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Authority record

Hanna, St. George

  • CA RCDCA AR H3
  • Corporate body
  • 1916-

Early homesteading settlers in the area around Hanna were occasionally served by the Tinchebray Fathers from Castor, forty-five miles north of the town of Hanna. May 3, 1910 marked the first visit by Father Lucien LeConte S.M.T who visited a parishioner in his home, to which many visits were made thereafter. Hanna’s church was begun in 1915 and officially offered Mass for the first time in June, 1916. The building was later blessed by Archbishop Emile Legal on June 29, 1917. Rev. A. Darvell, a Franciscan on temporary leave from England was the very first resident pastor, arriving in July, 1921. In the early years of the church and its Mass, many parishioners traveled great distances by means of horse and carriage. It has been noted that during the years of the Depression when both food and money were scarce, Mass was held in the basement to save heating costs and was only offered during Lent. These struggles among the parishioners during the Depression created a ‘special’ sense of a bonding community.

During the 1940s, the ladies of the Altar Society were often called on to help out in any way they could, particularly with church and community work, which furthered the common themes of working together in order to persevere. In 1946, resident pastor Fr. M.A. Harnett invited the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception to come to Hanna. The Sisters were a huge part of life in Hanna. They are rooted in the prophetic vision of St. Vincent de Paul who urged the need for a community of women who could reach out in compassion to all communities alike, with a special relationship to the poor and needy. They taught catechism and began directing the parish choirs, along with teaching music for all who wanted to learn, both inside and outside of the church community. The Sisters however, withdrew from Hanna and community in the early 1960s. This was in part due to post-World War II social developments inclusive of a more vigorous feminism and many women wishing to work for better employment opportunities and also in-part due to the declining numbers of religious in the surrounding communities all across the country.

In 1955 a new church had been erected for which Father Harnett managed to collect funds in his travels abroad in both Canada and the United States. The church was dedicated on September 1, 1956, by Archbishop MacDonald. The old church had been moved to Delia in July 1955, 36 kilometres away from Hanna, and has served there ever since.

The 1960s brought change in the form of geographical reconstructions. The Calgary Diocesan boundaries had been established before the Canadian Northern Railway was finished. As a result, Hanna, which is on the “Goose Lake Line” and on the highway from Calgary to Saskatoon, was not in the Calgary Diocese, although all its geographic connections were in that direction and it was only one-mile north of the Diocesan boundary. The railway curved north because of the conformation of the Hand Hills and a divisional point was established which became the town of Hanna in August, 1912. Hanna had no easy road or rail connections with Edmonton, and half of its potential parishioners lived in the Diocese of Calgary. Relocation of the Diocesan boundary was first broached in 1936 by Archbishop O’Leary of Edmonton, but for various reasons was not completed until June 7, 1965, after a delegation of parishioners from Hanna asked for the change. After 1965, when the borders of the Diocese were altered to embrace Hanna, St. George’s own boundaries themselves shifted several times. In 1965 the Calgary Diocese transferred responsibility for St. Timothy’s Mission at Sunnynook from Oyen to Hanna. In 1974, Hanna began serving Youngstown, 56 kilometres to the east. The mission was restored to Oyen in 1975, while St. George’s geographical borders were re-drawn again on 1980. Because of the vastness of the region for which Oyen was responsible, the Diocese was prompted to return Youngstown to the care of Hanna. At the same time, it gave Brooks the portion of St. George’s Parish south of Pockville.
[Reference needed]

Kidd, John T., 1868-1950

  • CA RCDCA AR K1
  • Person
  • 1868-Jun 2, 1950

John T. Kidd was born in Athlone, Ontario in 1868. After his studies at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto he became the manager of a large lumber business. He then went to Rome to study for a doctorate in Theology, after which he was ordained on February 16, 1902 for the Diocese of Toronto. His first appointment was assistant and then pastor of St. Ann’s, Penetanguishene. On the death of Archbishop McEvay he was named Vicar Capitular of the Diocese of Toronto for a year. In 1911-1912 as the new seminary was being developed in Toronto Kidd was involved due to his administrative experience, and deep spirituality. In 1914 he was made a Domestic Prelate and on February 6, 1925 was appointed Bishop of Calgary. He was consecrated on May 6, 1925 in St. Michael’s Cathedral, Toronto by Apostolic Delegate Pietro di Maria and he took possession of his See on May 13, 1925.

