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*note: Dates in Events at time of newsletter publications may be subject to change. Check the webs' Shrine Days page for updated dates and info.
~ CHRISTMAS ISSUE 20 2018 is now ready to view ~
(Aug 17, 2018)
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The August 15 shrine pics are now up for viewing in the Photo Gallery section (Shrine Days 2018)

(July 25, 2018)

Plan Your Summer visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Merlin
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Wednesday, August 15
Bishop Fabbro will celebrate Mass at 11 am | lunch | Rosary Procession
Divine Mercy Chaplet | Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 2:15 pm

Prior to the Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered. Parishes are invited to organize a pilgrimage to this celebration. The faithful can also join a Walking Pilgrimage to the Shrine. There will be two starting points for the pilgrimage; a 10 KM walk will depart from the North Buxton Museum at 8:00 a.m., and a 5 KM walk will depart from the Merlin Community Hall at 9:00 a.m. Parishes are encouraged to organize a carpool or bus of pilgrims and join one of the two departure locations. Pilgrims arriving by car will be able to park their vehicles at these locations, and volunteers will be available after the day’s celebrations to drive pilgrims back to the parking lots. A diocesan representative will be at each of the two departure locations and will lead pilgrims to the Shrine.

(July 17, 2018)

To adopt a garden, or be put on a list, please contact Denise Dupuis by email: or call the Shrine office at 519-689-7760.
(March 12, 2018)
Preparation for 4 days Mass with the Litany of St. Patrick. March 14, 15, 16 2018 at 7:00 pm and March 17 at 8:00 am. Feast of St. Patrick will be celebrated at the Sunday mass March 18 at 10:00 am, presided by Fr. Chris Bourdeau, followed by Reception of music and "eats" and fellowship. All are Welcome!
(Nov 29, 2017)
Who Am I to Judge? by Dr. Edward Sri.
This 8-part study program gives us an important key to responding to relativism effectively—a Catholic moral worldview. Learn how Catholic morality is all about love, how making a judgment is not judging a person’s soul, and how, in the words of Pope Francis, “relativism wounds people” and is “the spiritual poverty of our times.”

The program started on November 22. Study sessions will be held each Wednesday following the 7:00 evening mass at St. Patrick’s church basement. There will take a break during the week of Christmas, then continue on through January. There is a $20 cost for the workbook. If you are interested there is still time to participate. You need to register by calling the office at 519-689-7760.

(Nov 29, 2017)
A request has been made to our Shrine to make rosaries for distribution to non-Catholics in India. Volunteers are being asked to meet Saturday, Dec. 2nd after morning mass, to make rosaries together in order to donate them for this need. All supplies will be provided. Organized by Agnes Arias. Another 'rosary making workshop' will be held in January. Call office for details.
(Sept 21, 2017)

There will be a Solemn Outdoor Mass on Friday, October 13th, 2017
Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima
at Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine in Merlin

Fr. Chris Bourdeau will be officiating Mass at 7:00 pm. Candle-lit Rosary Procession to follow mass. Confessions will be held one hour before Holy Mass. We invite you to come and participate in this Eucharistic Celebration, to honour Our Blessed Mother and to receive God's blessings. Come and make this day a memorable one as we give thanks at the close of the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
(Oct. 12, 2017) *Due to wet conditions on the Shrine grounds, the 100th Anniversary Mass will be held indoors at St. Patrick's Church.

Prior to this special commemoration, there will be a showing of " The 13th Day " on Wednesday, October 11th in the St. Patrick's Church basement following the 7 pm Mass.  
All are welcome!

(May 16, 2017)
As part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Bishops of Canada will be consecrating our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 1 or 2, 2017.

All Canadian Catholics are invited to join in prayer with their Bishops as they re-consecrate our country. 
At St. Patrick’s, this awesome event will take place on Sunday, July 2 at the 10 am Mass & 11 am Shrine Mass by praying an abridged version of the consecration prayer after the masses. Special prayer cards will be available at the back of the Church. Please join us in re-dedicating our land to our Blessed Mother.
(March 30, 2017)
Our Holy Father Pope Francis will travel to Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 2017, to commemorate the 100 Year Anniversary of the Apparition of Fatima. Let us join him and celebrate this "special" day at Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine in Merlin, with a special outdoor Mass beginning at 11:00 am. There will be an extra special Rosary Procession to follow after mass. Something you will not want to miss. Please mark your calendar and visit and enrich the celebration through your participation. Pope Francis has granted plenary indulgence for this celebration. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be solemnly exposed, as well, in the church each 13th day of the month (May to October) to obtain these indulgences.
(March 8, 2017)
On March 17 we will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with an evening Mass at 7:00pm, followed by social gathering, with refreshments and goodies in the basement of the church. All are welcomed!
(Jan 10, 2017)
It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to Fr. Francis Jeyaseelan CR. He is being transferred back to Sri Lanka. We wish him well in the next step of his Priesthood.
Please join us on Sunday, January 22 for his final mass here at St. Patrick's Church and Shrine. There will be a Coffee Sunday reception in the basement following the 10 am mass. Everyone welcome.

