Our History

Our History

About our community

We are members of the Victoria diocese who find joy in the beauty and history of the Traditional Latin Mass. We are blessed to have a Priest of the Diocese who says this Mass for us at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Esquimalt.

About our parish

In 1858, upon the invitation of Bishop Modeste Demers of the Diocese of Victoria, the Oblate Order established themselves in Esquimalt and subsequently built the first church (St. Joseph’s) near the Memorial Park on Esquimalt Road. When the Oblates left the Island in 1866, a Diocesan priest, Fr. J. M. Mandart, was appointed as missionary to Esquimalt. In 1879, a new St. Joseph’s church was erected on Esquimalt Road near Admirals Road. Due to population growth, a church named St. Mary’s was built in 1905 in the Victoria West area.

In 1925, Fr. Anselm Wood was appointed pastor of both parishes. Fr. Wood received permission to replace both of them with a new church which would be located in an area between the two churches.

The site for the new church was at 849 Old Esquimalt Road and construction began in August 1929. The church was dedicated to “Our Lady Queen of Peace” as a memorial to those who died in the First World War. The first Mass was celebrated in the basement on March 30, 1930 and the first official Mass was celebrated in the Sanctuary of the church on December 25, 1930.

In 1994, a new addition to the church building began, and when the project was completed, an elevator had been installed and the new facilities included a new office, a meeting room, new washrooms, two kitchens and a refurbished church hall.

In the spring of 2003, while visiting Prague in the Czech Republic, Fr. Bernard Hanley was presented with the statue of the Infant Jesus. On August 30, 2003, with the permission of the Most Reverend Bishop Raymond Roussin, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish was designated as an authentic Shrine dedicated to the Infant Jesus of Prague. Special Devotions to the Infant of Prague and blessing with the Holy Oil from Prague, are held every Thursday following the noon Mass.

Throughout the history of Our Lady Queen of Peace, we have been blessed with Pastors of courage and determination, each bringing their own special charisms, which enhanced not only the physical aspects of the church, but also the spiritual needs of the people:

  • Fr. Anselm Wood, 1925–1939
  • Fr. J.B. Jullion, 1939–1944
  • Fr. Lewis McLellan, 1944–1966
  • Fr. Michael McNamara, 1966–1985
  • Fr. Bernard Hanley, 1985–2005
  • Fr. John Jolliffe (Administrator) December 2004–June 2005
  • Fr. Alex MacLellan, 2005–2011
  • Fr. John Domotor, 2011–