Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick places the Eucharist on a parishioner's tongue during his first mass at St. Michael's Cathedral as Toronto's newest auxiliary bishop. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Bishop Kirkpatrick comes to Toronto

  • July 26, 2012

TORONTO - On the feast day of Jesus' grandparents, a eucharistic celebration in honour of new Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick was held at St. Michael's Cathedral July 26, where his own grandparents were married about 100 years ago.

"I do have some roots here in Toronto," Kirkpatrick told those in attendance at the end of the liturgy. "I went to the seminary here," he said, referring to his time at St. Augustine's Seminary.

Archbishop Thomas Collins was the principal celebrant of the mass, telling the congregation during his homily that teachers of the faith are only effective if they are witnesses to the faith.

"We must practice what we teach," said Collins.  

Ria Kinghorn, a parishioner at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland parish, said she wishes the new bishop every happiness.

"Now they have a full complement of four auxiliaries," said Kinghorn, whose husband Robert is a deacon in the archdiocese of Toronto. "It's wonderful to have another bishop here."

Sr. Demetria Angostura, a Scalabrini sister in the archdiocese of Toronto, said it was a great experience to attend the mass at St. Michael's Cathedral. She said that having another bishop in Toronto is a gift to be thankful for.

"Another shepherd has been given to the Catholic church in the archdiocese of Toronto."

At a reception following the mass, Kirkpatrick said he is a product of the Catholic school system, having attended St. Mary's School, St. Anthony's School, Dennis Morris Catholic High School, St. Jerome's College in Waterloo, St. Augustine's Seminary in Scarborough and St. Paul University in Ottawa.

"All of these schools have certainly had a great influence on me," said Kirkpatrick. "Catholic schools are very much alive in our system today and do have an impact."

But Kirkpatrick said the celebration was not all about him.

"We're celebrating the fact that a priest was ordained as a bishop in the diocese of St. Catharine's who's now going to be serving in the archdiocese of Toronto as auxiliary bishop. In a very real way, we're acknowledging we're all branches in the vine yard of the Lord."

Given that Kirkpatrick has been appointed episcopal vicar for the religious institutes of men and women in the archdiocese, Sr. Annette LaCroix, assistant congregational leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph, spoke to the new bishop on behalf of religious communities."

In the archdiocese, there are more than 1,100 religious men and women all furthering the mission of Christ in the church in various ministries: healthcare, pastoral care, education and many more working directly with the poor.

"Working with religious is not new to you," she said to the bishop, mentioning that he worked with the Carmelites and Sisters of St. Joseph, along with other religious congregations in St. Catharine's.

"So I have it from reliable sources that you are a pastoral, compassionate priest," said LaCroix.  

James Milway, the chancellor of temporal affairs for the archdiocese of Toronto, said he really got a sense during the ordination of the admiration, the affection and the love that people in St. Catherine's have for the new bishop.

"I'm sure we're going to appreciate why the folks in St. Catharine's feel that way about you before too long," said Milway.

Collins ended the celebration by providing testament to Kirkpatrick as to how welcoming the archdiocese of Toronto was to him when he arrived a little over five years ago.

"It's a complex diocese, it's a huge diocese and you would think it would be rather distant, but it's a homey diocese."

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