Saturday, January 7, 2012

Announcing Archbishop Thomas 'Cardinal' Collins

Dear Theophilus,

I’ve always found it amusing that the Archbishop of Toronto shares his name with a cocktail – Tom Collins (though I believe his grace prefers to go by the name Thomas). It was announced yesterday that Archbishop Collins can add another mixed drink to his name, that of Cardinal (a French drink of liqueur de cassis and red wine).

At the consistory announced for February 18 and 19, 2012 Archbishop Collins will become a Prince of the Church with 21 other new Cardinals (read the announcement here).

In some ways, Archbishop Collins’ inclusion can be seen as a political move for the Catholic Church in Canada. Firstly, recent tradition has had the Archbishop of Toronto presiding as a Cardinal (Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter and Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic in my memory). Also, since the Archdiocese of Toronto is the largest within Canada it is fitting that its head be named a Cardinal. Finally, of Canada’s other two Cardinals (Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte of Montreal and Marc Cardinal Ouellet of Québec City), Cardinal Ouellet was called to the Vatican in 2010 to assist in the naming of bishops, opening the need for another Cardinal to represent Canada.

I’ve had the pleasure to hear Archbishop Collins preach at St. Michael’s Cathedral, and he came across as a man of both the Church and the Congregation. Holding a doctorate in theology, with a specialty in sacred scripture, there is no denying Archbishop Collins’ credentials. That said, the way in which he addressed his flock showed how he understood where we are on our faith journey and how best to shepherd us along. There was a common touch to his words.

Coming back to Archbishop Collins sharing his name and title with mixed drinks, perhaps these can be seen as appropriate monikers for a man of Christ. When he says Mass daily, Archbishop Collins says the following when he mixes water in wine in the chalice: “By the mingling of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

Humble – there is another great adjective to describe a gentleman who likes his Timbits. (read the National Post article this is mentioned in here)

May God bless Archbishop Collins, the Light of Christ shine through him and the Holy Spirit guide him as he takes the red hat.

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