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Festa Della Madonna

Founding of Madonna
Della Risurrezione




This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.


Home > Traditions > Festa Della Madonna > Founding of Madonna della Risurrezione
The Founding of Madonna della Risurrezione Parish
By Il Postino Staff

The history of the parish really began with the concern of one woman: Alice Bartolo. Bartolo was a spokesperson for all the Italian families looking for a place of worship.

Especially sensitive to the children who were in need of spiritual guidance, Bartolo approached Father Toni Ostan, who had administered to the spiritual needs of the Inuit of Northern Canada, to celebrate the Eucharist in Italian.

The first mass was held on the first Sunday of November 1978 in the gymnasium of St. Victor’s School for a small but happy group of Italian families. From the enthusiastic response to the trial masses, the service continued at various locations as a branch of Holy Cross Parish.

As the community grew, so did involvement in the parish. Through the efforts of the parish council, Father Ostan’s pet project, Accademia Giovanile, was established. The after-school program was created to assist parents with the social, cultural and religious aspects of their children’s education. Also, Italia Nova, a bimonthly newsletter for the community was initiated.

Two diocesan decrees helped to forward the progress of the community and the church. The first in May of 1980 recognized the need for two Italian language parishes in Ottawa. (The first Italian-language parish being that of St. Anthony’s.) The second decree in April 1984 officially granted Madonna della Risurrezione the status of “parish.”

In 1985 the parish acquired the property at 1621 Fisher Avenue, which was used as a canonical residence until construction began. The building, which opened its doors officially on September 23, 1990, was designed by local Italian architect Filippo Piazza who created the front of the church to represent an abstract of the Madonna with a veil flowing down from her extended arms.

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