Friday, 26 August 2016

A Place of Rest and Quiet

On August 28, 1913, St. Augustine's Seminary was dedicated. We have posted many photos of the Seminary and its students in the past, and this week we are featuring the Seminary's chapel. Architect A.W. Holmes drew inspiration for St. Augustine's from Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. It is speculated that the chapel was inspired by another Florentine church, the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

From The People Cry: Send Us Priests: The First Seventy-Five Years of St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto, 1913-1988, p. 24-26 by Rev. P.J. Carefoote:

"...Fittingly, the Chapel forms the 'heart' of the central Seminary building, intersecting it in the centre of its three hundred and fifty-six foot length. The Chapel is one hundred and four feet long and forty feet wide, accommodating a congregation of up to 220 people... The original sanctuary with its clean lines and very clear focus was a visual lesson on the Eucharist in itself. Its only decoration was the German stained-glass windows of such topics as "Sacrifice of Melchizedek," "The Crucifixion" and "The Last Supper" by Mayer and Company. The sanctuary depiction of the Incarnation, when the Word was made flesh, continues the ancient tradition in the Church of highlighting that space where the Word is made truly present again and again."

A hand-coloured black and white photo of a liturgical event in the Seminary chapel.

St. Augustine's Seminary Photograph Collection


A hand-coloured black and white photograph of the high altar.

St. Augustine's Seminary Photograph Collection


"The original suggestion made by Mayer and Company for the four rose windows was to portray the four great doctors of the Church. While this would certainly have harmonized with the heavenly patronage of Augustine, it would not have been faithful to the underlying decorative schema. Instead, the symbols of the four evangelists are rendered, again accenting the apostolic endeavor of this institution to preach the Word, thereby making Christ present in the world forever..."

St. Augustine's Seminary Photograph Collection

"A major renovation of the Chapel was directed in 1959 under the technical advice of Sir James Haffa, Architect. Retaining the steps and mensa of the original marble altar, the main altar and reredos were remodeled using a variety of shades and textures of polished marble... The marble statue of St. Augustine... was removed and the space filled in so that an Italian marble crucifix could be erected. Added to each side of the reredos were wooden statues of Saints Augustine and Monica."

A view of the organ loft.

"As the "house of God and gate of heaven" this chapel, then, is an overall success ...Of it can be sung ... "How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts!" ... This holy place is a place of rejoicing, where God makes himself present in the word of his Apostles and prophets and in the Sacrament of the Altar. It is a place of rest and quiet where God is encountered in peace. It is a place where the Most High dwells among his children."

PH 26A/04CP

"In 1964 the seating was altered from choir stalls to congregational arrangement, which is excellent for participation in the Eucharist and for private devotion, bit is not the happiest arrangement for the Divine Office. At this date, also, the marble altar was replaced by the present granite table, with the central, 'chi-rho' panel of the old high altar coming into new use as the altar of reservation. In general, however, the Chapel has a very prayerful mood about it, owing to its colour scheme and the chastity of its clean design and decoration."

For more on St. Augustine's Seminary, check their website.

Friday, 19 August 2016

ARCAT Goes to The Ex

The 2016 Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) -- or The Ex, as we all know it -- opens today in Toronto. This annual tradition, formerly called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, started in 1879 and is Canada's largest community event. To celebrate the CNE, here are some photographs from ARCAT's collection of other events that have happened on the CNE grounds.

Despite the Canadian military occupying parts of the CNE grounds during World War I, the CNE continued to be held each year. During World War II, however, the entirety of the CNE grounds was used by the military, so the fair was not held during those years. A rally and a mass were held at the Stadium for the soldiers in 1944.

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944
Note the ad for cigarettes way in the back at the top of the stadium.

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944
Note the other interesting ads in the background.

