Friday, 9 November 2018

Lest We Forget

Every year on November 11, we remember the courage and sacrifice of all those who have served Canada in times of war.

Our photo of the week shows Cardinal McGuigan among the headstones of fallen soldiers at the Canadian military cemetery in Moro River, Ortona, Italy.
"His Eminence James Cardinal McGuigan officiates at Canadian military cemetery, Ortona (five hours drive from Rome). He is seen talking with Mr. Jean Desy, Canadian ambassador to Rome and the Archbishop of the Italian military army. Speeches were made by the Canadian Speaker of the House, Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Gagnon, Mr. Pouliet of Quebec and others"

PH 09H/44AL

ARCAT Photo Collection

The photograph was taken in November 1950, following the blessing of a new chapel at the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery in Ortono. Canadian donations funded the construction of the new chapel to replace one that had been destroyed during the war. In 1944 official war artist Lieutenant Comfort painted a striking painting of the damage to the church; this painting is now part of The Canadian War Museum collection and viewable on their website.
His Eminence Cardinal McGuigan gave the sermon for the blessing of the rebuilt chapel and, Archbishop Maruice Roy of Quebec officiated. The photograph also shows Canadian Ambassador to Italy, Honorable Jean Desy, who formally presented the chapel to Italian authorities after the ceremony.

The Canadian Corps selected Moro River as the site for a cemetery in January 1944 to bury Candian soldiers who died before, during and after the Battle of Ortona in December of 1943. The First Canadian Infantry Division was ordered to take Ortona as part of a larger campaign to break the German line of defence on Italy’s eastern coast. After 8 days of fighting, the Germans withdrew, but not without a price: by the end of the battle over 500 Canadian casualties were reported. Canadian troops continued to make advances and patrol the area until spring of 1944.

The main road to the cemetery passes under an archway in the very chapel blessed by Cardinal McGuigan and Archbishop Roy 68 years ago. There are 1615 individuals buried at the cemetery, 1375 of which are identified as Canadian soldiers.

We Remember.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Record of the Week: A Peek into Everyday Life

One of my favourite things about ARCAT is getting to see small glimpses into the everyday lives of people who lived 150 years ago. Today I found an account book for Small & Shirriff, a grocery store at 106 Front Street East used by Archbishop Lynch's residence at St. John's Grove. It's fun to be able to see what the Archbishop was eating and how much it cost.

St. John's Grove
In a/c with
Small & Shirriff
106 Front St East


HO 02.11
ARCAT Holograph Collection

The household ordered foods such as rice, potatoes, corn starch, cheese, coffee, oranges, oysters, apples, butter, eggs, filberts, and more for less money than you would spend on breakfast:


HO 02.11
ARCAT Holograph Collection


HO 02.11
ARCAT Holograph Collection

Next time you're walking past 106 Front Street East, you can think, "This is where Archbishop Lynch got his groceries!"

Friday, 26 October 2018

Director's Cut: Vatican II rings and certificates

As the Director of Archives at the Archdiocese of Toronto I am often complimented on the consistently fabulous posts of The Archivist's Pencil. I am always quick to point out that I myself have written very few and the accolades for these wonderfully composed pieces must go to my colleagues. I thought it might be nice to give them a little break every now and again and share with our readers some of my favourite things in our holdings.

My first post in the Director's Cut series features an artifact and its corresponding documentation... an archivist's dream!

When I began working here I quickly learned that I needed to educate myself on the Second Vatican Council, which is often referred to as Vatican II. Although I was vaguely aware that changes to the way Mass was celebrated had been made at some point in my parents' lifetime, my studies of history hadn't delved much into the post-World War II era, so I was largely ignorant of this major event in the history of the Catholic Church and needed to know more about it to understand the context of a large number of the records in our holdings. If you too would like to educate yourself, you can start with the documents of the Second Vatican Council which can be viewed on the Vatican's website here.

