Friday, 17 March 2017

A Real Work of Arch

In December 1841, the diocese of Toronto was created out of the Archdiocese of Kingston. It remained a diocese for over 28 years. During that time, the diocese had three bishops, including John Joseph Lynch, who became the third Bishop of Toronto in April 1860 after the resignation of Bishop de Charbonnel. On March 18, 1870, at Vatican Council I, Pope Pius IX raised the See of Toronto to metropolitan status, making it an archdiocese and thereby elevating Lynch to first Archbishop of Toronto. To celebrate this anniversary, this week's blog features some documents relating to these two special events.

Lynch had written to a couple of cardinals in 1865 about why Toronto should be raised to a metropolitan see. A few years later, he wrote to Pope Pius IX requesting the same:

Letter from (at that time) Bishop Lynch to Pope Pius IX, written in Latin,
September 21, 1868

L RC50.18
Archbishop Lynch fonds


Bishops from a number of dioceses also appealed together to the Holy See for the See of Toronto be raised to metropolitan status:

Copy of a letter from the bishops of Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, [unknown], Toronto, and Sandwich
to the Holy See, written in Latin,
January 29, 1870

L RC52.06
Archbishop Lynch fonds


We thought it would be fun to share the beautiful full-page watermark on the second page of the bishops' letter:

L RC52.06
Archbishop Lynch fonds


It is unclear how much influence, if any, the letters from Bishop Lynch and others had on the pope's decision to raise the See of Toronto to metropolitan dignity, but it became official with this papal bull:

March 18, 1870

L RC52.09
Archbishop Lynch fonds


Here is the papal bull of Lynch's nomination as first Archbishop of Toronto:

March 18, 1870

L RC52.10
Archbishop Lynch fonds


Archbishop Lynch wrote a pastoral letter while in Rome regarding the erection of the Archiepiscopal See (Archdiocese) of Toronto:

First page of Abp. Lynch's pastoral letter,
April 6, 1870

L AA11.05(a)
Archbishop Lynch fonds


Archbishop Lynch's official induction was in September 1870. He sent a copy of the letter below to the Prime Minister, the Premier of Ontario, and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to inform them of the news:

St. Michael's Palace
Sept. 15, 1870

Excellency
I have the honor to inform you that his Holiness Pope Pius IX has been pleased to elevate me to the dignity of Archbishop of the See of Toronto. This however will cause no modification with regard to the Roman C.[atholic] Episcopal Corporation for the diocese.
I have the honor to be
Your Excellencies
Most obt. servt.

Copies of the above were sent to Sir John A. Macdonald, Hon. J. S. Macdonald, Hon. W. P. Howland, Lieut. Gov.

L AH15.07
Archbishop Lynch fonds


Lynch received a reply from Hon. W. P. Howland, congratulating him on his promotion:

Government House
Toronto. 16th September 1870

My Lord Archbishop
I have the honor to acknowledge your Grace's letter of the 15th inst. acquainting me that His Holiness Pope Pius IX has been pleased to elevate you to the dignity of Archbishop of the See of Toronto, upon which event permits me to render to Your Grace my hearty congratulations.
I have the honor to remain Your Grace's most obedient servant
W. P. Howland
Lt. Governor

L AH15.02
Archbishop Lynch fonds

Lynch remained Archbishop until his death on May 12, 1888, and is buried in the garden of St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto.

The Archdiocese of Toronto is having a year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary with many activities. For more information, please see the media release.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.

These days we mostly use our phones for Facebook, Candy Crush, and cat videos, but that wasn't always so. The telephone's development had a profound impact on the way we interact with each other. On March 10th, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell wrote in his journal about the first successful telephone conversation, which took place in Brantford, Ontario.
"Mr. Watson was stationed in one room with the Receiving Instrument. He pressed one ear closely against S and closed his other ear with his hand. The Transmitting Instrument was placed in another room and the doors of both rooms were closed.
"I then shouted into M the following sentence: "Mr. Watson - Come here - I want to see you." To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said. 
"I asked him to repeat the words. He answered, "you said Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you." We then exchanged places and I listened at S while Mr. Watson read a few passages from a book into the mouth piece M. It was certainly the case that articulate sounds proceeded from S. The effect was loud but indistinct and muffled. If I had read beforehand the passage given by Mr. Watson I should have recognized every word. As it was I could not make out the sense - but an occasional word here and there was quite distinct. I made out "to" "and" "out" and "further", and finally, the sentence "Mr Bell do you understand what I say? DO -YOU-UNDER-STAND-WHAT-I-SAY" came quite clearly and intelligibly." 

By 1877 private telephone lines were being sold to the public. An August 13th, 1877 ad in the Globe explained,
"The SPEAKING TELEPHONE of Prof. Alexander Graham Bell has now attained to such simplicity and cheapness, as renders it universally available for public, private, social, or business communications. It needs no battery, and has no moving machinery, and no skill is required, except to speak plainly and listen attentively. The instrument is neat and portable, and an ornament to any room or office.
"The Telephone conveys the quality of the voice, so that the person speaking can be recognized at the other end of the line. It enables the manufacturer to talk with his factory superintendent, the main office with the branch office, the house with the store, the country residence with the stables or any part of the grounds, the mouth of the mine with its remotest workings, or, in short, any given point with any other point, although many miles apart
"The yearly cost to the lessee for a set of Telephones - one at each end of his line - is twenty dollars. The Proprietors keep the instruments in repair, without charge, and the lessee has no expense in working them." 

A review of the year 1878 published in the Globe on January 1st, 1879 had this to say:
"Wonderful improvements have been made in the telephone and phonograph, both of them inventions of the year before last, but dating their usefulness from 1878 ... The telephone is coming into extensive use in all the large cities."

