A Collaboration of Education and Beauty

At the heart of our faith is a belief in the incarnation. As Catholics, we believe the incarnation of Jesus is continued through the work of the Holy Spirit in our Sacramental Life. Here our senses are engaged, ready to receive the knowledge of God’s grace and goodness. We hear, smell, touch, see and taste the presence of God in our lives. This mindfulness is a discipline that takes regular practice. People come from across the city to receive the grace of Reconciliation, Eucharist, Marriage and other Sacraments.

St. Basil’s is where we practice this mindfulness together. We provide a capacity where the lay and ordained collaborate to capture the “work of the people,” that is liturgy, so that we may come together to learn, pray, and be nourished. We embody the collegiate environment, where we learn from, and lead one another. We place an importance on the physical beauty as it reflects the beauty within each of us.


When Charity turns Relationship into Change

Many people confuse charity and social justice, but the two are quite different. Charity is how we respond to the immediate needs presented before us; whereas social justice seeks to understand why those needs exist in the first place. St. Basil’s, as a collegiate parish, strives to engage in the important work of both.

We are a community that wishes to bring healing, mercy, and generosity to those in need, so that we may foster the gift of hospitality. In the spirit of poverty, may we be in solidarity with the most vulnerable through service. However, solidarity is not simply a one-sided relationship, but we open ourselves to our own transformation through an encounter with “the other”. Regardless of one’s social or economic status, everyone belongs.   We do not serve one another anonymously, but by name. We do not simply offer items or services, but stories. It these stories that bring about the necessary understanding so that ours is no longer charity, but justice.


A Journey of Embodiment

The Word was made flesh in the heart of a family. It was within the trusting couple of Mary and Joseph that God’s love was most fully revealed. The vocation and mission of the family is thus rooted in the ordinary human experience of Jesus’ own family life- an experience that was undoubtedly marked by deep love and generosity, but also by the same uncertainties, fearfulness, and even financial struggles that many contemporary families face today.

At St. Basil’s we share in the joys of families as they celebrate the big milestones in their journey of faith and we support them in the everyday challenges that lead to a deeper encounter with each other and God. It is a community where husband and wife, father and mother, toddler, preschooler and child are called to welcome, listen, speak and grow together and in so doing to change the world.


Renewing an Artistic Tradition

We are invited to be awakened, active, and conscious participants in the liturgy. Many people believe music is an option to our prayer; and while that may be technically correct, music always adds to our prayer. When we are singing and playing together, we practice what we hear in our prayers. We set aside individualism, power titles, and biases that govern us, and join in the collective – we become “one body in Christ”.

At St. Basil’s, music is where we practice living in harmony together. When we sing, we try not overpower so that only our voice is heard; nor whisper so that our voice is lost. We learn to listen and match the volume, pitch and pace of the voices around us so that one song of prayer is heard. It is this age-old practice that has become a rich tradition of quality and art at St. Basil’s, which continues to renew itself with every new voice.


Come as you are; Change who you will become

In a congested city such as Toronto, urban life can leave us feeling connected but alone. At the same pace as our society grows more hungry for genuine intimacy, it grows more fearful of it. We need other people to affirm us, inspire us, challenge us, engage us in conversations, share values, and ask questions in a safe place. We long for a community which provides us with the courage to be vulnerable in sharing the joy of the Divine, as well as our struggle with worthiness.

St Basil’s is such a community where people feel at home, rather than judged. It is a place where we can come as we are, with only one requirement: that you must be willing to change who you will become.