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944
Rosary created by humans and sheets

Photo credit: Pringle & Booth Ltd., Toronto


Cardinal McGuigan participated in the Rosary Crusade in Toronto.
Cardinal McGuigan at the Rosary Crusade, CNE Stadium, ca. 1961


Every opening day must have a ceremony!
Archbishop Pocock sits third from right at the opening day ceremonies
at the CNE bandshell, August 15, 1974


Pope John Paul II attended the Polish Rally at the CNE Stadium during his Papal Visit to Canada in 1984.
Pope John Paul II speaks to a large crowd at the Polish Rally,
CNE Stadium, September 14, 1984

Photo credit: Foto Felici, Rome


The CNE runs for 18 days. More information about the CNE, including its long and interesting history, can be found on their website. Let's go to The Ex!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Go for the (Catholic) Gold

We're now halfway through the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This year, the world gets to watch more than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries compete in 28 sports. It is inspiring to be able to witness these incredible feats of human strength, endurance, and skill. Each competitor should be congratulated for making it that far, but only a fraction will make it to that apex of accomplishment, the medalists' podium.

Those who use their strength of character, endurance of spirit and God-given skills in service of the Catholic Church can also be recognized with medals: the Benemerenti medal and the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice.

The Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pontiff) was originally awarded by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It is currently awarded to laypeople and clergy for service to the Church. The design has changed over time, but the present medal consists of a Greek cross featuring images of Saints Peter and Paul. The cross hangs from a ribbon of the Papal colours yellow and white. The examples we have in the ARCAT collection date from the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II:

Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice

ARCAT Special Collections
Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice

ARCAT Special Collections

The Benemerenti (Good Merit) Medal was originally awarded by Pope Pius VI in 1791 as a military decoration for "courage in defense of the temporal Papal States." In 1925 it also became an award for civilian lay people and clergy who deserved special recognition. The current design of the medal is a Greek cross featuring an image of Christ with the Papal tiara and crossed keys on the left, and the shield and motto of the reigning Pontiff on the right. The medal also hangs from a ribbon of yellow and white.

Benemerenti Medal

ARCAT Special Collections
Benemerenti Medal

ARCAT Special Collections

Recipients of these honours are recommended to the Vatican by diocesan officials. The Vatican then sends the medals and paperwork for the Ordinary to bestow:

Cardinal McGuigan bestows the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice in St. Michael's Cathedral.

November 3rd, 1957
PH 31P/01P 
Two recipients of the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice, Mary and Dorothy Flynn. Note the difference in medal design.

March 31st, 1963
PH 31P/02CP 

For more information, check the excellent reference book by James-Charles Noonan, Jr. entitled The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church. 

Friday, 5 August 2016

A Taste of History on the Danforth: Church of the Holy Name

Summer in Toronto is full of many fun events. This weekend features the 23rd annual Taste of the Danforth, Canada’s largest street festival. As you are taking in all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the festival, you will pass some interesting historical buildings, including Church of the Holy Name on the corner of Gough and Danforth Avenues.

Architect Arthur W. Holmes designed the church. The cornerstone was laid in November 1914.
Photograph of a drawing of the church, likely done by the architect, Arthur W. Holmes

Photographs Collection, PH0014/41P

Father Michael Cline was the first resident pastor.
Head and shoulder photographic portrait of Monsignor Michael Cline, 1870-1947, as a young priest.

Photographs Collection, PH24C/106P

The church on a cloudy summer day in the early 1980s.
August 1981

Photographs Collection, PH0014/04C

View of the back of the church from the altar in the early 1980s.
August 1981

Photographs Collection, PH0014/08C

View of the front interior of the church in the early 1970s.
Altar and sanctuary, ca. October 1970

Photographs Collection, PH81/10CP

View of the front interior of the church almost two decades later. Can you spot the differences?

Photographs Collection, PH0014/49C

Exterior of the church in the late 1980s.

Photographs Collection, PH0014/46C

For more information about the church and to see some wonderful older photographs of the church, please visit the Holy Name Parish website. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 29 July 2016

Catholics in the Golden Age of Radio

In today's world, we are very used to instant communication. The Internet makes it possible for us to learn about events almost as they are happening. Twitter keeps us in the loop about what's happening on the ground, and we can even stream live video to Facebook with our cell phones for all of our friends to see.

