Friday, 26 April 2019

Remembering an Irish Priest and Poet

Since 1998 Canada has designated April as National Poetry Month “to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture”.

Last April we celebrated this event by sharing some of the poems Cardinal Carter had written and self published in his book The Poems of a Soul Friend.

These remain some of our staff favourites, however Cardinal Carter was not the only poet in the history Archdiocese of Toronto.
Photograph of Reverend James B. Dollard, from the introduction of Irish Lyrics and Ballads by James B. Dollard, 1917

ARCAT Reference Library 811 DOL 1917
Reverend James Dollard served as pastor in the Archdiocese at St. Columbkilles’s in Uptergrove and St. Monica’s and Our Lady of Lourdes in Toronto. He also wrote and published prose in his free time, specializing in sonnets and Irish ballads.
The Archives has three volumes of Rev. Dollard’s poems in our reference library. While these aren’t what we normally consider reference material, we are happy to have his poems available for researchers to access.
Dollard, James. Irish Mist and Sunshine: A Book of Ballads. Toronto: W.E. Blake, 1901. 

Dollard, James. Poems. Toronto: The Catholic Extension Society of Canada, 1910.

Dollard, James. Irish Lyrics and Ballads. Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild & Steward Ltd, 1917. 
Born in Kilkenny in 1872, many of his poems evoke a sense of longing for the Ireland of yore, often calling the country “Erin” in the style of romantic nineteenth century poets and Irish nationalists. While most of the poems are about Ireland, Father Dollard also wrote poems about Canada and religion.
Reverend Dollard was uncertain that his Irish ballads would be appreciated in North America, and yet the press offered high praise for his 1910 collection. Nathan Haskell Dole wrote in the Boston Book Culture that "Father Dollard's ballads have all the fire and dash of Kipling's with a firmer poetic touch," and Dr. Thomas O'Hagan in his Canadian Essays wrote: "I have no hesitation in pronouncing Father Dollard the best writer of Irish ballad poetry now living. "

Here is a sampling of poems from Rev. Dollard that are particularly relevant to this year’s National Poetry Month theme, “celebrating nature with poetry:”
In Erin.

A broken tower, an ancient cross,
  A brown, bare hill behind;
A sob and a sigh, where the stream flows by,
  A rustling of reeds in the wind.
(Lone whispering of reeds in the wind!) 

A crumbling gable, a ruined cot,
  Dank weeds that batten on the floor;
A gray bog nigh, where curlews cry,
  Like Banshee wailing at the door.
(Ah! The moaning of the Banshee at the door!)

A grim, black coast, and a wintry sea,
  A broken boat on the land,
A fitful caoine from lips unseen,
  Loud clamor of waves on the strand.
(Wild trouble of the waters on the strand.)

A flash of sunshine, a glint of green,
  A hamlet white in the vale;
A laugh and a song where the hurlers throng,
  God’s hope for the future of the Gael.
(Joy springs from the sorrow of the Gael.)

Dollard, James. Poems. Toronto: The Catholic Extension Society of Canada, 1910.

ARCAT Reference Library 811 DOL 1910
Lakes of the North.

Lakes of the North, flash out in sheed,
Of silver and engirdling green,           
        White birch and fragrant tamarac,
Your myriad beauties vainly screen.

Lakes of the North, how quaintly ring  
Those native sounds---Temiskaming,
Temagami of jewelled sands,
And deeply mirrored Couchiching !

Blue spaces of the happy sky,        
Reflected in your waters lie,          
           When in the hush of cloudless day,
The fretful loon makes eldritch cry!

God’s artist free --- the autumn air,      
The shore-line touches here and there,
    Till deep with gold and rubies set,
The bright wave burns --- a crystal rare.

Lakes of the North, though winter close
Your death-cold lips in mute repose,    
  Not all his icy breath can chill,
The glow your lover’s bosom knows. 

Dollard, James. Poems. Toronto: The Catholic Extension Society of Canada, 1910.

ARCAT Reference Library 811 DOL 1910

Song of the Little Villages.*

The pleasant little villages that grace the Irish glynns
Down among the wheat-fields,--- up amid the whins,
The little white walled villages crowding close together,
Clinging to the Old Sod in spite of wind and weather:

Ballytarsney, Ballymore, Ballyboden, Boyle,
Ballingarry, Ballymagorry by the Banks of Foyle,
Ballylaneen, Ballyporeen, Bansha, Ballysadare,
Ballybrack, Ballinalack, Barna, Ballyclare.