On July 3, 1931 Kidd was appointed Bishop of London on the death of Bishop Fallon and he took possession of his See on September 23. Kidd died as Bishop of London on June 2, 1950.

Klein, Francis J., 1911-1968

  • CA RCDCA AR K2
  • Person
  • Aug 6, 1911- Feb 3, 1968

Francis Joseph Klein was born on a farm near Sedley, Saskatchewan, the eldest of 13 children. He was educated at Friedenthal Rural School, Sedley by the Loretto Nuns, St. Anthony’s College, Edmonton, and then Campion College. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton and completed his theology at Regina Coeli Seminary. In 1934 after entering Laval University he was ordained at Sedley by Archbishop McGuigan of Regina. After completing a year of study at Laval he worked as a parish priest for 18 years, mainly in Mutrie and Quintin. He was appointed Bishop of Saskatoon in 1952 and on February 28, 1967 it was announced that he had been appointed Bishop of Calgary. He was installed by Archbishop Jordan of Edmonton but died February 3, 1968, only nine months later. A man of energy and enthusiasm, determined to implement the reforms of Vatican II, he had shown a strong commitment to education and social service and he encouraged extensive lay participation.

Landry, J.A.

  • CA RCDCA AR L1
  • Person
  • 1916-1917

Secretary-Treasurer of the Medicine Hat Separate School Board in 1916.

Legal, Emil, 1849-1920

  • CA RCDCA AR L2
  • Person
  • 1849-1920

Bishop Legal was born at Nantes, France in 1849 and was ordained in 1874. After he finished his classical studies at Nantes he graduated from the University of France where he studied theology philosophy, canon law and Hebrew under the Sulpicians. After ordination he taught science in the seminary and ecclesiastical colleges until he joined the Oblates six years later. Ha arrived in St. Albert in 1881 and was sent immediately to the Southern Missions as Superior. He worked out of Fort Macleod with Fr. Doucet. For 16 years he was missionary to the Blood and Piegan Indians on their Reserves until he was consecrated Bishop in 1897, coadjutor to Bishop Grandin whom he succeeded in 1902.
Under his leadership Calgary was made a new diocese in 1912 and Legal was appointed administrator until Bishop McNally arrived nearly nine months later. Edmonton was mad a Metropolitan Province in 1912 and Legal was made Archbishop. He died in Edmonton on May 10, 1920.

McNally, John T., 1871-1952

  • CA RCDCA AR M1
  • Person
  • 1871 - 1952

Born at Hope River, Prince Edward Island, on June 24, 1871, McNally moved with his parents to Summerside as a young child. Here he completed his high school education in 1886, receiving a scholarship and the Governor-General’s silver medal. He graduated from the Prince of Wales College, Charlottetown in 1889, with an honour’s diploma, a teacher’s certificate and another silver medal. He taught for a year before gaining a Bachelor of the Arts and a Licentiate in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa in 1892. He became one of the first students at the Canadian College in Rome. In 1893 he gained a Doctorate in Philosophy and in 1897, a Doctorate in Theology. He was ordained by Cardinal Cassetta in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on April 4, 1896 for the Diocese of Ottawa.

On his return to Canada McNally was curate at St. Patrick’s Church, Ottawa until in February, 1900 he went to Portland, Oregon as secretary to Archbishop Christie. In 1904 McNally returned to Rome for a further two years of study.

In December 1905 he was appointed pastor St. Stephen, Old Chelsea in Quebec and in 1909 he acted as notary to the first Plenary Council held by the Catholic Church in Canada. In May 1911 he was appointed pastor at St. Mary’s, Almonte, Ontario.

