Following the Second World War, Niagara Falls experienced a great increase in population. The spiritual needs of the Catholic community called for new parishes to be established. In response to these needs, His Eminence James Cardinal McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto, erected a mission of St. Patrick Parish in Stamford Township. The Land was purchased from the tract known as "Cout's Farm" in Stamford Centre.
Fr. Wilfrid Smith, O.Carm. was the first to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the mission, which received its present name in recognition of the Carmelite Order. The original building was a converted welding shop with seating for 100 people.
In June 1951, the mission was raised to the status of a parish and Fr. Austin Sweeney was appointed the first pastor on September 8, 1951. In 1953 an addition was built increasing the seating to 280.
Construction work on the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station No. 2 brought a great influx of families into the area. As well, the development of land formerly used for fruit farming brought with it increased demands upon the parish. In 1960 ground was broken for a new church. Chosen as the architect was Arthur Scott, with Dominion Construction as the contractor.
On November 1, 1960 Bishop Thomas McCarthy blessed the new church. The old church became the parish hall.
After seventeen years as pastor, Fr. Sweeney was transferred to another parish. Fr. Patrick Gravelle served as parish administrator until Fr. Emmet Lacey was appointed to the parish in 1969. Fr. Lacey undertook the construction of the parish offices and a residence for the priests of the parish attached to the sacristy area of the church. Fr. Lacey served as pastor until his death in 1976.
Monsignor Vincent Ferrando was appointed pastor in 1976, a position he held for 16 years before retiring in 1992. During his 16 years, Monsignor Ferrando added a chapel for the Blessed Sacrament to the east wing of the church. He also completed renovations to the parish hall in 1979 and 1984. Before his retired in 1992, Monsignor Ferrando added an additional meeting room to the parish hall, which is known today as the “Ferrando Room”.
Fr. Brian Bevan was appointed as Pastor of Our Lady of the Scapular from 1992 to 1944. He was proceeded by Fr. Peter Rowe.
Fr. Peter Rowe led the parish during the “Together in the Spirit” capital Campaign where over a million dollars were raised to update the church.
These updates included an addition to the front of the church which included a sacristy, a reconciliation room, a quiet room, and a gathering space to greet and welcome the people of God.
As well, a Marian Niche to Our Lady of the Scapular was added to the west wing of the church. There were also numerous updates to the church, the parish hall, the rectory, and parish offices.
Fr. Peter Rowe was proceeded by Fr. Hugh Gibson in 2005. He served as pastor until 2012.
Long overdue renovations to the hall kitchen and hall floors were completed. An announcement sign for the church was built which attracted the attention of people using Thorold Stone Road. The parish under took a “Raise the Roof” campaign to replace the deteriorating shingle roof with a steel roof, adding much beauty to the church.
Fr. Hugh Gibson was proceeded by Monsignor Leo Clutterbuck, P.H. in 2012. He served as pastor until 2015, at which point he was appointed Vicar General by His Excellency, Bishop Bergie.
Monsignor Leo Clutterbuck was proceeded by Fr. Paul MacNeil in 2015.
Our Lady of the Scapular continues to grow. It is one of the largest parishes within the Diocese of St. Catharines. We minister to five Catholic Elementary Schools (Notre Dame, St. Gabriel Lalemant, Mary Ward, Cardinal Newman, and St. Vincent de Paul) and one Catholic High School (St. Paul). We also minister to 4 retirement/nursing home facilities (Stamford Estates, Queenston Place, Valley Park Lodge, and Lundy Manor). For more information please contact the parish office at 905-358-7611