Ryerson Catholic Campus Ministry seeks to form and guide students, staff and faculty at Ryerson University intellectually, morally and spiritually with the wisdom of the Catholic Church through faith formation, prayer, social justice and personal witness to build a community of active parishioners and faith leaders for the Church.
In November 1998, after talks with the Archdiocese and Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, the first Catholic Chaplaincy to Ryerson was created. Fr. Jonathan Robinson, of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians), was asked to help guide this first Ryerson Catholic community as he had prior experience working with university students. With Claudia Brown as Executive Directory of the Catholic Chaplaincy, Ryerson Catholics formed a student club, the Catholic Student League, and by January 2000 had their own House on 64 McGill St. to call their own. The House was called the St. Philip Neri House, for its association with the Oratorians, and served the Ryerson Catholic community for the next 10 years. The goal of the House was to provide a place whereby students could receive the Sacraments close to Ryerson within a student community.
In 2004, the running of the Catholic Chaplaincy was turned over to Fr. Jim Roth of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, with Kim Gottfried serving as Director. During this time of transition, from 2004 to 2007, there was no Catholic student club operating on campus. In 2007, however, that changed, when the Catholic Students Association was accepted for membership with the Ryerson Student Union. From 2007 to 2010 the St. Philip Neri House continued to serve to the Ryerson Catholic community, but it was quickly coming to the end of its use.
In 2010, leadership of the Ryerson Catholic community was assigned to the Archdiocese of Toronto, under Fr. Michael Busch and Fr. Chris Cauchi. Oriana Bertucci was also assigned at Director, and Ryerson Catholic Chaplaincy saw a period of growth and development. This growth was increased with the arrival of three CCO missionaries (Catholic Christian Outreach) in 2013. CCO in Toronto and Ryerson Catholic Chaplaincy combined together to form Ryerson Catholic Campus Ministry.
In January 2015, after several years, Ryerson Catholics finally had their own place to call home again when the former Sacristan’s Residence for St. Michael’s Cathedral was renovated to serve as the Ryerson Catholic Student Centre at 200 Church Street.
The last few years have seen a bountiful harvest for Ryerson Catholics, with its ministry growing to more than 200 students actively involved in the life of the Centre, including 39 small group faith studies. We continue to look for ways to increase our impact on Ryerson campus, as well as support and serve the Toronto Catholic community. With God’s help, there is no telling what the next 10 years will bring.