Monday, May 31, 2010

St. Michael's Choir School Concert

On Friday, June 4th at 7pm in St. Michael's Cathedral the Junior and Elementary Choirs, together with the acclaimed Phoenix Boys' Choir, will perform a concert.  Tickets are $10.00.  See here.

Laudate pueri Dominum, laudate nomen Domini...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Love the Church

Next to the front doors of St. Michael's Cathedral.

We must love the Church and desire her to be as Christ planned and instituted her…We shall never err by idealizing, with our love, the Church of Christ!  We should love her also for her shortcomings and her needs. Are we not ourselves, as members of this human and mystical body, involved in her present conditions? Would not the Church be more worthy and more alive if we all loved her more? We should love her today more than ever before… We should love her as Christ loved her by giving His life for her. 
                                          – Pope Paul VI

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ordinations to the Permanent Diaconate

This morning at 10 am with the consent and support of their wives 16 men were ordained to the permanent diaconate by His Excellency, Auxiliary Bishop Nguyen at St. Michael's Cathedral.  Below some of them receive the congratulations of their families and the lay faithful.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Universe of His Handiwork

Detail of rose on decorative planter outside St. Michael's Cathedral.

The perfect mind is the one that through genuine faith knows in supreme ignorance the supremely unknowable, and in gazing on the universe of his handiwork has received from God comprehensive knowledge of his Providence and judgment in it, as far as is allowable to men.   
                  - Maximus the Confessor

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sheen on Modern Psychology and the Cross

Cross on the southern exterior of St. Michael's Cathedral. 

Enough with the psychobabble! There is only one prescription for happiness and it is in taking up our own cross and following Jesus.  
                – Archbishop Fulton J Sheen

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On the Primacy of the Pope

Bust of Pope John Paul II in St. John's chapel at St. Michael's Cathedral.

Do not some of them say that if it were not for the primacy of the Pope, the reunion of the separated churches with the Catholic Church would be easy?  We beg the separated brethren to consider the inconsistency of this position, not only in that, without the Pope the Catholic Church would no longer be Catholic, but also because, without the supreme, efficacious and decisive pastoral office of Peter the unity of the Church of Christ would utterly collapse.        – Pope Paul VI

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Holy Name of Jesus

The monogram of the name of Jesus (IHS) in stained glass next to the Sacred Heart altar in St. Michael's Cathedral.

Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength! You are the refuge of those who repent, our banner of warfare in this life, the medicine of souls, the comfort of those who mourn, the delight of those who believe, the light of those who preach the true faith, the wages of those who toil, the healing of the sick. To You our devotion aspires; by You our prayers are received; we delight in contemplating You. O Name of Jesus, You are the glory of all the saints for eternity. Amen.   
                            - St. Bernardine of Siena

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Democracy of the Dead

The view of downtown Toronto (with St. Michael's Cathedral visible in the background) circa 1876.

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.    
                                -  G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Pillar

Only the six pillars which border the sanctuary at St. Michael's Cathedral have this tinge of red and blue.

Here is another proof of her divine life: in spite of a great number of pernicious opinions and a great variety of errors (as well as the vast army of rebels) the Church remains immutable and constant, "as the pillar and foundation of truth," in professing one identical doctrine, in receiving the same Sacraments, in her divine constitution, government, and morality.  
                                    – St. Pius X, 1910

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to Receive a Blessing

His Excellence, Auxiliary Bishop Nguyen kneels outside St. Michael's Cathedral to receive the blessing of one of Toronto's newest diocesan priests.  Photo credit.

There is nothing that leads others to piety and to the service of God more than the life and example of those who have dedicated themselves to the divine ministry. For since they are observed to be raised from the things of this world to a higher position, others fix their eyes upon them as upon a mirror and derive from them what they are to imitate.           -  Council of Trent, 1562.

Friday, May 21, 2010

St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony and the Child Jesus in the nave of St. Michael's Cathedral.

Devotions to St. Anthony: Tuesdays, 5:10 pm, before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament follows, as does the 5:30 Mass.

The base of this statue used to house a relic of St. Anthony until…

Wouldn’t it be nice if they would bring his relics out for the faithful to venerate on his upcoming feast day, June 13th?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Police Officers chat with parishioners outside St. Michael's Cathedral.

Saint Michael, heaven's glorious commissioner of police…Give them cool heads, stout hearts, an uncanny flair for investigation and wise judgment. Make them the terror of burglars, the friend of children and law-abiding citizens, kind to strangers, polite to boors, strict with law-breakers and impervious to temptations…And when they lay down their night sticks, enroll them in your heavenly force, where they will be as proud to guard the throne of God as they have been to guard the city. Amen.

Taking Away Darkness

A sconce lights up St. John's Chapel at St. Michael's Cathedral.

Hail Mary, hope of Christians…

…I entreat you, deliver me from the burden of my sins, take away the darkness of my mind, destroy the earthly affections of my heart, defeat the temptations of my enemies, and rule all the actions of my life so that with you as guide I may arrive at the eternal happiness of heaven.  
                             - St. John Damascene

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making a Good Trade

A Sister of Life kneels in prayer at St. Michael's Cathedral.

What a great and laudable exchange to leave the things of time for those of eternity. To choose the things of heaven over the goods of earth. To receive a hundred-fold in place of one, and to posses a blessed and eternal life.     
                                            – St. Clare

Is this your vocation?

Darkness and Light

Detail of stained glass window at St. Michael's Cathedral.
Photo credit.

The first and principal benefit caused by the arid and dark night of contemplation: the knowledge of oneself and of one’s misery. The soul learns to commune with God with more respect and more courtesy. God will enlighten the soul, giving it knowledge, not only of its lowliness and wretchedness, but of the greatness and excellence of God.    
                                   – St. John of the Cross

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Five Ordained to the Priesthood

Yesterday, five men were ordained to the diocesan priesthood at St. Michael's Cathedral.

