VATICAN CITY - Attending a consistory for new cardinals is something of an ambivalent thing. On balance it is a positive experience, a festive occasion to be sure. Yet there is also an uneasiness, for there are touches of worldliness about it which ought to make a Christian disciple wary.

A consistory is truly a celebration of something particularly Catholic, namely the Roman and Petrine dimensions of the Church. Such occasions of pride and joy strengthen the faith, as they reinforce the bonds of affection that unite Catholics with the successor of St. Peter. The link between the local bishop created a cardinal and the Bishop of Rome is evident enough, and it highlights the communion of all local bishops with the See of Rome, and therefore the unity of the Church universal.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza
February 22, 2012

A cardinal’s joy

Cardinal Thomas Collins is a happy person by nature but there was something particularly joyful about him during his journey to Rome to become a cardinal.

Many people commented on it. He was seldom without a smile, without a quip, without infectious exuberance.

A couple days before he received his red hat, Collins was asked how he was feeling. “Imminently eminent,” he replied, with a broad smile. The next day, wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, he hammed it up for a photographer in St. Peter’s Square, resulting in a picture of pure happiness and contentment.

Published in Editorial

ROME - Roman traffic is chaotic. The speed limit is established by the pace of the car ahead. Stops signs mean ease up a bit on the gas. Signalling a turn is for sissies. Except at major intersections, a red light means look both ways before proceeding.

Published in Editorial

VATICAN CITY  - Leaders and members of the Catholic Church do not have the authority to determine its teaching and structure but are called to ensure its fidelity to Jesus and to the faith passed on by the apostles, Pope Benedict XVI told the 22 new cardinals he created.

"The Church is not self-regulating, she does not determine her own structure, but receives it from the Word of God, to which she listens in faith as she seeks to understand it and to live it," the Pope said in a homily Feb. 19 during a Mass concelebrated with the new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI and the 22 new cardinals he created yesterday concelebrated Mass this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The pope used Bernini’s sculpture of the Chair of St. Peter to illustrate his homily since the Mass marked the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, a liturgical solemnity that highlights Jesus giving Peter the authority to lead the church in love. The statue is topped by a window with a stained-glass dove representing the Holy Spirit.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - More than 10,000 friends, family and supporters bore chilly morning temperatures, pressing crowds and long lines to get a chance to see Pope Benedict XVI place a red hat on their favorite cardinal. Only a few thousands got to see it happen in person.

“We arrived at the main gate at 6 a.m. just like good little pilgrims, in the freezing cold,” said Annette Zaralli Parsons from Richmond, Va.

But then they opened a different gate to let people into St. Peter’s Basilica for the Feb. 18 consistory to create 22 new cardinals from 13 countries “and so the people who had gotten in line later got in. So you should make your headline read: ‘Pilgrims freeze, miss consistory,’” she told Catholic News Service.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI created 22 new cardinals from 13 countries -- including three from the United States and Canada -- placing red hats on their heads and calling them to lives of even greater love and service to the church.

The churchmen who joined the College of Cardinals Feb. 18 included Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Edwin F. O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and former archbishop of Baltimore; and Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Practically everyone knows two things about cardinals -- that they wear red hats and elect the Pope. But what other purpose do these men serve in the Catholic Church?

On the eve of the Feb. 18 consistory where Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled to expand the College of Cardinals by 22 new members, the three North Americans among them shared some thoughts on the meaning of their new role.

Published in Vatican

Other than doing a "happy dance," Canada's newest cardinal every bit resembled a man who just won the lottery.

"It's a tremendous moment of joy," said His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins after Pope Benedict XVI accepted him into the College of Cardinals on a sunny Saturday morning.

"It's astonishing and amazing to be there at St. Peter's, at the tomb of St. Peter," Collins said.

Published in Editorial

ROME - With a wink and a smile, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins describes himself as  "imminently eminent."

That's eminent as in hours away from becoming His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, archbishop of Toronto.

In a ceremony that has been stripped of some of its pomp by Pope Benedict XVI, Collins and 20 other bishops will kneel before the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday morning to be welcomed into the College of Cardinals. The Pope will place a red biretta on the head of each new cardinal and give them an engraved gold ring as well as a scroll with the name of their new honorary parish in Rome. The ceremony will begin at 4:30 eastern time and will be available live on Salt+Light Television.

Published in Editorial

TORONTO - Catholics in the Greater Toronto Area are being invited to pray and celebrate with Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins when he returns from Rome as Canada’s newest cardinal.

Collins and 20 other bishops were to be elevated to the  College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI at a Feb. 18 ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The local celebrations will begin Feb. 29 at a High Pontifical Mass at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral to be followed by a luncheon at a nearby hotel ballroom. Due to the space limitations at the cathedral, these events are by invitation only.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

Cardinal-designate Thomas Collins will be elevated to the College of Cardinals by the Pope at a Vatican ceremony on Feb. 18. Amid a busy schedule as he prepares for that important event, he took time to speak directly to the readers of The Catholic Register by answering a set of prepared questions.

What has your life been like since the announcement on Jan. 6 in terms of public reaction and demands on your time?

In many ways, my daily life hasn’t changed since the Holy Father announced my appointment to the College of Cardinals. My schedule remains as busy as ever, serving the people of the archdiocese of Toronto. Of course, there has been some time involved in preparing for the consistory on Feb. 18, but nothing too onerous.

Published in Features

Thomas Christopher Collins

o Born in Guelph, Ont., Jan. 16, 1947

o Obtained a Bachelor of Arts (English) from St. Jerome’s College in Waterloo, Ont., 1969

o Ordained to the diaconate, May 14, 1972

Published in Features

Thomas Collins began his education in St. Stanislaw’s School in the shadow of Our Lady Immaculate Church in Guelph. High school was just across the way at Bishop Macdonell High School. At every stage, it has been a thoroughly Catholic education.

Published in Features

o Member of Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Permanent Council

o Chancellor, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto

o Chancellor, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto

Published in Features