Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 21, 1999
Collins involved in his home parish
By GLEN ARGAN
Archbishop Thomas Collins was raised Catholic in the unassuming southwestern Ontario city of Guelph.
Dominating the skyline of that city is the magnificent Church of Our Lady, a Gothic church dedicated in 1888 and set on a hill in the middle of town.
The church is also the home parish of the new archbishop of Edmonton.
It was on the church's stained glass windows that the young Thomas Collins no doubt first saw images of many of the saints who have become a guiding force in his own life.
In the "ambulatory" (semi-circular walkway) behind the church's high altar are large stained glass windows depicting a diverse collection of a few dozen major saints.
There is St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, St. Philip Neri and, of course, St. Francis de Sales.
As a young priest, Collins researched and wrote a detailed history of the parish for the 100th anniversary of the opening of its church in 1988. He traced the history of the parish back to 1827.
It was published in a booklet which also includes an extensive description of the church's breathtaking interior.