Articles - “Pregnant with Perils”: - Canadian Catholicism and Its Relation to the Catholic Churches of Newfoundland, 1840-1949

Articles

“Pregnant with Perils”:

Canadian Catholicism and Its Relation to the Catholic Churches of Newfoundland, 1840-1949

Mark G. McGowan
University of Toronto

1 The history of the Catholic Church in Canada bears a stunning resemblance to the evolution of Canada itself. Upon first glance, one might assume a certain degree of unity, perhaps even uniformity, in Canadian Catholicism before 1965. After all, this Catholicism shared a common institutional structure, a universal acquiescence to a well-entrenched hierarchical form of governance, doctrinal formulations and liturgical language as laid down by the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, the enthusiastic embrace of ultramontane piety and devotionalism of the nineteenth century, and, finally, a view from Rome that, until 1908, essentially lumped the mission territories of British North America together as the Vatican monitored the activities of Catholics in the New World. As one scrutinizes Canadian Catholic history more closely, however, one is likely to discover that eminent historian J.M.S. Careless’s idea of limited identity has as much application to Canadian Catholicism as it does to the nation as a whole.1 Regionalism, ethnicity, language, immigration, class, gender relations, and politics have all helped to shape distinctive Catholic communities from sea-to-sea. This principle is particularly accurate when one compares the development of the Catholic Church in Newfoundland to its counterparts on the mainland.

2 Considerable evidence suggests that these branches of the Catholic Church in British North America evolved quite independently and distinctly from one another in the 400 years that elapsed from first European settlement to Confederation between Canada and Newfoundland in 1949. Great distances — confounded by rudimentary means of transportation, language differences, dissimilar political structures, competing colonial empires, and varied levels of dependence on specific economic staples — help account for how communities and their churches evolved differently on the opposite shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Even when united under a common English Crown in 1763, Catholics in the Diocese of Quebec, its suffragans, the Maritime dioceses, and the western frontier demonstrated little more than cordial interest in the emergent Catholic communities located in “the land of fish.” Recently, the work of Dr. John FitzGerald has argued persuasively that the predominantly Irish Catholic institutions of eastern Newfoundland, in what would become the Archdiocese of St. John’s and the Diocese of Harbour Grace-Grand Falls, looked to the east, forging both ecclesial, trade, and civil relationships with Ireland, Great Britain, and Continental Europe. From the 1840s, Newfoundland’s Catholics had little interest in Canada, nor did they desire any Canadian ecclesiastical sovereignty over their distinctive Irish Catholic communities, served by Irish priests and Irish women religious, whether the Sisters of Mercy or Irish Presentation Sisters.2 Even ties of kinship and Irish culture with other regions of Canada failed to strengthen relations between the two churches, particularly in the nineteenth century, giving credence to Cecil Houston and William Smyth’s contention that there was no typical Irish community in Canada, but regional Irish communities that evolved according to the rhythms of the place and timing of settlement.3

3 The contention that the Catholic churches in Newfoundland and Canada lived at arm’s length, insulated from one another, holds true particularly in the history of the island’s east coast dioceses and for the nineteenth century. Here the notion of “A great Gulf makes good neighbours” is a reasonable hypothesis. Nevertheless, such a contention only explains part of the history of ecclesiastical relations between Canada and Newfoundland to 1949. This paper argues that by the late nineteenth century, Newfoundland-Canadian relations within the Church could be characterized as bifocal. On the one hand, the two easternmost dioceses of Newfoundland (Harbour Grace and St. John’s) lived in relative isolation from the development of the Canadian churches; they inhabited an “Irish world” with a focus on the North Atlantic triangle that was central to the development of eastern Newfoundland as Britain’s fishery and nursery of sailors. Such was not the case in the Apostolic Vicariate (later Diocese) of St. George’s, which served Catholics on the island’s southern coast and what had been known as the “French Shore,” on the west coast of Newfoundland. In this frontier diocese, close links to Canada developed, primarily because of the region’s multicultural Catholic population, many of whom were of Canadian origin, and who were served by Canadian-born or trained priests. These relations were facilitated by a regular ferry link to the commercial and mercantile services available in Nova Scotia. Thus, by 1948, from a Newfoundland perspective, two sets of relationships had evolved with the Canadian Catholic Church: one of caution and suspicion in the “Irish east,” and one of dependence on the “Gulfside frontier.” These bifocal relations, which evolved over a century, came to the fore, in 1948, when Newfoundland Catholics had to decide their civil allegiances. For the purposes of this paper Labrador is excluded because, by the mid nineteenth century, the region’s churches were essentially dominated by Oblate missionaries, who received their marching orders from Montreal and Ottawa.4

4 Given their distinctive character and long history, it is not surprising that the Irish Catholic community in eastern Newfoundland jealously guarded the autonomy of their Church. The colonial history of the migration and settlement of these Irish Newfoundlanders is well known and requires no great elaboration here. Formal ties with Quebec during the ancien regime were tenuous to say the least. In 1689, while it was still part of the Diocese of Quebec, under the civil authority of France, Bishop St-Vallier landed at Placentia and established a Franciscan convent.5 When the English re-established themselves on Newfoundland after 1713, the island’s Catholics were once again severed from their co-religionists in Canada, which remained in the French Empire for another half-century. The Irish Catholic Newfoundlanders lived under Britain’s unevenly applied Penal Laws, which restricted the rights of Roman Catholics, and were served by itinerant Irish clergy. The growth of Catholic liberties on the island owed much to Governor John Campbell (1782-86), who permitted Catholics to build a chapel in St. John’s in 1783 and gave similar freedom to other dissenting churches.6 In 1784, Rome created Newfoundland as a separate Prefecture Apostolic under Irish Franciscan William Louis O’Donel. O’Donel was elevated to the episcopacy when Newfoundland was transformed into an Apostolic Vicariate in 1796, and he had to travel to Quebec for consecration, but the churches in the two colonies remained distinct and independent in their jurisdictions, though cordial in their communication.7 One important exception was noted in 1820, when Rome redrew the Episcopal boundaries in British North America and, in so doing, assigned Anticosti Island and Labrador to the Newfoundland Vicariate, much to the exasperation of Bishop Joseph-Octave Plessis of Quebec.8 Plessis’s rejection of Rome’s action appeared reasonably well founded considering that these regions in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, remote from large settlements and sparsely populated by Europeans, could scarcely be served by St. John’s, which itself was having difficulty providing adequate service to the Avalon Peninsula and Conception Bay.

5 This modest territorial gain by the Newfoundland Church paled in comparison with the uneasiness it experienced, in the 1840s, when the Canadian hierarchy actively sought to bring Newfoundland under the proposed Metropolitan See of Quebec. The plan’s principal agent was the energetic and visionary ultramontane Bishop of Montreal, Ignace Bourget, who desired one large archdiocese, centred at Quebec, and with all the other British North American sees as suffragans. The idea had actually predated Bourget by 20 years; in 1819, Rome had designated Plessis as archbishop, although he never used the term officially or publicly for fear of offending the Protestant colonial authorities, particularly the official Anglican Church, which could boast no archbishop of its own. By 1840, however, Bourget, in concert with Bishop Joseph Signay of Quebec and his coadjutor Flavien Turgeon, envisioned a Metropolitan See gloriously linking the churches from the Avalon to the Red River under one Archbishop.9 Aside from the obvious prominence such a project would bring to the Archbishop of Quebec, Bourget and his supporters argued that the creation of a Metropolitan See would enhance the status and prestige of the Church in British North America, putting it on par with the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the United States. In addition, Bourget argued that diplomacy between the Church and the state would be simplified because the British would only have to deal directly with the Archbishop, who in turn would direct his suffragans. Such clear lines of administration would also enhance the Church’s ability to control the settlement of the frontier and thereby undermine the lawlessness recently observed in the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada.10

