• 1 Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians)

    The Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians) was established in France in 1822 as a clandestine organization devoted to the education of priests following the dissolution of seminaries during the French Revolution. In 1850, Basilian Fathers were invited to Canada by Bishop Charbonnel of Toronto – himself a former student of the Basilian school in Annonay, France – to undertake the education of Catholic youth within the diocese. Two years later, they founded St. Michael’s College in Toronto, which taught boys at the high school and university levels. In 1881, St. Michael’s College affiliated with the University of Toronto. St. Michael’s is one of the oldest colleges within the University of Toronto’s federation; it continues to have a distinctively Catholic character. In 1929, Basilians at St. Michael’s College created the world-renowned Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies that houses one of the largest collections of medieval documentation in North America. Basilian Fathers have also had a significant presence in Windsor. In 1870, the Basilians took charge of both the Assumption College in Sandwich (Windsor), which had previously been run by Jesuits, and of the historic Assumption Parish – the oldest Catholic parish west of Montreal. Assumption University continues to be run by Basilians. It is now affiliated with the University of Windsor. Basilian Fathers have also established parishes in Amherstburg, Chatham, Owen Sound and Toronto, and have been active in communities throughout the province. They have educated numerous future priests, bishops and archbishops, as well as thousands of lay people. In addition to running parishes and schools, Basilian Fathers have chaplaincies in many Ontario universities. Though founded in France, the Congregation of St. Basil now has its curial offices in Toronto.

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