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Akenstadt, St. Nicholas

  • CA RCDCA AR A1
  • Collectivité
  • 1911-1915

A community of Dutch settlers farmed around the Akenstadt district north of Strathmore. A parish was canonically erected on Feb 16, 1911 and was called St. Nicholas. The land was donated by the C.P.R. Irrigation Company. The community was named for Fr. Van Aaken who came with the pioneers to this district. Despite this no church was every built there and the community continued to be served from Strathmore. Records indicate that Mass was celebrated at the Akenstadt School, or at the home of A.J.J. Weyers until 1915. Other pioneer family names include the Bartelens, Cammaerts, Damens, Gaertzs, Vanderswesterns and Voermans.

St. Ann's Parish, Calgary

  • CA RCDCA AR A1
  • Collectivité
  • 1910-

The need for St. Ann’s Church in Calgary arose out of the moving of St. Patrick’s chapel. St. Patrick’s was built on the east of the Elbow River 1883. The C.P.R train station was built to the west of the Elbow and this shifted the cities development to that area. Thus, St. Patrick’s chapel was moved to near the current location of St. Mary’s Cathedral in 1884 to be part of the growing city. Some Catholics though remained near St. Patrick’s previous location in the east. Due to the significant travel distance (to St. Patrick’s or Holy Cross) to mass each Sunday the Catholics in this area desired a new Chapel.

Thereby, in May 1908 Catholics in the area requested that they could have a Chapel closer to them in the east. For fifteen dollars a month a store (9th Avenue between 11th and 12th Street S.E) was rented out to serve as the Chapel for around forty people. The first mass was said by Rev. L. Culerier O.M.I (assistant at St. Mary’s Cathedral). Later Rev. J. Lestanc O.M.I. would also preside over mass for the Chapel. This location was not large enough for the resident’s needs. Mass was even held in Haskins Hall (9th Avenue between 12th and 13th Street S.E.) and in another store (9th Avenue and 12th Street S.E.).

At this point (1908) there were only around seven or eight families in the area using these make shift Churches. The residents requested to Bishop Legal on April 15 1909 for a proper Church to be created. They received permission to build a Chapel on 1500 8th Avenue S.E..
The Church’s name came from Father Lestanc who had been a mission priest at the small makeshift Chapels. He was devoted to St. Ann and he hoped that giving it such a name would encourage more vocations.

St. Ann’s opened for Mass on August 8, 1910. Father Jan and Father Nelz were officiating. The canonically erection was on December 16, 1910 and the Church was served by priests from St. Mary’s until December 1911. It was entrusted by Bishop Legal to the Priests of St. Mary’s of Tinchebray (who would serve from 1911-1916). Rev. L. Forget S.M.T. was the Churches first pastor and Rev. L. Anciaux S.M.T. was the assistance.

St. Ann’s first school opened in 1910 and was located over the Church’s vestry. Then they created a one room school and basement in the Church. By 1911 the needs of the population demanded that a larger four-room school (two rooms opening 1912 and the other two in 1918) was to be created (21st Avenue and 9th Street S.E.). This school was in an important and convenient location for the parishioners and they decided to move the St. Ann’s Church in 1913 to 8th Street and 21st Avenue S.E. In this new location the Church served Catholics from south and east from the Bow and Elbow River to Midnapore. This area was presided over until 1927 (when Holy Trinity mission was built) and more territory was lost in 1931 when Our Lady of Perpetual Help took charge of the Holy Trinity mission.

The Priests of St. Mary Tinchebray let in 1916 and then Rev. W.E. Cameron became the first secular priest for them. The priest’s first rectory was built in 1915 by the community and this building was later sold to the Precious Blood Sisters in 1951. At that time Rev. E.L. Doyle built a new rectory for the Priests.
In 1958 the community saw the creation of a new Church. This was built with the support of Msgr. Doyle and was blessed November 23rd by Bishop Carroll. The old Church building was then used as the parish hall until 1965 when a new one was created.

