This edition of the Directory of Spiritualist Organizations in Canada is dedicated to the memory of Canadian Spiritualist leaders who passed to spirit in or after 2000. The dedication list is being updated as additional names are received:
- Atkinson, Nora Lucy Leach (1928-2003), Toronto
- Bain, Lillian Catherine (1916-2003), Bracebridge
- Bain, Joseph Cecil (1916-2009), Bracebridge
- Baron, John Lawrence (1929-2001), Bracebridge
- Batten, Albert (1906-2001), Fergus
- Beauchamp, Frank (1934-2000), Montreal
- Bedford, Leon Ferse (1943-2004), Burnaby
- Beresford, Lilian Ellen (Nell) (1903-2002), Nanaimo
- Bush, Frank ( -2005), Napanee
- Cale, Frederick ( -2000), Halifax
- Chandler, John Bernard (1927-2005), Edmonton
- Charlton, Jacqueline (Jay), (1923-2008), Burnaby
- Clarke, Margaret (1928-2005), London
- Cordiano, Victor Pierre Paul (1897-2001), Montreal
- Cowal, Julie (1916-2006), Aurora
- DeLorenzo, Sara (1943?-2003), Winnipeg
- Fearon, Bryan Whyte (1925-2008), Toronto
- Filiac, Gordon (1922-2003), Burlington
- Girling, Pearl K.W. ( -2006), Surrey
- Green, Dora ( -2005), Grand Pre
- Gregus, Dorothy Evelyn (1936-2009), Maple Ridge
- Hietanen, Mary Cecilia (1923-2009), Surrey
- McEwan, Robert Armour (1936-2006), Victoria
- McGregor, Vera (1911-2005), Winnipeg
- McMullen, Effie (1934-2005), London
- Merrill, Gerald R. (1931-2008), Toronto
- Milne, Elsie (1924-2007), Burnaby
- Morris, Dorothy (1935-2005), Windsor
- Noseworthy, Helen (1920-2003), Brantford
- Olmstead, Janine ( -2003), Halifax
- Prentis, Doris Cecelia Mary (1926-2006), Vancouver
- Rathlou, Cecile ( -2005), Montreal
- Rathlou, Emile ( -2001), Montreal
- Ruckledge, Bernice Elizabeth (1934-2003), Nanaimo
- Seabron, Bernice ( -2007), Montreal
- Stepney, Frank (1919-2003), Surrey
- Stoddard, Roy F.C., (????-????), Toronto
- Struthers, June Pauline (1926?-2005), Toronto
- Young, Patrick Cyril (1921-2004), Vancouver
- Zagozewski, Linda (1954-2005), Winnipeg
To remember other Canadian Spiritualist ministers and platform workers who have passed to spirit since 2000, or in earlier decades, please send us their full name, birth and death years, and primary place of residence.
We would be happy to receive also any other biographical information you might have, such as ministerial qualifications, the names of the Spiritualist congregations they served, etc.
If you have an obituary or notice of memorial/funeral service, we would appreciate a copy for our archives.
PURPOSE OF DIRECTORY
The purpose of this directory is to disseminate information about Spiritualist organizations in Canada. The Survival Research Institute of Canada hopes that the directory will:
- provide useful information to Spiritualists who travel in Canada
- provide a list of useful addresses for individuals seeking evidence that their friends and loved ones have survived the transition known as death
- provide useful information to academic organizations and individuals interested in studying the Spiritualist philosophy and religion
- foster a sharing of ideas among Spiritualists, Spiritualist organizations, and other individuals interested in study of the question of life after death.
WHAT IS SPIRITUALISM?
Spiritualism is a universal religion which draws from the teachings of Christianity and other world religions and philosophies, rather than rely on any one tradition or particular book, ancient or modern. . . Although Spiritualists differ on the context in which the survival hypothesis and the afterlife should be interpreted, studied, and propagated, they remain loosely united through a common belief in two basic tenets:
Survival beyond bodily death of some, as-yet-undetermined, part of the personal human mind, intelligence, consciousness, or soul which is referred to as “spirit”; and
The possibility under certain circumstances of communication between spirit which has survived death and spirit still in its earthly body.
