The History of the Michaelite Fathers in Canada goes back to the days when our Blessed Founder sent some of his co-workers to The United States of America to spread the ideas promoted by him and to provide financial support for it. Many of them were ordained and made the USA their home, since the political, social and religious situations in their homeland were not favourable for their return.
One of them, Fr. Bartlomiej Slawinski, ordained in Orchard Lake Seminary, Detroit, MI, while ministering in Detroit, made some connections with the Polish priests in London and Windsor in the late 50’s. Later, in contact with the Most Rev. John Cody, Bishop of London, they opened the first Religious House of the Michaelite Fathers, in Windsor, Ontario and officially established a Congregation in the London Diocese in 1962. The first group to join Fr. Slawinski included: Fr. S. Nierychlewski, Fr. J. Chmura, Fr. J.T. Dabrowski, Fr. E. Mucha, and Fr. S. Soltysik.
By the end of 60’s the Michaelite Fathers left Windsor and made their permanent home outside London, in what is now Melrose. There, they built a house to host a growing number of confraters as well as a place for the retreats that today is well known as the Michaelite House Retreat Centre. A little later, “help from Poland” started to arrive. Our House in Melrose became our Headquarters in Canada.
Today, 50 years later, we can say that over 30 Michaelites have ministered to the people of God on Canadian soil. The Michaelite House Retreat Centre is a well-known entity, not only within the London Diocese, but also beyond, opening its doors for over 40 years. Our priests have built new churches, lead retreats, pilgrimages and parishes, and they have participated in the life of diocesan ministry on many levels. Currently there are twelve priests ministering in the London and Toronto Dioceses.