100 years ago, it was very different. Sure, we had telephones and telegraphs, but there wasn't really a way to get a message to many people at the same time until the early 1920s, when the first radio stations began operating and radio sets became common household fixtures. The Golden Age of Radio had begun.

The Catholic hierarchy were quick to adopt the technology as a way to reach their flock. Personalities such as Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Father Charles Coughlin became household names with audiences of millions of listeners.

Here in the archives, we have many documents from the early days of radio. A few are highlighted below:

In 1929, a report was issued by the Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting (known as the Aird Commission) that recommended the creation of a national broadcast system. A lobby group called the Canadian Radio League was formed to pressure the Canadian government into implementing the Aird report. In the Archbishop McNeil fonds, we found the map below, which was created by the Canadian Radio League and shows radio coverage in Canada in the early 1930s. The map shows that the Archdiocese of Toronto was well covered early on:

"Map I. Shows the range of existing Canadian broadcasting stations. The circles represent the assured normal daylight range. It will be noticed how the larger stations are near the centres of population, where the best advertising market is found, and how whole areas of Canada are outside the range of Canadian stations. The list of stations and their power is further evidence of these conditions. It is also true that where there are the most Canadian stations there are the most licensed listeners"

MN AP02.201
Archbishop McNeil Fonds

Alan B. Plaunt of the Canadian Radio League wrote to Archbishop McNeil to ask for his support for a national radio system. The letter shows that from the beginning, the public broadcaster was intended to be politically neutral:

"Firstly, it is one of the cardinal propositions of the League that the proposed national company should be free from political and other interference. This has been achieved by the British Broadcasting Corporation in England and we believe that it can be achieved here. It is true that the Aird Commission is not sufficiently specific on how this is to be done. The Radio League is now, through one of its committees, investigating the question of how the national company can be placed outside of party politics. The view of the committee at present is that this could, possibly, best be done by making the directorate of the company responsible to a Committee of the Privy Council, that is, to more than one minister. This is the method by which the National Research Council functions."

December 29, 1930
MN TA01.88
Archbishop McNeil Fonds

Archbishop McNeil was quick to use radio to address Toronto Catholics. Both he and Cardinal McGuigan regularly spoke on the air about a variety of topics. The letter below from Frank P. O'Connor (Founder of Laura Secord candy store, senator, and Catholic Philanthropist) praises McNeil for one of his broadcasts:

"Your Excellency: No doubt you have heard from a great many of your unseen audience of Sunday evening last. I just want to add my congratulations and tell you how good it was to hear you over the air and how much I enjoyed our broadcast which I think was one of the finest I have ever heard."

June 6, 1933
MN AH22.54
Archbishop McNeil Fonds

Any time someone speaks in public, someone else will disagree. Sometimes that person will complain. Below is a letter to Archbishop McGuigan regarding Father Charles Coughlin, who had by that time become a controversial figure because of his antisemitic, pro-fascism views:

"You will pardon this suggestion, which is made in the best interests of Catholics generally, but especially Canadians.

"I listened with a degree of utmost pleasure to your splendid Saturday night address, the nicest part of it being that yesterday in contact with a number of gentlemen of other faiths than our own, it was a subject of discussion and most favorable comment.

"Approaching the thought underlying my first paragraph, the Rev. Father Coughlin harangued the multitude on Sunday afternoon in one of the most castigating radio talks emanating from a Christian to which I have listened.

"Monday morning several of our Catholic staff approached me to the effect that they had turned it on for a little while and immediately turned it off.

"Is there not something that can be done to eliminate this broadcast from Canada, if it is not possible in the U.S.? I think a copy of the broadcast should be sent to the Prime Minister. It simply arouses feelings of murder in the hearts of listeners. If he would only confine himself to religious doctrine.

"I feel confident that you know how to eliminate this objectionable hour, also I believe that his pamphlets which are passed out at some of the Churches here might well be discarded in these trying times. He is a menace and a black-eye to the Catholic Church.