6 In 1840, Bourget sent his protégé, and the future Bishop of Toronto, Michael Power, to convince the Atlantic bishops of the merits of creating a Metropolitan See at Quebec. Power appeared to be the ideal candidate for the mission: he was steadfastly loyal to the British Crown, as was evidenced in the recent rebellions; he was a priest of the Diocese of Montreal, but fluent in English; and, perhaps best of all in the eyes of Bourget, he was a native of Halifax—one of their own in the Atlantic colonies, so to speak. Power soon met with Bishop Bernard MacDonald of Charlottetown and his own former ordinary, William Fraser, the Vicar Apostolic of Nova Scotia. Neither man was convinced by Power’s arguments. Their diocesan populations were largely anglophone or Gaelic-speaking, and both their Episcopal regions had a difficult history with administration of their people from the distant see of Quebec. Their colonies tended to look eastward to the Atlantic, from where much of their trade and immigration came. In their eyes, Quebec and its “upper country” were remote interior outposts of the Empire. Power returned to Quebec in defeat.11

7 Power had been unable to meet with Michael Anthony Fleming, the Vicar Apostolic of Newfoundland (and later Bishop), who was away on one of his many visits to Ireland. Even in Fleming’s absence, however, Power was given the impression that Newfoundland wanted nothing to do with Bourget or his plan.12 Upon his return, and in the ensuing five years, Fleming openly resisted any attempt by Rome or Quebec to subordinate Newfoundland to any Canadian see. During the controversy he confided to Bishop William Walsh, of the newly created Diocese of Halifax (1842), that he did not trust the Canadians, particularly because of their dependence on the British. Speaking in confidence with his fellow Irishman, he told Walsh:

that my confidence in a portion of the hierarchy that have so often given the clearest evidence of their being under the immediate control of the Protestant British Government is by no means fixed and this dependence is likely in my mind to continue as they owe so large a portion of their revenues to the British Protestant bounty while their aggrandizement on the other hand by placing all North American colonies under their spiritual control would have the effect of strengthening their claim upon that Government for an accession of pay.13

In Fleming’s mind the transportation and communications between the colonies were far too primitive to make such a project work. Moreover, each colony was distinctive in language and culture from Canada; and, finally, Fleming, his Irish suspicions of Britain fully engaged, was not interested in the Crown meddling in the affairs of the Catholic Church, via the proposed Archdiocese of Quebec. In his view, on the question of a Metropolitan See for All British North America: Newfoundland respectfully declined.

8 Much to Fleming’s chagrin, Quebec and Rome had other ideas. In 1841, Bourget and Power brought the issue of the Metropolitan See both to the Propaganda Fide in Rome, which was responsible for the Church in mission territories, and then to the Colonial Office in London. In Rome, the papal curia gave conditional approval to the creation of an archdiocese at Quebec, and they anointed Power, against his will, to become the first Bishop of Western Upper Canada, later Toronto, and a prospective suffragan to Quebec. Bourget then sent Power to London, where he argued to Lord Stanley’s fledgling administration that the creation of a Metropolitan See would be a great advantage to the British. Catholics would be better equipped administratively to apply social control on the frontier, while Church-state communications would be facilitated considerably.14 Meanwhile, Paul Cullen, who was stationed at the Irish College in Rome, urged Fleming “to put down the French and Scotch intriguing” by gathering together the Atlantic bishops with the purpose of establishing a separate eastern ecclesiastical province.”15

9 Rome’s decision to create the Metropolitan See of Quebec, in May 1844, was bittersweet for all the parties affected. The Crown issued its approval for the creation of the Archbishop of Quebec, but with suffragans only at Montreal, Kingston, and Toronto. According to the law officers of the Colonial Office, the Crown could only approve such religious arrangements for the “conquered” territories, now inclusive of the Province of Canada, for which there had already been provisions for the Catholic Church by statutes in 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774. The Atlantic colonies had no such provisions by statute and therefore could not be obliged by Her Majesty to become part of the Metropolitan See of Quebec; thus, Newfoundland and its neighbours were exclusive of the Archdiocese of Quebec so far as the Crown was concerned. Rome’s view allowed for flexibility, however, since it encouraged the Atlantic prelates to attend the periodic synods of the new Archdiocese. In Fleming’s view, however, he had witnessed a successful rebuff of Canadian power, the maintenance of Newfoundland’s ecclesiastical independence, and the maintenance of a direct reporting relationship to the Propaganda Fide in Rome.16

10 Ironically, the creation of the Diocese of Newfoundland, with Fleming as its first bishop, in 1847, reopened the wounds of Canadian control of the Church in Newfoundland. Upon becoming bishop, Fleming was shocked to discover that his diocese was to become a suffragan of Quebec. Accordingly, within a month of learning his fate, he fired off letters of protest to both the Prefect of the Propaganda Fide and to the Archbishop of Quebec. His basic message to both was that the communications, transportation, and other links between Newfoundland and the rest of North America made this relationship with Canada both impractical and dangerous, both physically and spiritually. “Never can I in speaking of this matter,” pleaded Fleming to the Propaganda, “only look to the position of this country in relation to the Metropolitan to the condition of the Mission, one just emerging from a lethargy as compared with other exhibiting characteristics of a long settled society, to the convenience of my successors, to the difference of language, Quebec being French, this Irish, and the general interests, the spiritual interests of their people.”17 Describing himself as “the Prelate of a congregation of impoverished fishermen,” Fleming requested that he retain his direct reporting relationship with Rome. All he asked was “what had been granted to Halifax and, for a time Upper Canada.”18

11 When addressing Joseph Signay, Fleming’s request to be released from Quebec was polite, yet colourful. In a carefully worded epistle, he reminded Signay:

Newfoundland is distant from Quebec, no fewer than twenty degrees. There is . . . no commercial intercourse. The navigation of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from its entrance at Cape Ray via the Magdalen, and between the wilds of Anticosti, and the dreary shores of Cape Gaspe to the mouth of the St. Lawrence by our most experienced mariners is pregnant with perils, while the wrecks of hundreds of Canadian traders that strew the Southern Coast of our Island, and the bones of thousands that bleach upon our shores testify to the dangers that must be surrounded, before that Gulf or the Great River can be reached, while if the more devious route of Halifax be chosen although the danger can scarcely be mitigated the distance is nearly doubled.19

Fleming’s arguments were clear, even to the point of suggesting that if Newfoundland were to find itself under any Metropolitan See, it would make more sense, historically and practically, to have such a relationship with an archdiocese in Ireland, central England, or “any see in Northern France.” Fleming did concede, however, that given his shortage of priests, when compounded by the distance, Quebec might want to assume control over Labrador. Signay’s response is not recorded, although Bourget thought the arguments based on distance and communications were most insufficient.20 Nevertheless, in 1850, Rome returned independence to the Diocese of Newfoundland. John Thomas Mullock, Fleming’s successor and no less independent-minded than his predecessor, would attend the first synod of Quebec, in 1851, but no other Newfoundland bishops would do so again for another 77 years.21

12 In the remaining decades of the nineteenth century, the Catholic Church in Newfoundland would retain its institutional independence from the Canadian Church. Relations between Fleming’s successors in St. John’s and Canadian prelates remained cordial, if not mutually advantageous. In September 1855, Bishops Armand de Charbonnel of Toronto, Colin Francis McKinnon of Arichat, and Thomas Louis Connolly of New Brunswick ventured to Newfoundland to assist in the dedication of the basilica of St. John the Baptist.22 Connolly, who appeared close to Mullock personally, had planned to visit the previous year, while McKinnon used his relationship with Newfoundland to suggest, in the most veiled of terms, that he could use the assistance in his diocese of women religious, presumably the Mercy Sisters and Presentation Sisters of St. John’s.23 Such improved communication in the region prompted further visitations across the Gulf. Thomas Power, Mullock’s successor, was designated as Vicar General of Rimouski in 1872, and five years later he was warmly received by Bishop Joseph Duhamel of Ottawa, while the former was visiting Ontario.24 Much later, in 1906, Michael Francis Howley delivered the homily/eulogy at the funeral of Archbishop Cornelius O’Brien of Halifax. At that Mass, Howley confessed that it almost seemed “inappropriate” that he, a prelate of Newfoundland, should be accorded the “honour” since he had never been “a colleague with [O’Brien] in the Vineyard of the Canadian Church.”25

13 Thus, throughout the nineteenth century, the interplay of Canadian and Newfoundland bishops did not disguise the Newfoundlanders’ self-identification as a separate country with a separate ecclesiastical authority. This distinction was held most profoundly on the island’s eastern or Atlantic coast, in the dioceses of St. John’s and Harbour Grace, where the Catholic population was primarily of Irish descent, served by mostly Irish-born or Irish-trained clergy, and educated by two orders of Irish sisters. Economically, politically, and socially these dioceses looked to the Atlantic world, and at times were forced to do so, when transatlantic shipping companies with destinations in Canada opted not to use St. John’s as a port of call.26 The links between Newfoundland and the Old World were still far stronger than their continental connections.

