CCHA, Historical Studies, 54 (1987), 69-91



The Catholic ‘Restoration’: Pope Pius X,
Archbishop Denis O’Connor
and Popular Catholicism in Toronto


by Mark G. MCGOWAN


University of Toronto


        The first decade of the twentieth century was a stormy one for the Roman Catholic Church. The intervening years between the papal denun­ciation of the “Americanist Heresy”, in 1899, and the condemnation of Modernism, in 1907, were among the most controversial in the history of the Church. While the hierarchy barricaded the Church against its peren­nial enemies – rationalism, secularism and anti-clericalism – it battled internal dissent from theological liberals and cultural accommodationists. In 1899, Leo XIII’s encyclical Testem Benevolentiae denounced “Americanists” who praised activist individualism and sought com­promises between Catholicism and American society.2 Less than a decade later, Pope Pius X’s encyclical, Pascendi Gregis, condemned Mod­ernism – a diverse collection of theological explorations espousing the immanence of God, “Higher” Biblical criticism, the development of dogma, and the relativity of divine revelation.3 Combined, these heresies engendered one of the most vigorous periods of moral and disciplinary consolidation in the Church since the Council of Trent.

     In the rapidly changing world of the nineteenth century, Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII had sought to regenerate Catholicism, provid­ing stability and security through policies of Roman centralization.4 In 1903, however, Pope St. Pius X initiated a rigorous programme that would eclipse those of his predecessors. His motto, “To Restore all Things in Christ” – Instaurare Omnia in Christo – was an appropriate epithet for his efforts to consolidate the orthopraxy and orthodoxy of the Church by reaffirming doctrinal uniformity, liturgical purity, and magisterial authority. This “Catholic restoration” tackled such issues as the reform of the liturgy, the recodification of canon law, Ne Temere prohibitions on mixed marriages, the pre-eminence of scholastic theology and the eradica­tion of theological “Modernism”.5 Throughout, Pius hoped to bind the laity closer to the church, and strengthen both the uniformity of belief and the purity of pious practices.6

     At first glance the activities of the Papal curia seem remote from those of the everyday religious life in the Archdiocese of Toronto, at the turn of the century. Toronto’s Catholics considered Testem Benevolentiae an American problem, if one at all, and they regarded Modernism as more an evil facing Canadian Protestants than a threat to Canadian Catholicism. In fact, editors in the Catholic press were hard-pressed to identify any Canadian Modernists.7 While the “grand” heresies made for interesting editorializing, it was the Roman legislative actions and their accompanying spirit of conservatism that had the most significant impact on Toronto’s Catholics. Denis O’Connor, the Archbishop of Toronto from 1899 to 1908, rigorously applied the disciplinary and liturgical regulations of Leo XIII and Pius X, creating a period of tension and dissent in Toronto’s Catholic community. O’Connor was unconditional in his obedience to magisterial authority especially regarding religious discipline and practice, claiming that one’s punctilious adherence to Church law assured one’s reception of God’s grace. For Europeans, the Catholic restoration was seen primarily in terms of orthodoxy, whereas, in Toronto, which had no visible heretics, the restoration was a matter of orthopraxy – right practice.

     This paper explores two critical features of the period: the nature of Denis O’Connor’s programme of Catholic regeneration in Toronto, and the disinclination of many Catholics to embrace the Archbishop’s regimen. An examination of clerical formation, liturgical regulation, social prohibitions and marital practices reveals most clearly the limited success of the Catholic restoration in Toronto. This was due in large part to the reluctance of the clergy and laity to abandon their familiar liturgical and social prac­tices, and their reticence to isolate themselves, socially, from greater par­ticipation in the non-Catholic world around them. As English-speaking Catholics in Toronto became more confident of their active role in Canadian society and developed a unique sense of their Canadian identity, the Catholic isolationism suggested by O’Connor and Pius X became less attractive to them.




     Denis O’Connor was born February 26, 1841, the eldest child of a “a well-to-do farmer” from Pickering Township, Ontario.8 At the age of twelve he entered St. Michael’s College in Toronto, and in 1858 he num­bered among its first graduates. The following year he began his studies for the priesthood at St. Basil’s Novitiate, after which he completed his train­ing at the College of Annonay and the College of Feyzin, two Basilian schools in France. Despite a near-fatal bout with tuberculosis which neces­sitated his return to Toronto, he took his final vows for the Basilian order and was ordained a priest in 1863. In 1870, at age twenty-nine he was ap­pointed rector of Assumption College, a small struggling Basilian school in Sandwich, Ontario. Here he earned a reputation as a strict disciplinarian, moral rigorist, and efficient administrator.9 His notable successes at As­sumption prompted his elevation to the episcopal see of London in 1890.

