Canadian Martyrs/Saint Thomas Aquinas
1725 Oxford Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 3Z7
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (902) 423-3057 | Fax: (902) 484-6944
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This is a cover from a 2003 Commemorative Calendar of Canadian Martyrs.

The Beginning

First Christmas Choir in the lobby of Saint Mary's University, 1952

On 31 July 1952, Archbishop McNally announced the formation of Canadian Martyrs Parish. The first Mass was 14 September 1952 in the lobby of Saint Mary's University, Robie Street. Construction of the Church, attached to the University, was completed in November 1953, followed a decade later by the construction of the Parish Centre. When the University decided to take back the Church building, Mass was held for some months in this Parish Centre. Then on 12 December 1971, the first Mass was celebrated in the newly-constructed Canadian Martyrs Church, Inglis Street. First Pastor in 1952 was the Rev. Edward M. Brown, S.J. He was followed by the Rev. Joseph C. Johnson, S.J., and then the Rev. Clarence P. Hinphy S.J.


In 1981 Canadian Martyrs had a midget boys basketball team that won the basketball championships. The girls team won the honours the following year. For years, Canadian Martyrs offered sports teams for hockey, swimming and basketball out of their Parish Centre.


Altar Servers, 1955

The Daniel Centre (Wellington Street) was founded in 1990 by the Rev. John Trainor to promote the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The Centre was dedicated to "training spiritual leaders" and "enlivening the faith" of Atlantic Canadians. It became the Manresa Centre of Spirituality in June 1998 and moved to our Parish Centre. Sister Therese Moore, S.C. had become the Associate Director two years earlier.

A small sample indicates the richness of its offerings: Shaping our Worship for Lent; The Spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola; Living With Christ; Pathways to Women's Spirituality. The Centre deserves its own monograph.

Charitable Ministries

Canadian Martyrs has always been involved in charitable ministries. In the fall of 1973 the Parish began its own branch of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, an initiative began by Fr. Hinphy S.J. and now the Society receives around 250 requests for assistance per year.


Today Canadian Martyrs has joined with Saint Thomas Aquinas under the name of the South Halifax Pastoral Unit. The Parish priests of this new unit are Fr. Mark Cherry and Fr. James Mallon.