Personal survival of death as demonstrated through mediumship distinguishes Spiritualism from the many other psychic research groups which exist today. . . .1
1Walter Meyer zu Erpen and Joy Lowe, “The Canadian Spiritualist Movement and Sources for its Study,” Archivaria, no. 30 (1990): 71-84.
SOME WORDS OF ADVICE
When you are planning to visit a particular Spiritualist organization for the first time, phone to confirm the time and location of the service or meeting. While church services are normally held at the meeting address listed, healing and development classes may, in some instances, be held elsewhere.
The directory only lists regular services and activities. To find out about special events or other activities, phone or email the contact listed or consult the organization’s website.
In many instances, the meeting or mailing address of an organization is the home address of a member who has kindly consented to its use for the holding of the organization’s meetings or the receipt of its mail. Out of respect for the privacy of such individuals, please do NOT arrive unannounced or without invitation at a private residence unless there is a scheduled service or activity at that address.
NAMING, MARRIAGE, FUNERAL AND MEMORIAL CEREMONIES
Most Spiritualist organizations have a minister or lay person who is available to officiate at a naming service for infant children or adults. Those individuals may also assist with organizing a funeral or memorial service for a departed loved one or friend. Please contact your local church to inquire about arrangements.
Naming and funeral services do not require the same legal documentation as a ceremony that unites two individuals in marriage. To perform a legal marriage, as opposed to blessing the union of two individuals, a church’s minister must be registered with the appropriate provincial jurisdiction.
The requirements that a church must fulfill to obtain rights for its ministers to perform marriages differ within each province. For churches that are able to solemnize a legal marriage, we have attempted to indicate the names of the registered ministers.
Since July 2005, marriage between two individuals of the same sex has been legal in all provinces and territories across Canada. Many Spiritualist ministers will be perfectly comfortable conducting a same-sex marriage.
As in other religious denominations, there may be ministers in some churches that are not comfortable with same-sex marriage. If you are considering having your same-sex union recognized legally within the Spiritualist church in Canada, be sure to attend church services and get to know the minister and members of the congregation. Enquire about same-sex marriage and if a response is awkward or lacking in sincerity, it might be advisable to try another Spiritualist church in your area.
COMPILATION OF DIRECTORY
Originally compiled by Walter Meyer zu Erpen, the Directory is now maintained by Lynn Jarvis on behalf of the Survival Research Institute of Canada. Organizations are contacted on a periodic basis to request review and update of their entry; the assistance of individuals who respond to requests for information is gratefully acknowledged.
The compilers have attempted to include current data about all Canadian organizations that base their services and activities upon Spiritualist philosophy and religious practice. The inclusion of some erroneous or dated information in a compilation such as this is inevitable, and the compilers regret any inconvenience occasioned by such data. The onus for ensuring that information is updated must rest with the organizations listed (see Corrections and Updates below).
The listing of Spiritualist organizations begins with the Spiritualist Church of Canada (SCC), the Canadian umbrella organization with which 18 Spiritualist congregations are affiliated. Apart from those SCC congregations and four Ontario churches that are affiliated with Christian Spiritual Ministries Inc., the majority of organizations remain independent.
The main part of the directory comprises entries for 43 known Canadian Spiritualist congregations or groups, listed alphabetically by the name of the province and city in which the organization conducts its services and other activities.
The last part lists other Canadian organizations that, although not Spiritualist, share common interests with Spiritualism.
CORRECTIONS AND UPDATES
The Directory of Spiritualist Organizations in Canada was last published in booklet format in July 2006. The Survival Research Institute of Canada endeavours to maintain and publicize current data in this website version, with periodic distribution in paper format of summary lists.
Users of this directory are requested to notify the Survival Research Institute of Canada of any corrections required, of any new or existing organizations that should be added, and of any organizations that have ceased operation and should be deleted. Your assistance in this regard is much appreciated and vital to the success of this directory!
There are two ways to report changes or corrections, or to provide information about new organizations.
Send the details in an email to: CDN.Spiritualist.Directory@gmail.com
Alternately, send a note with relevant materials to:
Survival Research Institute of Canada
Post Office Box 8697
Victoria, BC V8W 3S3
The website version of the directory will be updated as corrections warrant.