Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 23, 1999
Collins' installation to draw dignitaries from far and wide
By WCR Staff
Organizers are gearing up for next month's installation of Archbishop Thomas Collins as the seventh bishop of the Edmonton diocese.
Bishops from across Canada and government representatives are expected to be at the Sept. 13 ceremony at St. Joseph's Basilica. Also attending will be at least 19 of Collins' family members, including his sisters Catharine and Patricia.
"We're very excited, this is quite an honour for our family," said Catharine Collins from her home in Guelph, Ont.
"We're gradually getting use to it. Everything has happened so fast in the past two years. It's a little hard to catch our breath."
The family visited Alberta in 1997 when Collins was installed as bishop of St. Paul.
Collins was named coadjutor archbishop of Edmonton Feb. 18. He automatically became archbishop June 7, when Pope John Paul accepted the resignation of Archbishop Joseph MacNeil.
MacNeil, who recently returned from holidays in his native Cape Breton, will also be present at the installation.
Collins will be the first archbishop installed at St. Joseph's since the cathedral church was raised to a basilica in 1984.
The installation will come just three days prior to the 15th anniversary of Pope John Paul's celebration of an ecumenical prayer service in the church.
Political and church dignitaries already committed to attending include Bishops Lawrence Huculak of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy, Frederick Henry of Calgary, Adam Exner of Vancouver, Blaise Morand of Prince Albert, Sask., and James Weisgerber of Saskatoon.
Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews, Lutheran Bishop Stephen Kristenson and Mayor Bill Smith have also said they will attend.
The general public is also welcome.
"It's just a formality," said Msgr. Donald MacDonald, one of 12 organizers of the ceremony. "But it will be a nice chance for everyone in the (archdiocese) to meet him personally."
Organizers will meet at the end of the month to finalize the ceremony's details. Readings for the event, which were chosen by Collins, include Revelations 22 from which his episcopal motto "Worship God" is taken.
Organizers expect about 1,500 to attend the Mass, which begins at 7:30 p.m.