Community fighting to keep Marian shrine alive
By Jean Ko Din, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
TORONTO – The community at the Marian Shrine of Gratitude in Toronto is growing in strength and numbers despite a looming closure.
More than 5,000 signatories have petitioned to keep the shrine and the nearby Ukrainian Basilian Monastery open after hearing in early June that the lease on the property, which expires in 2019, will not be extended.
“This summer, with the possibility of this place being closed down, it brought more people than any year ever,” said Angela Carboni, executive director of St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts, which is located on the same property.
“We didn’t imagine this place would be closing because it kept growing. The rosary processions, the retreats, devotional prayers….”
The plan to sell the property in northwest Toronto came after two of the three Ukrainian Basilian Fathers living at the monastery were transferred to hospital this year and the remaining father was transferred. The only priest now living in the monastery, Basilian Monastery provincial superior Fr. Gabriel Haber, was unavailable for comment.