Friday 18 August 2017

On this Day: the Ordination of Bishop Michael Power

One-Hundred and Ninety years ago on August 19th, fifteen years before the Archdiocese of Toronto was created and hundreds of kilometres north-east of the Town of York, our first Bishop, Michael Power, was ordained a priest.

Born in 1804 to Irish immigrants in Halifax, Bishop Power was only 12 years old when he began his studies for priesthood at the Seminary of St. Sulpice in Montreal. He was only 23 years old when he finished his training at the Seminary of Quebec. He would have several pastoral appointments in Quebec before being consecrated as the first Bishop of Toronto in 1842.

This week’s blog post features a copy of a letter written just before Bishop Power's ordination took place. The letter is addressed to Archbishop Panet of the Archdiocese of Quebec from the auxiliary Bishop J.J. Lartigue.



"According to your wishes, I ordained Mr Power as deacon last Sunday; and Monseigneur the Bishop of New York, who arrived here before yesterday, shall ordain him priest
This Mr. Power will suit me well enough [...] and I must always have an Irish Priest with me (at my place), especially for the needs of various parts of my district."

P AA02.03
Bishop Power Fonds

The letter records an important milestone in Bishop Power's religious life. It is also an early testimony of the strong relationship between Bishop Power and the Irish community that became part of his lasting legacy. It reveals a small but significant moment in our timeline, and is surely an event that should be remembered as we celebrate and reflect on the history of our Archdiocese.

You can find out more about Bishop Michael Power on our website.


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