Confessions: 30 minutes before all Masses
Address: 70 Collingwood St. W., Meaford, ON N4L 1H1
More than forty years ago, the present church building was consecrated on the feast of Pentecost, after a devastating fire destroyed the original church 18 months prior. But our story begins much earlier. In 1863, Fr. François-Xavier Granottier, C.S.B., came to Grey County. He was responsible for the construction of church buildings in the Irish Block, Meaford, Thornbury, and Melancthon. In 1870, a ½ acre of land was purchased on Cook Street and the original brick church of St. Vincent was erected. The cost of the building, including the tower, pews, and a substantial altar was over $2,000, yet the community was able to begin debt-free.
On Christmas Day, 1965, a tragic fire from an electric heater destroyed the old church. Undaunted, the community went ahead with plans to build anew. The present church was completed in 1967 and consecrated on Pentecost Sunday. Fr. Harold Smith, CSB, son of Mr. & Mrs. Hermon Smith, felt honoured to preach the first sermon in the new church, especially since he was born in Meaford. An overflow congregation from the Town Council, clergy and many other Meaford citizens imparted a true ecumenical spirit to this occasion. Bishop Joseph Ryan, Bishop of the Hamilton Diocese at the time, celebrated the first Mass and the consecration of the new church. Fr. CJ Crawley was pastor of St. Mary’s and the Missions while Fr. CV Burns served St. Vincent’s Mission. Fr. Crawley read a letter from the mayor, congratulating and complimenting the parishioners of St. Vincent’s on the fine church saying that he was warmed by the sincere message from the town. It was through the efforts, support and spirit of the Meaford Community and district that Catholics were able to undertake fund-raising and construction of the church building. Several fund raising projects were held by the CWL and parishioners, such as rummage sales, euchre parties, raffle draws, bake sales, bazaars, quilt draws and yard sales. The 4th Degree Knights of Columbus from Owen Sound presented a new Chalice to the church, which was used during the Mass, and Bishop Ryan congratulated Fr. Crawley and the Basilian Fathers, the parishioners and the town of Meaford on the beautiful edifice they had raised to God’s glory.