The cosy little villages that shelter from the mist,
Where the great West Walls by ocean-spray are kissed;
The happy little villages that cuddle in the sun
When blackberries ripen and the harvest work is done.

Corrymeela, Croaghnakeela, Clogher, Cahirciveen,
Cappaharoe, Carrigaloe, Cashel and Coosheen,
Castlefinn and Carrigtohill, Crumlin, Clara, Clane,
Carrigaholt, Carrigaline, Cloghjordan and Coolrain.

The dreamy little villages, where by the fire at night,
Old Shanachies, with ghostly tale the boldest hearts affright;
The crooning of the wind-blast is wailing Banshee’s cry,
And when the silver hazels stir they say the fairies sigh.

Kilfenora, Kilfinnane, Kinnity, Killylea,
Killmoganny, Kiltamagh, Kilronan and Kilrea,
Killashandra, Kilmacow, Killiney, Killanshee,
Killenaule, Killmyshall, Killorglin and Killeagh.

Leave the little villages, o’er the black seas go,
Learn the stranger’s welcome, learn the exile’s woe,
Leave the little villages, but think not to forget
Afar they’ll rise before your eyes to rack your bosoms yet.

Moneymore, Moneygall, Monivea and Moyne,
Mullinahone, Mullinavatt, Mullagh and Mooncoin
Shanagolden, Shanballymore, Stranorlar and slane,
Toberheena, Toomyvara, Tempo and Stabane.

On the Southern Llanos,--- north where strange light gleams,
Many a yearning exile sees them in his dreams
Dying voices murmur (passed all pain and care)
“Lo! the little villages, God has heard our prayer.”

Lisdoonvarna, Lissadil, Lisdargan, Lisnaskea,
Portglenone, Portarlington, Portumna, Portmagee,
Clonegam and Clonegowan, Cloondara and Clonae,
God bless the little villages and guard them night and day!

*All the names are genuine

Dollard, James. Irish Mist and Sunshine: A Book of Ballads. Toronto: W.E. Blake, 1901

ARCAT Reference Library, 811 DOL 1901

Friday, 19 April 2019

Remembering an Easter Tradition: Agnus Dei

Sunday April 21st marks the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, commonly known as Easter. This holiday concludes Holy Week and is one of the most important times for Christians. People may partake in various traditions: they may attend mass, participate in an Easter egg hunt, and/or get together with loved ones for a meal.

Spanning from the 5th century to the 20th century, a very unique Easter ritual took place: the making of the Agnus Dei sacramental. The Agnus Dei, perhaps the oldest known sacramental of the Church, is a round or oval wax disc made from the wax of the previous year's Easter candles. These candles were collected, melted down, and impressed with a lamb on one side and a saint or the pope on the other. Popes would consecrate these discs on the first year of their pontificate and every seven years following. They would then distribute the discs, often to visiting bishops and Cardinals. With the Lamb of God embossed on them, these discs were seen as a symbol of Jesus' sacrifice.

We have three Agnus Dei in our collection, as well as several documents for the rite and usage for the consecration of Agnus Dei.

This statement was issued in 1862 and roughly translates to, "The Ritual Use of Forms that the Candles are Blessed and Consecrated by the Pope of Rome".

Rite and usage for the blessing and consecration of the 'Cereas Formas', commonly called Agnus Dei (a wax impression).

John Joseph Lynch Fonds
L RC44.01

The Agnus Dei below are two copies of the same impression, consecrated by Pope Pius XI at an unknown date:

Relief of Victorious Lamb/Lamb of God

Special Collections - Artifacts
AF 233

Relief of Victorious Lamb/Lamb of God

Special Collections - Artifacts
AF 233

On the other side, a relief of the bust of St. Andrea:

Relief of bust of St. Andrea

Special Collections - Artifacts
AF 233

Relief of bust of St. Andrea

Special Collections - Artifacts
AF 233

The Agnus Dei below was consecrated by Pope Pius XII in 1935:

Relief of Victorious Lamb/Lamb of God

Special Collections - Artifacts

On the other side, a relief of an unidentified bust:

Relief of an unidentified bust

Special Collections - Artifacts
AF 234

The Agnus Dei practice was largely abandoned following the Second Vatican Council. The last pope to consecrate them was Pope Pius XII.

To read more on the history and significance of Agnus Dei, click here.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Palm Sunday at the Cathedral

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the Second Sunday in Passiontide, the last Sunday of Lent, and the beginning of Holy Week.