October 28 marks the 60th Anniversary of the election of St. John XXIII as Pope. His Holiness announced very early in his papacy that he intended to convene the Ecumenical Council. Several of the former, current and future auxiliary bishops, archbishops and cardinals that served the Archdiocese of Toronto attended sessions of the Council. Listed among the Council Fathers are: Auxiliary Bishop Francis Allen, G. Emmett Cardinal Carter, Auxiliary Bishop Marrocco, James Cardinal McGuigan, Archbishop Philip Pocock and Auxiliary Bishop Benjamin Webster. You can view a full list of bishops who attended each of the four sessions here.

At the closing of the Second Ecumenical Council in December 1965, St. Paul VI gifted each of the Council Fathers a commemorative certificate and gold ring.

AF.103 ARCAT Artifact Collection and PO AA41.023 Archbishop Pocock Fonds

Another view of AF.103
ARCAT Artifact Collection

The Vatican II Council ring is made entirely of yellow gold. The ring shaped like a mitre (bishop's hat) with a point at the top. Depicted are three arched niches: Christ in the centre; St. Peter on the left; St. Paul on the right. The artist’s signature is inscribed, “E. Manfrini”. St. Paul VI’s coat of arms in stamped on the inverse of the band.

PO AA41.023
Archbishop Philip F. Pocock Fonds

Accompanying the ring was this commemorative certificate from Pope Paul VI. It attests in Latin to Archbishop Pocock's participation at Vatican II and expresses the hope that the message of the Second Vatican Council will be conveyed to all Catholics.  We have similar certificates in our collection for Auxiliary Bishop Francis Allen (AF.135a), G. Emmett Cardinal Carter (AF.009) and James Cardinal McGuigan (AF.135b).

Cardinal Carter wore his Vatican II Council ring (AF.361) as his regular day-to-day episcopal ring. His Eminence's ring in on display at the G. Emmett Cardinal Carter Library at King's University College in London, Ontario where it is on permanent loan.

AF.361 - Card. Carter's Vatican II ring
ARCAT Artifact Collection

Friday, 19 October 2018

Record of the Week: A Representative of the People

Toronto's municipal elections are coming up on Monday, and we thought we'd look to see what Toronto's mayors had written to Toronto's bishops. We found a nice letter to Bishop de Charbonnel from 15th mayor Sir Adam Wilson, who took office in 1859.

Toronto's first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, was appointed in 1834 when the city was incorporated. Wilson was Toronto's first mayor elected by popular vote. Prior to that, citizens in each ward voted for aldermen, who then chose a mayor from their group. From 1859 to 1867 and from 1874 onwards the public voted directly for the city leader.

Wilson served as alderman for St. Patrick's Ward from 1855. In his late 1858 election platform he advocated, among other points, "to oppose by all legitimate means the pernicious system of corruption and bribery which has prevailed so extensively at all our city elections," and to "strictly enforce the law which excludes all city contractors and other disqualified persons from the City Council." With newspaperman George Brown he spoke against previous governments who were influenced by the money of 'big business.' Wilson's letter to Bishop de Charbonnel expresses his hope to serve the people during his mayoral term:

"Toronto 11 Jany 1859

"My Lord

"I beg leave to thank you for the very kind & handsome manner in which you have congratulated me on my election to civic honours this year.

"At the outset of the contest it was expressly stipulated that there should be a united effort made to procure representatives who should admit the principle which has been so often overlooked here - of toleration & competition to all who were qualified without reference to party - and particularly without reference to creed - and I am rejoiced to say that the object we had so much at heart we have fully accomplished - and that now it may be truly said the council are the representatives of the people - the rest must necessarily follow, impartiality and protection to all alike -

"With great respect allow me to subscribe myself Your Lordship's very obedient servant,
Adam Wilson"

C AB15.03

Archbishop de Charbonnel Fonds

Wilson was proud that his council was "of the people." After he was declared mayor, he said, "[I acknowledge] the electors for the very large majority which they [have] given me." Voters in his time were male landholders, but a lot more people are eligible now. If you're one of them, make sure you get out there! It's the best way to make sure that the mayor and his council truly represent the citizens of the city.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Month of the Holy Rosary

Every year, the month of October is dedicated to the Rosary. The origins of this go back to at least 1571, when Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the rosary for victory at the Battle of Lepanto. The Christian victory at Lepanto was celebrated as the feast of Our Lady of Victory (now Our Lady of the Rosary) on October 7.