14 Such perceptions of Newfoundland and Canada were not shared by members of the curia in the Holy See or at the Propaganda Fide. In 1898, Pope Leo XIII appointed Diomede Falconio as the Apostolic Delegate for both Canada and Newfoundland. While both countries had shared special Vatican envoys in the past, beginning with Bishop Conroy’s mission and tragic death of a sudden illness in St. John’s in 1878,27 the appointment of a permanent delegate proved to be an irritation for the Newfoundland Church. First, the lumping of Canada and Newfoundland together, albeit convenient for Rome, was, in essence, an acknowledgement that the curia made little distinction between the ecclesiastical polity of the two churches. Second, the location of the delegation in Ottawa rendered contact between the Newfoundland bishops and the delegate very difficult, and required Newfoundland Catholics to pay, by annual subscription, for the support of their delegation, located in a foreign capital.28

15 Perhaps even more of a nuisance was that Rome expected Canada and Newfoundland to be uniform in the manner in which canon law and Church disciplines were applied. Such expectations left Archbishop Howley of St. John’s scrambling to discern the application of the marriage canons such as Ne temere, because of the historic differences between the civil laws of Quebec and Newfoundland.29 More frustrating was Rome’s instruction that Newfoundland ought to conform to the Canadian procedures of Episcopal election. When the Diocese of St. George’s became vacant in 1910, with the appointment of Bishop Neil McNeil to Vancouver, Howley was informed by decree “that our mode of procedure should be the same as that in vogue in Canada! And no more. Did not give me any information as to what was in vogue in Canada!”30 Howley was beside himself: he had only one sitting suffragan (Harbour Grace), and had to conduct an election conforming to Canadian norms, wherein he had to construct a terna, with only a few helpful suggestions from Archbishop Edward McCarthy of Halifax, upon which he could act. Exasperated, Howley confided to Archbishop Charles Hugh Gauthier of Ottawa that: “From all of this, you well see that I have no idea how we stand in relation to the Arch[bishops] of Canada.”31 By the time of the Great War, what was becoming increasingly clear to Howley was that Newfoundland’s ecclesiastical independence was beginning to erode.

16 Such notions of institutional independence had their strongest hold among clergy on the Atlantic shore. While the nerve centre of Newfoundland Catholicism, in its Irish enclave of the Avalon Peninsula and eastern bays, had doggedly resisted institutional ties or tutelage under Canada, such had not been the case on Newfoundland’s remote, rugged, and sparsely populated western and southern coasts along the Gulf. Geography suggests that Newfoundland’s west coast might naturally incline itself to Canada. With but the short intervention of the Cabot Strait, the west coast of Cape Breton and the west coast of Newfoundland appear as an eastern barrier enclosing the great inland sea that is the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Along these co-terminal coasts one discovers greater possibilities for navigation between the French Shore and the Magdalen Islands, Cape North, 32 Antigonish, Sydney, and even Quebec. By 1897 there was a regular, and soon to be subsidized, ferry service connecting Port aux Basques and North Sydney, which eventually provided the best conduit for trade, emigration, and supply between Newfoundland and Canada.33 The advent of the Newfoundland railway linking Port aux Basques and St. John’s only enhanced the advantages of the Cabot Strait ferry, and therein strengthened the already existing links between the western and southern Gulf coasts of Newfoundland and Canadian ports. By 1914, Canada had become Newfoundland’s third largest market for exports and the island’s second largest source of imported goods, most of which came through the ferry-rail link.34

17 Not surprisingly, the potential for fishing, farming, and forestry attracted many Canadian settlers to Newfoundland’s west coast. In the mid-nineteenth century, Québécois, Acadians, Nova Scotia Scots, Mi’kmaq, Anglo-Canadians, English from Jersey, and Irish Catholics from the eastern shore of the island carved out fledgling settlements from Port aux Basques through the Codroy Valley up to Bonne Bay.35 The majority of these new settlers were Roman Catholic, who by 1891 constituted roughly 60 per cent of the region, and within a decade 62 per cent.36 From the west coast’s earliest time of settlement, Bishop John Thomas Mullock, hundreds of miles away in St. John’s, acknowledged that it would be difficult for his diocese to administer the region because of the great distances between the two coasts and the dangerous seas surrounding the island. Although he made a pastoral visit to the west coast in 1848 while he was Fleming’s coadjutor, he readily admitted to Rome in 1867:

There is no trade at all, no communication exists at all between St. John’s and the region. With America and Canada only do they carry on trade. Here there resides only one missionary, an elderly and deaf Canadian who, because of great distance has never visited St. John’s and receives Holy Oils from another Canadian bishop. 37

Consequently, Mullock begged Canadian bishops in both Quebec and Nova Scotia to assist him in administering to the Catholics of western Newfoundland. For more than 30 years, between 1850 and 1885, the region was served by two priests borrowed from Canada: the first, Father Alexis Belanger, from L’Islet (1850-68), and Irish-born Thomas Sears, whom Bishop McKinnon of Arichat (later Antigonish) loaned to Mullock for nine months, but who enjoyed the challenge of the region so much he remained for 17 years.38

18 The arrival in 1868 of Thomas Sears from Nova Scotia marked the beginning of the west coast’s rapid gravitation to a Canadian ecclesiastical sphere of influence. In 1871, Sears became the first Prefect Apostolic of the region, which granted the area a modicum of independence from St. John’s, although Sears was still ultimately subject to the bishop there.39 It was only in 1892, when Rome created the Apostolic Vicariate of St. George’s, under the leadership of Bishop Michael Francis Howley, that the Church in western Newfoundland was formally wrestled from the hands of Canadian priests. Howley’s brief two-year tenure, however, could not disguise the fact that the region’s familial ties, economic dependence, and communications had been forged more strongly with Canada, in the nineteenth century, than with Newfoundland’s Atlantic shore. In fact, with the emergence of what would become the Diocese of St. George’s came a bifocal relationship between Canadian Catholics and the Newfoundland Church, as the eastern dioceses on the island continued their transatlantic gaze while the west coast forged strong bonds with Canada.

19 The west coast strengthened its ties to Canada under Howley’s successor, Neil McNeil, who served as the Vicar Apostolic of St. George’s from 1895 to 1904, whereupon he became the first Bishop of St. George’s until 1910. McNeil was born in Hillsborough, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1851, where he served as an apprentice blacksmith to his father until it was recognized that he had an extraordinary aptitude for scholarship. In time the modest and good-humoured McNeil was launched on an ecclesiastical career, which began as a student in Antigonish in 1869, then on to the Propaganda Fide College, Rome, ordination in 1879, rectorship of St. Francis Xavier University in the 1880s, pastoral work among the Acadians at West Arichat and D’Escousse in the 1890s, and editorship of The Casket and Aurora, weekly newspapers serving eastern Nova Scotia. In 1895, he became the second Nova Scotian to serve as a bishop in Newfoundland, the first being Ronald MacDonald (1835-1912), who was Bishop of Harbour Grace from 1881 to 1906. McNeil’s influence on the development of his new diocese, and his cultivation of Canadian connections there, cannot be underestimated. McNeil literally built the infrastructure of the diocese with his own hands, employing his skills as an ironsmith, roofer, carpenter, and electrician. His building supplies and tools came from Nova Scotia.40 He did the diocese’s banking in Canadian banks.41 He imported Canadian Catholic newspapers to link his diocese with the rest of the Catholic world.42 McNeil also retained his ties with St. Francis Xavier University and started a pipeline between the budding scholars and potential priests of his diocese and his alma mater in Antigonish. He even tried to encourage the Sisters of St. Martha to establish a house in Newfoundland.43 Although, by 1904, McNeil’s diocese was officially a suffragan of St. John’s, the daily needs of the churches in St. George’s were more sufficiently met by their ties with Canada.