The population of the Church expanded to 200 families by the 1970s, but was decreased as the surrounding population aged (by 1999 there were 76 families). The Church kept a close tie with St. Ann’s school until 1984 when it became a Francophone Elementary, Junior High and High School. The Church had ties with Lithuanian Catholics and held Reconciliation and Mass for them yearly. Father F. Mongeau also celebrated mass for a First Nations population from 1992 to 1995. In 1995 the Spanish community of St. Mary’s Cathedral used the Parish hall and facilities of St. Ann’s (until St. Paul’s Church became theirs). From 1994-1996 Father Rolando Badiola served the Filipino communities monthly Mass from St. Ann’s. In 2000 St. Ann merged with St. Mary’s Cathedral. By 2002 the Korean congregation moved to St. Ann’s and the Parish became known as St. Ann’s Korean Parish.

Airdrie, St. Paul

  • CA RCDCA AR A2
  • Collectivité
  • 1972-

This community had been a mission of Carstairs and then of the Forest Lawn Church, [Holy Trinity] in Calgary before Holy Trinity was erected as a parish. Then it reverted to being a mission of Carstairs. Its first Sunday Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jim Clancy in the Community Hall in September 1962. Not regularly celebrated until 1969 a Saturday afternoon Mass was celebrated in the Airdrie United Church until St. Paul was erected as a parish on May 7, 1972 with Fr. John Palardy, then Chancellor, attending if from Calgary.
[FBTC, 328]

Annual Bishop's Appeal

  • CA RCDCA AR A2
  • Collectivité
  • 1993-2010

Established by O’Byrne in 1993 to raise funds for Catholic Charities, the first campaign kicked off on February 21, 1993. The ‘ShareLife’ Committee had been preparing, planning and negotiating for months to get the Appeal going. The name was chosen after consultation with the Council of Priests. They wanted a name that originated with the Diocese and that ‘signi[ied] the Body of Christ active in a work of charity’. The first director was Richard Garnett. By Oct 19, 1992 the Annual Bishop’s Appeal had a name, logo, and a board of directors, including Fr. Burke Hoschka, Patrick Doherty (Chair), Richard Garnett and Fr. Ed Flanagan. It was registered as a charity on Jul 24, 1992.
The first theme of the ABA was ‘Love one another as I have loved you’.
[Letter from Bishop O’Byrne to Fr. Francis Van Tighem, RCDCA 30.923]

Administration of Ecclesiastical Temporalities

  • CA RCDCA AR A3
  • Collectivité
  • 1972-

The Administration of Ecclesiastical Temporalities is currently delegated by the Bishop to the Executive Director. This office looks after the secular functions of the Diocese, including administration, finance, staffing, etc. In 1972 the Alberta Catholic Directory first lists a business accountant in the Bishop’s Office, Mr. E. Howard Smith. In 1979 Temporalities were overseen by a Business Manager, Mr. Joseph Comessotti and the two worked together until 1981 when Smith retired. In 1986 the ACD lists Comessotti as Business Manager and in charge of Revenue/Project Forward. In 1987 Financial Administrator, Rev. Robert Devine was appointed to replace Comessotti in looking after temporal affairs and Stewardship. In 1990 Rev. Devine began administering the Hospice of St. Jude as well as heading the Stewardship Program and Mr. Denis Doucet was hired as Business Manager. In 1991 Fr Pat Cramer became Vicar of Temporalities and Chairman of the Diocese Finance Council. In 1992 Dr. Marilyn Smelski headed the Stewardship Program and in the following year Colin MacIsaac became Finance Office, working with Doucet and Smelski. In 1995 the Annual Bishop’s Appeal took over some of the role of the Stewardship Program. It was headed by Richard Garnett.
In 1995 there was an overhaul of the Diocesan Temporalities, aided by Mr. Hugh MacKinnon of law firm Bennett Jones Verchere. Michael Patrick Chan became the Chief Operating Officer, and Lydia Ducharme, who became Financial Administrator. They were joined by Colin MacIsaac in a new role as chief Administrative Officer. The Annual Bishop’s Appeal was being run by Dr. Robert Gall. The reorganization was designed to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, provide a greater level of service for parishes, address the growing demands on the Diocese as a leader in civil society, encourage lay participation and unify Diocesan operations under the authority of the Bishop.
Under Bishop Henry the accounting office grew. Dennis Gruenwald took over the Annual Bishop’s Appeal and Miriam Dawidowski became Controller in the Accounting Office.

