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St. James

In the 1820's, many settlers from Ireland began to pioneer in the Colgan area where a church was soon built.  To meet the pastoral needs of the increasing number of Catholics, Bishop Alexander MacDonell of Kingston in 1830 raised the Church at Colgan to parish status in union with St. Patrick's Church in Wildfield, which served at the principal residence of the founding Pastor, Father Edward John Gordon.  During the 1830's, the Catholic population around Colgan continued to grow so that after mid-1935 it was assigned a resident priest and became a parish in it's own right. 

St. James, Colgan is the fourth parish to have been established in the Toronto Arch-diocese and is the mother church of all the parishes established in South Simcoe County and far beyond to King City in the south east and to Owen Sound in the North West.  Along with the neighbouring area in Adjala and Tecumseth Townships, Colgan became one of the larger concentrations of Irish Catholics in the rural parts of the Archdiocese and a great source of priestly and religious vocations of the years.  Twenty eight priests, three brothers and thirty-nine sisters have come from this area.

Notable vocations include: Most Rev. John Thomas Kidd, D.D.(1868-1950), Bishop of Calgary and later, Bishop of London; Rt. Rev. Monsignor James P. Treacy, D.D.(1869-1946); Rt. Rev. Monsignor John Edward Ronan P.A. (1894-1962), founder of St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto; Mother John Frances (d. 1989), born Frances Walsh, Mother Superior of the Ursuline Order for many years; and Rev. Father John Keogh, Counsellor General of the Redemporist Fathers. Religious nurses, missionaries, and teachers have taken the spirit and flavour of this community through Canada and indeed the world.