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Queen of The Holy Rosary Shrine 

How the Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine, 

Lay Apostolate, Began

From Ted Harasti, President

“A sincere welcome to our newly designed website and a very cordial thank you to the clergy, donors, supporters, and friends who have helped our apostolate achieve its mission goals.

“It is difficult to speak about our work without giving you a brief history of our inception which must include the genesis of The Rosary Path at Marylake and its development. However, before I begin, I want to express our sincere and humble thanks to the Augustinian Fathers of Ontario Inc. (AFOI) for welcoming us to Marylake and allowing us to build on their lands.

“The Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine (QHRS) is a Lay Apostolate that promotes the Rosary of Our Blessed Mother. We have operated as an independent registered Canada Revenue Authority (CRA) charity since May 4, 2012.

“The genesis of The Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine began while I was on retreat at Manresa, in Pickering, Ontario in 1974. I had a locution (private revelation) with our Blessed Mother Mary in which she asked me to build the Rosary Path as Her gift to Her Most Blessed Son, Christ our Lord to save Souls. And she instructed me to promote the recitation of the rosary to help bring souls to Her Son.

“When I arrived home from that retreat, I was extremely excited and wanted to put pen to paper so as not to forget anything. I began producing many drawings of what our Mother had shown me, in the greatest of detail.

“My life was extremely busy with working, raising my family and working at founding The Right to Life Committee in Canada. I was also in the process of studying ways and means of just how to build the Rosary Path.

“While life kept intervening, I never stopped pursuing the concept. Some 40 years later, several interested volunteers and I formed and incorporated the Queen of The Holy Rosary Shrine, lay apostolate as a charity. With our largest effort to be the construction of The Rosary Path and promotion of the Rosary, those volunteers became our first Directors; they were:

  • Ted Harasti
  • Andre​w Dos Santos
  • Dave Bicknell
  • Edmund Pereira
  • Margaret Banbury
  • Pat McCarthy
  • Richard Geoffroy
  • Rose Nadeau
  • Suzan Dulny

“We were awestruck at the herculean task before us. We began with several fundraising activities which included a Walk for Mary. We raised enough funds to become an incorporated, not-for-profit, registered charity with CRA approval.

“We had several meetings with Bishops and the Cardinal and were successful in receiving Diocesan Approval to fundraise. Then we began making presentations wherever we could with anyone who would listen. Our fundraising grew as did our support, thanks be to our Blessed Mother.

“Pat McCarthy had arranged a meeting with the Marylake officials in King City, Ontario, so we prepared a polished presentation. And again thanks be to Mary, we were welcomed with open arms. The previous Prior, Br. Paul Koscielniak, and the Executive Director, Joe Gennaro, suggested we walk the fields and see where we might like to place the Path. Once I stepped foot on the ground of the field by the Chapel on the Hill, I knew! This was the place!

“Within a few months and with the aid of the past AFOI Board, Chair, Frank Stadler, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding and began the build.

“Our Holy Mother brought us many volunteers and donors. We raised over 1.5 million dollars to build the largest rosary path in North America, a world-class pilgrimage site of Marian devotion. We are eternally grateful to our individual donors and corporate donors such as King Cross Contracting, ADM Stainless Steel and Inox Industries for their dedicated support to our worthy cause.

“We now have a fully legal agreement in place with the Augustinian Fathers allowing us to complete the build. While the Rosary Path and Way of the Cross is beautiful and is regularly visited by pilgrims worldwide there is still much to do to complete it.”

A Brief History

When the Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine Directors arrived here at Marylake in 2013 and began planning the Rosary Path, there was already in place a very old, badly dilapidated, Way of The Cross on the entrance road. These stations could not be restored and to make room for the Rosary Path. So it was decided to remove the stations with the proviso that we ultimately replace them around the outside of the path.

The stations were not, however, part of my private locution regarding the Rosary Path; but, added prior to our coming to Marylake. We had scouted many other potential properties for the Rosary Path location, some sites did include adding the Stations.

We mention this to show that planning had already begun, in our early development, to add the Stations to create this beautiful, pilgrimage. We call our Stations “Mary’s Way of The Cross and it includes a beautiful 15th Station, The Resurrection.

In 2016, we built and installed the beautiful wooden Crosses and designed the Stations areas and began placing benches. This, in itself, was a daunting task. To achieve this, we set aside our plans to install a working wet fountain as the Medallion of the Rosary and instead built a temporary one.

Then we were free to raise more to build the stations. We had always planned to build the “wet” fountain once the task of building the stations was completed.

We knew we needed to consider what artwork would accompany the crosses. While we were capable of creating the artwork, the entire environmental sculptural installation of the Rosary Path and Stations of the Cross were too much to handle entirely on our own.

We reached out to some of Canada’s most talented sacred artists like Stuart Reid for the Way of the Cross Artwork and Tim Schmaltz for the Corpus on The Great Crucifix. When we heard of Stuart Reid’s installation of large glass panels at Union Station in Toronto, our entire executive board went downtown to view his work.

At once, most were left speechless! We were then assigned to contact Stuart and after several consultation meetings with Stuart, Brother Paul Koscielniak, the Prior of Marylake at that time, Joe Gennaro, the executive director. Following these successful meetings, the Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine commissioned Stuart to create the beautiful, provoking artwork you see today.

What we have built here now is truly beautiful but, it is not yet finished. We hope to replace the present dry fountain (which was built as a temporary installation so people could see the location, size and beauty of The Jewel of the Rosary Path) with a functioning one.

In addition, our building plan extends to eco-friendly washrooms, solar park lighting, gazebos, and an Information Center. With our Blessed Lady’s continued help and guidance and your continued help and prayers, and the help of the Augustinian Community - all are possible.

Please, let me reiterate that the Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine, Lay Apostolate, and the building of the Rosary Path/Way of The Cross was not a one-man effort. As previously mentioned, it was a herculean effort that was made possible by all the efforts of our past and present Executives, volunteers and donors. I truly believe Our Blessed Mother hand selected and called each and every one of the volunteers, donors and Directors to ensure Her wish to Build the Rosary Path, was fulfilled.

Our Current Executive Board of Directors:

Ted Harasti – President, Director.
Cheryl Vel, - V.P., Director

Br. Paul Koscielniak, OSA – Spiritual Director

Ann Cumberbatch,V.P. Finance, Director.

Elmont Cumberbatch, Ambassador/Director

Gino Di Pede, Secretary, Director.

Joe Petrola, Director.

Mary Petrola, Director

Teresa Morier, Director.

George Chelvanayagam, Director

Breaking Ground Ceremony

The Ceremony was officiated by Br. Paul Koscielniak

See the Layout