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(Nov 16, 2016)
There are
NEW office hours at St. Patrick's Church. The Parish Office and Gift Cabin will now be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:00 am till 4:00 pm. For any inquiries call during office hours at 519-689-7760 to speak to Angie Reaume.
(Nov 13, 2016)
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The closing of the Holy Door on Sunday, November 13, 2016 saw nearly 350 of the faithful gathered together with Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Dabrowski at St. Patrick's Merlin to praise and thank God for His goodness to His people. Along with the Rosarian Fathers, Fr. Sam Johnston, Fr. Peter Amszej and Deacon Raymond Girard, people came from far and wide to assist at the Mass, and gain the Holy Door indulgence for the final time in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. With a standing room only liturgy, and blessing from Bishop Joseph, many remained afterwards to enjoy a reception, fellowship, as well as the church and Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine grounds. A beautiful fall day blessed with sunshine and glorious colours of the season enhanced the joy of all.
(Oct 14, 2016)
We have had the special honour of having the Holy Door this Jubilee Year of Mercy. This time ends, as Bishop Joseph Dabrowski will be coming to St. Patrick’s at the 10:00 am mass on November 13, 2016 to close the door. Don't miss out. We look forward to seeing you.
(Sept 15.2016)
The Knights of Columbus with His Eminence Bishop Joseph Dabrowski are organizing a Holy Family Celebrations on Sunday October 2, 2016 at the Merlin Shrine. Confessions at 9:30am, Celebration of the Eucharist at 10:00am and Rosary procession immediately after mass.
The Holy Family Celebrations are an important way for the Knights of Columbus to serve a leadership role and to be the vanguard of the renewal of marriage and family life.  However, the Knights of Columbus would like to invite the broader Catholic community in our diocese to participate in this Holy Family Celebrations.
The intent is for the Holy Family Celebrations to become an annual event that will be a signature component of the Knights of Columbus Building the Domestic Church initiative. We kindly ask for each Knights of Columbus Council, Catholic Women’s League and Parish Communities to attend this Celebration of The Holy Family. ~ Jesmond P. Tabone, LWDA Chairman

(August 23.2016)
The August shrine days have been completed with the participation of thousands of pilgrims. Thanks for all who contributed in different ways for the success of these days especially our dear volunteers who look after Shrine gardens, and all the others who help the Shrine in many ways. Thank you very much. We Rosarians place each and every one of you at the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament everyday. May the Lord bless and protect you all.       ~ At your service, Rosarian Monks
(May 17.2016)
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Reverend Vincent Joseph Gleeson was born on November 15, 1934 in Merlin, Ontario. He grew up in the parish of St.Patrick's Church, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1960, by Bishop John C. Cody at St.Peter's Cathedral in London. He retired on June 30, 2005. Father Gleeson ministered at St.Peter's Cathedral Basilica, London (1960-1964); Mission in Peru (1964-1971); Immaculate Conception, Stratford (1971-1978); St.Andrew the Apostle, London (1978-1981); St.Michael, Leamington (1981-1991); St.John Vianney, Windsor (1991-1998); St.Alphonsus, Windsor (1998-2005); and St.Clare of Assisi, Windsor (1998-2000). 

Father Gleeson enjoyed celebrating Mass on Shrine grounds. He has been a regular visiting priest at the Shrine for many years. We are going to miss him this year. In fact he was scheduled to celebrate Mass at the Shrine on August 21, 2016. He died peacefully on May 11, 2016, in his 82nd year and 56th year of priesthood. May his soul Rest in peace.
We are happy to share the great news that Fr. Francis Jeyaseelan CR from the Shrine has been appointed as a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.


The Supreme Pontiff
Pope Francis
Appoints you
Francis Jeyaseelan
As a

As a special gift from the Father of Mercy each and every sin that which is reserved to the Holy See are duly and validly absolved by you anywhere on earth in this Extra- Ordinary Year of Mercy. For the sake of the Salvation of Souls this privilege should be exercised duly and faithfully with the integrity of heart and kindness. We should always be mindful of the mercy of God and Blessed Virgin Mary. The Love, Peace and Mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ be always with you.

The members of St. Patrick's Church and Shrine are happy to inform all readers that Fr. Antony Kamalthasan CR was appointed as the New Superior of the Rosarian Monastery in Canada on September 19th of 2015. We welcome and congratulate him for this new office and offer our prayers for the success of his future ministry as the superior and director of the shrine.