A directory of Toronto's telephone subscribers was first published on April 1st, 1879.

Here in the archives, the earliest records we have of a telephone line date from 1887. The Bell Telephone Company of Canada charged thirty dollars per year to rent a "telephone apparatus" at St. John's Grove, where Bishop Lynch lived.

Bell Telephone Company telephone apparatus rent receipt.

L AN01b

July 26th, 1887
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

In November of that year, the house paid $1.20 for long distance calls to Peterborough, St. Catharines, Pickering and Bradford.

Long distance bill.

L AN01b

November 1st, 1887
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

You can read more about the development of the telephone in Toronto here, here, here and here.

Bonus: A report of a dinner at the University of Toronto in the June 11th, 1879 issue of the Globe included an eerily accurate speech about the future of universities:
"With the wonderful advancement that science was making, the time would no doubt come when the whole Dominion would be taught by a University located among the Rocky Mountains, with connections by telephone from Vancouver Island to Cape Breton. (Laughter.) ... Then the tranquil professor would quietly sit in his study and teach the classes who sat around their telephones in far distant cities. The student also by means of the phonograph might have the words of the lecturer continually in his ear, even after the worthy old gentleman had passed away."

Friday, 3 March 2017

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller

On this date 130 years ago, Anne Sullivan began teaching Helen Keller. Helen was six years old. She had lost her sight and hearing due to a severe illness at just 19 months old. Anne worked with Helen for nearly 50 years. It is a story of perseverance, determination, and friendship. Over time, Helen learned to read, write, and speak. She graduated from college and became an author, public speaker, and activist. Without Anne  and, therefore, without education  it is unlikely that Helen would have flourished as she did. This week's blog features a few items in ARCAT's collection about the religious and academic education of people who are blind and/or deaf in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb (renamed Ontario School for the Deaf in 1913 and currently Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf) opened in Belleville in October 1870. Its principal, Wesley "Willie" J. Palmer, was eager to recruit students. He sent Archbishop Lynch a circular about the new school and was hoping to spread the word as far as possible:


Belleville, January 20th, 1871

Rev & Dear Sir.
I beg leave to call your attention to the enclosed circular which I am sending out to many clergymen and prominent citizens of the Province. I would be pleased to send you about 50 copies if you would distribute them among the clergy in your diocese. I am not acquainted with the Bishop of Kingston. Could I take the liberty of sending him some of these circulars? The school is opening quite favorably. I expect to be in Toronto within a month accompanied by some of my pupils to give an exhibition before the members of the Legislature and Citizens showing our method of instruction &c. Do you think the pupils I spoke to you about will be sent to our Institution? I would be glad to have them here as soon as possible. Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience. I have the honor to be 
Your obedient Servant
W. J. Palmer, Principal

L AE10.03
Archbishop Lynch fonds


Circular re: recruitment for the new Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb
(shortened to Ontario Institution for the Deaf and Dumb on letterhead)

L AE10.02
Archbishop Lynch fonds

Paul Denys, a teacher at the Ontario Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, provided Archbishop Lynch with an update on the progress of the Catholic students at the school:

"I take much pleasure every now and then in informing Your Grace of the number of Catholic children in the Institution, of their progress and doings. ... I have now under my care 33 Catholic pupils -- 21 boys and 12 girls -- eight of whom will have the 
happiness of being confirmed tomorrow in the church, along with a number of the speaking children."

January 8, 1879

L AE10.13
Archbishop Lynch fonds

The Ontario School for the Blind (now W. Ross Macdonald School) was founded in March 1872 in Brantford as the Ontario Institution for the Education of the Blind. Over the years, prospective teachers would write to the current archbishop for help in obtaining teaching positions:

Collegiate Institute
Barrie, July 3, 1884

Most Rev. J. J. Lynch D.D.
Archbp of Toronto

Your Grace:
I take the liberty in soliciting your kind assistance in procuring for me a position which has become vacant in the Blind Institute of Brantford through the resignation of Mr. Shannon[,] a Catholic teacher of the Inst. The salary being in the neighborhood of five hundred dollars a year with board[,] room and other advantages[,] I consider the situation more lucrative than the average High School position. I enclose Your Grace a copy of my Testimonials. Knowing well the interest Your Grace has always taken in promoting the welfare of Catholic young men, I feel certain that if this request be practically within Your Grace's province[,] you will kindly accede to it.
I Remain
With profound esteem
Your Grace's obt servt--
Thomas O'Hagan

L AE10.10
Archbishop Lynch fonds

Periodically, the archbishop would also recommend individuals for vacancies:

Letter from C. W. James to Abp. McNeil,
September 13, 1916

MN AH05.81
Archbishop McNeil fonds

Groups in the United States provided assistance to the Archdiocese regarding the education of people who are blind and/or deaf:

Letter from Rev. William F. Jenks to Abp. McGuigan,
May 18, 1948

MG DA34.50(a)
Archbishop McGuigan fonds

Letter from M. A. Warnier to Abp. McGuigan,
October 7, 1948

MG SO11.04a
Archbishop McGuigan fonds

The International Catholic Deaf Association was founded in Toronto in 1949. In July 1956, a group of priests at the International Catholic Deaf Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, prepared this statement concerning the religious education of Catholic deaf children:


"The Religious Education of Catholic Deaf Children"

ED SC04.36
Education fonds

St. Bernadette's Family Resource Centre is a member of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto that provides assistance to children, youth, and adults with developmental and/or physical challenges, including blindness.

Silent Voice, also a member agency of Catholic Charities, raises awareness of and addresses the difficulties faced by the Deaf community. Click here for a list of signed or interpreted Catholic masses in Ontario. Click here to see the four masses that are located in the Archdiocese of Toronto.