishop Paul O'Byrne established Holy Spirit Parish on August 18t", 1974. Father Greg McLellan was assigned as our first parish priest. Initially services were held in St. Benedict School to serve the 350 families in Braeside, Palliser, Bayview and Oakridge. After a short time it became evident that the cozy, intimate setting of St. Benedict School was simply not adequate to serve the growing number of Catholic families. A decision had to be made regarding a more permanent arrangement for our fledgling parish.
The St. Benedict: Church Era
The parishioners of Holy Spirit decided to expand on the school site. A Building Committee was established in February 1975 to develop a Church connected to St. Benedict School. The new church would include a joint-use or shared use area with the school. Sod turning for the new addition took place on February 27, 1977. Bishop Paul O'Byrne along with Father Greg celebrated the official opening Mass on October 22"d, 1977. This was an important milestone in the short history of the parish. The new facility was a welcome improvement providing the much-needed space and a parish identity. Holy Spirit was emerging as a growing and distinct parish in southwest Calgary. In a very short time the parish had grown from 350 families to 750 families.
With the suburban growth and corresponding increase in Catholic families in our parish in the late1970's and early 1980's, it was clear that the present facilities were not large enough to serve the physical and spiritual needs of a growing parish.
On February 15t", 1982, Father Alex MacLennan was appointed as the parish priest. Father Alex along with several members of the parish soon undertook a detailed survey to investigate a possible expansion program for Holy Spirit Parish. The final reports presented on June 12, 1982 indicated a definite need for expanded facilities. The question was whether to expand the present building or seek a new parish building site.
A New Church is Born
On August 1, 1982, Bishop Paul O'Byrne appointed Father Joe Toole to Holy Spirit Parish. The parish had now grown to over 1000 families. It was apparent that action had to be taken to accommodate the growing physical and spiritual needs of the parishioners. In September 1983 the newly elected Parish Council was presented with the challenge of proposing "adequate facilities" for the parishioners. A new Church was on the horizon.
Holy Spirit Parish
10827 24th St. SW
Calgary AB T2W 2Z2
Ph. (403) 251 3381;
Fax: (403) 281 3033