Fr. John Mazur, OMI
Way back in 1947 when we were members of St. Mary’s province, the Polish Oblates working in the east organized themselves to establish a House of Studies at 103 Avenue Road in Toronto. Lay people in all our parishes contributed to this undertaking; they were encouraged to support this Oblate work in their prayers as well as financially. In the west, there already was a juniorate at St. Thomas College in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. The students in Toronto received their high school education at St. Michael’s College high school, which was run by the Basilian Fathers (CSB).
In 1957, the house of studies was transferred to a new building in Islington. Here our students attended Michael Power High School, as well run by the Basilian Fathers (CSB). Some of our young Oblates also taught at this high school. These teachers through until 1975 included Father Jerry Talarski, Ed Klimuszko, Richard Wolak, John Mazur and Rudolph Nowakowski.
In 1978, Father Smith founded the Assumption Mission Centre for our newly established province which was to work effectively and become a tool for our MAMI office. Father John Mazur and Father Peter Gioppato were named as directors. This would enable us to send receipts for donations received for missionary work. At this time, the people contributing to the building of some of our churches; Sts. Peter & Paul in Welland, Holy Angels Church in Toronto, St. Maximilian church in Mississauga, St. Eugene de Mazenod in Brampton, renewal of Holy Ghost church in Winnipeg, There was also the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga and somewhat the Copernicus Lodge in Toronto. So there were a lot of donations from many people for a long time.
During this entire period, our community was sending support money to the needs of the Polish province in Poland and France. Missionaries from Poland came to Canada to preach Lenten retreats in our parishes; and later the missionaries from Ukraine came to preached Advent retreats also. It happened that we invited missionaries from Madagascar and from the Cameroun’s to preach these parish retreats and missions. Hence our mission office was able to send financial support to these missionaries as well. More recently we have been able to give this support to the Polish mission in the Russia.
In very recent years, the province reorganized the MAMI anew. It is formally known as Oblate World Missions, Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate. The Assumption Mission Centre continues to be a tool for the operational aspect of our mission. Father Jan Wądołowski who served several years in the Madagascar mission was put in charge in 2013. He has been very active in enlivening the mission spirit among our parishioners. In 2015 Father Adam Filas who spent seven years working in native ministry in the North and West of Canada was appointed to carry on the direction of this mission office.