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:


Bringing the Mass to the masses: Eucharistic celebration in unexpected places

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Canon law prescribes that Mass be celebrated in a “sacred place” such as a church or a chapel consecrated by a bishop. That is why, for example, there are strict rules forbidding the celebration of wedding Masses at locations such as a beach or garden patio. 

The Register Archives: Ailing Pope lives up to his WYD promise

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Despite declining health, Pope John Paul II made good on his promise on July 23, 1984 by stepping off a plane in Toronto to attend World Youth Day celebrations. The Register covered every angle of the massive event, including the Pope’s arrival at Pearson airport, as Christl Dabu reported in the paper’s special World Youth Day 2002 edition:


Canadian Church coming to terms with Humanae Vitae

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Canadian controversy over Humanae Vitae began long before Pope Paul VI issued his controversial encyclical.

The Register Archive: Fr. Andy Hogan is Parliament's first priest-MP

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Fr. Andrew Hogan made history on July 8, 1974, becoming the first Roman Catholic priest to be elected to the House of Commons. Better known as Father Andy, he would serve two terms before losing in the 1980 election. He died in 2002. There have been two other priests who were MPs at the same time — Fr. Bob Ogle (NDP, 1979-84) and Fr. Raymond Gravel (Bloc Quebecois, 2006-08). In 1980, the Vatican banned priests from seeking political office, though bishops could grant special permission. The Register’s Dan Mothersill wrote about Hogan’s historic victory in the July 20, 1974 issue:


The Register Archive: Regina Cyclone brings church to its knees

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On June 30, 1912, a tornado dubbed the Regina Cyclone swept through the city and became the deadliest in Canadian history, killing 28 people. Much of the city was damaged or destroyed, prompting a front-page plea to The Register’s readers in the July 11, 1912 edition from a priest who experienced the storm first-hand:


The Register Archive: A free Mandela brings message to Canadians

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Just four months after being released from a South African prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela, the country’s future president, was in the midst of an international tour, visiting countries that had supported the long fight for his release and against South Africa’s apartheid policies. Canada was one of those stops, as reported by Tonia Desiato in The Register of June 30, 1990.


The good Earth: Family protects creation with sustainable farming

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The Baker family went back to land —literally — two years ago. Since then, they’ve met the challenges of sustainable farming and discovered the joys of guarding God’s creation.

The Register Archives: Full school funding brings more pressure

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On June 12, 1984, Ontario Premier Bill Davis surprised everyone with the announcement that the province’s Roman Catholic schools would be put on equal footing with the public school system and be fully funded through the end of high school. The end of the long fight to secure the funding — which included intense lobbying efforts by Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter — also brought out some words of caution by The Catholic Register’s Fr. Tom Raby in his column of June 30, 1984:

Head of world's Jesuits thinks Pope will apologize to Canada's Indigenous

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Though it all hinges on an invitation from Canada’s bishops, the superior general of the world’s 17,000 Jesuits — including Pope Francis — is certain the Pope will issue an apology on Canadian soil for Catholic involvement in Canada’s residential school system.