Parish History

Based on: Parafia Św. Jacka Odrowąża 1957 – 2007, pp. 35 – 39.


November 1942

The first Holy Mass in Polish is celebrated for the Polish community settled in Ottawa.

1944 – 1955

The most significant wave of postwar emigration arrives at Ottawa.


Archbishop A. Vachon attempts to set up a Catholic ministry for the Polish community living in the capital of Canada.


Father Franciszek Orszulik, OMI, organizes the first Holy Mission for the Polish community in Ottawa.

December 1951

Father Jan Sajewicz, OMI, comes to Ottawa (he will become the first pastor of St. Hyacinth’s).

December 1951

The Polish community is allowed to celebrate Holy Masses at St. John the Baptist Chapel, owned by the Dominicans, at 96 Empress Avenue.

25 January 1952

The first Parish Committee is formed.

2 September 1953

Archbishop Józef Gawlina, Bishop of the Polish Armed Forces and the guardian of the Polish immigrants, visits the Polish community in Ottawa.

October 1954

Polish immigrants purchase a parcel of land at the corner of LeBreton and Louisa Street from the authorities of the city of Ottawa for a nominal amount of money. A Church Construction Committee is formed.

April 1955

Polish Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate become official hosts of the newly-created St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

7 October 1956

The celebration of the blessing of the future church location and symbolic beginning of the Parish construction takes place in the presence of the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Msgr. H. Chartrand.

28 January 1957

Archbishop Marie-Joseph Lemieux, OP, officially announces the creation of the ethnic St. Hyacinth’s Parish for the Polish community in Ottawa.

July 1957

St. Hyacinth’s Church construction is completed.

4 August 1957

Fr. Jan Sajewicz, OMI, celebrates the first Holy Mass in the newly-built church.

21 September 1958

Fr. Stanisław Prokop, OMI, becomes the second pastor.

16 October 1961

General Władysław Anders, Inspector-General of the Polish Forces-in-Exile, visits St. Hyacinth’s Parish.


A stained glass window of St. Hyacinth, the Parish’s Patron Saint, is placed above the main altar.  Stations of the Cross are added on the walls.

15 September 1963

Bishop Joseph Windle, Suffragan of Archdiocese of Ottawa, leads celebrations of a blessing of St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

9 June 1966

Fr. Antoni Rabiega, OMI, is appointed as the new pastor.

2 September 1969

Cardinal Karol Wojtyła from Kraków visits the parish and brings St. Hyacinth’s relics as a gift.

18 August 1980

Cardinal Władysław Rubin visits St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

1 October 1982

Fr. Ryszard Kosian, OMI, is designated to be the next pastor.

21 April 1983

Polish Ursuline Sisters, Sr. Daniela Kołak and Sr. Renée Delisle, join the St. Hyacinth Parish spiritual team.

20 September 1984

Pope John Paul II arrives on a pilgrimage to Ottawa. Parishioners meet with the Pope.

7 October 1986

Cardinal Józef Glemp, the Primate of Poland, visits St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

2 October 1989

Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz from Wroclaw visits the Polish parish in Ottawa.

3 September 1992

Fr. Wojciech Kowal, OMI, and Fr. Wojciech Kluj begin studies at St. Paul’s University and, simultaneously, start supporting the St. Hyacinth’s Parish pastoral team.

1992 – 1994

The church is redecorated. New linden wood sculptures, reliefs and the main altar are created.

1 August 1994

Fr. Stanisław Bąk, OMI, becomes the new pastor.

13 September 1994

Lech Wałęsa, the President of Poland, and his Wife visit St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

5 January 1995

Fr. Marian Gil, OMI,  becomes the parish administrator.

28 January 1995

The pastor, Fr. Stanisław Bąk passes away.

1 August 1995

Fr. Janusz Błażejak, OMI, is appointed the new pastor.

24 May 1997

Archbishop Stefan Wesoły, the guardian of Polish Immigrants, leads celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

1 July 1997

Fr. Jan Sadowski, OMI, becomes the parish vicar.

19 April 1998

Bishop Fred Colli, Coadjutor Bishop of Archdiocese in Ottawa, blesses the Divine Mercy image.

1989 – 1999

New stained glass windows are created depicting Pope John Paul II and the resurrection of Jesus Christ for the side windows.

7 November 1999

Fr. Jan Wądołowski, OMI, becomes the new pastor.

18 March 2002

Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz from Wroclaw visits the parish in Ottawa for the second time.

August 2003

Fr. Tadeusz Nowak, OMI, becomes the rector of St. Charles Seminary in Ottawa. At the same time, he serves at St. Hyacinth’s Parish.

1 September 2004

Sister Małgorzata Unikowska from the Ursuline Sisters joins the St. Hyacinth’s Parish spiritual team.

1 August 2005

Fr. Stanisław Kowal, OMI, becomes the new pastor.

25 March 2007

Fr. Stanisław Kowal celebrates the blessing of the new church organ.

1 July 2007

Fr. Mieczysław Burdzy, OMI, becomes the new parish administrator.

5 August 2007

A Jubilee Holy Mass in honour of 50th Anniversary of St. Hyacinth’s Parish is celebrated by Archbishop Antoni Długosz, Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Częstochowa.

30 September 2007

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, celebrates a Jubilee Holy Mass to give thanks for the fifty years of the parish.

10 February 2008

Parish Pastor Fr. Stanisław Kowal, OMI, passes away after a severe illness.

1 August 2008

Fr. Janusz Jajeśniak, OMI, is appointed the new pastor.

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