St. Mary of the Visitation Parish
16 Cooper Street, Cambridge (Hespeler), Ontario N3C 2N2
Tel:519.658.4443 Fax:519.658.6783 St.Vincent de Paul:519.658.6511
We are connected to our past, committed to our future, and compassionately focused on being a Family of Faith with something for everyone.
(pronounced "freight-us") was raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, and following graduation
from St. Jerome High School and the University of Waterloo, he attended St. Peter's Seminary in
London and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Hamilton in 1997. He has served
as Associate Pastor in various
parishes throughout our Diocese and also as Secretary of the Diocesan Council of
Priests from 1999-2012. He is a columnist with The
Catholic Register, and a frequent speaker to various conferences and
has authored two books: "Are We There Yet?"
(2013) and "More than Survive"
(2016). He also authors a weekly Bible Study called "Heart
to Home" which is used by the Small
Groups of our parish and a blog called "Padre's
large part of Father Freitas' ministry has been dedicated to working with youth
and young adults. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic
Youth Organization (1999-2006), and instructor with the Catholic
School Board Teacher's Religious Education Course (2002-2010). From
2006 to 2010 he also served as Chaplain to the Kitchener-Waterloo
Serra Club, an organization dedicated to the promotion of vocations
to the priesthood and religious life and has also been active as a spiritual director
for seminarians considering priesthood. From 2002-2017, he was Chaplain to Camp
Brebeuf in Rockwood. Father is an active member and Chaplain to the Knights
of Columbus and was welcomed into the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
by Cardinal Thomas Collins in 2015.
In June 2006, Father Freitas was appointed Pastor of this growing and vibrant
parish. His greatest joy is being with people at defining moments of their lives.
Father Freitas has shepherded the parish during a time of great blessing
and considerable growth. During this time our Family of Faith has
experienced renewal and undertaken several campus expansion projects and
watched our membership multiply.
Father Freitas has helped our community to focus on having something for everyone
and becoming a Church to Call Home.
Contact Father Freitas or
check out Father's blog.
Check out our
Section" for Father's Homilies and Talks. Follow Father
Freitas on Twitter
A little question and answer with our Pastor
- What is your favourite part about being a priest?
- Well there are so many, but celebrating the Sacraments would be tops. Being there for families
as they bring their child for baptism, walking with a young couple as they get ready for marriage,
being present to a family as they have lost a loved one, collaborating with our parish schools as
we prepare young people for First Holy Communion or Confirmation, being present as people bring
their worries to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, celebrating the Eucharist for my family (the
parish) on Sunday and seeing so many (young and old) coming together each Sunday to worship our
loving God who wants to be there for them. I would also say that working with our youth and being
present to them, both in the parish, our schools, and in my work at Camp Brebeuf. These are the
joys I find in being a priest.
- What is your favourite part about being a pastor here at
St Mary of the Visitation?
- It is such an amazing experience to work with a team of people with a gigantic commitment to bring people closer to God. We are up to something big here!
- What would you say someone who is unsure about living a life of
faith, or even the need for faith?
- The words of Saint John Paul II seem very appropriate: Be not afraid! Do not
give in to discouragement when youíre given a hard time because of your faith,
or when you find it hard to believe, or even when churchgoers may at times fail
to live up to Christian standards. Trust in Godís love for you! And
do not be afraid to be part of the Church He established to continue His work.
Catholics are not meant to be lone-rangers! Thereís always a place
for you when we gather to celebrate the Sacraments, reflect on the Word of God,
grow in our relationship with God, and when we reach out to our neighbour in
Do you have a great hope?
- My great hope is that my life can be leveraged by God in such a way that
others will personally see Jesus in me, and that I can lead and inspire others
to live out the fullness of their life in Christ and become who God is calling
them to be - because that is my goal in this world too.
- Who is your favourite author and why?
- I guess I have a few, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien,
Archbishop Fulton Sheen, John
Henry Cardinal Newman, Scott Hahn and Max Lucado. Their books are wonderfully
inspirational. On a less spiritual side, John Grisham would be tops. I have also
found the Rebuilt series by Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran great
sources of pastoral encouragement in my priesthood.
- What is the best advice you have received?
- Add value to people. People prefer to be appreciated, not impressed.
- What is your favourite restaurant?
- That one is easy - I love a good olde fashion
hamburger from Harvey's - really anywhere that serves food has my vote.
- What is your favourite movie?
- Now that is a little harder, there are a few, but I guess one would be Braveheart.
The character William Wallace has this wonderful line "Every man dies, but not
every man lives". It rings true.
- What is your favourite style of music?
- My musical tastes are extremely eclectic, I like jazz, classical, soft rock, contemporary Christian.
I like Bob Dylan too.
- What do you do for fun?
- I like to read broadly, exercise sporadically while making
you think I do it religiously, and watch or coach sports energetically. My
favorite sports would be Baseball and Hockey and when not at those then I
enjoy going to movies with a good friend or my nephew. When not doing that
then I can be found at home watching reruns of Law and Order, Suits and the Simpsons.
- Who is your favourite team?
- Well in hockey it would be the Kitchener Rangers and the Boston Bruins. In baseball,
my spring and summer joys rise and fall with the Blue Jays.
- Most embarrassing moment?
- I think that would be when I welcomed everyone, including
the Bishop, to a Confirmation celebration and identified the wrong Church.