A Spiritual Field Hospital 60 Years in the Making

On our diamond jubilee, you are a part of the story!

Let your diamond shine

It’s an exciting time at St. Michael’s — looking back at our history for the last six decades, we see that all the blessings God has given us are meant for the building up of his kingdom.

So in 2019, we celebrate all that God has done for and through St. Michael’s. But more than that — it will be an inspiration that will launch us into making an even greater impact as a truly missionary church.

And you are a part of it.

Our History


April 1959

The beginning…

Fr. Arthur Anderson: Pastor from 1959-1971.

On April 6, 1959, St. Michael’s Parish was established by Episcopal authority by a decree issued by H.E., the Most Rev. F.P. Carroll, Bishop of Calgary.

Rev. Arthur Anderson, at that time the parish priest of St. Francis Church, was appointed Pastor.

May 1959

First Mass

On May 3, 1959, the first Mass as a parish was celebrated at John Kinahan School, which would eventually become the center of all parish activity for the next two years.

May 1959

Catholic Women’s League

On May 24, 1959, the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) was officially established in the parish, with Mrs. Hermon Stevens (eventually the National President of CWL) conferring the Charter and installing the first slate of officers.

Then-alderman Dave Bronconnier with St. Michael’s CWL on their 35th anniversary celebration. Photo taken in 1994.

July 1959


July 1959: a house at 416-36 Street SW was rented as a rectory. Mass was celebrated at the dining room on weekdays.

August 1961

New rectory

During the summer of 1961, a house right next to the church property was purchased which was used as a rectory until 1974. The basement was furnished as a chapel, which accommodated about 40 people.

September 1961

St. Michael’s School

The newly-constructed auditorium at St. Michael’s Elementary and Junior High School afforded another place for Mass. The school has been used every Sunday since, in conjunction with John Kinahan School.

November 1961

A new assistant pastor

On November 25, 1961, Rev. Donald Roberts, ordained in May 1961, was appointed Assistant Pastor at St. Michael’s. Since that time, Fr. Roberts has established a very successful and active CYO and CCD study group. Father was also in charge of the altar boys of St. Michael’s.

September 1962

Sod turning

Sod-turning for the new St. Michael’s church happened on Sunday, September 9, 1962. Construction followed on the following day, Monday.

L-R: Fr. Arthur Anderson (1959-1971), Nick Y. (Contractor), Jack Massier during the sod-turning.

June 1963

“Finis coronat opus”

The end crowns the work

On June 7, 1963, Bishop Carroll solemnly dedicated and blessed the completed church under the title of St. Michael the Archangel Parish.

Old St. Michael’s church building located on Bow Trail.

July 1968

The first parish council

Five years later, on July 15, 1968, the first parish pastoral council held its first meeting, chaired by Ted Valentine, in keeping with Vatican II’s recommendation in the Decree on Bishops, Christus Dominus.

August 1971

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate

In August 1971, Bishop Paul O’Byrne invited the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) to Calgary, to whom the pastoral and temporal care of St. Michael’s Parish would be entrusted to.

March 1984

The Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus established the Father Lawrence Carroll Council in (St. Michael’s) in March 1984.

St. Michael’s Father Lawrence Carroll Council # 8636. Photo taken in 1984.

February 1992

Oblates of Mary Immaculate

1992: After 21 years and 11 priests, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) withdrew their ministry in Calgary.

August 1992

Fr. Len Hagel

On August 1, 1992, Fr. Len Hagel was appointed Pastor of St. Michael’s.

May 1993

A growing congregation

May 1993: the weekend celebration of the Eucharist was moved to John Costello Elementary School in Strathcona to make way for a major church renovation.

Six months later, on November 27, 1993, parishioners returned to St. Michael’s, which can now accommodate 500 people.

October 2005

Fr. Len’s death

Following the death of Fr. Len Hagel on October 13, 2005, Fr. Julian Studden was appointed the new pastor of St. Michael’s on November 11.

June 2009

An ever-growing congregation

On 2008, it was determined that a new church had to be built. With the dramatic growth that the parish was experiencing, the current church — designed to accommodate 500 people — was now inadequate to house 1,500 families.

The sod turning for the new church took place on June 28, 2009.

March 2011

Transfer of the Holy Vessels

On March 25, 2011, the move from the old church on Bow Trail to its current location in West Springs took place with the transfer of the holy vessels.

Two days later, on March 27, the first Mass was celebrated at the new church.

First Mass at the new St. Michael’s church building on March 26, 2011.

June 2011

Dedication and blessing

On June 29, 2011, Bishop Frederick Henry officiated the dedication and blessing of the new St. Michael’s church building.

New church building consecration Mass with Bishop Henry. June 29, 2011.

May 2019

60th Anniversary

May 3, 2019 marks 60 years since the first Mass as St. Michael’s Parish was celebrated at John Kinahan School. On this day, we will be celebrating with Mass at 7 p.m., followed by a social where some of our parish community’s founding members will be joining.

Some of St. Michael’s founding members. Photo taken in 2018.

December 15, 2019 marks the conclusion of our 60th anniversary year

We thank everyone for your participation at all of our events this year held in celebration of this significant occasion. Thanks in particular to our 60th anniversary committee: Noreen (chair), Betty, Scholastica, Tammy, Heather, Jolly, and Marc, for their dedication and hard work in making this year an inspiration for the future.

Watch the recap video below:

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