The anniversary celebrations involved past and present parishioners – including several who have been in the parish since its formation. Events included a Mass with Archbishop Miller, followed by a Banquet at Seymour Golf & Country Club on October 19th, 2013; a Parish Open house on November 17th; and a combined Celebratory Mass with Archbishop Miller and a light reception in the parish hall was held on December 26, the feast day of the parish Patron saint.
To more permanently honour the 50th Anniversary of the parish, a new processional cross was purchased with funds provided by the Trivia Night and new vestments were purchased with a contribution from the CWL. Father Landry also created a 50th Anniversary Prayer for St. Stephen’s in thanksgiving for the parish, which was provided to all parishioners and offered throughout the year at mass and during the anniversary celebrations. Being a “golden” anniversary, a special goldenrod coloured banner was designed for the parish as were “one of a kind” goldenrod T-shirts. The t-shirts, embossed with the 50th Anniversary emblem, were made available through special order to parishioners, many of whom sportingly wore these at events throughout the year. A slide show of pictures was created which highlighted the community and spiritual celebrations at St. Stephens throughout the years and was shown at each of the 50th Anniversary events.
At the Commemorative Mass on October 19th, Archbishop Miller reflected on the history of St. Stephen’s Parish and acknowledged the steadfast community at St. Stephen’s that continues to be active in worship and in support of the various parish ministries. Concelebrating at the Mass were several past Pastors; including Bishop Monroe, Fathers John Swinkels, Larry Holland, Peter Chiang and current pastor, Father Frank Landry, along with priests from the North Shore.
A number of original parishioners assisted at the Mass, including Jackie and Bill Fodor who handed out the Mass Booklets, and Leo O’Neill’s family, who presented the gifts at the altar.
The Chamber Choir from St. Thomas Aquinas Regional High School joined in the celebration and performed their repertoire while parishioners enjoyed their dinner at the Seymour Golf and Country Club.
November 17th, 2013 marked 50 years since the first Mass for St. Stephen’s Parish was held at the Lynn Valley Community Center. To help celebrate this occasion, parishioners were invited to an Open House in the parish hall where photos, past vestments, tapestries, and the original altar vessels and other memorabilia were on display from the early days of the church.
Father Landry also commemorated the occasion with a 50th Anniversary Plaque for the First Mass said for the parish and Papal Blessings from Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, noting that St. Stephen’s continues to be doubly blessed as there were also two Popes in the Vatican in 1963, the year St. Stephen’s was founded.