Croatian priests arrived in Kitchener already in 1970 to celebrate the masses and other services with the Croatians in the area.  The parish was canonically established in 1975, and the first pastor was Rev. Vladimir Stanišić.  Together with his parishioners, he purchased a tract of land on which was built a very beautiful church and  rectory in 1979/1980.  A spacious parish hall was constructed in 1984.  Rev. Stanišić remained in the parish until 1989, when the Croatian Franciscan Custody took charge of the parish. 

   From 1970 to 1995 in the parish 465 children were baptized, 86 individuals were buried, 82 couples were married, 192 children were confirmed and 67 children received First Holy Communion.  Masses and rites are held in Croatian and English.

        The following friars have served in the parish:

Fr. Vladimir Stanišić 1975.-1989.

fra Ljubo Krasić 1989.

fra Ivan Bradvica 1989.-1991.

fra Jozo Grubišić 1991.-1997

fra Zvonimir Kutleša 1997- 2004

Fr. Miro Grubisic 2004 -  


Parishes Index



Rev. Ante Matacin  started a permanent pastoral care for the Croatians in London and St. Thomas in 1968.  Prior to that, however, there were several other Croatian priests who also served there: Fr. Lujo Ivandić, Rev. Stjepan Šprajc, Fr. Mijo Bobetić, and Fr. Zvonko Radošević.  Rev. Matacin, who resided in a rectory at St. Peter’s Cathedral, celebrated mass with the Croatians in a small chapel at the cathedral.  In 1976, a space at the Croatian-Canadian Club in St. Thomas was purchased for the use of the parish.  During the same year Franciscans from the Croatian Custody assumed the care of the parish.  The first Franciscan pastor, Fr. Ante Čuvalo, held services at the Club until 1980 when land was purchased and a church, rectory and parish hall were built.

        Since 1973 (when the parish records began), 295 children were baptized, 36 individuals were buried, 94 couples were married, 295 children received First Holy Communion and 213 individuals were confirmed.  Masses are held only in Croatian.

        The following friars have served in the parish:

Fr. Ante Matacin 1968.-1971.

Fr. Ivan Mihalić 1971.-1976.

fra Ante Čuvalo 1976.-1980.

fra Ilija Puljić   1980.-1982.

fra Jozo Grubišić 1982.-1989.

fra Ilija Puljić   1989.-1994.

fra Miro Grubišić 1994 - 2001

fra Jozo Grubišić 2001 - 2004

fra Zvonimir Kutleša 2004 -2009

Fra Jozo Čuić 2009 -  



        Franciscans from the Croatian Custody have been serving this parish since its founding to the present.  Fr. Serafin Vištica arrived in April 1960.  This Croatian mission became independent in 1963, and during the same year a mission building on Masson Street was purchased and blessed.  This served as the first Croatian church in Montreal.  During Fr. Ivan Bradvica’s pastorate, a tract of  land was purchased  for the construction of a new Croatian church, rectory, parish hall and school (1978/1979).  The Croatian school, under the guidance of the Dominican sisters, opened in 1979.

        From 1964 (when the parish records began) to 1995, 685 children were baptized, 116 individuals were buried, 281 couples were married, 366 children were confirmed and 316 children received First Holy Communion.

        The following friars have served in the parish:

fra Serafin Vištica 1960.-1968.

fra Vilim Primorac 1968.-1976.

fra Ivan Bradvica 1976.-1987.

fra Stjepan Pandžić 1987.-1995

fra Ljubo Lebo 1995 - 2001

fra Ilija Puljić 2001 - 2003

fra Miro Grubišić 2003 - 2004

fra Jozo Grubišić 2004 -



        This Center, which today has complete parish rights, had many problems in its beginnings. The idea of establishing a parish originated with Croatian immigrants, who bought a large tract of land (about 160 acres) near Norval in 1977.  Their intention was to construct all necessary parish buildings and to have Croatian Franciscans serve in the parish.  Croatian diocesan priests from Toronto did not favor this plan.  As a result, the first Franciscan who arrived in Norval in 1977, Fr. Leon Galić, was unable to perform any priestly duties.  After he was left Norval in 1979, other friars arrived on their own initiative.  Meanwhile several large construction projects were undertaken: a swimming pool (1979/1980), a large hall, which today serves as both a church and a hall (1980/1981), roads and a parking lot (1982/1983), and additions to the rectory building (1983).  Finally, in 1987, the Bishop of Hamilton approved the work of the Franciscans, and in 1988 he  officially recognized the center and gave ecclesiastical  rights to the Franciscans who were working there.  Fr. Ljubo Krasić was named the first pastor. In 1987, a beautiful house with about 9 acres of land near the Center’s rectory was purchased and dedicated to Our Lady of Peace.  Since 1988 this house served as the residence of two sisters.  Franciscan Siisters from Hercegovina  arrived at the Center in 1992.  Masses and other services are celebrated in a small chapel, which was built as an addition to the house.  Plans for a church have been drawn, but the actual construction has not yet started. Objections to the construction from the neighbors delayed the issuing of a construction permit which finally was granted in March 2000. Presently all the Croatian priests in the Toronto vicinity are on excellent terms with each other, and bitter feelings about the past are quickly dissipating.  Croatians were delighted with the unity of all the Croatian priests in the region shown during the ordination of two  friars, Fr. Dario Dodig and Fr. Danko Perutina in 1999.  They were ordained by the Bishop of Varaždin, Msgr. Marko Culej.

