Welcome to Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Menbere Berhan Saint Mary Cathedral in Toronto
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Toronto was established in 1972 in collaboration with members of the Caribbean (mainly Jamaican) community in Toronto. The congregation remained as a Mission until 1984, lacking a priest and a permanent place of worship. In the same year, Rev. L.K. Messale Engeda came as a priest in charge of the newly established and growing congregation in the Greater Toronto Area. In 1986, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Toronto ,with its 500 registered members, acquired a modest property located at 425 Vaughan Road.
However, due to the growing population of Ethiopian community in the Greater Toronto Area and its peculiar needs, a second Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the name of Menbere Berhan Kidest Mariam (Saint Mary) was established in 1991. During the years between 1991 and 1996, the Church began to provide full service to its congregation at a rented Anglican Church located at 40 Westmoreland Avenue in Toronto. By 1997, the Church purchased properties located at 80 and 84 Tycos Drive in Toronto and continued serving its congregation.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD" (Haggai: I: 7-8).
In accordance with this Biblical imperative, the congregation of St. Mary Church had the dream of constructing a new church building respecting the historical and cultural traditions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The dream began right after the 1997 acquisition of the buildings at 80 and 84 Tycos Drive. Fundraising schemes for the new church building were initiated in 2000. However, due to the urgent and timely renovation work on both 80 and 84 Tycos Drive, the fund raising effort towards the new church building project did not materialise as planned. By August 2006, only $154,000 had been raised for the new church building project. In September, 2006 the Board of Trustees reorganised a new Building Committee with the express duty of carrying out the project to construct a new church building. Accordingly, in consultation with our Bishop (now Archbishop) Abune Dimetros, our Head Priest, Rev. Messale Engeda, members of the Board of Trustees presided by Archdeacon (now Kesse Gebez Rev. Fr.) Hiwot B. Gudeta and prominent members of our congregation , the Building Committee addressed the main issues of location and orientation of the new church building, its detailed design through the hired architect/consultant, Mr. Nino Rico. Getting City of Toronto’s approval of our site plan application was an unexpected hurdle. Our desire for joining both 80 and 84 Tycos properties, building the church at the back to achieve East-West orientation and providing the right number of parking spaces had several by-law and City plan challenges which required resolution by the City Committee of Adjustment. After an enormous effort that took a long time a conditional site plan approval was issued in April 2010.
Foundation Stone was laid on April 18, 2010 by His Holiness Abune Merkorios, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Exile, in the presence of Archbishop Melketsedek General Secretary of the Holy Synod, Archbishop Elias Head of Europe & Africa Dioceses, Archbishop Lukas head of Washington State in USA, the Clergy, various Parishners, distinguished invited guests comprising Federal, Provincial and City officials, members of Canada Council of Churches, other invited guests and the enthusiastic members of our congregation.
By the Grace of God, the spiritual leadership of the Clergy and the commitment of the faithful we now have a brand new church building which was consecrated in November 18, 2012 by His Holiness Abune Merkorios, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Exile, in the presence of Archbishop Melketsedek (General Secretary of the Holy Synod), Abune Elias (Archbishop of the Diocese of Europe & Africa), Abune Lukas (Archbishop of the Diocese of Washington State in USA), Abune Dimetros (Archbishop of the Diocese of Ontario & surrounding regions in Canada). Hence, the spiritual and social services have grown and expanded, serving English mass, counselling, conducting spiritual, educational, financial seminars from time to time.
This website is designed to spread the Gospel to the world as accepted by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church`s belief. We welcome you to explore and learn about our church and its beliefs.
May God Bless Us All. Amen.