McNally was notified on April 4, 1913 of his appointment as Bishop of Calgary. He was consecrated at the Canadian College in Rome by Cardinal Falconio and was installed on Sunday, July 28, 1913 in the Cathedral in Calgary by Archbishop Emil Legal of Edmonton, after which there was a large reception. Bishop McNally was the first Irish bishop appointed in the Prairie Provinces.

On January 18, 1916 McNally sailed from New York to Rome in secret to submit the question of his dismissal of the Oblate Order from Sacred Heart Parish, Calgary to the jurisdiction of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation, which judged his case favourably. He returned on July 18 and proceeded in releasing four French Orders from his Diocese. Although the Oblates remained he had asserted his own authority.

On August 29, 1924 Bishop McNally was transferred to the Diocese of Hamilton as Coadjutor to Bishop Dowling, who died that day. McNally was Bishop of Hamilton for 13 years until 1937 when he was appointed to the Archdiocese of Halifax. McNally died on November 18,1952.

Macdonald, A. Bernard

  • CA RCDCA AR M1
  • Person
  • 1876-1949

Born in Charlottetown, P.E.I. in 1876, Macdonald studied at St. Dunstan’s College there before receiving a Doctorate in Divinity in Rome. He was ordained in the Basilica of St. John Lateran by Cardinal Respighi in 1904. Difficulties arose when he sought to attach himself to the Diocese of St. Boniface and therefore he offered his services to Bishop McNally, who he knew from his hometown and probably later from Rome. Macdonald became the second secular priest to arrive in the new Diocese of Calgary on Aug 1, 1913. He was the first rector of St. Mary’s, holding the position until Fr. A. Newman arrived in 1914.
Fr. Macdonald was appointed Superintendent and Secretary Treasurer of the Separate School Board in 1915 until 1917. For the remaining time he was at St. Mary’s until his death he was curate and chaplain of the Keith Sanatorium and he contributed to the Catholic Press in Western Canada. He was over six feet tall, of athletic appearance and had a pleasant manner. He spoke four languages in addition to English, and had travelled extensively in Europe.
Macdonald died in Calgary on April 5, 1949 and is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Monahan, Peter J., 1882-1947

  • CA RCDCA AR M2
  • Person
  • May 4, 1882 - 1947

Born near Montreal at St. Lin, Quebec on May 4, 1882, he studied at the Bourget College of the Clerics of St. Viator in Rigaud, Quebec. He studied theology at the Grand Seminary in Montreal. He was ordained in 1909 in Montreal and went to work for the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie except for during the years 1921 to 1923 he taught in the Seminary at Joliette. After ordination he was secretary to Bishop Scollard, Chancellor, rector of the pro-Cathedral in North Bay, and missionary to local mining centres. In 1923 Monahan was appointed pastor of St. Patrick's in Fort William. He was appointed Bishop of Calgary on Jun 10, 1932, consecrated in North Bay on Aug 10 and took possession of his See Aug 18. In 1935 Monahan was appointed Archbishop of Regina where he died on May 6, 1947.

O'Byrne, Paul J., 1922-2004

  • CA RCDCA AR O1
  • Person
  • Dec 22, 1922- Sep 2, 2004

Sixth Bishop of Calgary, 1968-1998. Born in 1922, the youngest of five children, Paul grew up in Calgary, where his father, Dan was a small retail business owner who died in 1927. Paul’s mother Beebeanna had a strong faith which she passed on to her children. Nicknamed Pee Wee, Paul attended Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s Boys Schools, Calgary. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton in 1942. He was ordained a priest on February 22, 1948, months after his mother died. Fr. O’Byrne served first as assistant at St. John’s, Calgary and then at St. Patrick’s, Medicine Hat. His first appointment as pastor was at St. Edmund’s, Medicine Hat in 1954. He moved to Banff in 1961 until 1967 when he was transferred to St. Joseph’s, Calgary. Shortly thereafter he became regional dean for North West Calgary. He was one of the first to be appointed after election by the priests of the deanery. Elected chair of the Priests’ Senate, O’Byrne was chosen as administrator of the Diocese on Klein’s death by the Diocesan Consultors. After a consultation meeting on February 15, 1968, O’Byrne was named Bishop of Calgary on June 21, 1968 and consecrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral on August 22, 1968. He submitted his resignation to the Vatican on his 75th birthday in December 1997. He officially retired on March 9, 1998. Bishop Paul O'Byrne died in Calgary in 2004.