Rosary beads are traditionally divided into five groups of ten beads, called decades. There is a prayer to be recited for each bead and a mystery of Christ’s life that is to be contemplated for each decade. The repetition of prayers assists in entering a state of prayerful meditation.

Rosary beads come in all shapes, sizes and colours. This week, we thought we would showcase a couple of interesting Rosary beads from our collection.

This five decade Rosary is unlike any we've seen before: the beads are made from the pits of nuts.

ARCAT Artifact Collection

This Rosary is unusal for its size and the fact that is has six decades. The six decade Rosary is of the Brigittine tradition and has a slightly different structure to its prayer.

ARCAT Artifact Collection

You can find out more about how to pray the Rosary here.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Hamilton joins the Blogosphere

We are pleased to share that the Diocese of Hamilton Library & Archives launched a blog last week, with a post entitled, A little bit about “our shelves…”

And nothing - we mean nothing - warms our hearts like a punny title.

Congratulations to the team at the Bishop Farrell Library & Archives! We look forward to following you.

It's been five years since this impressive repository opened its renovated facilities next to Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. It's worth a visit - both online and on-site.


Toronto and Hamilton dioceses have a special relationship, being part of the same ecclesiastical province. In the Catholic Church, a province consists of a metropolitan archdiocese and one or more suffragan dioceses headed by diocesan bishops. Toronto is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province of the Archdiocese of Toronto, which is why our ordinary is called an archbishop. Hamilton, along with London, St. Catharines and Thunder Bay are the suffragan dioceses. The insignia of a metropolitan archbishop is the pallium.

Dioceses comprising a province are usually close geographically, often ceding territory to each other as new dioceses are erected and elevated. The Diocese of Toronto was created by the division of the Diocese of Kingston in 1841. Toronto was divided in 1856 by the erection of the dioceses of Hamilton and London, and again in 1958 with the created of the Diocese of St. Catharines. 

Boundaries of the See of Toronto over time. Graphic created for the 175th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Toronto in 2016.

The dioceses of Toronto and Hamilton have shared a border since 1856.

One of the responsibilities of the metropolitan archbishop is to call and preside over provincial councils. These assemblies of bishops are held to discuss ecclesiastical affairs and enact disciplinary regulations for the province. Toronto was a suffragan diocese of Québec until it was raised to an archdiocese in 1870. After being elevated to archbishop, Most Rev. John Joseph Lynch of Toronto called the First Provincial Council in 1875, which included Bishop Crinnon of Hamilton, Bishop Walsh of London, Bishop Jamot of Peterborough, and Bishop Duhamel of Ottawa. In the 1880s, both Ottawa and Kingston were elevated to metropolitan sees and provinces shifted accordingly.  

Photographs Special Collection, PH 04/10P

Photograph labelled "Fathers and Theologians of the first R.C. Prov. Council at Toronto, 1875."

Participants of the First Provincial Council of the Archdiocese of Toronto, seated in front of St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica, Toronto. Seated, left to right: Bishop Crinnon, second bishop of Hamilton; Bishop Walsh, London; Archbishop Lynch, Toronto; Bishop Jamot, Peterborough; Bishop Duhamel, Ottawa. Toronto was raised to a metropolitan see in 1870, making Lynch an archbishop. The four other bishops represented the suffragan dioceses comprising the province at that time. In the 1880s, both Ottawa and Kingston were elevated to metropolitan sees and provinces shifted accordingly. The suffragan dioceses are currently Hamilton, London, St. Catharines and Thunder Bay.