        From 1980 (the start of the parish records) to 1995, 270 children were baptized, 17 individuals were buried, 52 couples were married, 89 children were confirmed and 72 children received First Holy Communion.  Services are held exclusively in Croatian. 

        Since 1977 the following friars served in Norval: Fr. Leon Galić, Fr. Marijan Pehar, Fr. Mladen Čuvalo, Fr. Berto Dragićević, Fr. Dionizije Lasić and a Franciscan lay-brother, Fr. Alozije Topić (1987-1996).  After the Center was approved by the bishop and given the rights of a parish in April 1987, the following friars have served here:








Associate Pastor


fra Ljubo Krasić


fra Ivan Bradvica




fra Veselko Kvesić




fra Miro Grubišić




fra Vilim Primorac


fra Stjepan Pandžić


fra Slaven Mijatović




fra Jago Soče




fra Nikola Pašalić




fra Tomislav Puljić



fra Miro Grubišić



fra Stipe Renic



fra Vinko Bebek

2009- Fra Marko Puljić 2009- fra Ilija Puljić
    2009- fra Tomislav Pek

Parishes Index


        The first friar permanently serving the Croatians here was Fr. Kruno Pandžić who arrived in 1960.  He was succeeded by Fr. Berto Dragićević who renovated the wooden building which served as the rectory with a basement chapel where mass was celebrated for many years.  In 1965 the bishop recognized it as a Croatian ethnic parish and a local mission as well.  The long-time pastor, Fr. Dominik Ćorić and his parishioners built a beautiful church in 1981/1982, which was dedicated in 1983.

        From 1960 to 1995, 317 children were baptized, 114 individuals were buried, 90 couples were married and 112 children received First Holy Communion. Masses are held in both Croatian and English.

        The following friars have served in the parish:

fra Kruno Pandžić 1960.-1962.

fra Berto Dragićević 1962.-1969.

fra Silvije Grubišić 1969.-1970.

fra Serafin Vištica 1970.-1971.

fra Dominik Ćorić 1971.-1994.

fra Veselko Kvesić 1994.-  

Parishes Index


Beginning in 1949 Croatian priests occasionally visited the Croatians in Sudbury, but there was no mission or parish established  for quite some time. Among these was Rev. Jure Vrdoljak.  The first Franciscan from the Croatian Custody who worked here was Fr. Kruno Pandžić in the 1960s. The Franciscans resided at Holy Trinity parish until 1981, where they held mass in the Croatian language.  At the request of Fr. Ljubo Krasić, the mission was estabalished as a parish in 1981.  During the same year, the Croatians purchased a beautiful stone church, rectory and hall from the Lutherans.  The church was adopted for Catholic services.

   From 1981 to 1995, 54 children were baptized, 69 individual were buried, 24 couples were married, 50 children were confirmed, and 27 children received First Holy Communion.  Masses are held in both Croatian and English.

   The following friars have served in the mission and parish:

Fr. Jure Vrdoljak 1949.-1953.

fra Kruno Pandžić 1960.-1968.

fra Berto Dragićević 1968.-1980.

fra Ljubo Krasić 1980.-1987.

fra Ljubo Lebo 1987.-1995.

fra Ilija Puljić   1995. - 2001

fra Ljubo Lebo 2001 - 2006

fra Ilija Puljić  2006 -2009  



        A  Bosnian Franciscan, Fr. Lujo Ivandić, arrived in Windsor in 1948 and began celebrating Mass with the Croatians. Together with his parishioners, he purchased an old Baptist church on Albert Street in 1950.  The church was renovated that same year, and the first Croatian parish in Canada was officially established. Due to several reasons, Fr. Lujo left the parish in 1965.  The following pastor, Rev. Miloš Čulin, built a new church on property that was purchased on Seneca and Turner Streets.  After Rev. Čulin left the parish in 1973, the Franciscans from the Croatian Custody assumed the care of the parish.  With inadequate space in the church Fr. Zvonimir Kutleša and his parishioners undertook the building of a new church, rectory and big hall in 1980/1981.  In 1986, a parking lot was purchased and repaved.  The Croatian sisters, who are responsible for religious instruction, Croatian school and various domestic duties have been working in the parish since 1980.

        From 1950 (the start of the parish records) to 1995, 1225 children were baptized, 327 individuals were buried, 472 couples were married, 662 children were confirmed and 718 children received First Holy Communion.

        The following friars have served in the parish:

fra Lujo Ivandić 1948.-1965.

vlč. Miloš Čulin 1965.-1973.

fra Ferdo Skoko 1973.-1976.

fra Zvonimir Kutleša 1976.-1996.

fra Jozo Čuić 1996. - 2006

fra Ljubo Lebo 2006 -

            Associate Pastors were: fra Vilim Primorac (1979.-1984.), fra Miro Grubišić (1986.-1987.), fra Jozo Grubišić (1990.-1991.), fra Jago Soče (od 1998.).

Parishes Index..............................................Next

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