We also extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Rev. Fr. Francis CR for his selfless and passionate service that he offered to the Rosarian community, St. Patrick's church and Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine. We wish him every success for his future ministry. May the Lord abundantly bless the Rosarians and their mission in Canada.

Celebration of the Holy Door with Bishop Fabbro at St. Patrick's Church and Shrine Merlin, December 9, 2015, at 7:00 pm. An exultant attendance of around 400. More pics in Special Days section of the Photo Gallery.
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Pope Francis, through his Bull of Indiction Missaricordiae Vultus no.3, permitted the diocesan Bishops to designate Holy Doors in their Dioceses only for The Year of Mercy. Our Bishop Ronald Peter Fabbro designated two Holy Doors in the Diocese:

1. St. Peter’s Cathedral, London
2. St. Patrick’s Church and Shrine in Merlin

Please come and join the Rosarian Priests at St. Patrick Church and Shrine, Merlin and Fr. Peter Amszej as we welcome Bishop Fabbro on DECEMBER 9TH 7PM TO OPEN THE HOLY DOOR BEGINNING THE YEAR OF MERCY. Refreshments to follow….

Inauguration of a New Co-operation as St. Patrick's Church and Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine by Most Rev. Ronald Peter Fabbro CSB, the Bishop of London.
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If you've been thinking about entrusting yourself to Mary for the first time or if you're simply looking to deepen and renew your devotion to her, 33 DAYS to MORNING GLORY is the right book to read and the perfect retreat to make. St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed John Paul II. Fr. Michael Gaitley masterfully summarizes their teaching, making it easy to grasp and simple enough to put into practice. More specifically, he weaves their thought into a user-friendly, do-it-yourself retreat that will bless even the busiest of people.

Retreat will begin Nov. 5 and end Dec. 8 with the candlelight procession at the Shrine.
The meetings will consist of a 30 minute presentation /teaching with Fr. Antony once per week.

Please sign up if you wish to consecrate yourself to Mary for the first time or renew your consecration .
Office 689-7760 or
The cost of the book is $5.25! A great way to prepare for Christmas!

The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation:
This is the foundational study in The Great Adventure Bible Study Series that has helped hundreds of thousands of Catholics learn to read the Bible. The Bible Timeline is a fascinating study that takes participants on a journey through the entire Bible. They will go deep into each period of salvation history and discover the amazing story woven throughout all of Scripture. Using a unique color-coded system, they will learn the major people, places, and events of the Bible and see how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith. The Bible Timeline has been granted the Imprimatur.

Bible Timeline will be offered at St. Patrick's Church on SATURDAYS, to accommodate those who work during the week.
Starting date is
OCTOBER 24, 2015 at 9:00am - 11:00am approx. It is a 24 week course. (ALL ARE WELCOMED)
Facilitator: Fr. Francis Jeyaseelan CR
If interested please email or call the parish office 519-689-7760

God is so good!!
We are grateful to God for another successful Shrine year. Six hundred and ten of the faithful joined together with our Chief Shepherd Bishop Ronald Fabbro on August 15th for Holy Mass, Rosary Procession, Adoration and Benediction on the Shrine Grounds. Over the total of seventeen Shrine Days, during July, August and September of this year, the number of people who came on pilgrimage was two thousand, one hundred and two, up from last year by a little over five hundred. Attendance is up and the Shrine is growing. Thanks to all our benefactors and volunteers for your continued support! Keep us in your prayers.
Important Announcement
~ DONATIONS are greatly needed. We would like to replace the plaques along the trails (such as the ones giving description of saints or apparitions) with the new style which is easier to read and care for. Each sign costs around $80-$90 to reprint.  The material is a hard resin, and the words are engraved right into the plastic so they cannot rub, wash, or wear off. Each post and sign will be the same size and height, to create a more uniform look through out the grounds. 
(Aug.19, 2015)
Faithful flock to Merlin area shrine to celebrate the Blessed Mother
Father Francis Jeyaseelan leads a procession of worshipers through a canopy of trees, sun dappling their faces, as they recite Hail Marys. ….

To read more of this article that was published in the Chatham Daily News on Wednesday, copy/paste link into address bar.







The Knights of Columbus, Cardinal McGuigan Province, 5th Ontario District, have, with the help of all our London Diocesan Brother Knights, purchased and found a permanent home for the "Silver Rose", at Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine Church in Merlin Ontario. Most Reverend, Bishop Ronald Peter Fabbro C.S.B gave his consent to proceed with this project and permission to have it housed at our shrine on August 15, 2015.

In 1960 the squires in Monterrey Mexico started a running of the rose from church to church, it was so successful that they sent out invitations to the squires in Canada and the USA, to participate in this type of an event!