     After the death of Archbishop John Walsh, in 1899, O’Connor was translated from London to the Archdiocese of Toronto. The fact that O’Connor was the city’s first Ontario-born Catholic bishop was indicative of the growing movement among Canadian clergy to nominate Canadian­-bom men to the vacant sees in Canada. Both clergy and laity had ex­pressed hostility to the continued appointment of Irishmen who had little knowledge of Canadian culture and local traditions.10 Ironically, O’Connor was less in touch with the community than his two Irish predecessors, the popular John Walsh and the vociferous J.J. Lynch. Unlike them, O’Connor shunned publicity, photographs, and social functions, claiming such things were incompatible with Christian humility.11 In his obituary the Catholic Register commented: “There was no smile of welcome. The whole attitude was that of a person weighted down with a sense of responsibility, un­sought and somewhat dreaded.”12 In fact, O’Connor had requested that he not be sent to Toronto, but Rome rejected his plea to stay in London.13

     The Catholic community in Toronto that greeted O’Connor was rapid­ly changing, ethnically, occupationally, socially and culturally. Immigra­tion to central Canada was increasing and new arrivals of eastern and southern European Catholics were pushing the Anglo-Celts out of their traditional neighbourhoods south of Queen Street. Occupationally, Catholics were becoming more upwardly mobile, moving out of non- and semi-skilled jobs that had long been stereotypically theirs. Old associa­tions, Irish and nationalistic in their orientation, were dying, and new North American organizations, both religious and patriotic, were on the rise. Even the sectarian agitation of the Orange Lodge and the Protestant Protective Association in the 1890s had left Toronto’s Catholics relatively unscathed. In short, the new Canadian-born Bishop was approaching a community in transition, gradually embracing the social and economic realities of Canadian society.

     At his installation Denis O’Connor set the tone of his episcopate and reflected a worldwide movement of Catholic restoration:


The doctrine of the word, my dear brethren, embraces not simply what we call faith, not merely the articles of faith, but all those regulations in the Church which maintain its faith in its freshness and in all its purity. The discipline of the Church my dear brethren, is an essential part of her teaching, as well as the arti­cles of faith; and just as a strict compliance with the teaching of Jesus Christ brings the graces of God upon those who believe, so also ... those who observe these disciplines of the Church, her regulations in all things, obtain ... those blessings ...14


      O’Connor’s message to the people of his new diocese was clear: the laws of the Church would be applied scrupulously and he was counting on the full co-operation of the clergy and the laity to achieve this objective.

     Having recovered from a debilitating illness shortly after his installa­tion,15 O’Connor set his agenda for regenerating the Archdiocese. In March 1900 he issued “Regulations to be Observed to Ensure Uniformity and Good Order.” The circular contained thirty-four regulations covering four broad areas that would become the principal battlefields of his epis­copate: clerical discipline, liturgical uniformity, effective catechesis, and adherence to Church law by the laity in sacramental and social matters. His message to Catholics was unequivocal: “Exemptions from Church Laws are to be much discouraged.”16 '6 His programme concentrated on strengthen­ing existing structures; no plans were made to expand the Church to ac­commodate a growing Catholic population.17

     Immediately after his installation, O’Connor implemented a programme to educate, improve discipline and enforce his control over Toronto’s clergy. The Archdiocese had no active seminary, and as a result most candidates for the priesthood were trained by the Sulpicians at the Grand Seminaire in Montreal. Although O’Connor was a firm believer in the rigorous training offered there, he found that younger priests tended to become undisciplined after leaving the seminary.18 Subsequently, he instituted biannual meetings of the diocesan clergy, at which all priests or­dained less than four years would be examined on all aspects of their voca­tion. The idea was by no means unique; O’Connor was influenced by his own Basilian training and the recommendations of the Council of Toronto, in 1875.19 In fact, Archbishop Lynch had attempted to institute a similar programme in 1882, but it abruptly failed within six months.20

     On November 28, 1899, the first examination of priests was held at the Cathedral. At that time, the curates were required to present a written sermon on a pre-arranged topic, and then attempt written and oral ex­aminations on scripture, dogmatic theology, moral theology, church his­tory, canon law, catechism, and liturgy.21 Senior clergy presided over each session and junior clergy – ordained more than four years but less than eight – served as auxiliary examiners. The final evaluations, however, were made by the more experienced priests, a professional theologian and O’Connor himself.

     The blunt and frequently humiliating criticisms of the examiners alienated many of the younger priests from O’Connor. In 1904, for ex­ample, the prepared sermons on “The Immaculate Conception” exposed the weaknesses of the younger clergy in dogmatic theology, organization and defining terminology. Typically, examiners chastised one fellow for excessive verbosity: “This sermon covers ten and a half pages before we reach the Immaculate Conception. Such a portico would lead one to look for an edifice of far vaster proportions than the one we have here.”22 Results on some scripture exams were worse; in 1902 the class average was a meagre 61.1 %.23 At other times, however, the priests proved equal to the task; in 1903, the candidates shone in Church history, scripture and ser­mons.24

     The whole exercise is illustrative of the manner in which O’Connor played his accustomed role of schoolmaster while serving as Archbishop. The priests involved left no record describing their reaction to this ex­perience, but given the letters of O’Connor himself, the examinations did not reverse his growing unpopularity among the clergy. In a letter to Car­dinal Gotti, Prefect of the Propaganda Fide, he wrote: “I am not well regarded by one third of the clergy, and the others are not all zealous friends.”25

