A New Church
The old Immaculate Conception Church on Sutherland Avenue would then not accommodate the newly arriving Catholics of this fast growing city of Kelowna. To solve the problem Bishop Doyle, together with Fr. Anderson, Fr. Martin, Jack Bedford, Fred Vetter and Ernie Cowan met to discuss boundaries, sites, and finances. The architect was Michael E. Utley and the firm of Davis and Taylor were the builders. The Church was to seat 350 people. Land was purchased for the site of the new Church on the corner of Glenmore Road (now Gordon Avenue) and Fuller from the Bocklage property and soon the newly established (erected) Parish of St. Pius X was under way.
At this time the Holy Roman Church was governed by His Holiness Pope John XXIII. The British Commonwealth of the Nations was ruled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England, and Her representative in Canada was General George Vanier. Vanier was the first Roman Catholic in history of the Dominion to become Governor General.
Conservatives were the governing party under John Diefenbaker's leadership. The Province of British Columbia was governed by the Social Credit Party leader W.A.C. Bennett, a resident of Kelowna. Mayor of Kelowna was R.F. Parkinson.
On July 5, 1959, Bishop Doyle was present for a groundbreaking ceremony on the property. On July 15, 1959, our parish was formally established with Fr. Ernest F. Martin appointed as our first pastor.
On October 23, 1959, in the first year of his reign, his Excellency Wilfred Emmet Doyle, the third Bishop of Nelson Diocese, well and truly laid the corner stone of this edifice, erected to the Honour and Glory of God, and placed under the special patronage of St. Pius X of sacred memory. And on December 17, 1959, the church was solemnly blessed and the first Mass was celebrated by Bishop Doyle.
On March 4, 1960, the Canonical erection of the Stations of the Cross was held by Bishop Doyle.
Facts and Statistics
- 1st Marriage: Genevieve Knorr and Edward Bachman, December 29, 1959
- 1st Baptism: Steven Louis Guide, January 10, 1960
- 1st Burial: Joseph Kaleta, January 5, 1960
- 1st Mission: Fr. Ehman and Fr. Swift
- 1st Eucharistic Congress: CWL started with mass at St. Pius X
- 1st Golden Wedding Anniversary: Mr. and Mrs. August Pfliger, July 9, 1960
- 1st Ordination: Fr. Anthony George Pfliger, June 11, 1961