20 Neil McNeil cast a long shadow over the Diocese of St. George’s, even after his transfer to Vancouver in 1910. Within two years he became the Archbishop of Toronto, arguably English Canada’s most influential diocese. The enormously popular McNeil kept in close contact with former parishioners and priests in Newfoundland, particularly Andrew Sears, a cousin of the first Prefect Apostolic in the region.44 Sears relayed to McNeil the news and views of the diocese, confessing as late as 1929 that, in terms of long distances to travel and the poverty of local Catholics, “the little diocese of St. George’s has not as a whole advanced since you left it.”45 The fact that western Newfoundlanders continued to correspond with McNeil over 20 years after his departure attests to McNeil’s popularity in the region and his ongoing concern for the spiritual and material welfare of his former ecclesiastical family.

21 His distant “Canadian” hand in the development of St. George’s was manifest in several ways. First, his legacy was continued when, in 1911, Michael F Power, McNeil’s protégé, became the second Bishop of St. George’s. Although Power was born in Newfoundland, McNeil had arranged for him to be educated at St. Francis Xavier University, trained for the priesthood in Rome, and ordained for St. George’s. When he became McNeil’s successor at age 34, he was the youngest Catholic bishop in the British Empire.46 Power continued to develop the links, in part pioneered by McNeil and his predecessors; he maintained the educational pipeline to Nova Scotia, became a visitor to central Canada (where he laid the cornerstone of one of McNeil’s new churches in Toronto in 1915), became a governor of the Catholic Church Extension Society of Canada (CCES), and was rumoured to be the heir apparent as the president of the CCES when Alfred E Burke left that post to become a chaplain with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.47 At the time of Power’s sudden death at North Sydney in 1920,48 the west of Newfoundland had become well known to Canadians west of Quebec and actually was the recipient of direct Canadian aid by means of McNeil’s and Power’s efforts through the CCES.

22 One of the links that emerged in this period was the inclusion of western Newfoundland in Canadian missionary activity. In 1913, Bishop Power invited the Toronto-based Redemptorists to conduct a mission in Newfoundland. The four Redemptorists spent much of their nine-month mission in parishes and chapels on the west coast. Although the immediate results were their attempts to handle a variety of local social problems, including “difficulties arising from mixed marriages and apostasies,” the mission itself may have spawned interest in young Newfoundlanders joining the Redemptorists.49 The second major missionary link created by Power and McNeil was the introduction of the Catholic Church Extension Society to the Diocese of St. George’s. Founded in 1908 and granted a pontifical constitution two years later, the CCES quickly became the principal means by which English-speaking Catholics could assist the home missions created among First Nations peoples and Catholic immigrants. With its headquarters in Toronto and its Chancellor, the local Archbishop, Neil McNeil, Extension became the financial linchpin between the settled districts and dioceses of the Canadian church and its missionary frontiers. During Power’s tenure as bishop, CCES largesse also extended to St. George’s, the only non-Canadian territory included in the Society’s list of projects. From 1918 to 1922, the diocese received annual payments varying from $200 to $1,190 to subsidize the purchase of vestments, catechisms, altar plate, or building materials for chapels.50 This financial relationship became reciprocal as Newfoundlanders, like so many other Canadian Catholics, sent the CCES money to support the mission among Canada’s Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine-Greek rite. These efforts to support home missions in Canada even met with favour from the bishops of Harbour Grace and St. John’s, who requested that Power pen a pastoral letter seeking the financial support of all Newfoundlanders for these missions.51

23 The linkages created between western Newfoundland and Canada in the field of education, particularly the training of clergy, were the third principal legacy of the Power-McNeil years. The west of Newfoundland was not exclusive in these linkages with Canadian schools: by 1914, the more independent dioceses of the Atlantic shore recognized that Canadian schools were a necessity if Newfoundland wanted to maintain a supply of priests and secure the social mobility of her young men and women in the absence of a local university. In the nineteenth century the Newfoundland dioceses were happily dependent on the seminaries of Continental Europe and Ireland. In keeping with the cultural distinctiveness of the Atlantic shore, it seemed only natural that Newfoundland men were trained in Irish seminaries or that Irish men were recruited for the churches of the Avalon and the bays. In the early nineteenth century, a few men were trained at Quebec, but this was more an exception than the rule.52 For his part, the ever-controversial Fleming objected to creating a local seminary in the Atlantic colonies. In a biting refutation to William Walsh’s suggestion of such an establishment, Fleming railed that such projects could be undertaken in Quebec, where the Church was highly developed, arguing that in the Atlantic colonies such a venture “would have very dangerous consequences to the peace of the Church.” Here, Fleming claimed, are “men of very limited education who went in their poverty as adventurers.”53 Moreover, he feared that the British authorities might assume the privilege of appointing professors of their own liking, which in Fleming’s mind was simply “dangerous to religion.” Given the force of his character and the strength of his argument, priests and religious on the east coast of the island, for decades, would continue their transatlantic attachment to mother Ireland.

24 This ecclesiastical chain migration was not to be underestimated. Although John Thomas Mullock had created St. Bonaventure’s in St. John’s to encourage vocations, the majority of Newfoundland priests owed their education to schools in Ireland or Italy. According to Kevin Conden, All Hallows College in Dublin considered Newfoundland as holding “a special place within the context of the Irish mission.” Between 1853 and 1891, 35 All Hallows graduates served in Newfoundland, two-thirds of whom were returning home after their Irish training. Twenty-one of these men served in St. John’s and the remainder in Harbour Grace.54 In addition to All Hallows, Newfoundland came to depend on the graduates of St. John’s Seminary, Waterford, St. Patrick’s Seminary, Carlow, the Irish College in Rome, and the Urban College of the Propaganda Fide in Rome.

25 By the turn of the twentieth century and the emergence of the Diocese of St. George’s, this pattern began to change in Canada’s favour. There are several reasons for this reorientation: first, English-speaking Catholics began to establish seminaries that would provide a cultural alternative to the long-standing tradition of sending anglophone men to the grand seminaries in Montreal or Quebec City. In 1893 the Eudist Fathers of Quebec opened Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax, and in 1913 the Archdiocese of Toronto, under the watchful eye of Neil McNeil, opened St. Augustine’s seminary, with the intent of making it a formation centre for all of English Canada and for both Latin and ByzantineGreek Rites.55 Shortly thereafter, Bishop Michael Francis Fallon opened St. Peter’s Seminary as an alternative to St. Augustine’s.56 The availability of these institutions was invaluable to the three Newfoundland dioceses, particularly during the Great War, 1914-18, when the shipping lanes of Europe were made hazardous by German U-Boat activity, making the sending of seminarians to and from Europe imprudent. In 1916, the Archdiocese of St. John’s had 20 seminarians studying abroad, of whom 11 were at either Holy Heart or St. Augustine’s, and the remainder in Ireland or Rome. By war’s end the shift seemed nearly complete, with 17 of 19 seminarians for the Archdiocese studying in Canada.57 Two additional factors may have helped to maintain this shift away from Europe: the fact that schools like St. Augustine’s offered more modest rates of tuition than some of their European competitors, and the fact that some Irish schools would not admit seminarians who had already completed a portion of their seminary studies elsewhere.58 There were also the intangible reasons, such as the encouragement offered by Neil McNeil to accommodate students from across British North America, and perhaps the reciprocal feeling that McNeil was a Canadian Catholic leader of considerable standing among Newfoundlanders.