Bringing the focus back to Hamilton, we offer a great photograph from our holdings of the episcopal ordination of Most. Rev. Joseph Ryan, the sixth and longest serving bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton. 

And now we'll leave the blogging about Hamilton to our Hamiltonian colleagues!

Photographs Special Collection, PH 35R/08P

Group photograph on the steps of Christ the King Cathedral Basilica, Hamilton, at the episcopal ordination of Bishop Ryan of Hamilton, 19 October 1937. Front row episcopacy (wearing mitres) from left: Bishop Joseph A. O'Sullivan of Charlottetown and Bishop John T. Kidd of London (principal co-consecrators); Bishop Joseph F. Ryan: Archbishop John T. McNally of Halifax (principal consecrator). Archbishop James McGuigan of Toronto is right of Archbishop McNally.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Record of the Week: The Canada Farmer

The Canada Farmer Masthead

April 15, 1869

L AJ05.01
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

This week's harvest moon got us thinking about what it must have been like for farmers in early Canada. We were in luck! Archbishop Lynch saved an 1869 copy of The Canada Farmer, which was published in Toronto from 1864 to 1876. 

We found this magazine so interesting that we thought we'd share some of our favourite parts with you. The April 15, 1869 issue contains advice about choosing crops ("Parsnips... is a less troublesome and more certain crop than carrots."), entomology (When we think of insects... we are very apt to doom the whole race to indiscriminate slaughter, and wage a war of extermination upon insects of every order, class, and kind. But by doing so we commit a very great mistake, for we not only destroy the innocent with the guilty, but we slay also our best friends with our bitterest enemies."), keeping livestock ("Mangers should be low, and stables well ventilated and well lighted."), dairy farming ("Cows should not only be milked with perfect regularity as regards the hours of milking, but they should be milked to the last drops"), and much more of interest to all kinds of farmers. 

Here are a few more tidbits:

 From an article in the Natural History section about toads:
"As we were walking in the garden last summer, we came across one of these 'squatters' among the squash vines. He was seated near his hole in the wall, surveying the premises, and apparently enjoying the growth of the vegetables, like a philosopher. Have you ever noticed, gentle reader, the benevolent expression in the eye of a toad? If it were not for his uncouth dress we would call him a gentleman. His philosophical mien was catching, and we fell to speculating upon the value wrapped up in that carbuncled jacket. We asked the question, 'What is he good for? It is said the Creator has formed nothing in vain - nothing without a specific plan and design. Why was this toad made so disgusting, dirt-coloured, wide mouthed, pot-bellied and moping? There is nothing to inspire effection or terror.' Just at that moment a pestiferous squash bug was crawling upon a leaf. In a moment his eye flashed with intelligence, and quick as thought his long tongue reached the insect, and his capacious mouth closed with a snap not unlike a percussion cap."
"The illustration represents the common tree Toad." "In proportion to what the toad is capable of doing, there is not a more useful animal to man. In the search of a livelihood his is sure to benefit somebody. He has no bad habits, yet how often do we find him the victim of an ignorant and cruel prejudice."

April 15, 1869

L AJ05.01
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

 From an article in the Horticulture section about raspberry varieties:
"We cannot close this article without remarking that Mr. Arnold's raspberries are the result of careful hybridizing, that to such painstaking, careful cultivators we are indebted for many of our choicest fruits, and that there is yet room for further experiments with the hybridization of raspberries. The largest size and highest flavour of fruit, combined with the greatest productiveness and perfect hardihood of plant, are yet to be achieved."
"We present our readers with an engraving of the Philadelphia Raspberry, a variety that promises to be a very valuable acquisition, especially because of its hardiness, a qualification which few good raspberries possess."

