When Archbishop Thomas Collins accepts the ring and biretta from Pope Benedict XVI he will be a cardinal priest — the middle rank between cardinal deacons and cardinal bishops. Some time after the ceremony he will also receive a titular church in Rome.

Dividing the College of Cardinals into bishops, priests and deacons can be a tad confusing, given that all cardinals must receive episcopal ordination upon being named to the college if they aren’t already bishops. The internal ranking of cardinals reflects a number of historical precedents.

Published in Features

VATICAN CITY - In part to avoid giving the impression that becoming a cardinal is a sacrament or quasi-sacrament, Pope Benedict XVI will use a revised, streamlined prayer service to create 21 new cardinals Feb. 18.

In previous years, the installation ceremony consisted of the consistory on Saturday where the new cardinals received their red hats and the assignment of their titular churches in Rome, followed by a Mass on Sunday where the Pope presented each new cardinal with a ring as “the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter.”

This time, the new cardinals will receive their hats, rings and assignments during the Feb. 18 ceremony. They still will celebrate Mass with the Pope the next day. At the beginning of the Mass, the first of the new cardinals — Cardinal-designate Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples — will express thanks to the Pope on behalf of the group.

Published in Features

- Click here to view the latest catholicregister.org stories about Cardinal Thomas Collins

- Follow The Register's coverage from Rome with the Twitter hashtag #registerinrome

- Visit the archdiocese of Toronto's tumblr page for more links, videos and images

[issuu width=600 height=360 shareMenuEnabled=false showHtmlLink=false shareButtonEnabled=false searchButtonEnabled=false backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120213145325-3bfc806d6b34412495cfeafcd1f595f4 name=cardinalcollins username=catholicregister tag=canada unit=px id=210c4e7b-566f-f004-1010-691ae972570f v=2]

Just 15 Canadian bishops have ever been elevated into the College of Cardinals, and only five of them have been from English Canada.

So Feb. 18 will indeed be historic as Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins becomes Thomas Cardinal Collins, Canada’s 16th cardinal. Pope Benedict XVI will present Collins with a gold ring and the emblematic red adornments of a cardinal — the zucchetto and biretta — and the celebrations will begin.

Despite its grand Catholic church at the top of the hill, Guelph, Ont., is a modest place and home to modest people.

A little bit of Guelph’s heroic modesty lurks in the tabernacle of Our Lady Immaculate Church up on the hill. Somehow in the 1970s the tabernacle door was damaged such that it no longer locked. It was replaced by a more modern tabernacle that some in the parish thought conflicted with their church’s neogothic architecture.

“It was an ugly, monstrous looking thing,” declares John Valeriote, lawyer, amateur historian and stalwart of Guelph’s Catholic community.

Published in Features

A consistory for new cardinals is a serious affair. Forgive me then for telling a story about Thomas Christopher Cardinal-designate Collins that is less than serious, but with a serious point about the man. Which is how Toronto’s new cardinal usually does it himself — serious substance in a man who does not take himself too seriously.

On Feb. 18, Collins will receive the red hat, a cardinal’s biretta fashioned from watered silk. One of my first encounters with him involved another hat — a toque, to be precise.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza