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!