The former St. Patrick’s Church, located at 118 Avenue and 96 Street, is now an Islamic Centre called Faizan-e-Madina. In 2022, Dawat-e-Islami, a religious Islamic organization that operates globally, bought the property.
Muhammad Safder, a volunteer at the Islamic centre, says that the main goal with purchasing the building was to foster community and worship.
“This is already a worship place, and in the future it will be a worship place again for a different community. Previously it was for the Christians and now it’s for the Muslims,” says Safder.
The centre is open as a space for prayer and worship every day. After prayer, Safder notes that community members socialize and share refreshments. “In this way, people get connected and they get to know what’s going on with other people. If someone is in need, if someone is there and facing any problems or any issues… we can help each other.”
Currently, about 30 to 40 people gather regularly for worship.
Additionally, the centre runs different programs for youth and seniors, including an Islamic school for kids. They also organize various community events to give youth the chance to socialize and build relationships, which Safder sees as vital.
“The kids and the youth, they are our future,” he says.
The centre has also opened its doors to community members in need of a place to stay. Safder explains that there are currently 13 rooms in the centre furnished with donated items, and most of the rooms are occupied. The people who stay there don’t have to pay rent and they have access to a kitchen and laundry area.
While Safder says it has been difficult reaching new community members during the winter, he hopes to involve more people once the weather warms up. “We’ll be arranging a lot of outdoor activities to invite the community and we also… would like to invite the community here on Alberta Ave,” he says. “They can come, they can join us in every prayer [at] any time… But we highly recommend that if you want to come, you can join us on Friday prayers.”
Safder adds that there is no pressure to join in on prayer. Community members can observe instead. “And if you have any questions, you can ask. We can give you [a] tour of the whole facility.”
Despite the big community around the centre, so far, not many people know about it. He hopes to continue to build community at the Islamic centre and further their goals of community and worship.
If anyone is interested in volunteering at the centre, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
11089 93 St