St Gregory of Nyssa Parish (Kingston, Ontario) Unveils Signage for United Empire Loyalist Cemetery

June 12, 2023

When St Gregory of Nyssa Parish (Kingston, Ontario) purchased their new church in 2022, little did they know the historical legacy surrounding their new parish home.

The former United Church, built in 1881, is located on the same site as the Heritage Cemetery At Cataraqui, a burial ground for Loyalist settlers who came to Upper Canada fleeing for their safety from the American Revolution in the late 18th Century.

Following the sale of the church property to the community of St Gregory’s, the care of the cemetery became the responsibility of the parish, under the guardianship of a committee of trustees.

The local chapter of the United Empire Loyalists continued to work with local officials to erect the official signage on the church cemetery property, directing historians, tourists, and pilgrims to the historic site, where ancestral and historical research will be a regular sight.

June 12th, 2023 marked the unveiling of the first stage of the signage for the United Empire Loyalist Cemetery Heritage Cemetery at Cataraqui at St Gregory’s Orthodox Church. A delegation of Loyalists, along with the Acting Deputy Mayor of Kingston Councillor Jeff McLaren assembled at the church hall to mark the occasion. Guests and officials were welcomed by the Dean of Ontario, Archpriest Geoffrey Korz, who is also a descendent of Loyalists to Canada.

In his welcoming address, Father Geoffrey noted, “It is providential that the faithful of our Orthodox Church should share in being the custodians of this cemetery.

"Just as our Loyalist ancestors fled the revolutionaries who threatened their lives and toppled the statues of their king south of the border in America, many of our Orthodox people also fled for safety to this country from totalitarian regimes who overturned their way of life, and tried to impose some new and radical ideology in its place. By the grace of God, we are here now – together.

"Friends and brethren: as we stand here and honor the memory of these Loyalists, we share in their hope for this country to continue to be a beacon once again, and to raise up champions for those things which make it great – and not to tear them down.

"May God bless you all. God Save the King!”