     O'Connor’s rigor led to more noticeable fissures with his priests. In 1903, for example, Father Lancelot Minehan of St. Peter’s Parish mobi­lized parishioners to protest O'Connor’s failure to provide a salary for Minehan’s brother, the “alleged” assistant pastor. Finally the Apostolic Delegate resolved the matter, reprimanding the Minehans for “unpriestly conduct,” and ordering O’Connor to pay the salary.26 Similar disagree­ments erupted between O’Connor and other priests for their support of parish socials and leniency in mixed marriages, two practices which O’Connor vehemently opposed .27 A debate with Father John Fraser over his promotion of weekly reception of the Eucharist proved embarrassing for the Archbishop, who preached monthly Communion. Ironically, Pius X later endorsed a position going beyond that of Fraser and Father Hugh Canning, the Diocesan director of Religious Education, by recommending daily communion, thus leaving O’Connor disconcerted in his position.28

     A substantial gulf existed between O’Connor and much of the clergy, primarily due to the fact that many of the priests were products of a chang­ing Catholic environment in North America. Unlike O’Connor, who was raised and educated in the closed world of French Basilian seminaries, which were permeated with suspicion of the modem world and fierce ultramontanism,29 Toronto’s priests were more likely to be North American by birth and Canadian-trained. In 1890 well over half of the diocesan priests were foreign-bom, mostly Irish, and only one in ten was from the Toronto area. During the O’Connor years the number of Canadian-born priests equalled the Irish-born, and by 1910 had surpassed them. Moreover, by that point over forty per cent of the serving clergy were born in the archdiocese.30 This indigenous clergy had been raised and educated as a minority in a Protestant province, and as such realized that com­promise was needed in order to ensure the survival of the Catholic minority. Doctrinaire stances on marital, social, and religious practices would only isolate and potentially damage the Catholic community. Such a position was foreign to O’Connor's isolationist stance. Perhaps this rugged autonomy, more than anything else, soured his relations with many of his fellow priests.




     Despite recurring friction with the clergy, O’Connor strictly applied all liturgical directives from Rome, believing that impurities in the liturgy were an affront to God. In 1895, for example, the Congregation on Sacred Rites had issued a decree to the Italian bishops, calling for the elimination of musical performances which were inappropriate to the liturgy.31 The decree, however, had little effect on liturgies outside of Europe. In 1903, however, one of Pius X’s first acts as pope was to issue a Motu Proprio standardizing liturgical music throughout the Church by reinstating Gregorian chant and prohibiting what were considered profane classical compositions. Other interdictions were placed on performances by or­chestras and most soloists, and on singing in the vernacular. In addition, women were banned from choirs and other musical roles on grounds that singers held a real liturgical office and “women, as being incapable of ex­ercising such office, cannot be admitted to any part of the choir or of the musical chapel.”32

     The musical traditions of the Archdiocese of Toronto were antithetical to the Motu Proprio. Compositions by Mozart, Haydn, Weber, Gounod, Dvorak, Farmer and Millard were used frequently in all the city’s Catholic churches. On feast days, the Catholic press praised the “splendour” and “pomp and ceremony” of masses celebrated with a full orchestra and a mixed choir.33 Before Christmas, 1895, for example, notices of all masses appeared in the Catholic Register, suggesting a competition for the ears of local parishioners. The two major rivals seemed to be Our Lady of Lourdes Church with Glionna’s Orchestra playing Dvorak’s Mass, and St. Paul’s Parish, featuring the Neopolitana Orchestra and Farmer’s Mass in B Flat.34 In addition to feast days, popular music was included frequently in weekly and special liturgies. A wedding celebrated at Our Lady of Lourdes, for in­stance, included a soloist’s rendition of the popular tune, “A Dream In Paradise.”35 The fact that Gregorian chant was used regularly in only three parishes, prior to 1903, is evidence of the strength of popular music in the diocese.36

     Eager to purify the sacred liturgy and obey the magister­ium, O’Connor lost little time in applying the new regulations to the letter. In 1904 he issued a circular demanding that: “All profane music, par­ticularly if it savors of theatrical motives, variations and reminiscences, is absolutely forbidden.37 Press reports of musical liturgies abruptly stopped as the city’s churches struggled to conform to the new rules. In addition, women were forced from all choirs. At St. Mary’s, for example, the children’s choir that had won the praise of the Register the previous Christmas was purged of its girls.38 At St. Basil’s, once considered to have the finest liturgical celebrations in the city, the choir was reduced to half its strength when the women were forced to leave.39

     O’Connor's actions won immediate praise from his fellow bishops and an obedient Catholic press. Moreover, Toronto, along with Cincinnati, Newport and New York, was one of the few dioceses in North America to strictly apply Pius’s directives.40 In 1904, the Archbishop built on his growing reputation by creating the Choral and Athletic Society at the Cathedral, and hiring a music director to teach and conduct Gregorian chant. Local newspapers which had described some liturgical music as “flippant” and “a medley of sounds and disjointed words without sense and without reverence,” lauded O’Connor’s scrupulosity.41 By 1908, the Catholic Register beamed, “Toronto is par excellence the musical centre of Canada on general claims.”42

