Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 5, 2007
Collins welcomed to Toronto with trumpets, singing
'I'm eager to get started,' says former Edmonton prelate
- WCR photo by Glen Argan
Archbishop Thomas Collins exits St Michael's Cathedral after being installed as head of Canada's largest diocese Jan. 30.
By GLEN ARGAN
Astirring, regal liturgy welcomed Archbishop Thomas Collins as the 10th archbishop of Toronto Jan. 30 in the city's 160-year-old St. Michael's Cathedral.
"It's going to be very formal," Collins cautioned this reporter half an hour before the late morning Mass began.
The liturgy - with singing by boys from St. Michael's Choir School and music by True North Brass - was sprinkled with motets, sonatas and a heavy dose of Latin.
When given the opportunity, the invitation-only congregation joined in with boisterous singing of its own.
Collins was welcomed to the cathedral by the church's rector, Father Michael Busch, and took possession of the archbishop's chair.
Canada's three cardinals, nearly 60 bishops and hundreds of priests concelebrated the Mass that was telecast across Canada on Vision TV and Salt + Light.
More than 20 Catholics from Edmonton, including Archbishop-emeritus Joseph MacNeil and about a dozen priests, took part in the celebration to say "good-bye" to their archbishop of the past eight years.
Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, Toronto's retiring archbishop, welcomed Collins. "It's nice to have a very fine bishop who I have admired for a long time and who has a Scripture background like myself.
"I will try to give him advice only when he asks for it," Ambrozic said.
Collins delivered a well-received 20-minute homily stressing the practical importance of meditating on the destination of our lives - the heavenly Jerusalem. (See story on Page 23.)
He also celebrated the Eucharist using the chalice he first used at his ordination to the priesthood in 1973.
Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the pope's representative in Canada, told Collins, "The responsibilities entrusted to you may seem overwhelming.
"The Lord repeats to you as to Peter, 'Have no fear.'"
Later, at a luncheon reception, Collins told the WCR he was "moved by the beauty of the liturgy."
And now starts a likely 15 years of ministry in Canada's largest diocese.
"I'm eager to get started," Collins said.