Anderson, Neville Ramsay

  • CA RCDCA AR A4
  • Personne
  • 1898-1988

Born at Mount Corbet, Buttevant, County Cork, Ireland in 1898, Monsignor Anderson was educated at Churchtown, Cork, and in Hamilton, ON. He graduated from St. Michael's College, Toronto, and studied Theology at St. Augustine's Seminary, Toronto. He was ordained for the Diocese of Calgary by Bishop Kidd at St. Augustine's Seminary in August 1925.

Fr. Anderson was appointed Secretary to the Bishop on his arrival in Calgary and was Secretary for eight years while serving St. Angela's Chapel until April 1929, when the Redemptorists came to Calgary. He was appointed Chancellor in 1930 at the same time that he was appointed to the Bishop's Council. In 1933 he was named pastor of Taber and its missions.

In 1934 he was appointed pastor of Drumheller and missions. During his 12 years there he built churches at Drumheller and Munson and by renovating disused school buildings at small expense and with volunteer help and with the help of the Catholic Church Extension Society he provided churches at East Coulee, Dorothy, Rosedale, and Nacmine.

In 1946 Fr. Anderson was appointed pastor at St. Joseph's, Calgary on the death of Fr. Fergus O'Brien where he remained for 21 years during the extraordinary growth of the North Hill in Calgary when nine new churches were built and eight parishes divided from the original St. Joseph's parish while it still remained the largest parish in the Diocese. In 1939 Fr. Anderson was appointed Dean of Drumheller. He was named Pro-Synodal Judge of the Diocesan Court in 1950, and was appointed Domestic Prelate to the Pope in 1957. In 1960 he was made Dean of North Calgary. Monsignor Anderson was named Vicar General in January 1963 and was appointed to the Council of Administration.

On the death of Bishop Carroll in 1967 Anderson was elected Vicar Capitular by unanimous vote on the first ballot, and served until the installation of Bishop Klein. He was re-appointed Vicar General by Klein and became pastor of St. Anthony's, Calgary in July 1967. He was pastor of Canmore and missions during the winter of 1968-9 and pastor of St. Patrick's, Midnapore until Sept 1970. He was appointed Director of the Priests' Centre in Sept 1970 and Director of Diocese Archives in 1971. He died on October 8, 1988.

Assembly of Women Religious, Diocese of Calgary

  • CA RCDCA AR A5
  • Collectivité
  • 1999-

In 1979 women religious in the Calgary Diocese were surveyed to see if there would be any interest in establishing a council in response to Bishop Paul J. O'Byrne’s call for collaboration. At the end of 1979 the data was sent to a steering committee comprising Sisters Joan Wigbers SP, Kathleen Kelly SSS, Salvator Falardeau OP, Lois Anne Bordowitz FCJ and Carla Montante SP. The sisters voted 71 to 3 in favour of forming a group to support a number of functions such as communication, social, sharing, support, ongoing formation and vocation awareness. (There were 6 don’t knows). Groups already existed in Calgary and Lethbridge. The fledgling Council for Religious held its first meeting, with 50 participants, at the FCJ Convent in Calgary in April 19, 1980, when the first executive was installed by Bishop Paul with Sr. Carla Montante as chair. The purpose of the Council for Religious of the Diocese of Calgary was to:

  1. Be a vehicle for communication in the Diocese
  2. Provide opportunities for religious to share their ministries
  3. Foster mutual support and growth by sponsoring workshops, days of prayer, socials, etc.

Bishop Paul saw the ‘Sisters’ Council’ as ‘the voice for Sisters in relationship to the apostolate of our Diocese, both to giving insights into what should be done and insights into what Sisters see as need within the Diocese’. He also felt that in 1985 this had not really been accomplished.

By 1987 the Council of Religious stated that it was ‘an organ of communication and a voice for all the religious of the Diocese'. Its purpose statement explained that ‘religious of different orders and congregations live and work in the various parishes or other structures of a diocese. Religious are part of the diocese and belong within the diocesan structure. If the religious are to have a voice within the diocese, they must group themselves together and from their ranks form a Diocesan Council of Religious.’

