Friday, 20 October 2017

On this Day: First Vatican Council Suspended

On October 20, 1870, one-hundred and forty-seven years ago, Pope Pius IX suspended Vatican Council I.

The First Vatican Council was the 20th ecumenical council called by the Catholic Church, convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868.  Several hundred ecclesiastical dignitaries, including our own Bishop Lynch, convened between 8 December 1869 and 20 October 1870  to discuss contemporary problems confronting the Catholic Church and to define matters of Church doctrine and practice.

Engraving of First Vatican Council, c. 1870.
Source: Wikimedia Commons (original source unknown)

The Council had met only four times before political turmoil left the Holy Father with little choice but to prematurely suspend the Council. Italian Unification had been a looming problem for the Papal State since the 1860s, and the threat only deepened with outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. The war prompted Napoleon III to recall his garrison from Rome before ultimately surrendering on September 2nd 1870. Without any protection from the French Empire, Rome was captured and annexed by the Kingdom of Italy on September 20, 1870.

Below is a papal statement made by Cardinal Paracciani Clarelli, Arch-Priest to St. Peter's Basilica, announcing the suspension of the Ecumenical Council on October 20, 1870. (ARCAT Papal Statement Collection, L PS53.01)

The seizure of Rome and the suspension of the Vatican Council were turning points in Roman Catholicism. The effects of these events certainly left their mark on the faithful in our Archdiocese; a newsclipping reveals that parishioners gathered at St Michael's Cathedral to form a public meeting and protest the injustices in Rome.

Toronto Roman Catholics respond to the annexation of Rome.
Protest No. 4 speaks against the disruption to the Holy Father and the Ecumenical Council


L AG06.04

Archbishop Lynch Fonds

Vatican Council I never reconvened after it was suspended, however it did have the significant accomplishment of defining the doctrine of papal infallibility. And, significant for us, it was also during Vatican I that Pope Pius IX raised Toronto to an Archdiocese, making Lynch Archbishop of Toronto.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Archives Roadshow

Gillian Hearns, Director of Archives at the Archdiocese of Toronto, shows off some of our treasured artifacts at the Eastern Regional Celebration to mark the archdiocesan 175th anniversary.
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

It is the nature of archives that researchers interested in accessing documents firsthand are required to visit the repository that houses and protects them. In other words, our records don't get out much.

Therefore, it was with excitement (and, admittedly, a little trepidation) that we decided to pack up some of our most treasured artifacts and put them on display to mark the Archdiocese of Toronto's 175th Anniversary.

The archdiocese is divided into four pastoral regions and each has held, or will hold, an Anniversary Celebration with mass and reception hosted by Cardinal Thomas Collins and the regional auxiliary bishop. At each event, we have set up a historical display in the narthex and reception hall of the host parish.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to engage with the Catholic community that wouldn't typically use the archives or even know much about the archdiocese beyond parish life. So far, we have taken our roadshow to Merciful Redeemer Parish, Mississauga (Western Region), St. Mary's Parish, Barrie (Northern Region) and St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Pickering (Eastern Region).

The final Regional Celebration will be held at Blessed Trinity Parish (3220 Bayview Ave.) next Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 7 p.m. If you are in the Toronto area, we invite you to come celebrate this milestone with us and see what ARCAT has to offer!

For more information visit:

Western Regional Celebration at Merciful Redeemer Parish, Mississauga, September 12, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Western Regional Celebration at Merciful Redeemer Parish, Mississauga, September 12, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Our display included 19th century vestments, mitres and a pallium. 

Northern Regional Celebration at St. Mary's Parish, Barrie, September 21, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Northern Regional Celebration at St. Mary's Parish, Barrie, September 21, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Our mannequins have a slight contrapposto stance, otherwise known as swagger.

Eastern Regional Celebration at St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Pickering, October 4, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Members of the CWL at St. Isaac Jogues Parish take a break from hosting duties to pose with our timeline posters. 

Eastern Regional Celebration at St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Pickering, October 4, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Eastern Regional Celebration at St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Pickering, October 4, 2017
(ARCAT Staff Photo)

Also on display were episcopal jewellery, medals, and souvenirs from the last two papal conclaves.

Friday, 6 October 2017

We Request the Pleasure of Your Company

Cardinal McGuigan raises a toast at a dinner held in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation at Toronto's Empire Club.

