Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Record of the Week: Nativity stained glass window

A Merry, Joyful Christmas to All!

In 1976 Canada Post issued a Christmas stamp depicting a stained glass window from St. Michael's Cathedral.  It is the central portion of the Nativity of Our Lord window.  For the sesquicentennial of the Archdiocese of Toronto in 1991, a photograph of the stamp was reproduced as part of an anniversary calendar that was published.
The month of December in the Archdiocese of Toronto's 150th Anniversary Calendar.
The 1976 eight-cent stamp was reproduced courtesy of the Canada Post Corporation

The Nativity is part of a series of fourteen windows located on the north and south walls of the nave. They were created in the nineteenth century and are of Austrian and Bavarian origin. Many of the records associated with their production were destroyed during the bombing of Munich during the Second World War.  The Nativity window was installed 100 years ago - in May 1913 - as a memorial to Eugene McLean French, a former parishioner.
Nativity of Our Lord window at St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto.
It is located on the west-most side of the north wall of the nave.
Photo courtesy Archdiocese of Toronto.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas is Coming!

We decorated the ARCAT offices for Christmas.
Don't want to brag too much but our staff is pretty good with scissors!
These snowflakes may look familiar to you if you are a fan of Game of Thrones:

Don't look too closely or you may notice some missing appendages.

We can't take all the credit though. You can download these amazing templates by Krystal Higgins.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Record of the Week: The Diocese of Toronto is erected

Happy Birthday Archdiocese of Toronto!

Today is a pretty special day for the archdiocese - one that its archivists have etched into their brain matter.

On this day in 1841, Pope Gregory XVI erected a new see encompassing the western half of Upper Canada. On the same day, Michael Power was appointed ordinary of the diocese, making him the first English-speaking bishop born in Canada. The pope also allowed Power to choose the episcopal city (lucky for us, it was Toronto).

Also celebrating a birthday today is Pope Francis, who turns 77! Buon Compleanno!

Parchment brief of Pope Gregory XVI erecting a new See in Upper Canada and
allowing Michael Power to choose the episcopal city.
Bishop Michael Power fonds, Roman Correspondence, PRC2302

Visit our historical timeline for more information on the early years of the Diocese of Toronto.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Record of the Week: Saturday Night Shopping

With holiday shopping really gearing up, it can be hard to remember a time when there was no Sunday shopping or 24-hour superstores or Cyber Monday sales.

Well, here's a historical reality check for you!

In this letter, dated 18 January 1887, Archbishop Lynch is petitioned by 248 "girls engaged in the different dry goods stores" in Toronto.  They would like his aid and influence in shortening their hours of labour on Saturday nights.  The shop girls hope the archbishop will support them "by asking the Ladies to do their purchasing early in the day."

Archbishop Lynch fonds, LAH32.06

Monday, 2 December 2013

Record of the Week: Violet Liturgical Vestments

Often when people think of archives, they think of boxes full of paper. We do have lots of those, but we also have photographs, objects and textiles that help tell the story of the Archdiocese.

This week's Record of the Week is a good example of part of our Textiles collection which we chose because yesterday was the First Sunday in Advent.

In the Catholic Church, the colours of the vestments that priests and deacons wear and the cloth on the altar correspond to certain liturgical seasons. For Advent and Lent the colour is violet, which represents penitence and preparation for the coming of Christ.

The vestments below were brought to the Archives after a fire at St. Margaret's Church in Midland in 1986. They are an older style which was in use prior to the Second Vatican Council.

Roman Fiddleback Chasuble
Clockwise from the top: Veil, Stole, Burse, and Maniple

Check out the Vatican website for more information about Liturgical Vestments.