About the Parish
Everyone is welcome — especially children! St. Elias is very family friendly. Are you planning a special trip or visiting from a distance? Contact us (905-459-8888), so we can introduce ourselves to you and let you know if there are any special events during your visit. If you are new to the parish, please click here for some FAQ's. Our service schedule rarely changes, but just in case (especially as we move back into our rebuilt church), it is always a good idea to check before you travel a long distance. Plan to stay after services for fellowship, and for answers to any questions you may have.
St. Elias Parish was established in 1976 by His Grace, +Isidore Borecky to serve the needs of Ukrainian Catholics moving into the rapidly growing communities northwest of Toronto. I (Fr. Roman), along with my wife Irene, and our three children at that time, took up residence in the town of Brampton (pop. 50,000) with Divine Services taking place in St. Anne School on Vodden St. The initial number of committed members was small with a dramatic increase when we were given the use of the OCI Chapel on McLaughlin Road in 1980. With the purchase of 21 acres of land on Heritage Rd. in 1985, the licensing of a cemetery in 1993, and the construction of a Boyko Ukrainian style temple in 1995, our presence here was firmly established.
Our primary focus is worship, prayer and fellowship, and this in a manner as authentic as possible. The dogma is that of the Apostolic Church, shared with the Church of Rome, but the spirituality and ritual is that of the Greek Church, filtered and enhanced by the genius of the Church of Kyiv. First time visitors are often overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of our Church, (it is not called “Byzantine” for nothing), but given the chance, it can grow on you. We worship in this manner in response to our Lord’s admonition: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations….” (Matt. 28: 19). We believe that we have been given a treasure that must be shared, or at least offered, to others.
Our ministry originally began with the Ukrainian founders of our parish but now extends beyond, to those marrying into our families and those “walk-ins” that God sends to support us, delight us and to remind us of the treasure that is ours. With the advent of the Internet, we have reached out to kindred spirits around the world.
We are different. God has graced us to live our live in Christ in a particular way, and it is our belief that we have something unique to offer our society. Our Christian origins come from the Greek Church with a thousand years of Kyivan Ukrainian enculturation. Transplanted to Canada since the 1880’s, the architecture, art, music, dress and ritual practices have not always been accepted by our neighbours here but fortunately, times have changed.
We give glory to God as orthodox Christians in full communion with the Church of Rome. Kyivan Ukraine accepted Christianity in 988 when the Church was still one, prior to the Great Schism of 1054. Although the Kyivan Church never formally split with Rome, it was with the Union of Brest-Litovsk in 1595-96 that full communion was restored. Since that time various titles have been used: “Ruthenian Rite”, “Ukrainian Catholic”, “Greek Catholic”, “Byzantine Catholic”, even the pejorative title “Uniate”. We are what the Orthodox Church used to be and witness to the prayer of our Lord, “That they all may be one…” (John 17:21) Pray for us.