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:


Published in Features

Pope Pius X died on Aug. 20, 1914, just as the First World War was breaking out across Europe. Born in a small Italian village in 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto rose through the Church ranks and was elected pope in 1903. During his 11-year reign, he was conservative when it came to Church doctrine, but was also known for reforming Church hierarchy and for his devotion to the Eucharist. He was canonized in 1954. Upon his death, Register editor Fr. A. E. Burke (right) penned the obituary in the newspaper, then known as The Catholic Register and Canadian Extension. In an excerpt from that story appearing Aug. 27, 1914, Burke reported on the Pope’s final moments and recounts a meeting he once had with him:


Published in Features

June 5 marks the 50th anniversary of the fatal shooting of Sen. Robert Kennedy, less than five years after the murder of his brother President John Kennedy and just two months after Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down. The 42-year-old Catholic senator was the leading candidate for Democratic nomination for the presidency at the time he was shot in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan, and his death 26 hours later prompted mourning around the world. The next day in Toronto, Bishop F.A. Marrocco eulogized Kennedy at a memorial Mass, as reported in The Register of June 15, 1968: 

Published in Features

The world’s most famous quintuplets, the five Dionne girls, were born May 28, 1934 to poor Catholic parents Oliva and Elzire Dionne on their farm near Corbeil, Ont. They were the first quints to survive infancy and were instant global sensations. Fearing they would be exploited, the Ontario government made the girls wards of the province with special legislation (the Croll Bill). It prompted a fierce debate over parental rights, which played out in the pages of The Register. Later, a fierce custody battle resulted in the girls returning to their parents in 1943 after an early childhood that saw them put on public display in a specially-built hospital and nursery called Quintland. In 1998, three surviving sisters won a $2.8 million settlement from Ontario as a result of their exploitation. In the April 11, 1935 Register, the parents made their case against the Croll Bill in a letter to the editor:

Published in Features

Throughout this 125th anniversary year of The Catholic Register, we will be celebrating the rich history of Canada’s oldest Catholic newspaper. This week, rather than our usual Letters to the Editor, we have dipped into the archive to see what issues the newspaper was addressing in 1918 as The Register turned 25 years old.

Published in Canada