26 Thus, from the Great War to Newfoundland’s joining Canada, 20 men graduated from St. Augustine’s for service in Newfoundland. Half were incardinated into the Archdiocese of St. John’s, nine were ordained for St. George’s, and one served both dioceses.59 Similarly, St. Paul’s Seminary in Ottawa, operated by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, may have benefited from the inability of Newfoundland seminarians to travel to Europe during World War II. Between 1939 and 1946, 10 Newfoundland men graduated from the Ottawa seminary, including the future Archbishop of St. John’s, Alphonsus Penney.60 Meanwhile, closer to home, a steady stream of Newfoundlanders attended Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax. Between 1895 and 1946, there were 36 Newfoundlanders among the 500 successful graduates from the program offered by the Eudists.61

27 Of these, 21 reported to the Archdiocese of St. John’s, seven to Harbour Grace, and eight to St. George’s, where McNeil and Power had strongly encouraged the creation of these links.62 When taken collectively, it is hard to determine empirically the manner in which these Newfoundland seminarians were influenced by their Canadian seminary studies. Perhaps, if anything was of lasting value, these men returned home with the knowledge that Canada was not a great unknown, and they now had graduated from classes with friends and colleagues all over Canada, and had developed fraternal bonds that drew the Church in Newfoundland to the Canadian Church in the most intangible of ways.

28 The movement of these seminarians also reflected a much more broadly based migration of men and women from Newfoundland to Canada and the United States for post-secondary education. Without a local university offering a full slate of programs for much of the early twentieth century, and no Catholic college comparable to the notable institutions elsewhere in North America, Newfoundland’s youth, often encouraged by their pastors and bishops, sought their education offshore. Between 1910 and 1919, 61.3 per cent of Newfoundland students documented by Malcolm MacLeod pursued their studies in Canada; between 1920 and 1929 this dipped slightly to 56.6 per cent, but after 1939 the number shot up to close to 75 per cent of Newfoundland’s offshore students.63

29 Newfoundland’s Catholic leaders encouraged youth to attend St. Francis Xavier University or its women’s affiliate, Mount St. Bernard College, in Antigonish. Newfoundland bishops were especially encouraged by St. FX’s interest in offering technical, geological, and agricultural education, subjects considered to be excellent foundations for the advancement of Catholic youth and the development of Newfoundland.64 Neil McNeil and M. F. Power were among the strongest advocates for their alma mater. Both maintained a strong migration chain of students and potential priests to this Canadian school, often paying the tuition fees for the local students from their diocese. Power was the product of this process, having graduated from St. FX in 1901.65 In total, between 1885 and 1930 some 87 men and six women from Newfoundland graduated from St. Francis Xavier. At least 21 of these were from the Diocese of St. George’s, with the majority coming from the two eastern dioceses.66 At first these numbers may be deceptive. In 1921, for example, Rector James J Tompkins reported that the entire college cohort of four years consisted of 89 students, of which 11 were Newfoundland coeds, or roughly 12.4 per cent of the student body, a not insignificant percentage for “foreign students.”67 The Antigonish connections also facilitated assistance from its co-operative movement spearheaded by Father Moses Coady, who was influential in educating clergy who engaged in social relief programs in Newfoundland. The social outreach of the Antigonish Movement was reinforced by the educational broadcasts of CJFX radio, which transmitted as far as the southern coast of Newfoundland and promoted Catholic social teaching through co-operatives, lending libraries, and credit unions.68

30 By the 1920s, this presence of Newfoundland students in Canadian schools drew the Newfoundland bishops more closely into the educational politics of eastern Canada. In 1921, Father James J. Tompkins, in conjunction with the Carnegie Foundation, and several Maritime universities and colleges promoted the idea of a federation of Atlantic Canada’s institutions of higher education. Archbishop Edward Roche of St. John’s, Henry Renouf of St. George’s, and John March of Harbour Grace all sought Newfoundland’s participation in the scheme. The federation would be focused at Dalhousie University in Halifax, with each of the federated partners, mostly denominational colleges such as St. Mary’s and St. Francis Xavier, preparing their students for two years before sending them to Dalhousie for the completion of their degrees. Termed by one supporter as, the Federated University of the Maritimes and Newfoundland, the venture promised to be ecumenical, efficient because of the elimination of existing duplication of programs, and resource-effective thanks to the revenue stream provided by the Carnegie Foundation. Ever the zealot, Tompkins secured the support of Cardinal John Bourne of Westminster, noted Catholic historian Cardinal Henry Gasquet, Archbishop Edward McCarthy of Halifax, Bishop Michael Francis Fallon of London, Archbishop Alfred Sinnott of Winnipeg (a native of PEI), Bishop James T. McNally (a native of PEI), and the omnipresent Archbishop Neil McNeil of Toronto. The latter likened the benefits of this federation to those accrued by St. Michael’s College, through its federation with the secular University of Toronto. In fact, from his perspective and those of other supporters, including the Newfoundland prelates, the federation provided the means to put a strong Catholic enclave within the large public and secular university.69

31 Archbishop Edward Roche of St. John’s and his colleagues regarded the proposed federation as a golden opportunity for the Catholic youth of Newfoundland. Writing to Edward McCarthy in October 1922, Roche rallied the support of the entire Newfoundland clergy behind the scheme:

Our students here have been severely handicapped, and I believe the progress of the country in consequence is retarded by the lack of university facilities for our young men. A large university at Halifax, with the prestige which such an institution as is contemplated would have would attract large numbers of students from Newfoundland. The effect of the future of the country of the wider diffusion of university opportunities cannot be overestimated.70

Roche’s support of the federation was transmitted to the Maritimes’ hierarchy by Bishop March, who found a willing audience in Tompkins and McCarthy. Tompkins was deeply concerned about the state of Catholic higher education, claiming that St. Francis and other religious colleges are little more than “high schools and they think themselves universities.”71 Similarly, Neil McNeil considered that if the proposed federation failed, “the Catholics of the Maritime Provinces are going to find themselves in a condition of educational inferiority . . . and be doomed to such conditions due to the inability of the Bishops to cooperate with higher education.”72 Collectively, the Canadian and Newfoundland supporters of the federation envisioned widespread Catholic participation in higher education, wherein their faith was secured, and where Catholics could, by means of a university degree, shake off the shackles of social and economic inferiority in both countries.

32 The plan failed. By late 1922, the Catholic hierarchy in the Maritime provinces was split. Roche and his suffragans remained steadfastly allied to the pro-federation side, although Bishop James Morrison of Antogonish and the Chancellor of St. FX, in concert with New Brunswick bishops Patrick Chiasson and Edward Leblanc, stood adamantly opposed. In fact, Morrison managed to sway the St. FX Board against federation and removed Rector Tompkins, transferring him to the distant parish in Canso. Morrison feared Protestant domination of the proposed federation and, despite the reassurances to the contrary by the rector of St. Michael’s College (which retained examinations in Philosophy and History), considered that the risk to the faith of Catholic students was far too great in such partnerships.73 Morrison wished to retain the Catholic integrity of his school and preferred that it strengthen its role as the primary provider of higher education in eastern Nova Scotia.74 Both camps sent their emissaries to Rome, including Bishop Renouf of St. George’s who represented the pro-Federation forces.75 On 22 March 1923, the Congregation for Seminaries and Universities considered the concept of federating Catholic colleges with non-denominational universities. They rejected the proposition insofar as the Maritimes federation was concerned, although later they would confirm arrangements already made elsewhere in Canada.76 As far as the Catholics were concerned, they were no longer permitted to be players in the federation negotiations.