Allerston, St. Isidore

  • CA RCDCA AR A6
  • Collectivité
  • 1911-

The town of Allerston was settled between 1911 and 1918. Mass was celebrated in the school house until 1912. Through the influence of Fr. J. J. Bidault, OMI, the construction of a Church in Allerston was underway. Bishop Legal came in a procession of twenty boys on horseback to bless the new Church on July 31, 1912. In honor of the farming community, the church was named after St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers. The priests were shared with the community in Lethbridge from 1910- 1921 and from Milk River, 1921 onwards. In 1976, there were concerns regarding the structural integrity of the building and it was relocated onto a new foundation. (FBTC, 253 – 254; WoC, 281, 286-287)

Bagnall, Lawrence J.

  • CA RCDCA AR B1
  • Personne
  • 1941-

Born at Point of Pierre in Trinidad, British West Indies, on Sept 6, 1941, Fr. Bagnall was educated in Turner Valley, Calgary and at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton. He was ordained at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Calgary by Bishop Klein in Calgary on May 27, 1967. Fr. Bagnall served at Sacred Heart in Calgary, St. Patrick’s, Medicine Hat and St. Anthony’s, Drumheller. In 1973 he was appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Oyen. In 1976 he went to Malawi as a missionary in the Chikwawa Diocese at Nsanje Mission and at the Njale Mission in Thyolo. In 1980 he returned for five months as Administrator of St. Peter’s Parish, Milk River before returning to Africa as Assistant Pastor of St. Michael’s Cathedral, Chikwawa. For six months in 1982 he was posted to Our Lady of Fatima in Muona before returning to St. Michael’s. In 1984 Fr. Bagnall returned in Alberta to become Pastor at St. Augustine’s, Taber and in 1989 he was appointed Pastor of St. Peter’s Calgary. After a year’s sabbatical he was appointed Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral in 1993. He retired Jul 31, 2008.

Beaton, Fr. Ronald

  • CA RCDCA AR B2
  • Personne
  • 1874-1948

Ronald Beaton was born in Broad Cove, Inverness County, Nova Scotia on Dec 3, 1874. He studied at St. Francis Xavier University and in Roman and he was ordained for the Diocese of Antigonish on Aug 15, 1902, [or May 24] at St. John Lateran. Fr. Beaton came to Calgary in May 1914, encouraged by his Archbishop Neil McNeil, to whom Bishop McNally had appealed for priests. Beaton was sent straight to Coleman as the population of the mining communities of the Crow’s Nest Pass was growing and had only one priest. Beaton took charge of Blairmore, Frank, Bellevue, Hillcrest and other smaller missions, living in a hotel in Frank and later at the Belevue Hotel. A church was built in Bellevue with the help of parishioners and the first Mass was celebrated privately on May 1, 1915. Beaton lived in rooms over the sacristy and did his own housekeeping. He blessed the church on May 9 and dedicated it to St. Cyril after a church near Lochaber in Scotland, the home of his ancestors, and in recognition of the many Slavic peoples of the Pass. After three years in the Diocese, alone and labouring hard, his health was compromised. He was given permission to move to the Diocese of Victoria in 1916/1917. For his services there he was made Domestic Prelate in 1938 by Pope Pius XI. Monsigner Beaton died Mar 4, 1948.

Bellevue, St. Cyril

  • CA RCDCA AR B3
  • Collectivité
  • 1914-1997

After the community of Bellevue was established in 1903 when the mine was opened the Catholic population was visited by Oblates. Fr. Ronald Beaton came in 1914 and established the parish, built a church which was finished in 1915 on land donated by the Western Canadian Colliery Company. The title, St. Cyril was chosen by Fr. Beaton.

Cutter, Manly N.

  • CA RCDCA AR C1
  • Personne
  • 1851-1931

Manly N. Cutter was born in Massachusetts in 1851 and trained as an architect. He worked in New York, New Jersey, Spokane and Alberta. He designed the picturesque Gothic St. Patrick's Church, Medicine Hat, which was completed in 1932.

