Monday, 18 November 2013

Record of the Week: Toronto Visits St. Peter's

On this day in 1626, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was dedicated by Pope Urban VIII exactly 1300 years after the dedication of the original St. Peter's by Pope Sylvester I.

For almost a millennium and a half, St. Peter's has been a popular destination for Catholics from all over the world who go to admire and be inspired by the architecture and art. Toronto Catholics are no exception. Below are a few items from the Archives which document a few visits by Toronto Ordinaries to the famous basilica:

A document certifying that the 'Illustrious and Reverend Joseph Lynch, Bishop of Toronto' visited Pope Pius IX at the 'Basilica of the Principle Apostle' on the 9th day of June, 1862. 

Cardinal McGuigan posing in St. Peter's Square
An undated photograph of delegates to the Second Vatican Council from the back of St. Peter's facing the Holy Father.  Cardinal McGuigan and Archbishop Pocock both served as Council Fathers. 

A cardboard model of St. Peter's Dome created and donated to ARCAT by Fr. Joseph Fenech 

To visit St. Peter's Basilica without leaving your keyboard, check out the virtual tour on the Vatican website.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Record of the week: Catholic military chaplains serving our soldiers

On June 4, 1944 - two days before D-Day - Rev. Michael J. Dalton, Chaplain of the 4th Brigade,
celebrates Mass for soldiers, using a jeep as a makeshift altar.
PH 09W/11P

Friday, 8 November 2013

Revisiting the St. Augustine's Seminary archives

Over the years ARCAT has provided advice about archives and records management to other repositories, including religious archives, partner agencies and institutions.  In 1990, our director, Marc Lerman, was asked to arrange and describe the archives at St. Augustine's Seminary in Scarborough.

The seminary was established in 1913 as the first major seminary constructed in English-speaking Canada for the training of diocesan priests. Lately, the seminary has been under scaffolding for maintenance and renovations.  It was recently decided to move the archives from basement storage to a renovated room on the main floor.

In preparation for the move, our consultation services were again solicited. There had definitely been some accumulation in 23 years! It's always fun to rummage through boxes.  You never know what you'll find...

The main storage room in the seminary basement.  The archives will soon be moved to a renovated room on the main floor. 
Getting organized: laying out all the framed items in the basement corridor. 
An awesome safe.  Unfortunately we could not find the key.
Spectacles with case.
Marc modelling the spectacles.
Mitre and case with clerical collars. Items belonged to Most. Rev. Leonard Wall.  He was an auxiliary bishop of Toronto (1979-1992), and then Archbishop of Winnipeg.  When he retired, Abp. Wall returned to Toronto to reside at the seminary, which explains why his things are stored here.  We found many boxes of textual material and artifacts belonging to Abp. Wall.

The seminary archives has a wonderful photographs collection and much of it has been transferred to ARCAT for preservation purposes.  Yesterday, we installed a display featuring photos from this collection to celebrate the St. Augustine's Seminary's 100th anniversary:

Lobby display case at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Archdiocese of Toronto