The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution, he does not administer the Sacraments to himself.  He is not for himself, he is for you.  After God, the priest is everything…If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God; but the priest holds His place.  
                           – St. Jean Marie Vianney

Spring and Summer Attire for Holy Mass

This French sign, which I love and which is translated below, is not hanging in the narthex of St. Michael's Cathedral but some days I think it should be.

The season of sales is a good time to make sensible and economic purchases. 

Ladies who, for praiseworthy motives of thrift, have kept skirts from their childhood, might profit from the sales to obtain, at a good price, clothes corresponding to their adult measurements.

In other words, the dress of majorettes is not welcome at Saint Nicolas: which is not to say that they should dress as men…
           - from the Hermeneutic of Continuity

Friday, May 14, 2010

At the Elevation

The bells sit on the step of the sanctuary in St. John's Chapel at St. Michael's Cathedral.

I had never in my life attended such a stunning Mass.  The Mass became – what in reality it is – an absolutely supernatural act.  When the bells rang at the elevation of the Host, then of the Chalice, Padre Pio was immobilized in contemplation.  How long?...Ten, twelve minutes, maybe longer…  
       - A French ambassador to the Holy See

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The National March For Life

The bus will leave from in front of St. Michael's Cathedral for the National March for Life (in Ottawa) tomorrow at 7am. Plan to be there marching behind Fr. McGovern. If you can't be there, plan to pray for those who are.

For God, the Lord of life, has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life in a manner which is worthy of man. Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes 
                               – Gaudium et spes, 51

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Mystical Rose

Detail of the mural by Vaclav Vaca at the Lady altar in St. Michael's Cathedral.

Mary is the most beautiful flower that ever was seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God's grace that from this barren and desolate earth there have ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the queen of them. She is the queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful.       
         - Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman

Remember, Dear Christian, the Four Last Things

The grave of Sir Charles Chichester is located a few steps north of that of Bishop Powers in the crypt of St. Michael's Cathedral.  

Chichester (prominent Catholic and personal friend of Bishop Powers) kept a diary:

March 31, 1847: Dear Amy's birthday, 6 years old, may she see many of them and happy ones.

That day Chichester falls gravely ill. A week later comes the final entry in his diary. It is written instead by his wife Mary and begins:

April 6, 1847: May the most Holy Will of God be done! I am left alone to continue this journal…

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Christian Motherhood

Mothers stand to receive a special blessing at St. Michael's Cathedral.

Give me a generation of Christian mothers and I will undertake to change the whole face of society in twelve months.  – Lord Shaftesbury

Saturday, May 8, 2010

For the Sacristans

The vestments et alia for the next Mass at St. Michael's Cathedral are carefully prepared in the sacristy.

St. Therese once saw a shadow pass before the Tabernacle without a reverence and thought “it must be the devil or the sacristan”.

Pray for your sacristans, those worthy and pious young men, working so constantly and closely with the Holy, that through the intercession of St. Guy of Anderlecht their duties may strengthen, not weaken, their sense of the sacred. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

St. Matthew

A statue of St. Matthew sits in a niche at the side altar to the Sacred Heart in St. Michael's Cathedral.

And when Jesus passed on from hence, he saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew; and he saith to him: Follow me. And he rose up and followed him. And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners? But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners. 
                           – Gospel of Matthew 9:9-13

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

A stained glass window in St. John's Chapel (attached to St. Michael's Cathedral) depicting the cross and the keys of St. Peter.

Since this power, therefore, cannot be of human origin, divine faith can alone enable us to understand that the keys of the kingdom of heaven are deposited with the Church, that to her has been confided the power of remitting sins, of denouncing excommunication, and of consecrating the real body of Christ; and that her children have not here a permanent dwelling, but look for one above.  – Catechism of Trent

Light to Shine Out of Darkness

A close-up of the distinctive hanging lights in the nave of St. Michael's Cathedral circa 1930. See a wider view of the nave and sanctuary with commentary over at Vox Cantoris. Compare the current hanging lights here.

The knowledge derived through faith must not be considered less certain because its objects are not seen; for the divine light by which we know them, although it does not render them evident, yet suffers us not to doubt them. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath himself shone in our hearts, that the gospel be not hidden to us, as to those that perish.
                       – The Catechism of Trent

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Brick by Brick

Exterior wall of St. Michael's Cathedral - a testament to 
authentic lay participation.

In the 1840's individual parishioners would buy a brick from the brick-maker for one cent.  They kept on this way until at last they had together amassed enough bricks to build St. Michael’s Cathedral. This glorious place was built (brick by brick, penny by penny) by only 3000 Catholics. 3000 poor Catholics. 

What can you contribute to the St. Michael’s Cathedral Restoration fund?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Preparing to Hear Mass

A few parishioners in contemplation at St. Michael's Cathedral. Photo Credit.

All good works together are not of equal value with the sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of men, and the holy Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison; it is the sacrifice that man makes of his life to God; the Mass is the sacrifice that God makes to man of His Body and of His Blood… We ought always to devote at least a quarter of an hour to preparing ourselves to hear Mass well  
                                - St. Jean Marie Vianney

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mine by Mercy

Statue in honour of the Marian Year outside St. Michael's Cathedral.

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father. Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son. Hail Mary, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Hail Mary, my Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign. Hail, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul. Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am Thine by justice... 
                  - St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

The construction site of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute with a tiny corner of Cathedral property visible at the right. Occasionally workers from this site or from St. Michael's Hospital come across the street for Mass at St. Michael's Cathedral.

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations…having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God...      
                        - Pope St. Pius X