Office of the Bishop

  • CA RCDCA AR O2
  • Corporate body
  • 1912-

The Office of the Bishop aids the Bishop of Calgary in the administration of the Diocese. Initially informally organized, prior to the Second Vatican Council the staff consisted of clergy. As the administrative needs of the Diocese grew due to the growing population and complexities of modern life, the Office of the Bishop required more staff with specific skills. The Office aids the Bishop in organizing meetings, correspondence, schedules, logistics, relationships, and records.

Religious Education Secretariat

  • CA RCDCA AR R1
  • Corporate body
  • 1968-

This is the official agency of the diocese for coordinating all activities relating to the education in faith of all members of the diocese. It assists the bishop in his role as chief catechist of the diocese.
In 1985 it joined with the FCJ Christian Life Centre to institute the TEAM program (Together Enabling Adults for Ministry). The Synod recommended that the Office be expanded and that training be provided for spiritual directors.

Smith, John Sylvester , 1878-1966

  • CA RCDCA AR S2
  • Person
  • Dec 31, 1878 – Aug 5, 1966

Born on Dec 31, 1878 in St. John, New Brunswick, his family moved to Boston, Mass. when he was young and attended school there. His was a late vocation; at the age of 29 he entered St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish to study for the priesthood. Smith went on to study at the Grand Seminary, Montreal and St. Augustine’s, Toronto before being ordained for the Diocese of Calgary by Archbishop McNeil on Dec 27, 1916. After serving for a year in Toronto Smith was made assistant priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral until he was loaned to the Winnipeg Diocese for the year 1918-1919. On his return to Calgary he was made pastor of St. Ann’s, Calgary and he was appointed rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral in 1924, a position he was to retain for 42 years until his death in 1966.

On Feb 8, 1937 Fr. John Smith was made a domestic prelate and he became Dean of Calgary on Jun 8, 1941. He served as a member of the Bishop’s Council under McNally, Kidd, Monahan, and Carroll. On Jan 29, 1942, Monsignor Smith celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Monsignor Smith was made Protonotary Apostolic ad instar on Mar 31, 1960 and he became Dean for South Calgary on Aug 8, the same year.

On July 21, 1966 Smith suffered a heart attack, entered Holy Cross Hospital and he died on Aug 5, 1966, at the age of 87. His funeral was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Tuesday, Aug 9, 1966, the celebrant being Bishop Wilhelm, the sermon was preached by Bishop Carroll. His body is interned in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Wilhelm, Joseph L., 1909-1995

  • CA RCDCA AR W1
  • Person
  • Nov 19, 1909 - Jun 25, 1995

Born on November 19, 1909 in Walkerton, Ontario. Having attended school in Walkerton, and St. Augustine's Seminary, Toronto, Wilhelm was ordained for the Diocese of Hamilton on June 9, 1934. He was assistant pastor at St. Mary's, Hamilton from 1934 to 1936, and at Christ the King Cathedral from 1936 until 1939, where he was also the Bishop's secretary. From 1939 to 1945 Wilhelm was Chaplain in the Canadian Army where he attained the rank of Major and won a Military Cross. After the war he studied for his Licentiate in Canon Law at the University of Ottawa and then served as pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul from 1947 until 1963. He was appointed vicar general and auxiliary to Bishop Carroll on June 28, 1963 and was ordained to the episcopate on August 22, 1963 in Hamilton by Cardinal McGuigan. When Bishop Carroll returned to Calgary after the first session of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Wilhelm participated in the subsequent sessions of the Council in Bishop Carroll’s stead. During his time in Calgary, Bishop Wilhelm celebrated almost all the episcopal ceremonies and pontifical Masses. He also conferred almost all the ordinations and most of the confirmations. He became the Archbishop of Kingston in 1967.

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