My Dear Friends,Cardinal-Collins-web

On December 17, 2016, the Archdiocese of Toronto celebrated its 175th anniversary, launching a year-long celebration to commemorate this historic milestone. Established in 1841 with 22 parishes and Michael Power as its first bishop, the archdiocese has grown to become a vibrant and diverse faith community of more than two million people. Together we celebrate the sacraments each week in more than 30 languages at our 225 parishes. We are truly blessed.

The Catholic Register has created this special commemorative magazine to reflect on our past, recalling the humble beginnings of our faith journey and to celebrate our many blessings along the way. We are forever indebted to those who came before us, sacrificing much and giving in abundance to plant the seeds of faith, outreach and service for generations to come.

Let us continue to follow their example of generosity and fidelity, ever mindful that our own witness can serve as a beacon of hope, love and inspiration. To all those who serve so faithfully: our priests, religious men and women and Catholics across the archdiocese, be assured of my gratitude for all that you do to spread the Good News.

As we celebrate our 175th anniversary, we ask for God’s blessing in our daily journey of faith. May we continue to build on the foundation established by Bishop Power and all those who have followed.


Yours sincerely in Christ,

CollingSignature

Thomas Collins 

Archbishop of Toronto


ArchCrest web

Anniversary Prayer

A special prayer for the 175th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Toronto

Loving Father,

We turn to you with gratitude for the many blessings you have generously bestowed

upon the people of the Archdiocese of Toronto,

who from the very beginning have arrived here from many nations to find

and strengthen a community of faith,

where we have been able to encounter your Son in our joys and sorrows.

As the Archdiocese celebrates its 175th anniversary,

we ask you to continue to bless your people with the gifts of the Holy Spirit,

so that all clergy, religious and faithful may be gathered and strengthened in their mission of

constantly proclaiming the wonderful works of salvation to all we meet.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My Dear Friends,Cardinal-Collins-web

In the mid 1840s, Michael Power, the first bishop of Toronto, identified the need to construct a cathedral for his new diocese, in which at that time there were only 3,000 parishioners in the City of Toronto itself, and not many more beyond it. Bishop Power’s vision, one that he would not live to see fulfilled, was to pray, to serve and to evangelize throughout the vast region entrusted to his care. Before the cathedral was completed, however, he gave his life in caring for the sick Irish immigrants who came to Toronto in 1847.

The tradition of caring for the spiritual and pastoral needs of our community has continued in the Archdiocese of Toronto, following the example of Bishop Power. Since 1848, St. Michael’s Cathedral has served as the mother church of our archdiocese, now a community of about two million faithful. It is also both a parish church and a destination for pilgrims and tourists alike, with hundreds of thousands visiting the cathedral annually. Over the past several years, the church has undergone a significant restoration to return it to its original beauty, to expand its seating capacity and to preserve it so that it may be a beacon of faith, hope and love for generations to come.

Our cathedral connects every Catholic in the archdiocese, and gathers every pastoral and apostolic work under the heavenly patronage of our great defender in the struggle of life, the archangel Michael. We all need his intercession and protection more than ever.

In the pages that follow, you will learn more about the cathedral, its history and restoration. It is a powerful story of sacrifice, commitment and fidelity. To all those who have contributed to the restoration efforts through their labour, prayers and financial support, be assured of my profound gratitude.

It is my prayer that every Catholic family in the Archdiocese of Toronto take the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to St. Michael’s Cathedral: to pray, to deepen their faith, and to be inspired to witness to Christ Our Lord, in the spirit of those who have gone before us.

We pray that the cathedral will serve as a beautiful sign of God’s presence, a gathering place where the faithful, visitors and community at large are welcomed to enter and to be touched by the sacred, echoing the meaning of the name St. Michael: “Who is like God.” May the physical restoration of the cathedral become the foundation for our own spiritual revitalization.

St. Michael, patron of the Archdiocese of Toronto, pray for us!

Sincerely in Christ,

CollingSignature

Thomas Collins
Archbishop of Toronto

Surrounded by towering condominiums, rumbling streetcars and honking cars today, it’s difficult to imagine that the nickname for St. Michael’s Cathedral long ago was “St. Michael’s in the Fields.”

When Ruslana Makarenko was trying to think of how to design the 30 new shields that run along each side of St. Michael’s Cathedral, two things came to mind.

If you’re going to pick somebody to spend $128 million for you, pick somebody who will enjoy the job. Over the last 10 years, rector Fr. Michael Busch has driven the restoration project at St. Michael’s Cathedral with relish, delight, enthusiasm and purpose.

Toronto is not the new Jerusalem. It is, perhaps, one of the most secular cities in the world.

Restoring the roughly 40 giant stained glass windows of St. Michael’s Cathedral to their original glory takes patience — or at least one would assume so given the extraordinary amount of detailed work that goes into even just one window.

For six months, Mila Tereshchenko has begun her work day with prayer. As a gilder, her job is to quite literally make things shine by applying 24-karat gold leafing to various architectural elements of St. Michael’s Cathedral. Given the prayer that goes into her work and the beauty that comes out of it, it’s clear the divine is in the details.

When the faithful enter the newly refurbished St. Michael’s Cathedral, they will gaze upon statues unlike those found anywhere else. None of these statues come from a catalogue. All were designed by a small team under cathedral rector Fr. Michael Busch that included artisans from a small town in Italy.

Joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous — it’s a tall order. Can any piece of art measure up to the rosary?