Bishop John C. Cody of London Ontario Diocese responded by suggesting, that the Rose could start the Journey from London through the USA and back to Monterrey Mexico for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12
th, each year. He then had Reverend Father Edward (TED) Gatfield seek out a jeweller to see if he had a rose; so Father "Ted" went to Nash Jewellers, and Mr. Nash, gave Father one that was made of bronze, free of charge. Bishop Cody, with the squires forming an honour guard, ascended the stairs leading into a TransCanada Airplane and sent the Bronze Rose off to New York. The squires in Monterrey Mexico were so impressed with this rose, that with assistance, they designed and commissioned a "Rose", from the Mexican precious silver, which they had in abundance, and thus, the idea of today's "Silver Rose", was conceived! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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"The Bible is at the Heart of Our Faith… and our relationship with God. Reading the Bible should bring us closer to Christ, but understanding it is not always easy. The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study Program is designed in such a way that anyone can make sense of the Bible and experience the life-changing power of God's Word."   Jeff Cavins

A Foundational study called The Great Adventure Bible Study Series, by Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray and Sarah Christmyer, is being taught by Fr. Pio here at the shrine. This is a 24 week course which has helped hundreds of thousands of Catholics learn to read the Bible.

The Bible Timeline is a fascination study that takes participants on a journey through the entire Bible. They will go deep into each period of salvation history and discover the amazing story woven throughout all of Scripture. Using a unique colour-coded system, they will learn the major people, places and events of the Bible, and see how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith. The Bible Timeline has been granted the Imprimatur. This course has inspired all of our attendees … here is what some had to say:

"What I've learned has really strengthened my religion. I understand my faith's history better." Randall Larouche, Merlin

"It takes a boring history and makes it far more interesting!" Kim Knight, Ridgetown

"I enjoy the classes .. explains in laymen terms what God's messages mean. The study helps explain so much symbolism and foreshadowing of the Old Testament into the New Testament. Our family as Catholics were not raised to read the bible, and this is a wonderful learning experience." Marianne Martin, Pain Court

"This Bible Study helps make sense of it all as a whole. It's like connecting the dots to all the stories we knew of the scriptures of the bible. Very fascinating!" Paulette Quenneville, Merlin

"I am learning so much … understanding so much clearer where and how our church was started, and the reasoning for every part of the mass. I've been to other classes on the bible but this is the best." Eva Tourangeau, Tilbury

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~ Christmas, the Beacon of the Family ~
The Christian world celebrates the birth of Christ, Christmas, as the fulfilment of the promise of Salvation.

Christmas is not only the birth of a saviour but also the foundation of the
Holy Family. It is high time to turn our attention during this Christmas to the family. All members of the family should be united by the heavenly love with the Holy Family as the beacon of light, enlightened by the Christmas.

May the blessing of Christmas shower upon you and your family.
Fr. Francis Jeyaseelan CR & Rosarians.
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The parishioners of St. Patrick's Church feel very THANKFUL and BLESSED to welcome Fr. Pio Marisuthan and Fr. John Peter Dunston on recently joining the Rosarian Congregation here at Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine. "This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us."

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As well today family, friends and parishioners joined in with Fr. Francis to celebrate 'The Silver Jubilee' (25yrs) of his Religious Profession. (Oct. 7, 1989 - Oct. 7, 2014)

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(July 2010)
Announcing The Rosarians

Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine in Merlin was blessed with a new Director on July 1st, 2010. His name is Fr. Francis Jeyaseelan from the Congregation of the Rosarians. At present he is assisted by another priest of his order, Fr. Antony Kamal. More are expected to arrive. Their order is based in Sri Lanka, and they have approximately 250 priests in their order in India and Sri Lanka.

Rosarians differ from diocesan priest’s in that they are a monastic, contemplative order. They have an ordered day of praying the daily liturgy, Mass, contemplation of Sacred Scripture, Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, work, and a rest period.

Father Francis said we are the first foundation outside of India and Sri Lanka. A foundation is a place of residence, and the Diocese of London is the first diocese to invite them to set up a home and community. The sense of peace, beauty, and faith they felt when they first walked on the grounds of the Shrine, they feel will strengthen and support their community. Father Francis said that he was happy with the response and acceptance that the parishioners and pilgrims to the Shrine has shown to himself and his brother priests. They look forward to serving the needs of the parish and the pilgrims to the Shrine.

As a community of St. Patrick’s parish, we feel blessed that the Congregation of the Rosarians have agreed to minister to the community and to the Shrine. We feel the Blessed Mother had some influence in the coming of the Rosarians to the Shrine. Many pilgrims are amazed that this order, from half way around the world, called the Rosarians, have agreed to set up their first home in Canada here at the Shrine. This is one of those times when truly we marvel at how God works in mysterious ways! We hope for a long and fruitful relationship.