33 Despite the failure of the plan for the Newfoundland bishops, the episode underscores the degree to which regular interaction and discussion between themselves and the Canadians had developed. This increased interplay between the Newfoundland and Canadian leaderships was facilitated by Vatican diplomacy, priestly formation, higher education, and migration between the two dominions. These factors merely placed an ecclesiastical gloss on what was already developing between the two countries in the economic, social, and political spheres, and eventually, from 1939 to 1945, military relations. The breaking down of barriers between the churches, or perhaps the erosion of a bifocal perspective, in favour of a set of relationships that came to resemble the development of Canada’s interests in western Newfoundland was confirmed in 1928, when Apostolic Delegate Cassulo invited the Newfoundland bishops to the meeting of the Canadian hierarchy in Quebec. Reminiscent of the attitudes of his nineteenth-century predecessors, Edward Roche tried to pull back from giving any impression that the Newfoundland hierarchy was somehow obligated to attend this synod. In response to the delegate, Roche was cautious: “As the attendance at this meeting would institute an entirely new departure from our ecclesiastical traditions in Newfoundland,” he would have to take the invitation under advisement.77 The Newfoundland bishops did attend the meeting but they publicly acknowledged that their presence was merely “honorary,” in respect to the Delegate, and it “would not be proper for them to take any active part.” In his comments to the assembly, however, Roche added: “we feel that by our presence here we shall be able to learn much that will be useful and helpful to us in dealing with the smaller and relatively unimportant problems that confront us in Newfoundland . . . we are a small Church in a small colony.”78 Their presence at Quebec was a landmark event in the relations between the two churches, and a prelude to things to come.

34 The Great Depression, the institution of the Commission of Government in Newfoundland, and the presence of the Canadian and American armies of occupation during World War II brought questions of Newfoundland autonomy to the fore, both in civil terms and, by association, in ecclesiastical terms. In 1948, the proposal to join the Canadian Confederation set off alarm bells in the Catholic Church, particularly on the east coast of Newfoundland. During the two referendums to decide the island’s political future, the bifocal orientation of the Newfoundland Church raised its head once more. Catholics in western Newfoundland, with their historical, familial, economic, and ecclesial ties to Canada, voted overwhelmingly in favour of Confederation. The Church on the Atlantic shore, to east, still harbouring a sense of cultural and religious distinctiveness, and fearing being at the mercy of Canada’s Protestant majority, overwhelmingly rejected Confederation in favour of responsible government and independence.79 Neither Roche nor his clergy trusted that the Protestants of Canada would desire or respect the maintenance of Newfoundland’s publicly funded Catholic schools. Neither Catholics nor their organ, The Monitor, regarded proposed Term 19, later Term 17, to be a sufficient safeguard for their schools, not even if the system fell under the protection of section 93 of the British North America Act.80

35 The pro-Confederation forces prevailed and Newfoundland bishops could only turn to their Canadian colleagues for help. In an urgent appeal to James Cardinal McGuigan, McNeil’s successor in Toronto and a native of PEI, Roche lamented, “It almost seems too much to hope that our present educational set up, in which the rights of the Church and of parents are in every way protected and safeguarded, should continue indefinitely.”81 Should the economic situation worsen, argued Roche, the ability of Newfoundland to sustain denominational education would end. Similarly, Bishop John Michael O’Neil of Harbour Grace thanked McGuigan for his “sympathetic interest” and the concern of other Canadian prelates for the island’s finances. “If the Canadian federation is to survive,” added O’Neil, “there will have to be a new federal-provincial deal giving the poorer provinces a more equitable share of the national wealth.” Without this, O’Neil speculated that there would be no “prospect of keeping our schools, hospitals, and roads.”82 The tables had indeed turned and, for the survival of institutions once considered integral to Catholic Newfoundland, the bishops now turned to their Canadian co-religionists for help.

36 The formal cementing of Newfoundland-Canada relations within the Church did not come without some irony. Shortly after Confederation, Edward Roche died and with him passed leadership of a generation of clerics and laymen who chose to keep their distance from Canada, preferring autonomy from the giant to the west. He was succeeded by James Patrick Skinner, a Newfoundlander by birth who had been trained at Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and then served in the Eudist Order in Quebec. In a sense Skinner epitomized the transition in ecclesiastical focus that had taken place in the previous half-century. A second irony took place in September 1955, when during the celebration of the centenary of St. John the Baptist Basilica, the prelate of honour and principal celebrant of the gigantic outdoor Mass was none other than Cardinal James McGuigan of Toronto.83 The Canadians had arrived in force.

37 Two important features emerge from the 150-year relationship between the Catholic Church in Canada and the Church in Newfoundland. First, Newfoundland’s Catholic leaders consistently fought for their independence from Canadian churchmen, who seemed bound to incorporate Newfoundland Catholics formally into their ecclesiastical influence, with all the canonical and administrative uniformity that such a relationship might imply. The Irish Catholic leadership in St. John’s and Harbour Grace consistently made their case in Rome that they were independent of Canada, and they reinforced this position by making certain that future generations of priests would be trained in Europe and would respect that North Atlantic gaze of the Church in Newfoundland. World War I, a faltering economy, and the benefits accrued from new seminaries in Nova Scotia and Ontario witnessed an erosion in the independence of the Newfoundland Church, as more and more young men were trained in the seminaries of Canada and became part of a clerical and educational network that looked west from Newfoundland, not east as traditionally had been the case.

38 The second critical development in Canada-Newfoundland Church relations was the emergence of a Canadian focus among western Newfoundlanders, many of whom had family roots in Canada. As it developed in the late nineteenth century, the Church on the west coast became increasingly Canadian in terms of its clergy, education, and financial support. Unlike the Catholics on the Atlantic shore, who were suspicious of Canadian intentions and deeds, the Catholics of the Gulf shore were bound to the Church in Canada, just as they were bound to the Dominion economically, socially, and financially. Therefore, Canadian churchmen had to come to terms with a bifocal relationship in which their work to ameliorate church life on the west coast was welcome, while their interests in Newfoundland generally were constantly scrutinized by the bishops of the Atlantic shore. Bishop Fleming had once mused about Canada-Newfoundland relations being pregnant with perils. It is not hard to imagine, within Fleming’s prosaic presentation of the problem, that Catholic Newfoundland of the Atlantic coast might envision theirs as the bones bleached upon the shore, should their autonomy be lost. Their brothers and sisters on the Gulf coast thought otherwise.

