David Sylvester was installed as the new president of the University of St. Michael’s College on Oct. 4 at St. Basil’s Church in Toronto. Here is an edited transcript of his speech that day, reflecting on the importance of the school and of Catholic education:

The Register Archives: Br. André’s healing miracles continue after death

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It was eight years ago this week that Canada’s Br. André Bessette was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. The humble Holy Cross brother who was instrumental in the construction of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal died Jan. 6, 1937 at the age of 91. Over his remarkable life and in the years since, he has been credited with many miraculous healings. During the six days after his death, up to a million people filed past his coffin, surrounded by hundreds of crutches and canes from pilgrims who attested to his gifts. Here is an excerpt from The Register of Jan. 21, 1937:


New Basilian superior general faces tough challenges

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As lofty and august as the title superior general may sound, Basilian Fr. Kevin Storey has no illusions about his next four years leading 154 men who teach and preach in Basilian parishes, universities and high schools from Colombia to Canada. 

Jesuit’s passion is written in the stars

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For most scientists, the next move after completing a PhD at Princeton University is to join an important research project at a big, prestigious university or institute. Adam Hincks took his advanced degree and experience in scientific cosmology and joined a group that has been investigating the universe for 500 years — the Jesuits.

Chalice sponsorship program bring new joy to the Church in developing countries

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On the day of a priest’s ordination, he receives from his bishop the most important tool of his ministry: the chalice. 

Vatican honours Toronto couple for their years of service to the Church

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You’d almost think it wasn’t a big deal to Anne and Dane MacCarthy, the Vatican honouring the Toronto couple for their years of service to the Church.

Report puts Canada’s vocations to religious life in focus

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For cloistered communities like the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, interaction with the outside world can be very limited. Yet, vocations in Canada are growing for the order. 

The Register Archives: Vatican II begins its historic journey

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It was 56 years ago this week — Oct. 11, 1962 — that the Second Vatican Council began its work of addressing how the Church should adapt to the modern world. Vatican II ended three years later and the changes formed the basis of much of the Church’s liturgy and teaching to this day. The massive task of the council, mandated by Pope John XXIII, began with much pomp and ceremony, as The Register reported in its Oct. 13, 1962 issue.


The Register Archives: Pope takes a quick bite out of Big Apple

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Pope Paul VI made papal history on Oct. 4, 1965, becoming the first pontiff to ever leave Europe and the first to leave Italy since 1809. His destination (he’s also the first to travel by plane) was New York City, where he spent a grand total of 14 hours on the ground. He packed a lot into the quick trip, including a meeting with President Lyndon Johnson and a speech to the United Nations. Here’s a report in the Oct. 9, 1965 issue of The Register on part of Pope Paul’s historic visit.


The Register Archive: Thousands pay tribute to Canada’s martyrs

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Sept. 26 is the feast day of Canada’s martyrs — St. Jean de Brebeuf, St. Noel Chabanel, St. Antoine Daniel, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Jean de Lalande, St. Charles Garnier and St. Gabriel Lalemant — who worked among the Huron-Wendat people in the 1600s. They were canonized in Rome by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930, but the occasion also drew large crowds to Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ont. The Register recounted the scene of that special day in this excerpt from the July 3, 1930 issue:

Noronic fire at Toronto dock sends St. Michael's Hospital into action

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The SS Noronic was called “The Queen of the Lakes” for more than 30 years, cruising to ports around the Great Lakes with hundreds of passengers enjoying her many creature comforts. It all ended in the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 1949 when fire swept through the ship while it was docked in Toronto. The blaze killed 119 and sent the city’s emergency workers scrambling to help. Some of those efforts were recounted on the front page of The Register’s Sept. 24, 1949 issue: