Rev. Canon Jim and Dr. Jean O’Neil
Jim O’Neil served as rector of St. John’s for twenty years, from 1969 until his retirement in 1989. Jim brought his gifts for preaching and for pastoral visiting, gifts that became the hallmark of his ministry. During those years, Jim witnessed a number of events including the start of the newsletter The Link, a visit by Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips in 1974, the ordination in 1977 of Rev. Margery Pezzack – the first women ordained a priest in the Diocese of Toronto, support for the Vietnamese “boat people” – housing a refugee family at Comer house, and the establishing of St. John’s handbell choir. Following his retirement, Jim continued with his ministry of pastoral visiting – a ministry he carries on to this day.
Jean O’Neil was very much a part of the life of St. John’s, and many remember Jim and Jean as being a team. However, Jean was a trailblazer in her own right: in her profession she was a medical doctor – a pioneer among her generation of women.
The O’Neil window came as a gift from Heather and Ian Stewart to replace a window in the former gallery stairwell which was revealed during the renovation project last year. The window was created by Sue Obata, a practiced artist in the creation and restoration of stained glass.
On Sunday, August 23, please join us for our worship service as we dedicate this window in honour of the life and ministry of Jim and Jean O’Neil. A reception will follow the service.