St.Boniface - Patron Saint of Germany

St. Boniface was born in Great Britain and baptized Wynfrid. In 719 he received the papal blessing as a missionary and took the name of Boniface.  In 722, he was sent by the Pope to Germany to reform and restore Christianity there. During a mission to the Frisians in 754, Boniface and 53 companions were massacred.

St.Boniface - Maryhill, ON

St Boniface Roman Catholic Parish dates back to 1834.  As one of the oldest parishes in this part of Ontario it has a long and distinguished history. The parish encompasses Ariss, Bloomingdale, Breslau, Conestogo, Marden, Winterbourne, and West Montrose.

Most of the Catholic settlers here emigrated from the Alsace-Lorraine and German areas of Europe in the late 1820s. The first settlers were Mathias Fehrenbach, Felix Scharbach and Christian Rich, with the first mass being said in the home of Christian Rich. 

St. Boniface Church Maryhill - Stained Glass

 The first church would have also doubled as a school in the mid 1830’s and was built by Father John Louis Wiriath. This church, we believe, was located where the parking lot beside the new cemetery is located today. The first resident priest was Very Rev. John Holzer who was responsible for the building of the second church and it was dedicated on the first Sunday of Advent in 1848. By 1875 the little stone church was too small for the congregation and the building of the present church was blessed and officially opened on 10 November 1878 by Father Stephen Foerster.  Father Foerster served the parish for 46 years.

In 1940 the New Germany post office was notified that since there was another New Germany near St. Catharine’s, Ontario, letters from soldiers overseas to homes in either village were often arriving at the wrong destination.  Four names were suggested. Since the church was on the hill and the people wished to place the village under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maryhill seemed perfect. The decision to change the name was unanimous. The village called New Germany for so many years became Maryhill on Sunday, January 26, 1941.

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