The making of a Cardinal - Thomas Christopher Collins

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Just 15 Canadian bishops have ever been elevated into the College of Cardinals, and only five of them have been from English Canada.

So Feb. 18 will indeed be historic as Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins becomes Thomas Cardinal Collins, Canada’s 16th cardinal. Pope Benedict XVI will present Collins with a gold ring and the emblematic red adornments of a cardinal — the zucchetto and biretta — and the celebrations will begin.

With this 27-part commemorative section, we are getting a head start on the celebration. Our team of editors, writers and designers have created a keepsake that’s full of information to help navigate and enjoy the consistory where Collins will join 21 other bishops in becoming a cardinal.

This special section contains a superb profile by associate editor Michael Swan that traces the life path of an altar boy from Guelph, Ont., who became a scholar, priest, bishop and now cardinal. Our comprehensive coverage includes the thoughts of Collins on the eve of this historic event, perspectives from some of The Register’s popular columnists, plus much more.

It speaks to the popularity of Cardinal-designate Collins that the souvenir pullout we published on February 12th is so large. We began this project envisioning 24 pages. But after a staggering response from so many people, parishes and organizations that wanted to extend their congratulations, the section almost doubled in size. Together with our regular paper, this 60-page edition of The Catholic Register is the largest we may have ever published.

There are two ways to read all the new material featured in the section. You can view it exactly as it appeared on paper with the ISSUU viewer at the top of this page, or you can use the links below to view the articles and images here on

I will have the privilege of joining about 150 Canadians who will accompany Collins on a week-long pilgrimage to Rome. In addition to extensive coverage in The Register’s Feb. 26 issue, I will file reports to our web site and frequent updates through Facebook and Twitter. You’re all invited to follow along.

Jim O’Leary
Publisher and Editor