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St. Michael’s rededicated as a basilica

TORONTO – A tinkling bell and a jolly umbrella carried up and down the aisles declared St. Michael’s Cathedral the 25th minor basilica in Canada — one more happy moment added onto one of the most significant liturgies in Toronto’s Catholic history.

A message from the Cardinal

My Dear Friends, 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,…

St. Michael’s redux: A cathedral fit for the 21st century

There were times when Fr. Michael Busch feared for St. Michael’s Cathedral. For a few days in June 2015, the rector had to wonder whether the whole thing was about to fall down on top of him.

Cathedral proclaimed Catholics here to stay

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.”

Cathedral shields a natural fit in Catholic worship

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.

Beauty is in the eye of St. Michael’s rector

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.

Cathedral Square a ‘gift for Toronto’

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

Creating stunning works of art runs in family for glassmaker

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.

The divine is in the details

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…

One-of-a-kind statues made by Italian artisans

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.

Bronze doors open the way to the rosary

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

A ceiling fit for the heavens

The starry night sky has always been an invitation to ponder what is greater than ourselves. It is the closest most of us will ever get to confront the ungraspable notion of eternity. The night sky is at once a vault as well as an endless opening to the unknown…

New organ the product of lofty ambition

It’s a tale that everyone who has done a home renovation can understand. As the restoration of St. Michael’s Cathedral grew from a simple bathroom installation to a full-scale restoration, one common phrase was often repeated: “the building will tell us what it needs.”

Leaving no stone unturned

For the masons and stoneworkers at St. Michael’s Cathedral, finishing the job on time meant putting noses to the grindstone by applying grinders to the sandstone.

Loretto sisters receive place of honour in Cathedral Crypts

There are two types of foundations that support a cathedral like St. Michael’s. There is the stone and mortar laid by dedicated workers. And there is the foundation of faith that, in the case of Toronto’s mother church, was cemented by a fledgling Catholic population that included Loretto sisters who…

Irish mason picked up where ancestors left off 170 years ago

By helping to restore St. Michael’s Cathedral, bricklayer Tomas Nugent is cementing his own small place in history. The Irishman has carried on the work of the Irish immigrants who built Toronto’s mother church in the 1840s.