September 12, 1939
SW GC01.14a
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

As time went on, more and more religious programming was heard on the air. The pamphlet below from the 1950s details the schedule of religious programs on CBC Radio:

CBC Religious Program Schedule

AL PB01.05
Bishop Allen Fonds

In 1933, Archbishop McNeil inaugurated the Radio League of St. Michael. The League sponsored such programs as The Catholic Hour, which consisted of Sunday mass from the Cathedral followed by news and talk. Leadership of the League eventually transferred to the Paulist Fathers, under whom it eventually became the Catholic Information Centre. The form letter below details a "radio school" for priests that the League offered:

"A year ago this fall, we began a brief "radio school" for priests. Apart from studying the technical matters involved in broadcasting, we hope to develop a growing interest in radio and television as modern methods of communication. The commercial world is well aware of this medium. The Protestant Churches have regular schools across Canada in which every aspect of radio and television is studied. As Catholics, we have been invited to attend these schools. Many of the ministers have put the suggestion to their organizing committee to invite the Catholic Church to send representatives. There is no question about the importance or radio and television as a method of communications today.

"As a year ago, the school this fall will be held on three consecutive weeks, Tuesday evenings at 8 o'clock. This year we will add work on television. Fortunately we have the professional assistance of the CBC. The enclosed program outlines the schedule. Kindly return to us the enclosed registration form, if you can find your way clear to attend the Workshop."

July 6, 1960
MG SU03.88a
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

In his 1957 encyclical letter Miranda Prorsus: On Motion Pictures, Radio and Television, Pope Pius XII explains, 

"...We rightly think that the most excellent function which falls to radio is this: to enlighten and instruct men, and to direct their minds and hearts towards higher and spiritual things. 

"But there is in men, though they may be within their own homes, a deep desire to listen to other men, to obtain knowledge of events happening far away and to share in aspects of the social and cultural life of others. 

"Hence it is not remarkable that a very large number of houses have within a short period of time been equipped with receiving sets by which, as it were secret windows opening on to the world, contact is made night and day with the active life of men of different civilization, languages and races." 

This pope knew how important Radio had become in the lives of people everywhere. He encouraged Catholic programs and stations, and challenged the faithful to only listen to programming which directed their minds to God.

Radio is still an important part of the lives of many, but Catholics have carried on the tradition of being on the cutting edge of communication. They are still involved with media such as Radio and Television, but are using social media more and more. The Archdiocese of Toronto is on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. There is also a blog called Around the Arch, and you can listen to podcasts. Even Pope Francis is on Twitter! Our Catholic leaders know that to reach the people, they have to go to where the people are.

For more information about the early days of Catholics on the radio in Canada, read Dr. Mark McGowan's excellent paper, Air Wars: Radio Regulation, Sectarianism and Religious Broadcasting in Canada, 1922-1938 in Historical Papers: Canadian Society of Church History, 2008.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Love, Mom: Letters from Mary Power to Her Son, 1822-1824

Mary Power, mother of the first Bishop of Toronto, had eight children who survived childhood; yet it was clear that Michael, her eldest son, whom she called Mick, was always number one in her eyes. When Michael was sent from Halifax to the minor seminary in Montreal in 1816, a few months before he turned twelve, it was a difficult transition for Mary. She missed him very much and expected a lot from him, but she was also very proud of him for fulfilling such an important role.

Photograph of an original painting of Bishop Michael Power


The Archives has seven letters from Mary to Mick, written between 1822 and 1824 while Michael was at school. Sometimes Mary would send letters or packages with a family friend who was travelling to Montreal because she did not have enough money for postage; regardless of delivery method, she made sure to write to keep him up to date. The letters provide interesting insight into Bishop Power's early life and family.

Addresses on letters for Michael Power

P AA04.01 (left) and P AA04.07

Even before he was born, Michael’s life course had been decided by his mother. She was a pious woman and sometimes used her letters as an opportunity to remind Mick of her promise to God.

Excerpt from letter dated July 20, 1824

I promised you to God before you were born[.] I made a vow if it would please God to bless me with a son that I would offer him up unto his Blessed will[.] It seemes [sic] that the Allmighty [sic] demands it now. Glory be to his holy Name for ever and ever Amen.