     The restoration of Gregorian chant, however, met with some resis­tance at the parish level. In 1908, a journalist admitted that, “the period of transition is not yet passed, and in a few instances the initial stage of change is not yet attained.”43 At Easter in 1905, for example, St. Mary’s Parish continued its use of the forbidden music, featuring compositions by Mercadante and Lembiilotte.44 Mary Hoskin, in her History of St. Basil’s Parish, remarks that the loss of women from the choirs was lamented by both the choir leaders and the congregation.45 Those lay persons who ac­tively resisted the liturgical changes by writing letters of protest to local Catholic newspapers, however, became recipients of harsh condemnation from editors sympathetic to the Motu Proprio.46

     In the long-term, O’Connor's attempt to standardize liturgical music to the letter of the Motu Proprio failed. When O’Connor resigned the see in 1908, there was no uniformity; some parishes used the Gregorian ex­clusively, others sought a mixture between the plainchant and popular compositions. By 1909, Archbishop McEvay witnessed such a mixture at the Cathedral. Other parishes, such as St. Vincent de Paul’s in Parkdale, continued to use the “prohibited” masses by Mozart.47 Finally, in 1909, the American hierarchy convinced the Vatican to permit female participation in liturgical music, on condition that they be separate from the men and positioned well away from the altar.48

     The most cutting indictment of failure came in a letter addressed to Archbishop Neil McNeil in 1919, complaining of the lack of congrega­tional singing in the city parishes:


... it makes the evening service more attractive especially to non-catholics [sic] in some parishes priests take no interest in it whatever, hymn cards are not given out, and in St. Francis and some other parishes it has never been started; Pope Pius X [sic] reforms in church music are a dead letter in this city; we usual­ly have a very poor performance of high mass by a lot of untrained usually schreechy [sic] sopranos or mixed choir, instead of uniformity of a boy or male choir.49


      Such testimony clearly indicated the eventual success of clerical and lay opposition to O’Connor’s musical restoration.

     Other attempts at reforming the devotional and church-related ac­tivities of the laity met with similar resistance, and occasionally with out­right defiance. O’Connor disapproved of church picnics, processions, parish excursions, entertainments and semi-philanthropies, regarding such activities as denigrating to the truths of the Church. Picnics in his mind were the playgrounds of political hacks who used the church for their own purposes.50 He categorically objected to his own participation in them and recommended that his flock do the same. While his ban on religious processions kept Catholics off the street, his disfavour of picnics was ignored. Local parishes continued to hold these community gatherings successfully. The House of Providence Annual Picnic, for example, was the highlight of the spring; in 1903 alone, it netted $3,700 for the city’s poor, and by 1907 the crowds at the event numbered in excess of 10,000 people.51

     O’Connor's policy on public devotions and socials crumbled after his resignation; the picnics continued as they always had and the processions resumed. In 1909, within a year of O’Connor's departure, the Holy Name Society – the largest male Catholic fraternity in the city – resumed its annual parade. By 1913, over 10,000 Holy Name Society members marched openly through the streets of the city, without molestation from non-Catholics and free from ecclesiastical censure.52

     The success and survival of picnics and processions, despite O'Connor’s hostility, demonstrates the importance with which these religious and social gatherings were held by the laity. A minority in a Protestant city, Catholics had few social activities in which they could rally together and celebrate their common faith and Celtic heritage. As public expressions of faith, charity and recreation, these processions, picnics, teas and euchres were far too important to the Catholic community to be eradi­cated by O’Connor’s rigorism. Such restrictions effectively prohibited Catholic women from participating in any parochial or charitable activity outside of their attendance at Sunday Mass or membership in a parish sodality. In addition, the loss of socials meant serious financial strains on parishes and institutions, which otherwise would have to resort to frequent special collections during the Mass to cover debts.53

     Attempts by O’Connor to regulate other parochial activities, such as religious fraternal associations, created unrest among the laity. When the Knights of Columbus, a rapidly growing American Catholic fraternal association, requested permission to establish a council in Toronto, O’Connor flatly refused. Although the society was gaining thousands of members elsewhere in the province, he felt “that there were all too many societies already, and one more would only tend to weaken all.” Even a special plea from their State Chaplain, Father Michael F. Fallon, future bishop of London, did not change O’Connor’s mind.54

     However, O’Connor’s policy had a short life. The laymen of the city requested that the Supreme Knight, Edward Hearn, approach O’Connor’s successor for approval to initiate a Toronto Council. By February 1909, Archbishop McEvay granted the Knights permission to establish in the Archdiocese, on the condition that he, not the Knight’s council, appoint the chaplain.55 In March 1909, McEvay’s secretary was appointed chaplain and the Knights were formally established in Toronto, thus overturning O'Connor's earlier ruling. Within a decade, the Toronto Council, over 600 strong, was the largest in Ontario.56

