Just about the time the citizens of Vancouver were becoming accustomed to the war emergency "dim-out", those near the corner of Trafalgar Street and 39th Avenue must have wondered what new activity had commenced in the sombre little house at 5495 Trafalgar Street. These conditions remained for several years as a result of the war time scarcity of building materials and government building restrictions. Not until the fall of 1944 was permission received to commence the temporary church later to become the basement of the present edifice.
Twice every Sunday morning, from sixty to eighty harmless looking individuals, all appearing to know what they were doing and where they were going, converged on the house, and without the formality of knocking passed inside.
Mass was first offered in the basement church on August 19th 1945, as the nation thanked God in the cessation of hostilities.
Once inside, there was an immediate course in "What it feels like to be a canned sardine." In the corner of the dining room there was an altar rail, and everywhere else people! They occupied every available space, including kitchen, den, hall, and stairway. By actual count, 132 people had squeezed in one Sunday morning.
The Rev. Francis J. Nash was appointed pastor in 1952. During his tenure, the corner property across from the church was purchased. This house was later to become the temporary rectory permitting the demolition of the original building and planning for the new church.
These were the conditions under which the Rev. John Teague established the Parish of St. John the Apostle, with the first mass being celebrated on "Pearl Harbour Day" - December 7, 1941.
The Rev. Maurice R. Hanley, pastor from 1955-1959, directed the errection of the beautiful permanent church on the enlarged foundations of the former basement church.
Timeline: Our Pastors
|1941 - 1951||Fr. John Teague|
|1952 - 1955||Fr. Francis John Nash|
|1955 - 1959||Fr. Maurice Richard Hanley|
|1959 - 1966||Fr. Nunzio J. Defoe|
|1966 - 1967||Fr. Albert Zsigmond|
|1967 - 1969||Fr. Nunizo J. Defoe|
|1970 - 1976||Fr. James O'Brian|
|1976 - 1984||Msgr. Francis Austin Clinton|
|1984 - 1986||Fr. Frank Landry|
|1986||Fr. Michael Andrysiak|
|1986 - 1988||Fr. Vincent Hawkswell|
|1988 - 1993||Msgr. John W. Stewart|
|1993 - 1995||Fr. Peter Chiang|
|1995 - 2002||Bishop David Monroe|
|2002 - 2004||Bishop Richard Gagnon|
|2004 - 2011||Bishop. Mark Hagemoen|
|2011 - 2017||Fr. Terry Bileski|
|2017 - Present||Fr. Anthony Ho|