On this day, Christians celebrate the triumphal arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem one week before His resurrection. The faithful receive palm leaves which they use to participate in a ritual procession.

Here in the archives we have a wonderful series of photographs that show Cardinal Ambrozic celebrating Palm Sunday Mass in 2005. It's of course interesting to see the Cathedral before the renovation project, but these photographs also document some important Palm Sunday traditions:
  • The vestment colours for Palm Sunday are red and white, symbolizing the redemption in blood that Christ paid for the world.
  • Crosses, statues and images throughout the cathedral are veiled in the purple as a reminder of Lenten penitence for the two weeks of Passiontide.
  • Palm leaves and plants can be seen throughout the church. A cross made of palm leaves is hung from the pulpit, and potted palms decorate the front of the church.

Palm Sunday Mass  at St. Michael's Cathedral. Photographed by Suzanne Scarsone, 2005.

ARCAT OPRC Accession 2005-040

The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is always the passion narrative, however which Book of the Gospel is read depends on the liturgical year. Below are Cardinal Ambrozic's notes for his homily for the Passion Story from the Gospel of Luke (Year C of the Liturgical Calendar). This is the same Gospel that will be read this Sunday:

Palm Sunday - C (2004)

A few remarks about Luke's Passion story:
1) Jesus as Martyr: he is the just man (the remark of the man crucified with him)
2) Jesus' compassion: he is sorry for the Daughters of Jerusalem and their children.
He is sorry for all of us knowing our weakness and sinfulness
He forgives: "Today you will be with me in paradise," "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing"
3) He is our model : we are to follow him.
Simon carrying Jesus' cross behind Jesus.
A book published on the suffering of the Catholics of Oriental rite: Ukraine, Romania.

Cardinal Ambrozic Accession 2007-004 - Homilies, Palm Sunday.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Archives Awareness Week 2019: You're the Translator!


April 1-7 is Archives Awareness Week in Ontario, and we've got a challenge for you! The Archdiocese of Toronto is proud to offer masses in 33 languages. It's wonderful to be able to serve such a diverse community, but one of the challenges of the job is to accurately process material that comes to us that we don't automatically understand. 

It's a bit easier now that we have the Internet, but ARCAT archivists didn't always have that luxury. When the older material in the archives was described, the archivists would have had to rely on people in the building or in the wider Catholic community who spoke languages other than English to provide translations. As you'll see below, it can be especially challenging when trying to decipher handwritten letters.

Now it's your turn to play language detective! We've selected 10 records in different languages, and it's your job to match them to the list below with the help of a few clues in the captions. Good luck!

Polish - Tamil - Italian - Latvian - German - Slovak - Chinese (Traditional) -  Hungarian - Croatian - Korean 

This 1968 booklet explains the history of a community group associated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.

ARCAT Parish Collection

This 1920 letter to Archbishop McNeil was translated by a priest at St. Casimir's Church. It reads,

"I place myself in your hands with a great request with humility from America. I am a priest and was educated in Europe. I received priestly ordination from the Rev. Bishop Carfory of Chicago but if your excellency would accept me I would be very grateful and would be able to unite the _____ people and I would be properly situated with regard to yourself. I place myself in your memory."

MN EC05.15
Archbishop McNeil Fonds

This 1963 booklet on the sacrament of marriage was in the collection of a personal parish established in 1955 and named after Mary, Queen of their country.

ARCAT Parish Collection

This 1956 ad from the Ontario Department of Highways explaining highway signs to newcomers is from the newspaper Nový Domov, which is still in publication today.

MG EN12.46
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

In 1947 the Archbishop of Cologne wrote to his countrymen in Canada to ask for assistance for the people in his area who were suffering as a result of the Second World War.

MG EN03.01
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

The youth of St. Elizabeth Parish were invited to a disco dance in 1977.

This 1875 note is explaining a few facts about Canada, including how many Catholics are members of the cabinet (il gabinetto) and senate (il senato).

L AD04.77
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

This 2002 bulletin comes to us from Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ye Su Sung Shim) Parish.

ARCAT Parish Collection

A 1954 circular for Canadian Catholics hailing from a particular Baltic State.

MG EN06.08
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

A page from the 2013 Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan, which is fully available in six languages and summarized in 30.

Available on the Archdiocese of Toronto Website:  

Scroll down for the answers!

To find a mass in all of these languages and more, you can use the Find a Parish tool:

A. Chinese (Traditional)
B. Polish
C. Croatian
D. Slovak
E. German
F. Hungarian
G. Italian
H. Korean
I. Latvian
J. Tamil