     The whole episode illustrates how O’Connor had seriously miscalcu­lated the need for new fraternal associations in Toronto. Old societies, such as the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union and the Emerald Benefit Associa­tion, had an Irish nationalist agenda that was anachronistic to new genera­tions of Catholics by the turn of the century. By 1900, the Emerald’s were moribund, and the I.C.B.U. was recruiting women to increase its member­ship.57 O’Connor had assumed that the restoration of these societies mere­ly required restrictions on competing societies. He failed to recognize that third- and fourth-generation Irish Catholics in Toronto had a more developed sense of their Canadian identity – forged in part by their com­mon language and shared environment with non-Catholics – which un­dermined the applicability of the old Irish associations.

     In addition to restrictions placed on lay men, O’Connor's Catholic restoration engendered a conservative atmosphere with regard to women’s proper sphere. The dramatic change in women’s reporting at The Catholic Register was a case in point. Beginning in 1897, the paper featured a column entitled, “The Domain of Woman” by “Teresa” – a pseudonym for a local woman whose real identity remains a mystery. “Teresa” offered Catholic women an alternative from what she termed “namby pamby” women’s columns that more reflected the small minds of their authors than of their readers.58 One would never find recipes for wild turkey surprise or beauty secrets in Teresa’s essays. Instead, she offered hard-hitting com­mentary on urban poverty, the plight of working-class women, animal rights, the Spanish-American War, idle women of wealth, status seekers, euthanasia, and women’s equality of opportunity with men.59 She en­couraged women to seek careers in the liberal professions and medicine, asserting that such women, “will undoubtedly succeed in dissipating the fallacy that woman is inferior to man in intellectual capacity.60 Although Teresa took issue with the radical feminists on the issues of abortion and motherhood, she stood outside the boundaries of what many Catholic leaders considered women’s proper sphere.61

     “The Domain of Woman” vanished from the pages of The Catholic Register three weeks after O’Connor’s installation. There is no direct proof that O’Connor pulled the plug on Teresa, although it is evident that he cen­sored the Catholic press on issues which he deemed important to the main­tenance of Catholic discipline.62 His policy on women, for example, was clear: the defeminization of choirs, prohibition of women canvassing for charity door-to-door, and the reinforcement of women’s “home sphere.”63 Teresa’s column – a distinct threat to this policy – was eventually replaced by ‘The Home Circle,” which concentrated upon issues relevant to women and girls in the home: the mastication of food, hospitality, being a good wife, hints on good breeding, recipes, sewing, and techniques for catching men.64 “The Home Circle” rather than Teresa’s column outlined the parameters of the women’s domain in O’Connor’s Toronto.




     Of all the aspects of the Catholic restoration, however, O’Connor’s at­tempt to standardize marriages in the Archdiocese was by far the most im­portant. Writing to the Propaganda Fide he lamented:


Let me say that when I first arrived in the Diocese little respect was shown the sacrament of marriage. The publication of banns was generally reduced to one, frequently to none, yet the publication is very necessary because of the frequent change of abode of the inhabitants, – The ceremony of the marriage rarely took place at a mass, and frequently in the evening as Protestants do, the ceremony took place not unfrequently [sic] before a P.M. [Protestant Minister] when both parties were Catholic, and more frequently when only one was Catholic ...65


      O’Connor strictly applied the canon law; three calls for banns, ceremonies before noon and a nuptial Mass for all Catholic weddings were made man­datory. However, the enforcement of these directives varied. In many par­ishes up to a third of couples were dispensed from announced banns.66

     On the other side of the marriage question, unions between Catholics and Protestants were common in Toronto, and were the boldest evidence of integration between the two groups. While none of O'Connor’s predeces­sors approved of mixed marriages, most agreed that dispensations were a necessary evil to keep young Catholics from abandoning the Church. Archbishop Walsh, for example, petitioned Rome for more faculties to dis­pense mixed marriages on grounds that, given the Protestant majority all around him, far greater evils could befall Catholic youth in the city if he denied them a Catholic marriage.67 During Walsh’s episcopate mixed mar­riages increased from one per every twenty Catholic marriages in 1890 to one in every five.68 By the time O’Connor arrived mixed marriage dispen­sations were granted liberally in the city, although they varied in frequen­cy according to parish.69

     O’Connor viewed the flexible Archdiocesan policies towards mixed marriages as “deplorable,” citing such unions as the primary sources of leakage from the Catholic Church. In 1900, when asked by the Propagan­da Fide in Rome if there was danger of Protestant proselytism in Toronto, O’Connor responded that while none formally existed, there were more subtle ways to account for the loss of Catholic faithful: “In this Diocese the advance of evil is due to mixed marriages, which in my judgment have been tolerated to [sic] readily.”70 He regarded the secular press, public schools and non-Catholic associations as the first steps to mixed marriage and loss of Catholics to the Church. Blaming the laxity of the clergy and indifference of the laity, he complained to Rome that before his arrival, “the asking of a dispensation seems to have been sufficient reason for granting it.”71 His views were shared by a number of priests and jour­nalists, one of whom commented, “A mixed marriage is as bleak as a windswept moor, and as joyous as a funeral.”72

