Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 1, 2002
Archdiocese produces a brief history
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
If anyone can write the history of the Edmonton Archdiocese in just a few pages, it is Frank Dolphin, the communications director for the Edmonton Archdiocese.
In his new booklet, From Snowshoes to e-mail, he shows short stories can be effective.
Drawing on his long experience with television, which tends to give large amounts of information in small, palatable bits, Dolphin covers over 180 years of Church history in just 30 pages and still make it interesting.
Structured around the archdiocese's seven bishops, from Vital Grandin to Thomas Collins, the booklet tells the story of the evolution of the archdiocese from the early days to the present, giving the reader a taste of what life was like for the early missionaries and showing the growth of the archdiocese's various organizations and commissions over the years.
Also featured in the booklet is Oblate Father Albert Lacombe, one of the West's best-known pioneers.
From Snowshoes to e-mail was released June 3 during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Grandin, the first bishop of St. Albert.
According to Dolphin, an author and former reporter with CBC television and WCR editor, the idea for the booklet came from Archbishop-emeritus Joseph MacNeil before he retired three years ago. After seeing a booklet on the history of the Diocese of St. Catharines, Ont., he asked Dolphin to start working on a similar project.
"He thought it was a good idea," Dolphin said. The booklet contains general information for those who want to know more about the archdiocese.
Of course, Dolphin tried to humanize it, putting a few incidents here and there, such as the story of Father Naessens who in 1910 earned himself a three-day suspension from Bishop Emile Legal for attending the Calgary Stampede without wearing his priestly cassock. Illustrations and photographs also help make the booklet more digestible.
"The idea is to give people a sense of the history of the diocese, which has quite a remarkable history right from Bishop Grandin to the various bishops," he said. "It reflects the development of Alberta, which didn't become a province until 1905."
From Snowshoes to e-mail can be obtained free of charge at the chancery office, 8421-101 Ave., phone 469-1010.