In the summer of 1728, Fr. Armand De La Richardie, S.J., came from Quebec to establish “The Mission of Our Lady of the Assumption among the Hurons of Detroit.” In 1765 the sixty some French families living on the south shore of the Detroit River petitioned for a parish of their own. Instead of erecting a second religious centre in the same locality, it was decided that the Mission of the Assumption among the Hurons should become the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption with the care of the souls of both the Hurons and the French settlers. This integrating development was canonically effected on October 3rd, 1767, when Fr. Pierre Potier, S.J., became the first pastor. That makes Assumption the oldest continuous parish in the present province of Ontario.

A new church building, opened in 1787, was built of timbers (squared logs) and was situated on the eastern edge of the park between University Avenue and Riverside Drive. On July 20th, 1845 that was replaced with the larger Assumption Church building that forms the nave of the present edifice.

In 1870 the Basilian Fathers of Toronto were invited to take charge of the parish and also of Assumption College which had been opened in 1857 by the Jesuit Fathers.

Through all these years the pastoral life of the Church in Windsor thrived. As the population grew, so did the need to divide Assumption Parish. On Pentecost Sunday 1917 the Parish of Our Lady of Prompt Succour was carved out of Assumption. (This parish and its church were later renamed Holy Name of Mary.) At the west end of Assumption Parish the mission chapel of The Blessed Sacrament was established in 1937. In 1956 Holy Name of Mary Parish was divided and St. Patrick’s Church was established. It was served by the Missionaries of St. Charles (Scalabrinians).

Population shifts and declining numbers of priests led to the reunification of Assumption Parish in recent years. For over two and a half centuries, God has been glorified through worship and service of neighbour in southwestern Ontario in Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish.

Through out 2017 our Parish celebrated many events including a outdoor mass and celebration on the historic grounds of Assumption Church and a gala on October 1st.

As part of the year of celebration a book was published and a DVD produced celebrating 250 years of Assumption Parish.


A pictorial history that sweeps through Assumption’s rich past and present, 250 Years of Assumption Parish chronicles moments from 18th-century history, from the founding of Assumption College precursor to the University of Windsor to the current state and interior of Assumption Church, including the last mass before the church’s doors were closed to the public in 2014.

With never-before-seen photographs and an introduction by decorated local historian Patrick Brode, 250 Years of Assumption Parish archives and collects the story of an Ontario institution that today still serves over 700 families, and whose reach travels far beyond its borders.

The book is available for $10 at the parish office.



A Community in Transition: 250 Years of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Windsor explores the history and significance of the oldest Catholic parish in Ontario. Founded in 1767 as a unique Huron and French-Canadian community, the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption has been the cornerstone of Christianity in all southwestern Ontario. Having witnessed many transformations over its long history, the parish continues to be a vibrant Christian presence in the Windsor area and in the entire Diocese of London. Built in 1845, the church is a stunning example of Canadian Gothic Revival and an important symbol of Christianity in this part of the world – an irreplaceable piece of Canadian Christian heritage. The Church’s history of survival and change continues today with the consolidation of neighbouring parishes and the closing of the historic church due to serious structural problems. The Basilian Fathers continue to minister to the people of the Assumption Parish community. This documentary celebrates the past, present, and future of this remarkable parish – its people, its church, and their impact on the world around them.

A Salt+Light Television Production.  The DVD is available at the office for $15.