     O’Connor’s attack on mixed marriages was decisive. In his “Regula­tions” of 1900, he rigorously applied the canons on marriage, demanding that all applications for dispensations be sent, in writing, to him with the “fee” enclosed. Moreover, “agreements” would have to be signed by the Protestant parties, promising that they would not impede the practice of Catholicism of their spouse or their prospective children. In addition, he doubled the fee for mixed marriage from five to ten dollars, adding a small economic deterrent to seeking a dispensation. Unlike Walsh, O’Connor never waved payment of fees on grounds of “in pauperes” – the inability of the applicants to pay.73 He even suggested that Catholics might segregate themselves from Protestants by moving into tight-knit urban vil­lages around the city’s churches.74 He thought that closed Catholic settle­ments would eliminate the inter-denominational contact that facilitated mixed marriages and other sources of loss to the Church.

     His strict enforcement of the canon law brought dramatic results in the city parishes. By the end of 1899, his first year in office, O'Connor reduced the numbers of dispensed mixed marriages to 5% of all Church marriages, the same level as in 1890. By 1907 O'Connor had reduced this figure to 2.5%. It is little wonder that his biographer, the Reverend Fran­cis O’Brien, claimed that by the end of O’Connor’s episcopate: “. . . a dis­pensation Mixtae Religionis was almost unheard of. The plan had succeeded; mixed marriages could be abolished.”75

     A more careful examination of the reaction of the laity to O’Connor’s policy and its long-term significance, however, exposes the superficiality of O'Brien’s assessment. Although there was no violent reaction to the Archbishop’s strict application of marriage laws, there was active dis­obedience by the laity. Marriage dispensations from O’Connor’s succes­sors reveal that some couples opted to leave the Church rather than not marry at all. Later they were reconciled to the Church, and their Ne Temere marriages dispensed.76 Some took their case to The Catholic Register, but the conservative editor, P.F. Cronin, was unsympathetic.77 Others, with the aid of sympathetic priests, appealed to the Apostolic Delegate to overturn decisions made by O’Connor. In this way Father James Cruise and Frederick Rohleder, pastors to the wealthy Catholics of Our Lady of Lourdes Church and St. Michael's Cathedral respectively, incurred the wrath of O’Connor. In 1904, this intensified when Donatus Sbaretti, the Delegate, granted several appeals.78

     The combination of Sbaretti’s interference and the ground swell of lay opposition outraged O’Connor, and he attempted to resign his see. Writing to the propaganda he complained bitterly:


From the first [I] called attention to the sanctity of marriage ... by discouraging mixed marriages unless for very grave reasons. These increase because, in my opinion, of the interference of the Delegate, who instead of sustaining me, grants dispensations without consulting me and without my knowledge. Naturally I know the state of the diocese better than he, and I am better able to Judge how a dispensation will affect not only the parties concerned but on Catholics in gene­ral.79


      He also complained of private correspondences between the Delegate and his priests, containing disparaging comments regarding his person. The Delegate retorted that his few interventions were intended to save the par­ties in question from leaving the Church. Rome rejected O’Connor's res­ignation in 1904 and also a later attempt in 1905, reassuring him that his vigilance was appreciated.80 Not surprisingly, Rome’s encouragement came in advance of the Ne Temere decree, Pius X’s own regulations on mixed marriage.

     In the long-term, O’Connor's vigilant restoration of Catholic marriage reaped few rewards. After his resignation from the see in 1908, the level of dispensations multiplied. The number of mixed marriages rose from a low of 2.45% in 1907, under O’Connor, to 13.95% under Archbishop McEvay in 1910. During the episcopate of Neil McNeil, from 1912 to 1934, the levels reached an all-time high: in 1913 nearly one in eight marriages were mixed; by 1915 over one in four; and in 1920 one in three.81 This rapid in­crease clearly demonstrates the failure of O’Connor's programme to out­live him and underscores the high levels of integration experienced by young Catholics and Protestants in Toronto.




     The mixed marriage problem proved to be O’Connor's undoing. He was frustrated by the interference of the Apostolic Delegate, crippled by the minimal support given him by his priests, and embittered by what he described as “un esprit critique de mes activité [sic] soumis ... trop com­mun parmi les laïcs.”82 In 1907, his third letter of resignation was finally accepted, and on May 4, 1908, he terminated his episcopal duties in Toron­to, becoming titular Archbishop of Laodicea. O’Connor spent his final years in prayer and meditation at St. Basil’s Novitiate in Toronto, where he died 30 June 1911. In his final days he lived the monastic life to which he was suited; he read no newspapers and had few contacts with the outside world. In his obituary, The Catholic Register praised him, but could not refrain from making unfortunate comparisons between him and his dynamic and affable successor, Fergus McEvay, who had died the previous May.83

     In retrospect, O’Connor’s episcopate in Toronto was a one-man demonstration of the “restoration” of Pius X as applied to a diocese. When combined with O’Connor’s personal rigorism and unfailing legalism, papal regulations assumed a vitality not witnessed since the days of Bishop Armand de Charbonnel. Having no identifiable “Modernists” or “Americanists” in the city, O’Connor’s integralism,8484, if it can be referred to as such, concentrated on keeping Catholics disciplined in their faith and devotions, and segregated from non-Catholic influences. His version of the “restoration” – clerical formation, liturgical regulation, obedience of the laity on social matters, and strict marital regulations – were all designed to retain the integrity and isolation of Catholicism in Toronto, thereby halt­ing acculturation and apostasy.