1 June 1953

PH 09E/16P
ARCAT Photograph Collection

This weekend, people across Canada will celebrate Thanksgiving. Sharing a meal with family and friends has been a way to celebrate and mark occasions since time immemorial. Whether it's a formal event in a hotel ballroom or an intimate affair in a friend's home, a meal is an excuse to gather and enjoy good company. This week we are featuring a few of the many invitations to dinner and luncheon that we have here in the archives.

The Duke of Orleans presents his compliments to Mr. McDonald and will be very glad to see him at dinner on Sunday next at four o'clock, if he is not otherwise engaged.

13 August, 1813

M AE07.10
Bishop Macdonell Fonds

The professors and students of Trinity Medical School request the pleasure of the company of His Grace, Archbishop Lynch at their eleventh annual dinner, to be held at the Rossin house, on Thursday, Nov. 10th, 1887, at 8 p.m. R.S.V.P.

November 1887

L AH32.158
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

To meet His Excellency The Governor General and Marchioness of Lansdowne
The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Mrs. Beverley Robinson request the honor of His Grace the Archbishop's company at Dinner on Friday, the 19th of September at Eight o'clock. Government House, Toronto. An answer is requested to the A.D.C.

September 1887

L AE06.96
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

The President, Executive and Members of The Canadian Club of Toronto and the Empire Club of Canada request the pleasure of the company of Archbishop N. McNeil, at a Luncheon in honour of His Excellency The Rt. Hon. Earl of Bessborough, P.C. G.C.M.G., to be held in the Royal York Hotel, Tuesday, November 24th, 1931 at 12.45 o'clock. R.S.V.P. before 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 23rd, to J.M. Philip, Secretary Canadian Club, 1003 Bank of Hamilton Bldg. Guests will assemble in Hall A, at 12.30 o'clock.

November 1931

MN AA23.140
Archbishop McNeil Fonds 

Mr. Ray N. Bryson, President of the Boy Scouts Association, District of Toronto, invites you to join him as his guest at a dinner given in honour of Major-General Dan C. Spry, C.B.E., D.S.O., Chief Executive Commissioner of Canada's Boy Scouts. 

This will be held at hte Granite Club, 63 St. Clair Avenue West, Tuesday, December 2nd. Guests will assemble in the Men's Lounge Room, main floor, at 6:30 p.m. Dinner served at 6:45 p.m. Dress: Scout uniform or business dress.

All 1947 Officers are invited to attend including Mr. R.C. Berkinshaw, the chairman, and Members of the Advisory Board, the Board of Honour and Members of the Executive Committee.

R.S.V.P. by November 27th to Mr. Herbert B. Greenaway, Suite 604, 57 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

November, 1947

MG SO22.19
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

Have a great weekend of giving thanks for great dinner companions!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Concerts at the Cathedral

Earlier this week the world renowned Sistine Chapel Choir performed at St. Michael's Cathedral in the choir's first ever performance in Canada. In light of this historic occasion, we thought we would share some mementos of past concerts that we recently uncovered in our collection.

The programmes below date from the late nineteenth century. Rather appropriately, both of the concerts were also held at St. Michael's Cathedral on evenings in late September.

Concert Programme, September 28 1866

St Michael's Cathedral Parish Files
Sacred Music Concert Programme, September 26, 1872

St Michael Cathedral Parish Files
You can find performances of many of the songs above by searching the song's name and its composer on YouTube. And if you missed out on the concert earlier this week, Michael's Cathedral has it available to watch on the Cathedral's website.

Friday, 22 September 2017

2017 Catholic Archivists Group Conference in Toronto

This past week, the ARCAT archivists had the opportunity for some professional development and fellowship at the Catholic Archivists Group Conference.

The gathering was especially significant for us because it was held in Toronto and our staff was involved in its planning. Toronto had seemed like an appropriate locale because the archdiocese is in the midst of celebrating its 175th anniversary and archivists are often involved in commemorative projects. We also wanted the chance to show off the newly restored St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica after 15 years of renovation.

Our theme was "Keeping Archives in the 21st Century," and the program addressed such topics as best practices for electronic records keeping, digitization projects, and commemoration.

This annual conference is a wonderful opportunity to learn from other diocesan and congregational archivists who share the same organizational structure and face similar challenges.

