Priory of the Ascension of Our Lord
Name and History
The Priory of the Ascension of Our Lord is located in Windsor, ON, with our home at the Church of the Ascension. We are the first Priory to be recognized in Canada.
Our history began in 1998 when Canon Ron Matthewman of the Church of the Ascension was invited to join OSMTH under the Priory of St. Clair in Grosse Pointe (Detroit) MI. Under his leadership, membership in Windsor grew quickly, leading to Commandery status in 2001, and full independent Priory status in 2004.
As growth in membership continued, both in Windsor and other Canadian sites, in 2005 OSMTH recognized creation of the Grand Priory of Canada.
Our major community partnership is with the Angela Rose House, a refugee transitional housing project operated by The Community Refugee Fund, which is administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). The Fund started in 1999, and the SNJM have since had a commitment to fundraising for the critical needs of refugee claimants living in Windsor-Essex and beyond. Angela Rose House welcomes newly arrived refugee claimants (also known as asylum seekers) with no friends or family in the area and those who have insufficient funds left to pay for a motel room or rental unit.
We support the House with charitable funds, but also provide significant “hands on” support in many ways. Our Priory contributes by providing kitchen and cleaning supplies, volunteer driving, and twice monthly visits for social and recreational activities particularly directed to introducing residents to the many facets of Canadian life.
In other Community Engagement efforts, members coordinate and support a local Interfaith Group, and volunteer in many activities such as Hospice, St. Vincent de Paul, local hospitals, their respective churches and many more.
We collect charitable funds through annual oblations, other donations and fund raising events such as paint nights and auctions of donated paintings. Disbursements of charitable funds are reviewed annually by our Charitable Committee and approved at our Annual General Meeting. Our aim is to support a selection of worthy recognized charitable groups covering local, national and international organizations that are aligned with the OSMTH Vision Statement “Aiding humanity on the pilgrimage through life”.
Member charitable funds collected through oblations are provided with a charitable donation tax receipt under the umbrella of the Grand Priory of Canada.
Our major event annually is the Convent, Investiture and Banquet, traditionally held the first Saturday of November, a ceremonial event where we welcome and invest new Knights and Dames, announce promotions, and renew our dedication to the Order, followed by a formal banquet of celebration.
Three dinner meetings are generally held in the February to June time frame, with the June meeting being our Annual General Meeting to review our finances, approve charitable donations, review the past years activities and plan activities for the next year. Each dinner meeting includes a presentation from either one of the charitable organizations we support or on a topic of interest to members.
Socially, we have two gatherings each year, celebrating Christmas and summer, at a variety of venues.