     Interestingly enough, O’Connor's programme reveals as much about the Catholics of Toronto as it does about ecclesiastical policy. O’Connor’s restoration disturbed the laity on two fronts. Within the Church, his restric­tions on mixed choirs, fraternal associations, religious parades and parish picnics seriously curtailed some of the laity’s only means of religious and social participation outside of the Mass. Such lay demonstrations of their faith and community were too firmly entrenched to be uprooted in a flurry of legalism. During O’Connor’s rule, resistance was mostly passive, though less subtle demonstrations of dissent occurred. In the long term, the laity rejected much of O’Connor’s programme, although use of Gregorian chant was retained by many parishes for some parts of the liturgy.

     Outside of the Church and its organizations O’Connor had even less effect. He did not set any precedents in restricting dispensations for mixed marriage, nor did he alter the social intercourse between Catholics and Protestants in the city. Life in an urban Protestant environment had altered the ghettoized mentality of many Catholics. While Church officials sought to isolate the faithful from the evils of modern society, the laity were con­tent to marry Protestants, and carry on their everyday life in a non-Catholic world. Offered the choices of a pluralistic and voluntarist society, young Catholics were more willing to ignore church law in favour of their non­Catholic friends and lovers. Moreover, English-speaking Catholics were coming to terms with Canada, and were exuding a new confidence in their role as Catholic leaders outside Quebec, and as full partners in the building of a strong, English-speaking, and Christian nation.85 In the end, O’Connor, the brilliant schoolmaster, found that he could not rule the Archdiocese like an academy.

     Even the lukewarm response of the clergy to the restoration raises some serious questions. Given the fact that priests were increasingly Canadian-born and educated, many realized the need for more flexibility when dealing with a Catholic minority in a Protestant land. Rigidity and legalism, in their experience, would only make Catholics more amenable to other choices offered in a pluralistic society. The fact that picnics, parades, forbidden music, and mixed marriages took place under the eyes of local clergy, despite O’Connor, indicates the degree of empathy between pastor and parishioners. In this light, perhaps, Nadia Eid’s notion of a cleri­cal class is inappropriate when referring to English-speaking priests, who retained more affinity to their roots when Catholics were a minority, as was the case in Toronto.86

     Undoubtedly, the O’Connor years provide both challenges and hidden dangers to the historian. In the hands of some theological conservatives, O’Connor may well approach sainthood – a martyr in a secular world – whereas to the theological liberal, he will be little more than a reactionary martinet. The historian, however, must be careful to avoid such simplistic conclusions, given the context of the Catholic restoration and the matura­tion of a Canadian identity among Toronto’s Catholics. If anything, O’Connor was a seasoned teacher who, when caught in the vortex of cul­tural change and ecclesiastical reform, ended as a casualty of both. A deep­ly spiritual and humble man, he was aware of his shortcomings, warning Rome from the beginning that he was not the man for Toronto. In the end his own words testify to this: “I am sorry to state that all my anticipations concerning my position must have been fully realized.”87


Appendix A
English-speaking Catholic Secular Clergy
Archdiocese of Toronto


Birthplace     1890     1895     1900     1905     1910     1915     1920         1930         1940


Toronto             3           4           3           5           7          11         18             31             42

                        5.8        6.8        5.0        8.2        9.6       12.9      18.2          25.4          30.7

Archdiocese      6          10         13         17         24         30         32             42             43

                       13.5      16.9      21.7      27.8      32.9      35.3      32.3          34.4          31.4


All Other           7          10          8           7          10      1  2          13             12              8

Canadian        13.5      16.9      13.3      11..5      13.7      14.1      13.1           9.8            5.8


Total Cdn        16         24         24         29         41         53         63             85             93

                      30.8     40.7     40.0     47.5       6.2      62.3     63.6          69.6          67.9


Ireland              28         29         30         27         25         22         24             19             15

                       53.9      49.2      50.0      44.3      34.2      25.9      24.3          15.6          10.9


Other                7           4           6           5           7           8           9              10             12

                       13.4       6.7       10.0       8.2        9.6        9.4        9.1            8.2             8.


