Friday 22 June 2018

Launching Extraordinary Ordinaries

Extraordinary Ordinaries: A History of the Bishops of the Archdiocese of Toronto

On Tuesday evening, ARCAT staff had the pleasure of attending the book launch of Extraordinary Ordinaries by Fr. Séamus Hogan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Although there have been books written about some of Toronto's Catholic bishops and archbishops, this is the first time that biographies of all twelve ordinaries - from Bishop Michael Power to our current Cardinal Thomas Collins - have been brought together in one coherent volume. The book attempts to reach a broad readership with stories of how these Catholic leaders responded to the social, economic and political events of their times in extraordinary ways.

This book is the capstone of the Archdiocese of Toronto's 175th Anniversary celebrations. (It is now available for purchase.)

Congratulations Fr. Séamus!

ARCAT Staff Photo

Father Séamus Hogan graciously signs copies of his new book for the Archives staff. We even got a shout out in the Acknowledgements.

ARCAT Staff Photo

The book launch started with a few words from Fr. Séamus to the audience gathered in the crypt chapel of St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Is it a little weird to hold an event in the crypt chapel? Not at all! This new chapel is one of the last stages in the major cathedral renovation project and the tomb of our first ordinary, Bishop Michael Power, rests behind the altar.
Fr. Séamus also spoke of his connection to the crypt. As the son of the cathedral's then sacristan, he was often sent to the crypt through a trap door to retrieve altar candles. He and his siblings also played in the low, dark crypt among the haphazardly arranged tombs.

ARCAT Staff Photo

Left to right: Author Fr. Séamus Hogan, priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto; Thomas Cardinal Collins, the twelfth ordinary of Toronto who also contributed the book's foreword; outgoing rector of the Cathedral, Fr. Michael Busch, who will be writing his own book about the twelve-year renovation project; and Most Rev. John Boissonneau, bishop of the Western Pastoral Region of Toronto and head of the Archdiocesan 175th Anniversary Committee. 

ARCAT Staff Photo

Building the new crypt chapel required digging down 26 feet from the crypt's original height of 5 feet. Many of the tombs were relocated to the periphery of the space. However Michael Power's tomb remains under the altar of the upper sanctuary, where it was placed when he died of typhus before his cathedral was completed.
Much of the furnishings were recycled from the pre-renovation cathedral, including the Marian side altar, throne and ambo.

ARCAT Staff Photo

The crypt chapel construction has progressed steadily since we last saw it in September 2017 (above). The tomb of the five original Loretto sisters invited to Toronto by Bishop Power was covered at the time. Now the statue that marks the tomb, depicting the three Marys, has been unveiled (see below). 

ARCAT Staff Photo

Though the chapel is awaiting some finishing touches, it has been open for mass since Easter. Fr. Busch told us that a school group was in the chapel recently and one of the children asked if he was opening a restaurant. When asked where his got that idea, the student pointed out all of the pizza ovens.

No comments:

Post a Comment