Friday, 23 September 2016

Feast of the Canadian Martyrs and the Church of the Gesù, Montreal

Monday, September 26 is the Feast of the Canadian Martyrs. Saints Jean de Brébeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles Garnier, Antoine Daniel, Noël Chabanel, Isaac Jogues, René Goupil, and Jean de Lalande were all members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and missionaries to New France in the early to mid-1600s.

Relics of Saints Charles Garnier, Gabriel Lalemant, and Jean de Brebeuf can be found at the Church of the Gesù (L'eglise du Gesù) in Montreal, which I had an opportunity to visit this summer. This impressive church was built as a chapel for the Jesuits and their students at College Sainte-Marie. Both the college and the church were built after the Jesuits returned to Canada in the 1840s. It is modeled after the Jesuit church in Rome of the same name in which St. Ignatius Loyola is buried.

I spent quite a bit of time at Le Gesù taking in the detail of the altar of the Canadian Martyrs located in the the North transept.

ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.
ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.
ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.

The church is notable for the use of the techniques trompe l'oeil and grisaille, which I found lovely. Though the ceiling and walls look as if they have sculpted elements, they are cleverly painted to appear three dimensional.
ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.
ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.
ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.
ARCAT staff photo taken June 2, 2016.
For more information about the Church of the Gesù, check the Archdiocese of Montreal's archives website, Info Archives as well as the website of the Jesuits in Canada.

You can learn more about the Canadian Martyrs closer to home at Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ontario. Canada’s national shrine of the Canadian Jesuit Martyrs is located on a hill beside the historic site of Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons where the Canadian Martyrs worked and where some were martyred. Explore the website of Martyrs' Shrine for detailed stories of each martyr.

Please remember St. Jean de Brébeuf, St. Gabriel Lalemant, St. Charles Garnier, St. Antoine Daniel, St. Noël Chabanel, St. Isaac Jogues, St. René Goupil, and St. Jean de Lalande in your prayers on the feast day of the Canadian Martyrs, Monday, September 26.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Taking a Closer Look at the Chasuble

This week, we'd thought we'd feature a few interesting chasubles that are in ARCAT's collection. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the chasuble, it is the liturgical vestment that is worn over other vestments, such as an alb, an amice, and a stole. Chasubles in the "Roman" style have a fiddleback shape in the front, whereas more contemporary chasubles are oval-shaped with a round hole in the middle for the head to pass through.

Chasubles come in many different colours, and some of them are very decorated with embroidery and needlework. Some are used for daily use, whereas others are for specific occasions. Below you will find five examples from here in the Archives.

This is a contemporary chasuble that was worn by Cardinal Ambrozic during a World Youth Day event in 2002. It is embroidered with grapes, wheat sheaves, leaves, and a cross.
Textile Artifact TX.25a

Closeup of the detail on Textile Artifact TX.25a

This funeral chasuble is made of heavy grey wool with grey darker trim. The purple felt applique contains embroidery.
Textile Artifact TX.50a
Closeup of the detail on Textile Artifact TX.50a

Donated by St. Joseph's Convent in 1988, this reversible chasuble was part of the Mass Kit used by the C.S.J. in teaching school children about liturgical objects.
Front and back of Textile Artifact TX12.a

This is an example of a wartime Chaplain's chasuble. It is a reversible set.
Textile Artifact TX.49a
Reversible side of Textile Artifact TX.49a

This chasuble from the early 20th century was removed from St. Margaret's Parish, Midland, after a fire in the 1980s. Though a bit stained, the chasuble and its detail are still impressive.
Front and back of Textile Artifact TX.08a
Closeup of the detail on Textile Artifact TX.08a
Closeup of the detail on Textile Artifact TX.08a

Friday, 9 September 2016

Studying the early 20th century way

As many students return to the classroom this week, we wanted to share what it looked like to hit the books in the early 20th century. The photos below were taken while their subjects were studying at St. Augustine's Seminary in Scarborough.

Fr. Kirby as a Student
PH 26S/73P

Gerald Joseph Ignatius Kirby was ordained in 1916 and became Monsignor Kirby in 1946. As a young priest he was Chancellor and Secretary to Archbishop Neil McNeil and Rector of St. Michael's Cathedral. He also served as a Diocesan Consultor, was the Spiritual Director at St. Augustine's Seminary, and Dean of the West Toronto Deanery; to name just a few of the offices he held.

Hugh Gallagher of Orillia
PH 26S/80P

Hugh Francis Gallagher was ordained in 1924 and likewise had a storied life as a priest in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Most notably, he served as Director of the Catholic Charity Bureau in Toronto from 1932 to 1946. This body later became Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

You may be using an entirely different type of notebook, but we hope these priestly examples of good study habits inspire you to work hard.

ARCAT wishes all students young and old the best with their studies this year!

Friday, 2 September 2016

We've Been Having Fun All Summer Long

On the old Welland canal - Martindale
Port Dalhousie in distance

Monsignor Clair Collection

Time to get in some canoeing while you still can. Have a great long weekend!

Friday, 26 August 2016

A Place of Rest and Quiet

On August 28, 1913, St. Augustine's Seminary was dedicated. We have posted many photos of the Seminary and its students in the past, and this week we are featuring the Seminary's chapel. Architect A.W. Holmes drew inspiration for St. Augustine's from Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. It is speculated that the chapel was inspired by another Florentine church, the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

From The People Cry: Send Us Priests: The First Seventy-Five Years of St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto, 1913-1988, p. 24-26 by Rev. P.J. Carefoote:

"...Fittingly, the Chapel forms the 'heart' of the central Seminary building, intersecting it in the centre of its three hundred and fifty-six foot length. The Chapel is one hundred and four feet long and forty feet wide, accommodating a congregation of up to 220 people... The original sanctuary with its clean lines and very clear focus was a visual lesson on the Eucharist in itself. Its only decoration was the German stained-glass windows of such topics as "Sacrifice of Melchizedek," "The Crucifixion" and "The Last Supper" by Mayer and Company. The sanctuary depiction of the Incarnation, when the Word was made flesh, continues the ancient tradition in the Church of highlighting that space where the Word is made truly present again and again."

