Cathedral. The main church of the diocesan church and houses the bishop’s chair (the cathedra). It is traditionally located in the ‘see city’ from which the diocese takes its name. St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto was established in 1848. The pastor of the cathedral is the ordinary (Archbishop of Toronto), subsequently, the priest who administers to the cathedral parish and its affairs has the title of rector.
Basilica. There are seven main churches in Rome called Basilicas and are ancient pilgrimage churches. Minor basilicas, like St. Paul’s in Toronto, are churches which have special privileges attached to them. St. Paul’s Basilica is Toronto’s oldest parish, established in 1822, and was raised to the status of a Basilica in 1999. By virtue of its rank, a Basilica also has the distinction of its own Coat of Arms.
Church. A church is the gathering place for the local community’s worship. The general difference between a church and a parish is that a church is the physical structure and a parish refers to the organization and its people. In the Archdiocese of Toronto there are 225 parishes.
Chapel. Is a place of liturgical worship for a community other than a parish such as a school, hospital, convent, or seminary. A chapel can be a room within a building, or possibly, a separate building.
Mission. In the Archdiocese of Toronto a mission parish can mean two things. A mission is a place of liturgical worship that may be used seasonally and is attached to a local territorial parish. A mission can also be the term used for a personal parish for the care of souls of a specific group who do not have their own place of worship but use those of a territorial parish.
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