St. John Bosco

Our Patron, John Bosco

John Bosco was born of a poor family in northern Italy on August 16, 1815. His mother was widowed when John was only two years old. His education became sporadic as he worked to assist his mother and family. Later, his mother remarried, but his stepfather did not believe in much education. Through much sacrifice and determination, John completed his education and was ordained a priest in 1841.

The hardship of his life gave him a special love for the youth of his day, especially the orphans and those who were homeless due to harsh economic times. John Bosco, or "Don" (Father) Bosco as he was known, not only housed these young people, but also gave them an education and a trade. He founded a Salesian Congregation and is known as the "Apostle of Youth". Don Bosco died January 31, 1888 and was declared a saint of the Church in 1934.

Our Church

St. John Bosco Parish was officially established on September 1, 1979 with Father J. Phillip Horrigan as its first pastor. In 1984, the architectural firm of Ala-Kantti Associates of Ottawa was chosen with Vince Colizza as the project architect. In October of that year, plans began to take shape. Tenders were called by April 1985 and the sod was turned on June 8, 1985. The parish celebrated the Eucharist in the parish centre on the feast of St. John Bosco (January 31, 1986). The Centre was still incomplete: the floor was concrete, the lights were temporary and the walls were unpainted. Finally, on Sunday, June 8, 1986 (exactly one year after turning the sod), Archbishop Francis J. Spence dedicated the building to the glory of God.

Our Leaders

We have had many dedicated priests lead us over the years:

Father J. Phillip Horrigan
(1979 to 1994)

Our first priest was Father Phil. He guided our first steps and watched the parish grow for 15 years before leaving us in 1994 to pursue further studies.

Father John Hibbard
(1994 to 2003)

Father John Hibbard succeeded Father Phil, and led the parish for nine years. Under his leadership, St. John Bosco had three seminarians complete their internships: Fred Happy, Tom MacDonald and Stéphane Pouliot. Father John left us on July 15, 2003.

Father Timothy Harrison
(2003 to 2010)

We welcomed Father Timothy Harrison in 2003. Unlike the previous two pastors, Father Tim's priesthood could be considered a second vocation. Prior to his ordination on August 4, 1990, Father Tim was a professional accountant for a large corporation in the business world.

Father Stéphane Pouliot
(2010 to 2013)

On July 14, 2010, Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of Kingston installed Father Stéphane Pouliot as pastor of St. John Bosco parish. Father Stéphane was ordained on May 24, 2003 and served as Associate Pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Kingston from 2003 to 2005. In 2005, he became the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Frankford, Stirling, Batawa) before coming to St. John Bosco in Brockville in 2010.

Father Jacob Chelamootil
(August 2013 - Present)

Fr. Jacob was ordained to the priesthood in India on April 22, 1993. He came to Canada to serve in the Archdiocesse of Kingston in February of 2002. Beginning as the Associate Pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral in Kingston, Fr. Jacob has since served the parishes of Lansdowne, Rockport, Tweed and Stoco before moving to St. John Bosco parish in Brockville.