Notes
1 J. M. S. Careless, “‘Limited Identities’ in Canada,” Canadian Historical Review 50 (Mar. 1969): 1-10.
2 John Edward FitzGerald, “Conflict and Culture in Irish-Newfoundland Catholicism” (Ph.D. diss., University of Ottawa, 1997).
3 Cecil Houston and William Smyth, Irish Emigration and Canadian Settlement: Patterns, Links, and Letters (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990).
4 Archives of the Diocese of London, J. T. Kidd Papers, Box S, Kidd Correspondence, Lionel Scheffer, OMI, to Kidd, 9 Apr. 1946. Scheffer invited Kidd to his ordination — the assumption being that the region was really part of the greater Canadian Church. Politically, the territory assumed by Labrador is disputed by Quebec.
5 Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s (ARCASJ), Edward Roche Papers, 107/1/12, Address to the Canadian Bishops, Quebec, Oct. 1928. A most comprehensive history of the French Catholic Church in Newfoundland during the ancien regime is Victoria Taylor-Hood, “Religious Life in French Newfoundland to 1714” (MA Thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1999).
6 Hans Rollmann, “Religious Enfranchisement and Roman Catholics in Eighteenth- Century Newfoundland,” in Terrence Murphy and Cyril J. Byrne, eds., Religion and Identity: The Experience of Irish and Scottish Catholics in Atlantic Canada (St. John’s: Jesperson Press, 1987), 43-45.
7 Michael Francis Howley, Ecclesiastical History of Newfoundland (Boston: Doyle and Whittle, 1888; reprint, Belleville, Ont.: Mika Publishing Company, 1979), 199-200; Raymond Lahey, “Catholicism and Colonial Policy in Newfoundland, 1779-1845,” in Terrence Murphy and Gerald Stortz, eds., Creed and Culture: The Place of English Speaking Catholics in Canada, 1760-1930 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992), 54; Cyril Byrne, ed. Gentlemen Bishops and Faction Fighters (St. John’s: Jesperson Press, 1983), passim.
8 Paul O’Neill, Upon this Rock: The Story of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s: Breakwater Books, 1984), 99.
9 Mark G. McGowan, Michael Power: The Struggle to Build the Church on the Canadian Frontier (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005), 127-31; Lucien Lemieux, L’Etablissement de la premier province ecclesiastique en Canada, 1783-1844 (Montreal: Fides, 1968), 457-65.
10 Lemieux, L’Etablissement de la premier,465-75.
11 Archives of the Archdiocese of Quebec (AAQ), 320 CN, vol. 6: 22, Michael Power to Pierre-Falvien Turgeon, 6 Nov. 1843; AAQ, 320 CN, vol. 6, Haut-Canada, Michael Power to Pierre-Flavien Turgeon, 12 Nov. 1840.
12 Ibid.
13 ARCASJ, Fleming Papers, 103/10/2, Fleming to William Walsh, 8 Sept. 1843.
14 McGowan, Michael Power, 130-31; National Archives (NA), Lord Stanley papers, Summary of Roman Catholic Archbishop for North American Colonies, Appendix 9, Letter 217, Lord Stanley to Sir Charles Bagot, 3 Aug. 1842, and Appendix 1, Michael Power to Lord Stanley, 27 Sept. 1841.
15 ARCASJ, Fleming Papers, 103/10/3, Paul Cullen to Fleming, 4 Oct. 1844.
16 Archives of the Propaganda Fide (APF)-Scritture referite nelle congregazionegenerali (SOGC), vol. 965, item 281, Decree, Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sasi, Prefect, 13 May 1844; Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT), Letterbook 01.127/128, Bishop Joseph Signay to Michael Power, 3 Dec. 1844; Letterbook 01.129, Bull Read at Solemn Mass, 29 Dec. 1844.
17 ARCASJ, Fleming Papers, 103/28/2, Fleming to the Prefect of the Propaganda Fide, 25 Nov. 1847.
18 APF, SCRC, vol. 5, 1842-1848, folio 1076r-1080v, Fleming to the Prefect, 25 Nov. 1847.
19 ARCASJ, Fleming Papers, 103/28/3, Fleming to Signay, 18 Nov. 1847.
20 AAQ, DM IX: 65, Bourget to Signay, 23 Dec. 1847.
21 ARCASJ, 106/28/6, Ceremonial of the Provincial Council of Quebec (Quebec: Cote et Co., 1851), 1; Roberto Perin, Rome in Canada: The Vatican and Canadian Affairs in the Late Victorian Age (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), 12. See also Frederick Jones, “John Thomas Mullock,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography , vol. 9 (1861-1870), at: <www.biographi.ca/en/mullock­­john thomas 9E.html>.
22 ARCAT, Charbonnel Papers, AB 12.60, Benevolent Irish Society: Report of the President and Officers of the BIS, 18 Feb. 1856, its 50th Anniversary.”
23 ARCASJ, Mullock Papers, 104/1/8, Connolly to Mullock, 3 May 1854; 104/1/10, C.F. McKinnon to Mullock, 4 Aug. 1856; 104/1/7, McKinnon to Mullock, 5 Apr. 1853.
24 Archives of the Archdiocese of Ottawa (AAO), St-Jean File, 1877-1974, Thomas Power to J. T. Duhamel, 15 Aug.t 1877; ARCASJ, Power Papers, 105/1/13, Designation for Rimouski, Jean Langevin, Bishop, 27 May 1872.
25 ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/10/26, Howley Homily, 19 Oct. 1906.
26 ARCASJ, Mullock Papers, 104/1/7. P. Harkin to Mullock, 14 Dec. 1853. Canada Steamship Company no longer has Newfoundland as a stop on its Montreal-Quebec-Europe routes.
27 Malcolm MacLeod, Kindred Countries: Canada and Newfoundland before Confederation (Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association Booklet #52, 1994), 5. The relationship between the two churches under the same delegate was not as rosy as MacLeod suggests. ARCASJ, Thomas Power Papers, 105, Diary 1877-78. This contains the chronicle of the last days of Bishop Conroy. See also The Tablet, 10 Aug. 1878.
28 AAO, St-Jean Files, Michael Francis Howley to Charles Hugh Gauthier, 30 June 1913.
29 ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/24/8, Louis-Nazaire Begin to Howley, 2 Mar. 1899; 106/24/6, Howley to Charles Fitzpatrick, 27 Oct. 1911; J. Kent to M. F. Howley, 31 May 1911. A helpful biography of Howley is Barbara A. Crosbie, “Michael Francis Howley,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 14 (1911-1920) (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 512-14.
30 AAO, St-Jean File, Howley to Gauthier, 11 Dec. 1910; ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, 10301, 19 Mar. 1919.
31 AAO, ibid.
32 ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/33/8, CF McKinnon to Thomas Sears, 29 Oct. 1868. (re: sailing from Cape North to Sandy Bay).
33 Malcolm MacLeod, “Subsidized Steamers to a Foreign Country: Canada and Newfoundland, 1892-1949,” Acadiensis 14 (Spring 1985), 67; ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AA 12.01, Pamphlet, “Newfoundland, c. 1914, Newfoundland’s Railways,” section 4.
34 Ibid, “Statistics.”
35 ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/33/3, Thomas Sears, Report of the Missions of the Prefecture of St. George’s, West Newfoundland (Quebec: P.G. Delisle, 1877), 5-12, 27.
36 ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/33/11, Denominational Statistics, Bay St. George’s, 1891- 1901.
37 ARCASJ, Mullock Papers, 104/1/21, Mullock to Cardinal Barnabo, Propaganda Fide, Rome, letter # 1191, p. 999, 2 July 1867.
38 Archives of the Diocese of St. George’s, (ADSG), Official Opening of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and Immaculate Conception (Corner Brook, NL: n.p., 1956), 2629; AAQ, V: 50, Mullock to Turgeon, 5 Dec. 1850; ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/32/5, Copy of letter from CF McKinnon to Thomas Sears, 24 Oct. 1868. Also 106/33/8, 29 Oct. 1868.
39 ARCASJ, 106/338, John Cameron to Michael Howley, 20 Aug. 1894. Thomas Sears was born in Ireland in 1823 or 1824 and immigrated to Nova Scotia with his uncle when he was six years old. He studied at the College of Antigonish (later St. Francis Xavier University) and trained at Quebec’s Grand Seminary. He was ordained in 1856 and was at Port Mulgrave parish when he received the invitation to serve in Newfoundland. A. A. Johnston and Kathleen M. MacKenzie, eds., Antigonish Priests and Bishops, 1786-1925 (Antigonish, NS: Casket Printing and Publishing Company, 1994), 11.