P AA04.07

The same year that Michael left for school, his mother had a baby and had another two years later. Being young and so far from home, it’s no wonder Michael was a bit unsure as to the exact make-up of his family.

Excerpt from letter dated September 24, 1823

You wishe [sic] to know how many sisters you have[.] You have 4[:] Margret[,] Maryann[,] Elizabeth and Frances[.] She is 4 years and a half old[.] She often asks who there [sic] Brother is and if she shall see you ever[.]

P AA04.04

All Mary hoped was that the family would see her dear Mick again before they died.

Excerpt from letter dated May 27, 1822

My Dear may the Almighty God send us a happy and pleasing sight of you before our death[.] it shall be the [constant] [illegible] of your tender parents William and Mary Power.
P AA04.01

Unfortunately, Michael did not return to Halifax until 1840, when he was 36. By that time, he was the only male left in his family; in fact, he had been so since before his ordination in August 1827. Sadly, after leaving Halifax the first time, he never saw his father or brothers again. In 1822, at just 16, Bishop Power’s brother James died of a lung inflammation. Shortly after retiring in 1824, his father died, followed by his brother John soon after. His brother William, who was a sailor like his father, died in July 1827. His mother wrote to Michael to tell him the news of James’s death in this heart-breaking letter.

Letter dated July 16, 1822

My Dear Child
I recei'd your letter by Capt. [McHeron][.] It gave me great pleasure to hear that you enjoy good health[.] My Dear I mentioned to you in my last letter that your brother was dangerously ill & I cannot hold the pen.
He departed this world on the 6 of June[.] His disorder was a [sic] inflammation on the lungs[.] A fine good natured boy as ever lived[.] He bore his disorder for 23 days with the fortitude of a [sic] old man ... He continually talked of Mr. Mignault and requested to remember him in prayers[.] ... I will write more to you the next opportunity. My Dear I am your affectionate mother
Mary Power
Do not fret for James for he is happy out of this world.

P AA04.02

Mary always worried about her son's well-being; however, after suffering a number of losses over the years, it is understandable that her level of concern may have increased. This letter, written 192 years ago this week, chastises Mick for his lack of communication.

Letter dated July 20, 1824

P AA04.07
Excerpt from letter dated July 20, 1824

My Dear and Beloved Son
This is the 3 letter I have wrote to you but recd no answer[.] It makes me uneasy[.] I wrote by post and I wrote by [Cleary] and John wrote at the same time[.] Your last letter was dated in February[.] What is the maining [sic] of such a long silence My Dear Son.

P AA04.07

These letters are a wonderful reminder that though the frequency and style of communication was different almost 200 years ago, a mother’s love remains very much the same. P.S. Call your mom.

Friday, 15 July 2016

The Pope's Tailor

This week in the news we learned that Ditta Annibale Gammarelli, the official tailor of the Pope, is being passed to the sixth generation of the Gammarelli family. You may remember reading about the shop before the last conclave, when they were called upon to make new white cassocks in three sizes to accommodate whomever was elected.

The firm has been making garments for the Pope and other members of the hierarchy since 1798. Each piece is made with the finest material with great detail and care.

Here in the archives, we have a few relevant items:

A 1926 invoice from Annibale Gammarelli, "Tailor of Pius XI, Merchant Tailor to Ecclesiastics."

MN AH15.02
Archbishop McNeil Fonds

We also have a few examples of Gammarelli's work, all of which were worn by Cardinal Carter:

Cardinal's Mozzetta (short cape); red silk with red piping.

TX 28d
ARCAT Special Collections

Cardinal's cassock; black silk with red buttons and piping. Complete with pockets, the existence of which makes any garment instantly better.

TX 28a
ARCAT Special Collections  

Cardinal's socks. You can buy your very own pair from!

TX 29g
ARCAT Special Collections

The quality of the items in the collection makes it easy to see why Gammarelli has maintained its official position. We wish the future Gammarellis the best of luck in the business of dressing the Pope!