Council of Priests

  • CA RCDCA AR C11
  • Collectivité
  • 1968-

A new constitution of the Presbyteral Council of the RC Diocese of Calgary was signed by Bishop Paul O’Byrne and the Moderator and Vicar General, and chair of the Presbyteral Council V. Rev. John Schuster on May 11th, 1992 and revised on December 9th, 1997.
While the official name of the organization is the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Calgary, it is known as the Council of Priests. Governed by the Code of Canon Law its express purpose is to ‘provide a forum for the full and free discussion of issues of pastoral concern in the Diocese,’ and to aid the Bishop in the governance of the Diocese, seek out means for more effective ministry and to ‘be representative of the unity of the priests as a whole.’

Although all priests of the Diocese are said to have an ‘active and passive voice’ there are three categories of members who attend meetings. They are:

  1. Ex officio members; priests who are Vicars General, Chancellor, Moderator, members of the College of Consulters.
  2. Those appointed by the Bishop (maximum of five).
  3. Those elected by the presbyterate. Although the Bishop appoints the Deans for each deanery or pastoral zone, who are the deanery representatives on the Council, the dean may, with the Bishop’s permission chose to relinquish his place to another elected priest.

Although the bishop is not a member of the Council of Priests he is the ex officio President of the Council. The chair is normally the Moderator and the members elect a vice-chair and also, if required, a treasurer. The executive secretary is responsible for taking and distributing the minutes etc.

There will be no less than eight monthly meetings per year

Quorum is 2/3 Council membership. The executive committee – President, chair, vice-chair, and executive secretary prepare the agenda. Standing committees may be designated by the council according to its needs.

The Council is only consultative by its nature. Decisions of the Council are normally reached by consensus but if that is not possible in the view of the presider then a majority vote will decide.

The Council may be dissolved by the bishop but only after consultation with the Metropolitan. The Council ceases to exist and its functions revert to the College of Consultors when the Episcopal See becomes vacant.

The Council of Priests produced a newsletter 1968 to 1970.

Catholic Bible College of Canada

  • CA RCDCA AR C12
  • Collectivité
  • 1979-1991

Established 1984 in Canmore. It was a project of the Western Bishops rather than the Diocese of Calgary.

Catholic Charities

  • CA RCDCA AR C13
  • Collectivité
  • 1956-

Bishop Carroll had been Vicar General in Toronto between 1933 and 1935. He had direct experience of Catholic social services in Toronto and once in Calgary recognized the need. Due to the scarcity of clergy he could do nothing until in 1945 he sent Fr. Pat O’Byrne to St. Louis University to study social services. On March 21, 1956 O’Byrne was appointed part-time executive secretary of the newly-established Diocesan Charities. This later became Catholic Charities. In the sixties its duties were to advise and co-ordinate the charitable work of the Catholic Women's League of Canada, Knights of Columbus etc., to relate Diocesan welfare work to that of the civic provincial and federal governments, and to community fund agencies etc., to counsel and advise individuals and families on relationships, refer cases to professionals. It had a board of directors who were lay Catholics. Offices were opened in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Blairmore, and Claresholm. Thrift Stores were opened, for example, at Sacred Heart Parish, and connections were fostered ecumenically and with branches of government.
In 1961 Fr. John Kirley was sent to the University of Ottawa to train in social work. In 1964 he was appointed assistant executive secretary, and later director of the Catholic Family Services.
Klein renamed Catholic Charities the Diocesan Council of Social Agencies but in was reestablished as Catholic Charities in 1990 following Diocesan conflict with the United Way. Catholic Charities’ new mandate included collecting and distributing funds to agencies and organizations which upheld Catholic values.
“In 1996, Catholic Charities began accepting contributions made through the Donor Choice program of the United Way” (Inter-Office Memo from Fran Oleniuk to Bishop Henry, October 28, 1998, Subject: “United Way, Catholic Family Services & Catholic Charities Partnership). In 1997, Bishop O’Byrne “encouraged” Catholic Charities to “discuss” the possibility of “a joint project” with Catholic Family Services and the United Way (ibid.). After discussions with the United Way concerning the problem of prostitution among adolescents in the city, Catholic Charities and Catholic Family Services chose not to partner with the United Way and instead “decided upon” FAST (Families and Schools Together), an “early intervention program for children” established by Catholic Family Services (ibid.). In 1998, discussions with the United Way resumed “with the support of Bishop Henry” (ibid.).
[Winds of Change]

