timeline photo webFORMATIVE YEARS

  • - 1841 Dec. 17: The Diocese of Toronto is created. Michael Power is appointed its first bishop.
  • - 1848 Sept. 29: St. Michael’s Cathedral is consecrated. Catholic population reaches 50,000.
  • - 1850 Sept. 22: Bishop Armand-François-Marie de Charbonnel is installed as second bishop of Toronto. He uses his personal estate to pay off debt on St. Michael’s Cathedral.
  • - 1856: Diocese of Toronto is divided by the creation of the dioceses of Hamilton and London.
  • 1857: House of Providence opens. St. Paul’s Church Cemetery is closed after filling up quickly with the burials of Irish immigrants who had succumbed to typhoid fever.
  • - 1859 April 29: Bishop de Charbonnel resigns, Bishop John Lynch becomes third Bishop.
  • 1870 March 18: Pope Pius IX raises Toronto to an Archdiocese.
  • 1876: Sacred Heart Orphanage is established on the site of today’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
  • 1892: St. Michael’s Hospital is founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
  • 1893: The Catholic Register newspaper is launched.
  • 1908 April 13: Archbishop Fergus Patrick McEvay is appointed Archbishop of Toronto.
  • 1908: Canadian Catholic Church Extension Society is founded (changed to Catholic Missions In Canada in 1999).
  • 1911: Catholic population is 70,000 and total number of churches is 92.
  • 1912 Dec. 22: Archbishop Neil McNeil appointed to head Toronto archdiocese.
  • - 1913: Catholic Charities office is formed. … Aug. 28: Opening of St. Augustine’s Seminary.
  • 1924: China Mission Seminary is established next to St. Augustine’s Seminary, later becoming the Scarborough Foreign Mission Society.
  • 1935 March 20: Archbishop James C. McGuigan is installed in Toronto.

MODERN ERA

  • 1949: Catholic population is 197,000, served by 158 parishes and missions.
  • -  Establishment of the Diocese of St. Catharines.
  • - 1970 April: Toronto School of Theology is incorporated.
  • - 1971: Cardinal McGuigan resigns and is succeeded by Archbishop Philip F. Pocock.
  • - 1974: May-June: The first 26 Permanent Deacons of the Archdiocese of Toronto are ordained.
  • - 1976: ShareLife is established when Archbishop Pocock withdraws the Council of Catholic Charities from the United Way.
  • - 1978 April 29: Archbishop Pocock resigns and Bishop Gerald Emmett Carter is installed.
  • - 1979 May 26: Archbishop Carter is elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals.
  • 1982: Covenant House is established in downtown Toronto.
  • 1984: Catholic population is 1,214,000, served by 214 parishes, missions and chapels.
  • 1985: Ontario Government passes legislation providing full funding to Catholic high schools.
  • 1990 March 17: Cardinal Carter resigns, succeeded by Archbishop Aloysius Ambrozic.
  • -1992: Catholic population is 1,337,000, served by 233 parishes, missions and chapels.
  • 1998 Feb. 21: Archbishop Ambrozic is elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals.
  • - 2000 Nov. 5: Official blessing of St. Paul’s Church as a minor basilica.
  • - 2002 July 23-28: World Youth Day in Toronto, presided over by Pope John Paul II.
  • 2002 Nov. 16: Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute is opened.
  • 2006 Dec. 16: Cardinal Ambrozic resigns and Archbishop Thomas Collins appointed as the 10th Archbishop of Toronto.
  • - 2012 Feb. 18: Archbishop Collins is elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals.
  • - 2016 Sept. 30: St. Michael’s Cathedral officially reopens and is consecrated as a minor basilica after a five-year, $28-million renovation.
  • Today: The Archdiocese of Toronto is Canada’s largest diocese. The Catholic population of 2 million is served by 225 parishes and includes 806 priests and 91 religious orders.

The Sisters of St. Ann have donated $4 million to support the development arm of the Canadian Catholic Church.

Published in Canada

Atheist turned Christian apologist Lee Strobel took on the case of his life in 1980.

Published in Movie News

Surrounded by towering condominiums, rumbling streetcars and honking cars today, it’s difficult to imagine that the nickname for St. Michael’s Cathedral long ago was “St. Michael’s in the Fields.”

Published in St Michael's Cathedral

It’s a long way from Hollywood, yet a swampy corner of southeast Mississippi has given the film world its latest hero — or maybe antihero.

Published in Movie News

MONTREAL – As Montreal prepares to celebrate its 375th anniversary in 2017, it is yet unclear how the city will honor its Catholic heritage.

Published in Canada

Before you get serious about Jesus, first consider how good you’re going to look on wood! Daniel Berrigan wrote those words and they express a lot about who he was and what he believed in. He died April 30 at age 94.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

DUBLIN, Ireland - This Easter marks the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland against British rule, one of the most important events in Irish history.

Published in International

For years the outdated library in the basement of the Bathurst diocesan offices saw more mice and rats than readers, said Bishop Daniel Jodoin. But when pipes burst during the spring thaw, new doors were opened to our nation’s past.

Published in Canada

Body and Blood of Christ (Year B) June 7 (Exodus 24:3-8; Psalm 116; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26)

When we want to stress the seriousness and solemnity of an agreement or contract, we say that it is “written in blood.”

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis by Garry Wills. (Penguin, 288 pages, hardcover, $32.95)

At first glance, Garry Wills’ latest book might appear to offer insight into the life and intentions of Pope Francis. But anyone familiar with Wills’ polarizing views might well guess that is not the case. He does discuss Pope Francis — in the introduction and in the epilogue — but his treatment of the Pope is minimal.

Published in Book News

TORONTO - Highly acclaimed First Nations playwright Drew Hayden Taylor is bringing a poignant play to Toronto about a dark part of Canadian history.

Published in Arts News

WINDSOR, Ont. - A $10-million bid to save Windsor’s historic Our Lady of Assumption Church has fallen through.

Published in Canada

YUKARI BAKRACLI, Turkey - This tiny Kurdish village outside the city of Van in Turkey’s southeast is home to the ruins of a once-famous 11th-century Armenian Christian monastery.

Published in International

We live inside a world and inside religions that are too given to disrespect and violence. Virtually every newscast documents the prevalence of disrespect and violence done in the name of religion, disrespect done for the sake of God (strange as that expression may seem). Invariably those acting in this way see their actions, justified by sacred cause.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser
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