April 15, 1869

L AJ05.01
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

From the Stock section:
"We have great pleasure in presenting to our readers the accompanying beautiful portrait of Mr. Stone's fine short-horn bull, "Grand Duke of Moreton," an animal that has gained the highest distinction in his class, and who, with his sire, Third Grand Duke (17,933), has contributed much to raise Mr. Stone's herd to its present eminent position.
"...He is considered by many first-class judges to be the finest short-horn bull in America, and equal to any they ever saw, combining with an even outline, good constitution, colour, symmetry, docility, gait and size. He is, moreover, a first-class stock-getter, standing at present at the head of the Moreton Lodge herd of short-horns."
Frederick Stone's Moreton Lodge was turned into the Ontario Agricultural College. Part of the building is still on campus at the University of Guelph.

"Grand Duke of Moreton," the Property of F.W. Stone, Esq., Moreton Lodge, Guelph"

April 15, 1869

L AJ05.01
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

From an article entitled, "New Hand Seed Drill and Cultivator:"
"Mr. Fleming, of Toronto, in conjunction with Mr. Bruce, of Hamilton, has introduced a new implement, under the name of the "Dominion Hand Seed Drill and Cultivator," which promises to be a useful acquisition to the horticulturist. Its main purpose is that of a drill for small seeds, such as onions, beets, carrots, turnips, &c. It is simple in construction, and is said to do its work well, dropping the seed with regularity, covering and rolling the drill after sowing. The same implement, by a change very readily effected, namely, taking off the hopper and the roller, and substituting a cultivating attachment, can be used to perform the necessary operations of weeding and stirring the ground."
"Dominion Hand Seed Drill and Cultivator" "The accompanying illustrations represent the machine in each of its forms, as a drill and as a cultivator. The price is moderate, $12.50."

April 15, 1869

L AJ05.01
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

And the back page with an advertisement for Lamb's Super-Phosphate of Lime. Only $40 per ton!

April 15, 1869

L AJ05.01
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

To read more of The Canada Farmer, check Early Canadiana Online. For more on the history of agriculture in Ontario, check out the wonderful online exhibit of the Archives of Ontario.

As an added Catholic bonus, here's a story printed in this issue from the Seminary of Quebec:
"Anecdote of the Beaver: The Rev. M. Baillarge, of the Seminary of Quebec, relates the following anecdote of the Beaver in the February number of that interesting publication the Naturaliste Canadien, which we have ventured to translate for the perusal of our readers:-
"During the classical course of this venerable sexagenarian, which carries us back to about 1810 or 1812, they kept for several months, in the Seminary, a Beaver, which became as familiar with those who dwelt there, as dogs and cats ordinarily are in houses. One fine night in November, when the cold began to make itself felt, the animal, which they permitted to wander in full liberty through the dormitory, perceiving that, of all its fellow-lodgers, it was the only one which remained without protection from the cold, thought it prudent, no doubt, to consider about taking precautions against the still more rigorous nights wich were soon to come; and as it had no choice of materials for the construction of its hut, it seized upon everything which fell within its clutches. It accordingly made a tour of the beds, carrying off boots, trowsers, socks, cloaks, caps, etc., which it piled up in a corner of the hall, without a single one of the sleepers knowing anything of the clever theft. But lo ! the bell for rising sounds; and each of the scholars demands of his neighbour if he has not been playing him a trick in making away with the indispensable garment; but there was the same perplexity and the same questions on the part of the neighbours, when the Regent coming in, perceived master Beaver still very busy arranging the parts of his future habitation; turning over with his paw whatever boot persisted in sticking out to the derangement of its symmetry, or piling up with his tail any cap that would not stay in its place; drawing back, returning adjusting each portion, and resting from time to time on the top of the hillock, as though to contemplate with pride the amount of work accomplished in so short a time. Luckily for the robbed, the scene of the performance was in a third story; for no doubt if it had been on the ground floor, and the provident animal had been able to get out of doors, they would have found the novel hut built on the edge of the garden cistern itself, and it would have been much less pleasant to have had to draw the caps, boots, etc. out of the water."