Calgary Inter-Faith Community Action Committee (CIFCAC)

  • CA RCDCA AR C14
  • Collectivité
  • 1969-1974

The Calgary Inter-Faith Community Action Committee was co-founded in 1969 by Fr. Patrick O’Byrne who became its executive director. This association of clergy and laity played a key role in such ecumenical initiatives as the Calgary Drop-In Centre, the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank, and the Interfaith Thrift Stores. It was a high profile organization in Alberta which also founded the Pastoral Institute, Carter Place, and the expanded religious studies programs and library holdings at the University of Calgary.
In 1977 the officers of the CIFCAC were: Rev. Leslie Files (President) – Presbyterian, Fr. Pat O’Byrne (Executive Director) – Catholic, Ms. Kay Chute (Secretary).
In 1978 CIFCAC started the Southern Alberta World Development Animation Project (SAWDAP).
In 1980 CIFCAC became an Association. It opened the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank in 1983. The idea had originated in Phoenix, Arizona and had already taken root in Edmonton. Fr. Jack Bastigal was instrumental in initiating the Food Bank in Calgary.

Camp Cadicasu

  • CA RCDCA AR C15
  • Collectivité
  • 1922-

In 1922 the Calgary Council of the Knights of Columbus raised funds to establish a camp for boys in unfortunate circumstances. Camp Cadicasu was improved over the years and is used as a summer camp for youth and adult groups.

Carroll, Francis P., 1890-1967

  • CA RCDCA AR C2
  • Personne
  • July 7, 1890 - Feb 25, 1967

He was born on July 7, 1890 in Toronto where he also studied at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. He attended St. Augustine’s Seminary in 1913 and was ordained at the Seminary on June 2, 1917. He remained at St. Augustine’s for twelve years as professor of Scripture and then went to Jerusalem for two years to study at the Dominican Biblical School. After his return to St. Augustine’s, he was appointed Rector of the Seminary.

He took possession of the Calgary See on March 25, 1935. During this time, Western Canada had taken a hard hit from the Depression. Bishop Carroll continued to develop the Diocesan plan which began with Bishop Monahan—this serviced parish projects and consolidated some parochial debt.

After he became Bishop, there was an increase in native priests due to his encouragement as well as the growth of Catholic communities. During the latter part of his episcopate, more than half his clergy members were native priests.
Appointed fourth Bishop of Calgary in 1936 - a serious Biblical scholar, gifted speaker and effective administrator. In 1957 he was appointed as Assistant to the Pontifical Throne by Pope Pius XII. Bishop Carroll attended the first session of the Second Vatican Council until ill health forced his return home. Bishop Joseph L. Wilhelm was appointed Vicar General and auxiliary in 1963 until January 1965 when he left Calgary to become Archbishop of Kingston.

Carroll resigned as bishop on Dec 28, 1966, was appointed Apostolic Administrator, but he died on February 25, 1967.
Source: From the Buffalo to the Cross, pp. 133-135

Chan, Michael Patrick

  • CA RCDCA AR C3
  • Personne
  • 1995-2010 (active at the Pastoral Centre)

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

  • CA RCDCA AR C4
  • Collectivité
  • 1981-

Formed from the amalgamation of Calgary Immigrant Services and the Diocesan Immigration Services in 1981. It hired counselors and settlement workers and a team of volunteers to assist immigrants and refugees. It was committed to family reunification, advocacy and the creation of a climate of acceptance within the general public. Opened Cabrini House in 1980 as transition housing.

College of Consultors

  • CA RCDCA AR C5
  • Collectivité
  • 1913-

The College of Consultors consists of priests charged with advising the bishop in a diocese; some decisions require that they be given a hearing, others require their consent. When a sede vacante situation arises, the College of Consultors is obliged to elect a diocesan administrator within eight days of receiving notice of the vacancy.
In the Diocese of Calgary we have records of the meetings from 1985 to 1991 and 1997. Active and semi-active records are maintained in the Office of the Bishop.

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