40 George Boyle, Pioneer in Purple: The Life and Work of Archbishop Neil McNeil (Montreal: Palm Publishers, 1951), 53-80; ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AD 10.04, Bill from Robb Engineering Company, Amherst, Nova Scotia, 12 June 1902. This was one of many receipts from Canadian firms employed by McNeil.
41 ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AD 10.16, Financial Statements from St. George’s, Newfoundland.
42 ARCASJ, Howley Papers, 106/33/11, McNeil to Howley, 13 July 1909.
43 Archives of St. Francis Xavier University (ASFXU), RG 5/7/1337, McNeil to the Rector, 30 Sept. 1897; RG5/8/1170, McNeil to Rector Thompson, 23 Aug. 1902.
44 ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AA10.50, Margaret Power Cormier to McNeil, 1 Mar. 1921; AA10.34, “People of St. George’s to Bishop McNeil Upon His Departure for Vancouver, 1910,” 10 Apr. 1910; AA13.01, Andrew Sears, Bay of Islands, to McNeil, 4 Aug. 1910, and 13.06, 20 Dec. 1926. Their correspondence is voluminous, in which they discussed Church matters in Newfoundland, the state of the world, and matters of theology and doctrine.
45 ARCAT, AA 13.07b, Sears to McNeil, 20 Dec. 1929.
46 The Casket, 20 May 1920; ASFXU, G5/8/1167, McNeil to Rector Thompson, 16 July 1900; Xavieran, Dec. 1913.
47 Catholic Register, 18 Nov. 1915; ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AH11.07, Power to McNeil, 1918; AH11.09, Power to McNeil, 29 Oct. 1910.
48 The Casket, 11 Mar., 22 Apr. 1920.
49 Paul Laverdure, ed., Chronica missionorum: The Newfoundland Mission of 1913 in SHCSR 53 (2005): 141, 145. See also Laverdure, Redemption and Renewal: The Redemptorists in English Canada, 1834-1994 (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1996), 100-01; ARCAT, McNeil Papers, James McCandlish, CssR to McNeil, 8 May 1913. Power was credited with the recruitment of the Redemptorists.
50 ARCAT, Catholic Church Extension Society Collection, Annual Reports, 1918-22. See also Mark G. McGowan, “Religious Duties and Patriotic Endeavours: The Catholic Church Extension Society, French Canada and the Prairie West, 1908-1916,” CCHA Historical Studies 51 (1984): 107-20; Mark G. McGowan, “Toronto’s English-speaking Catholics, Immigration, and the Making of a Canadian Catholic Identity, 1900-1930,” in Murphy and Stortz, eds., Creed and Culture, 200-45.
51 ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AA13.05, Andrew Sears to McNeil, 10 May 1918; ARCAT, AA11.03, Michael F. Power to Neil McNeil, 31 Aug. 1916.
52 Howley, Ecclesiastical History, 238. He cites the case of Bishop Lambert sending James Sinnott to the Grand Seminary in 1810.
53 ARCASJ, Fleming Papers, 103/10/9, Fleming to the Propaganda Fide, c. 1847; Howley, Ecclesiastical History, 389.
54 Kevin Condon, CM, The Missionary College of All Hallows, 1842-1891 (Dublin: All Hallows College, 1986), 27, 120, Index of Priests.
55 CatholicRegister, 13 Feb., 5 June 1913, 27 Oct. 1910. St. Augustine’s Seminary, 50 Golden Years, 1913-1963 (Toronto: n.p., 1963); ARCAT, St. Augustine’s Seminary Papers, Box 2, File for 1912, Michael Moyna to McNeil, 15 May 1916.
56 ARCAT, McNeil Papers, Education Papers, Michael Francis Fallon to P. F. Stagni, Apostolic Delegate to Canada and Newfoundland,26 May 1913.
57 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/39/1, Seminarians, 1916-19.
58 Ibid., 107/39/7, W. Canon Byrne, St. John’s, Waterford, to Roche, 16 May 1922; 107/39/2, Roche to J. T. Kidd, St. Augustine’s, 11 Nov. 1915. The latter seminary’s tuition of $250 per annum was substantially lower than All Hallows.
59 Karen Marshall Booth et al., eds., The People Cry “Send Us Priests”: The First Seventy-five Years of St. Augustine’s Seminary of Toronto, 1913-1988 (Toronto: St. Augustine’s Seminary, 1988), 41-54. One problem in these calculations is that the editors decided that no men who left the priesthood would be included in the list of graduates. There is evidence to suggest that not all may have finished their studies and at least one case in which a Newfoundlander preferred incardination in Ontario. ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/39/2, Roche to J. T. Kidd, 4 Dec. 1916 (transfer); 107/39/2, Roche to Thomas Fortune, 21 Nov. 1917. (incardination into Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.
60 Archives of the Universite St-Paul, Nathalie Parant, archivist, and Father R. Leclaire, OMI, to the author, 25 Apr. 2005.
61 Archives of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, Quebec, Holy Heart Seminary, “Listes” from the L’album souvenirs, 1946, 89-92.
62 ASFXU, G5/9/10521, M. F. Power to Dr. Thompson, Rector, 5 Feb. 1912.
63 Malcolm MacLeod, Connections: Newfoundland’s Pre-Confederation Links with Canada and the World (St. John’s: Creative Publications, 2003), Tables 1 and 2.
64 ASFXU, RG 6/5/435, Edward Roche to J. J. Tompkins, Rector, 7 Dec. 1916; RG%/9/5032, Howley to Dr. MacPherson, Rector, 5 Aug. 1911.
65 ASFXU, RG 5/8/1168, Neil McNeil to Dr. Thompson, Rector, 2 Sept. 1900; RG5/7/560, McNeil to Dr. Chisholm, Rector, 2 Nov. 1895; RG 5/8/1169, McNeil to Thompson, 25 Apr. 1902: RG5 /7/1336, Payment for Students, telegram, McNeil to Chisholm, 1896.
66 Derived from the St. Francis Xavier University Yearbooks, 1885-1930, courtesy of St. FX University archivist Kathleen M MacKenzie.
67 Ibid.; ARCASJ, Roche Papers, J. J. Tompkins to Roche, 24 Oct. 1922. The calculations are mine.
68 Mark G. McGowan, “The People’s University of the Air: St. Francis Xavier University Extension, Social Christianity, and the Creation of CJFX,” Acadiensis 41, 1 (Winter/ Spring 2012): 5-20. ASFXU, RG5/12/255a, CJFX radio flyer.
69 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/21/2, Edward McCarthy to Roche, 5 Jan. 1923; 107/21/2, J. J. Tompkins to Roche, 24 Oct. 1922; 107/21/2, Roche to Renouf, 5 Jan. 1923.
70 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/21/2, Roche to Edward J. McCarthy, 14 Oct. 1922; 107/21/2, Archbishop Roche to Henry Thomas Renouf of St. George’s, 5 Jan. 1923.
71 Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS), Angus L MacDonald Papers, F1348a/106, James J. Tompkins to MacDonald, 27 Jan. 1923.
72 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/21/3, Copy of McNeil to John R. MacDonald, 11 Feb. 1922.
73 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/21/3, Copy of Letter of Basilian Superior, St. Michael’s College, to Tompkins, 13 May 1922; James Cameron, For the People: A History of St. Francis Xavier University (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996), 185.
74 Peter Ludlow, “Cautious but Willing: Archbishop James Morrison, Fourth Bishop of Antigonish,” (MA thesis, St. Mary’s University, 2004), 97.
75 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/21/2, Roche to Renouf, 5 Jan. 1923.
76 Cameron, For the People,192-94. 218 McGowan
77 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/11/12, Roche to Archbishop Cassulo, 8 Sept. 1928. Contains a letter to Archbishop Rouleau of Quebec.
78 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/1/12, Roche to the Canadian Bishops at Quebec City, Oct. 1928.
79 John Edward FitzGerald, “The Confederation of Newfoundland with Canada, 1946-1949” (MA thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1993), 300, Table 3, 317-18. Also consider the maps at: <www.heritage.nf.ca/law/referendums.html>; ADSJ, Michael O’Reilly Papers, Archbishop Thomas J. Flynn, to O’Reilly, 11 Oct. 1947.
80 ARCASJ, Roche Papers, 107/20/8, P. J. Haney, Executive Officer, Commission of Government, Department of Education, to Roche, 3 Sept. 1948. John Edward FitzGerald, “Archbishop E. P. Roche, J. R. Smallwood, and Rights in Newfoundland Denominational Education, 1948,” CCHA Historical Studies 65 (1999), 30-32.
81 ARCAT, McGuigan Papers, FA 15.22, Edward Roche to McGuigan, 10 June 1949.
82 Ibid., FA 17.04, John Michael O’Neil of Harbour Grace to McGuigan, 4 Jan. 1951.
83 AAO, St-Jean (Terre-Neuve), Eveche 1950-66, J. P Skinner, CJM, to Marie-Joseph Lemieux, OP, 6 July 1955.


Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. ISSN: 1715-1430