His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, addresses members of the Catholic Archivist Group during the opening reception. The conference was held at Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga.

ARCAT Staff Photo
The Idea Fair featured displays from ten different repositories, including the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto Archives and the Diocese of Hamilton Library & Archives, whose staff brought their newly acquired Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible.

ARCAT Staff Photo
We demonstrated our humidification chamber at the Idea Fair.  This was also featured on a previous post.

ARCAT Staff Photo

The keynote speaker, Dr. Mark McGowan, Professor of History at the University of Toronto, gave a talk entitled "2017 – The Year of Commemorations: the role of historians and archivists."  In this photo, he describes being on the set of Death or Canada, a docudrama about the Irish immigration to Toronto during the Great Famine. In the still being projected, Bishop Michael Power is portrayed administering to the sick in the fever sheds.

ARCAT Staff Photo

A field trip to the recently renovated St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica included lunch in the new Atrium addition beside St. John's Chapel.  We were treated to a presentation by Terry White of +VG Architects, the lead architect who has worked on the building's restoration for the past 15 years.

ARCAT Staff Photo

Rev. Michael Busch, rector of the Cathedral Basilica, led a tour of the building. The sanctuary features the original stained glass window purchased by Bishop de Charbonnel, which has been carefully restored and repaired.  Also original are the wooden carvings of the apostles along the screen. The new floor features a Celtic knot design to honour the poor Irish immigrants that physically built and paid for most of the Cathedral with money raised through penny drives.

ARCAT Staff Photo

The crypt chapel is still under construction. The crypt was originally just a crawl space; it has been excavated to a reasonable height. There are 67 burials located here, including the first three Loretto Sisters who came to Toronto at the invitation of Bishop Michael Power.  Their tomb is newly marked by a sculpture of the Pietà depicting the three Marys in honour of the Sisters.

ARCAT Staff Photo
Three of Toronto's early bishops are buried at the Cathedral Basilica. Michael Power's tomb, shown here, is located directly under the sanctuary.

ARCAT Staff Photo

Friday, 15 September 2017

Record of the Week: Greetings From Sunny Egypt!

It's the time of year when we are remembering fondly what we did on our summer vacations. If you look on Facebook or visit with friends you are sure to see lots of travel photographs. Recently, we opened a box and found these great snaps of Cardinal Carter in Egypt. Though we don't know the context of the trip, we can still enjoy these retro images.

Cardinal Carter shows off his camel-riding skills in front of the Great Pyramid at Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background.

[ca. 1964-1978]
ARCAT Photographs Collection

What's better than a stroll by the Nile? Though we usually see bishops in black cassocks, they are permitted to wear white in hot climates.

[ca. 1964-1979]
ARCAT Photographs Collection

The Great Sphinx of Giza and the Great Pyramid are imposing figures in the background.

[ca. 1964-1979]
ARCAT Photographs Collection

Friday, 8 September 2017

In Memory of Archbishop Pocock

Earlier this week marked the 33rd anniversary of the death of the ninth Ordinary to the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Most Reverend Philip Francis Pocock. The former Archbishop of Toronto died on September 6, 1984, at the age of 78.

Photographs Collection, PH 14/08P

A prayer card that would have been distributed at Archbishop Pocock's funeral mass, September 10, 1984.
Archbishop Pocock joined the Archdiocese of Toronto as Coadjutor Archbishop on February 18, 1961, and succeeded to the See of Toronto upon Cardinal McGuigan’s resignation on March 30, 1971.

As archbishop, Pocock established the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and Senate of Priests to help manage the transitions that followed Vatican II and created Sharelife to replace the Council of Catholic Charities.

On April 27, 1978, Archbishop Pocock resigned as archbishop and took up residence at St. Mary's Parish in Brampton. Here he remained active as a priest, performing regular parish duties, celebrating mass at elementary schools, confirming students, and visiting a senior citizens' home.
Archbishop Pocock died on September 6, 1984. His funeral took place at St. Michael’s Cathedral on September 10th, and he was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Thornhill.

Archbishop Pocock Fonds, PO AA49.02

A handwritten note from Cardinal Carter in response to the outpouring of condolences following Archbishop Pocock's death, 1984

Although his time as See of Toronto was short, Archbishop Pocock has a lasting legacy in the Archdiocese. You can read more about Archbishop's religious life and archdiocesan achievements on our website.