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Friday 30 June 2017

Canada is actually 176 years old in 2017

The Confederation of only four provinces took place in 1867. According to the British North America Act the union was created between "Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick."  

Actually, the first Parliament of Canada was in session from June 15, 1841, until 1843 under the joint premiership of Robert Baldwin and Louis H. Lafontaine.  The English and French cultures in North America were first brought together legislatively in one civil state at that time.
Statue of Baldwin and Lafontaine on Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Often overlooked, this first form of constitutional monarchy marked the actual beginning of Canada as a civil state. This union led eventually to the incorporation of other British colonies into the Dominion of Canada as well as the formation of provinces from 1867 to 1949. Other northern territories have yet to be formed into Provinces though they may do so eventually.  It was not until 1949 that the colony of Newfoundland became the tenth province to enter Confederation.  

There had been a gradual coalescence and move to unity in British North America over the preceding century. This movement began, we might say, in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris. Under the treaty which brought an end to the 'Seven Years War,' France ceded Quebec along with all other North American claims to the British except for the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

The first elections for the Legislative Assembly were held in the Province of Canada in April 1841.  All sessions of this first parliament were held at Kingston in what was known as Canada West when the two colonies of Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) merged into one Canada.

It was from this beginning that the road to unity was made possible and so we owe a great debt of gratitude to Baldwin and Lafontaine who, in addition to being political allies against the notorious black Protestant Orange Order were personal friends. 

Baldwin’s children were educated in Quebec becoming perfectly bi-lingual.  One daughter, educated by the Ursuline Nuns, was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Robert Baldwin's statue outside
the Quebec National Assembly
I like to think that Baldwin, a devout Anglican and great advocate of  political unity  achieved by peaceful means (unlike what happened south of the border), would be sympathetic to the unity of the Church that is being achieved through the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter across Canada.  

From small beginnings great oaks grow.  A blessed Dominion Day to all.

Monday 12 June 2017

A Homily for Trinity Sunday – A 2017 STM/SVDP Toronto

Trinity Sunday – A, 2017                                                                                 The Catholic Parish of St. Thomas More, Toronto

Communion with the Holy Trinity is the goal of our life and of our worship—and it is the purpose of salvation history that begins with God’s revelation in creation. 

We understand God's action through natural law, then by the revealed Law (Torah) and the interpretation of the Prophets. Our communion now continues in the Eucharist and Sacraments of the Church, the Body of Christ, of which we are members by Baptism in water and the Holy Spirit.

We see the beginnings of God's self-revelation in today's First Reading from the Book of Exodus. As God passes before Moses and reveals His holy name: “the Lord” or as we see  elsewhere “I am who am,” the creator of Being itself, God the Father. 

This triune God is the one utterly beyond all that exists and yet, as Jesus has shown us, God is the One who chose to live as a human and so is, for us God the Son, who, when he was called from earth to full communion with the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to guide and help us – "The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." (Exodus 34)

Israel had sinned by worshipping the Golden Calf (Exodus 32) just as we have fallen to the powers of the world, the flesh and the devil, and are in the grips of materialism. But God did not allow them or us to perish as a people. 

Instead, God proclaims mercy and establishes faithfulness to His covenant as central to life – true and eternal life – life in the Holy Trinity established by our Baptism in water and the Holy Spirit.

God loved Israel as His firstborn among the nations (Exodus 4:22). Through Israel, the heirs of the covenant with Abraham—God began to reveal himself as the Father of all nations (Genesis 22:18). The memory of God's covenant in the testing of Abraham—and Abraham's faithful obedience—lies behind today's Gospel.

In commanding Abraham to offer his only and beloved son (Genesis 22), God was preparing us for the fullest possible revelation of His love for the world, the love of the Son, of Jesus. Just as Abraham was willing to offer Isaac, God did not spare His own Son but handed Him over to the deep mystery of salvation from us all (Romans 8:32).

In this, God revealed what was only disclosed partially to Moses—that the grace and mercy of God continues for a thousand generations. God incorporates us into the life of the Holy Trinity by forgiving our sin, by washing us in the waters of Holy Baptism and in so doing, merging the physical and spiritual worlds and  in so doing making us God’s very own people (Deuteronomy 4:20; 9:29).

Jesus humbled himself to die in obedience to the will of God. For this, the Holy Spirit lovingly raised Him from the dead (Romans 8:11), gave Him a name above every name (Philippians 2:8-10) and sealed the communion of the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons.
Trinity Dome at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. - under construction

This is the Name we glorify as we live in and through the Holy Trinity, This is the Name of our Lord, God the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the Name and the unity which is Love (1 John 4;8,16).

STM Patronal Concert

Saturday 10 June 2017

Scottish Catholics becoming largest worshipping group in Scotland

The Catholic Herald reports that at the same time that a handful of representatives of the tiny Scottish Episcopal Church has passed "gay marriage" rules, and purportedly changed a Sacrament of the Church, the Catholic population is set to become the largest group of worshippers in the country for the first time since the Reformation.

A small Ordinariate group exists there, but the Church of Scotland (by law established) has been on the rails for years as  Presbyterianism generally declines.


Friday 9 June 2017


An organ and choral concert on 
Friday, June 23
8:00 p.m. 

St. Vincent de Paul Church 
(Parish of St. Thomas More)
263 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto


The Adelphi Vocal Ensemble
directed by Peter Bishop

will present

"More Music for St. Thomas"

in honour of Saint Thomas More

The programme will include a polyphonic Mass
“Western Wind” 
by John Taverner;
“Mass for St. Thomas More” 
by Matthew Larkin;

Motets by
Taverner, Orlandus Lassus, Palestrina and Healey Willan.
Organist Andrew Adair will join us once again.

Admission is free, but a $20+ donation suggested and encouraged.