22 Wenderly Dr, North York
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22 Wenderly Dr, North York, ON

A Retrospective Look

Welcome to the San Lorenzo Anglican Parish – a place of faith and the home of hope.

At the corner of Wenderly Drive and Dufferin Street, in the city of Toronto, there is a small chapel. It has no tall sphinxes, no magnificent Gothic arches, no elaborate stained-glass windows. It is just one more parish, in the middle of a large and bustling avenue in the city.  However, within its humble walls there is abundant wealth. Not of gold, not of silver, but of faith, hope and love.

The church, once the home of St. Hilda and an Anglo-Saxon congregation, today is home to Ontario’s Spanish-speaking community. A place where hope that springs from a transparent source of commitment is drunk. It is a small corner where faith is cultivated and lived in abundance. A faith that heals, a faith that strengthens, a faith that shows the way, a faith that maintains prayer and action on the practical paths of solidarity.

This cozy church where today the theology of the Emigrant Christ is shared and cultivated, began its crusade, in 1997 when the first woman ordained Bishop in the Anglican Church, Victoria Matteous, trusted in the faith of a poor and humble immigrant and handed over the Parish of San Lorenzo to him., so that he would revive it, since the parishioners of the Anglo-Saxon congregation were disappearing. The little chapel continued its evolution when the second woman ordained Bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada, Ann Tottenham, ordained the musician of train stations and the streets of Toronto, Hernán Astudillo, as a priest in the temple of San Lorenzo. Then, the church knew how to produce the gifts of prayer, a spirit of sanitation, a place of learning, celebration, ecumenism, solidarity bread, a space of refuge and sanctuary, in a practical and understandable language for the most excluded of the earth.

They are the victims of political persecution and economic oppression, people and families without status, refugees in exile, abused mothers, unemployed fathers and people with special needs.  This is the place of retreat where an emigrant town quenches the thirst for hope. A place where new things are learned and where old traditions are valued and restored. They come here from all corners of the earth. The young and the old all come to renew their faith, but also to find strength in this oasis of hope and spirituality.