The founding of St Angela Merici Church goes back to the 1920’s when immigrants from Italy began arriving in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. By 1928 the Italian community had grown to 150 families. There were discussions with the Diocese of London to bring an Italian speaking priest to Windsor who understood the needs of the recent immigrants.
In January 1929, Fr. Alfonso Page was appointed Administrator of the Italian community of Windsor and the Italian Chapel at Sacred Heart Church opened. In April 1929, the first Holy Mission was preached at the “Italian Chapel”. December 1, 1935 saw the first steps taken toward a permanent place of worship for Windsor’s Italian community that was to be based on nationality and language rather than geographic area. It was decided at that meeting to send a delegation of five men representing five local Italian associations to Ottawa to ask for the appointment of an Italian priest to assist in the building of a church.
On December 22, 1938, Fr. Constantino DeSantis, previously pastor of an Atlantic City parish, arrived in Windsor with the mandate to build a church and organize the 300 Italian families into a parish. Windsor was still in the grips of the Depression and the majority of Italian men were unemployed and unable to contribute financially. Fr. DeSantis understood the situation and formed a construction committee and solicited unemployed workers from the Italian community who were eager to offer their building and construction skills. Between local fundraising events and a loan from the Diocese of London,enough money was raised to begin construction and the cornerstone of the church was blessed on October 29, 1939.
Fr. DeSantis celebrated the first Mass on Christmas Day,1939 in the basement of the new church with a wooden table serving as the altar, no kneelers and no heat. But that didn’t stop the parishioners from coming out in large numbers, filling the basement,bundled up in their winter coats. Because there was no heat it was decided to continue celebrating Mass at Holy Trinity Church until Palm Sunday,1940 when St Angela Merici Church was finally opened to the Italian faithful.
In the 1950’s an influx of Italian immigrants to Windsor necessitated a major expansion of the church. In 1958 Fr. DeSantis oversaw the western wall being extended to Louis Avenue, making it the main entrance. The eastern wall was also extended and the altar was relocated to this area.
Fr. DeSantis retired in 1960 and at this time the Missionary Fathers of St Charles, known as the Scalabrini Fathers,arrived to serve the spiritual needs of St Angela Merici Church.
Additional remodeling was undertaken in 1975 to accommodate the liturgical changes brought about by Vatican ll. This included bringing the altar closer to the people.
St Angela Church celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1989 with the installation of an elevator in the bell tower, new stained glass windows and new pews.
The current St Angela Hall was built in 2005 on the same site as the original St Angela Youth Centre.
In 2019 St. Angela Merici Church celebrated 80 years of serving the Italian community of Windsor.
On September 6th, 2020 the parish came under the leadership of the Basillian Fathers and joined Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, St. Alphonsus Parish, Saint Benedict Tridentine Rite Community and Saint Daniel Comboni Community to form the Windsor Heritage Catholic Family of parishes.