A hand-coloured black and white photo of a liturgical event in the Seminary chapel.

St. Augustine's Seminary Photograph Collection


A hand-coloured black and white photograph of the high altar.

St. Augustine's Seminary Photograph Collection


"The original suggestion made by Mayer and Company for the four rose windows was to portray the four great doctors of the Church. While this would certainly have harmonized with the heavenly patronage of Augustine, it would not have been faithful to the underlying decorative schema. Instead, the symbols of the four evangelists are rendered, again accenting the apostolic endeavor of this institution to preach the Word, thereby making Christ present in the world forever..."

St. Augustine's Seminary Photograph Collection

"A major renovation of the Chapel was directed in 1959 under the technical advice of Sir James Haffa, Architect. Retaining the steps and mensa of the original marble altar, the main altar and reredos were remodeled using a variety of shades and textures of polished marble... The marble statue of St. Augustine... was removed and the space filled in so that an Italian marble crucifix could be erected. Added to each side of the reredos were wooden statues of Saints Augustine and Monica."

A view of the organ loft.

"As the "house of God and gate of heaven" this chapel, then, is an overall success ...Of it can be sung ... "How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts!" ... This holy place is a place of rejoicing, where God makes himself present in the word of his Apostles and prophets and in the Sacrament of the Altar. It is a place of rest and quiet where God is encountered in peace. It is a place where the Most High dwells among his children."

PH 26A/04CP

"In 1964 the seating was altered from choir stalls to congregational arrangement, which is excellent for participation in the Eucharist and for private devotion, bit is not the happiest arrangement for the Divine Office. At this date, also, the marble altar was replaced by the present granite table, with the central, 'chi-rho' panel of the old high altar coming into new use as the altar of reservation. In general, however, the Chapel has a very prayerful mood about it, owing to its colour scheme and the chastity of its clean design and decoration."

For more on St. Augustine's Seminary, check their website.

Friday, 19 August 2016

ARCAT Goes to The Ex

The 2016 Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) -- or The Ex, as we all know it -- opens today in Toronto. This annual tradition, formerly called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, started in 1879 and is Canada's largest community event. To celebrate the CNE, here are some photographs from ARCAT's collection of other events that have happened on the CNE grounds.

Despite the Canadian military occupying parts of the CNE grounds during World War I, the CNE continued to be held each year. During World War II, however, the entirety of the CNE grounds was used by the military, so the fair was not held during those years. A rally and a mass were held at the Stadium for the soldiers in 1944.

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944
Note the ad for cigarettes way in the back at the top of the stadium.

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944
Note the other interesting ads in the background.

Soldiers' Rally and Mass, CNE Stadium, 1944
Rosary created by humans and sheets

Photo credit: Pringle & Booth Ltd., Toronto


Cardinal McGuigan participated in the Rosary Crusade in Toronto.
Cardinal McGuigan at the Rosary Crusade, CNE Stadium, ca. 1961


Every opening day must have a ceremony!
Archbishop Pocock sits third from right at the opening day ceremonies
at the CNE bandshell, August 15, 1974


Pope John Paul II attended the Polish Rally at the CNE Stadium during his Papal Visit to Canada in 1984.
Pope John Paul II speaks to a large crowd at the Polish Rally,
CNE Stadium, September 14, 1984

Photo credit: Foto Felici, Rome


The CNE runs for 18 days. More information about the CNE, including its long and interesting history, can be found on their website. Let's go to The Ex!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Go for the (Catholic) Gold

We're now halfway through the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This year, the world gets to watch more than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries compete in 28 sports. It is inspiring to be able to witness these incredible feats of human strength, endurance, and skill. Each competitor should be congratulated for making it that far, but only a fraction will make it to that apex of accomplishment, the medalists' podium.

Those who use their strength of character, endurance of spirit and God-given skills in service of the Catholic Church can also be recognized with medals: the Benemerenti medal and the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice.

The Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pontiff) was originally awarded by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It is currently awarded to laypeople and clergy for service to the Church. The design has changed over time, but the present medal consists of a Greek cross featuring images of Saints Peter and Paul. The cross hangs from a ribbon of the Papal colours yellow and white. The examples we have in the ARCAT collection date from the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II:

Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice

ARCAT Special Collections
Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice

ARCAT Special Collections

The Benemerenti (Good Merit) Medal was originally awarded by Pope Pius VI in 1791 as a military decoration for "courage in defense of the temporal Papal States." In 1925 it also became an award for civilian lay people and clergy who deserved special recognition. The current design of the medal is a Greek cross featuring an image of Christ with the Papal tiara and crossed keys on the left, and the shield and motto of the reigning Pontiff on the right. The medal also hangs from a ribbon of yellow and white.

Benemerenti Medal

ARCAT Special Collections
Benemerenti Medal

ARCAT Special Collections

Recipients of these honours are recommended to the Vatican by diocesan officials. The Vatican then sends the medals and paperwork for the Ordinary to bestow:

Cardinal McGuigan bestows the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice in St. Michael's Cathedral.

November 3rd, 1957
PH 31P/01P 
Two recipients of the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice, Mary and Dorothy Flynn. Note the difference in medal design.

March 31st, 1963
PH 31P/02CP 

For more information, check the excellent reference book by James-Charles Noonan, Jr. entitled The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church.