Features/Features

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:


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.


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:


Regina's Mother Teresa Middle School built to change lives

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From roots planted in the troubled North-Central neighbourhood of Regina has blossomed a unique group of youth who are making strides to break the cycle of poverty that is their everyday reality.

The Register Archive: Catholics on edge of war pray for ‘fortitude’

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When Britain declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939, it was just a formality that Canada would follow suit, which it did a week later. As the war clouds darkened and Canadian troops prepared for the Second World War, Archbishop of Toronto James McGuigan issued a pastoral letter, published in The Register on Sept.  7, 1939:


Clericalism: Abuse and the dynamics of power

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By now thousands of people have either scoffed at or praised Pope Francis for responding to another round of sexual abuse revelations with a long letter condemning clericalism. 

The Register Archives: Mother Teresa offers lesson for teachers

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St. Mother Teresa died Sept. 5, 1997 at age 87 after a lifetime of work with the poor in India. The founder of the Missionaries of Charity made several visits to Canada over the years and, in 1988, also recorded a message for the 100th anniversary of the Edmonton Catholic Schools. Here’s that message as reprinted in the pages of The Register after her death 21 years ago.


A mix of emotions as students begin first year of high school

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Dorina Vadasz frankly admits, “I’m nervous. I don’t know anybody.” Mireya Salas’s older sister told her that high school is “horrible.” Dante Dominguez figures he will be happy with a B, but claims he will “try for the A.” Marie Attica is looking forward to starting a high school athletic career in soccer.

New president building blueprint for success at University of St. Michael's College

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Construction crews have been busy completing a $4-million renovation of 80-year-old Brennan Hall in the centre of the University of St. Michael’sCollege, but there’s more to what’s happening on campus than the crack of hammers and the whirr of electric drills, insists the college’s new president.