-1 -2 -3 - St. John Chrysostom Parish



-1 -2 -3 - St. John Chrysostom Parish
Welcome to St. John Chrysostom Church. This is one
of the largest churches in the Diocese of Pembroke.
The parishioners and clergy are happy to welcome
visitors and those who want to learn more about
this church.
The liturgical changes which came about after the
Second Vatican Council as a result of the popularity of
the innovations of the Liturgical Movement before the
Council, led to renovations to the church, which were
undertaken by a local contractor and completed in late
1968. The architect was J. S. LeFort and the designer
was George Ayotte.
The windows do not all do
and are done by different c
the reconciliation room, a
style. These were installed i
Here is a brief history of the church and its furnishings.
To begin, the parish was named for an honored saint
from the 4th century. He earned the title of "golden
mouthed" for his preaching. The pastors here, over the
years, have boldly tried to live up to this great tradition.
In 1857, the first Catholic chapel was constructed in
Arnprior. It was later turned into a rectory when a larger
church was built on donated land nearby. That church
was completed in 1873. In 1907, under the direction of
Rev. Alphonsus Chaine (who served the parish for 41
years), the cornerstone for this present church was laid.
It was built around and above the existing church. When
the roof was completed, the old church was dismantled
and ejected through the windows and doors of the
new one. The material used was undressed (shoddy)
stone, known for its naturally rough and irregular shapes.
The church style is Romanesque Revival as were many
of the churches and public buildings of the era.
It is listed on the website of the Ontario Heritage Trust.
This architectural style originated in Medieval Europe
and is a combination of Roman and Byzantine styles.
It is characterized by semi-circular arches, a symmetrical
plan and simple appearance in comparison to the Gothic
style that would follow.
.:. The bell we hear ringing before masses and
after funerals, has a name - Maria Joanna
Dyonisia. It is a long-standing tradition to give
names to church bells and to have a blessing
ceremony when they are installed.
.:. The lighted cross on top of the highest steeple
of the church (211') can be seen at night from
It was
many different areas of Arnprior.
"electrified" in 1960 by the Knights of Columbus.
.:. When the lights at the very top of the ceiling
need to be changed, they are reached from a
ladder leading to a full attic. The light fixtures
are under trap doors and need to be pulled
upwards to access them.
.:. The large "paintings" on the ceiling and on the
dome of the sanctuary are actually decals.
.:. A unique feature of our church is the balcony
circling above the altar. At one time containing
pews, it was used for overflow seating during
Christmas and Easter liturgies.
The windows in the nave 0
by Guido Nincheri of MontrE
still operates under the d
Nincheri's windows grace c
and parts of New England.
his artistry here, as hE
Michelangelo of Montreal.
To create the windows, pia
glass are cut to shape an
the paint is applied to cr
detailing . The puzzle is ta
heated in a kiln, fusing 0
glass. The illustration is rec
holding the pieces together
The rear balcony was or
choir. The small windows
We find David
(patron of music) depicted
pipes, and also St. Grego
name to Gregorian chant.
The church has a traditio
the twelve apostles with
center. The outside vie
clearly the traceries that m
the outside facade, are sta
Michael the Archangel.
The mosaics adjoining the altar are a remaining part of
the post Vatican II renovation. There is a progression in
the two scenes, from darkness to light, from death to
life. One side shows the hill of Calvary, with two crosses
done in mosaic, and a large carved wood crucifix
above. At the top we see a darkened sun .
The other side is full of light. There is a palm branch,
the empty tomb, and the shining sun. The statue here
is the Risen Christ, with arms extended in blessing.
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM was born in Antioch
(Antakya,Turkey) in 349 A.D. From a middle class family,
he was headed for a career in law but after his baptism
at age 19, he became a desert monk. Because of his
exceptional speaking ability as a deacon, and against
his own desires, he was ordained a priest.
Eventually, his popularity as a preacher,- which gained
him the nickname "golden mouthed"- his commentaries
on Scripture, and his leadership, brought him to be
elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 397. John was a
diplomat who was called upon to make various kinds of
political and ecclesial interventions. He was a "rough
reformer" who spoke frankly and acted decisively.
He defied the political and religious leaders of the day
by preaching against extreme wealth and lax morals.
He lived what he preached and sold the expensive
furnishings in his residence to give money to the poor
and to hospitals. He ate like a monk and eschewed the
large festal dinners.
Some authorities, including the Empress, plotted to
depose him, but the people protested in multitudes
and John kept his pOSition.
He was only five feet tall but his small stature never
prevented him from standing tall in defiance of injustice,
bowing only to God and never compromising his
Christian principles. This eventually proved too much
for the authorities and John was exiled. When the
Emperor exiled him even further, he died on the journey
on September 14, 407.
He believed strongly in the power of public worship.
He wrote: "You cannot pray at home as at church,
where there is a great multitude, where exclamations
are cried out to God as from one great heart, and
where there is... the union of minds, the accord of
souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests. /I
Golden Mouth: The Story
of John Chrvsostom-Ascetic,
Preacher, Bishop
By J.N.D. Kelly
Lift Up Your Hearts
A History of the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Pembroke by Rev.
Joseph C. Legree
The Church on the Hill
A History of St. John Chrysostom Parish (on the occasion of the
12S th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Parish) By Leo J.
Lavoie, K.5.G.
Web Site about Guido Nincheri - tourisme-montreal under guido­
Web Site of St. John Chrysostom Parish. Newmarket, ON
Written by: Fr. John Burchat, S. T.L.,P.P. and Regina Rolph

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