Unknown          1           2           0           0           0           2           3               8              17

                        1.9        3.4                                                2.4        3.0             6.6           12.4




Total               52         59         60         61         73         85          99             122            137



Sources: Archives of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Priests Files; Father Ed­ward Kelly Papers; Sadlier's Catholic Almanac and Ordo, 1890-1895; Hoffman’s Catholic Almanac, 1896-1900; The Official Catholic Directory, Almanac and Cler­gy List Quarterly, (Milwaukee: M. H. Wiltzius, 1901-1911); The Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1912-13, 1921); The Ontario Catholic Year Book and Directory (Toronto: Newman Club, 1914-1940).


                      Appendix B
Decline of Catholic Fraternal Associations


Association                                 Number of Members


                               1895     1900     1905     1910     1915     1920

Emerald Benefit

Association                  262   200        ---         ---         ---        ---­


Irish Catholic

Benevolent Union         376   267      407*      259       197        ---­


Knights of

St. John                        322  380*      199        46        183        ---­


Sources: Detailed Report of the Inspector of Insurance and Friendly Societies (Toronto: Queen’s and King’s Printer, 1895 through 1920).


* denotes the first inclusion of ladies auxiliaries


Note: above figures are for Ontario only


                              Appendix C

Mixed Marriages in the Archdiocese of Toronto, 1890-1920

Year     Total Married*         Mixed/DC    Percentage

1890           175                         10                5.71    

1895           160                         22               13.75

1896           114                         24               21.05

1897           143                         29               20.28

1898           153                         22               14.38

1899           145                          8                 5.52

1900           151                          6                 3.97

1901           131                          8                 6.11

1902           179                         12                6.70

1903           216                         16                7.41

1904           222                         13                5.86

1905           228                         15                6.58

1906           205                          6                 2.93

1907           245                          6                 2.45

1908@       248                         20                8.06

1909           310                         37               11.94

1910           337                         47               13.95

1911           365                         47               12.88

1912           419                          74               17.66

1913           453                         74               16.36

1914           417                         52               12.47

1915           405                         87               21.48

1916           454                        111              24.45

1920           640                        199              31.09


*city parishes only


@ O’Connor granted only 3 before his resignation in May 1908


Source: Archives of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Marriage Registers, 1890-1920; Dispensation Stub Books, 1890-1920.

1The author would like to thank Sister Frieda Watson, C.S.J., and her staff at the Ar­chives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT) for their friendly assistance and co-operation. Particular thanks are given to Lawren Armstrong of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and Marco Testa of St. Augustine’s Seminary for their supervision of my Latin translations. In addition, the comments, ideas and suggestions from Dr. Brian Clarke were of great help to this paper. Funding was provided, in part, by a fellowship from the So­cial Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

2James Hennesay, S.J., American Catholicism: A History of the Roman Catholic Com­munity in the United States (New York: Oxford Press, 1981), pp. 196-202; Halsay, The Sur­vival of American Innocence: Catholicism in an Era of Disillusionment, (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 1982), p. 4; Thomas T. McAvoy, The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895-1900, (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1957), pp. 2, 310, 350. Thomas T. McAvoy, “The Formation of the Catholic Minority,” in Philip Gleason, ed., The Catholic Church in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), p. 11.

3Modernism was by no means a uniform theological system, nor was it a concerted movement by theologians. The term “Modernist” is not precise, and was used by the Vatican as a convenient term to describe what it feared were assaults against the unity, stability and orthodoxy of Roman Catholicism. Gabriel Daly, O.S.A, Transcendence and Immanence: A Study in Catholic Modernism and Integralism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 1-4; Alec Vidler, A Variety of Catholic Modernists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), pp. 15-18; James C. Livingston, Modern Christian Thought from the Enlighten­ment to the Present (New York: MacMillan Publishers, 1971), pp. 271-276; Ellen Leonard, George Tyrrell and the Catholic Tradition (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), pp. 1-2.

4J. Derek Holmes as quoted in Ann Taves, The Household of Faith, Roman Catholic – Devotions in Mid-Nineteenth Century America (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1986), p. 114. J. Derek Holmes, More Roman Than Rome: English Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century (London: Bums and Oates, 1978), see chapters 4 and 5.

5Vidler, A Variety of Catholic Modernists, pp. 49-50; Nicolas Cheetham, The Keepers of the Keys (New York: Scribner's, 1983), p. 275; Alec Vidler, The Church in an Age of Revolution (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Pelican Books, 1961), pp. 186-187.

6A general discussion of orthodoxy and orthopraxy is presented adeptly in Ann Taves, The Household of Faith, p. 89.

7Katherine Murtha, “Modernism and English-speaking Canadian Catholics: A Study of the Catholic Press in the Toronto Area at the Turn of the Century” (unpublished Masters thesis, University of St. Michael’s College, 1985), p. 123; The Catholic Record (hereafter Record) reported on I1 March 1899, that it doubted whether Americanism, as defined by the encyclical, was practised by any Americans.

8Public Archives of Canada (PAC), H.F. McIntosh Papers, Rough notes on the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto, no date; Robert J. Scollard, ed., Dictionary of Basilian Biog­raphy (Toronto: Basilian Press, 1969), p. 113. Another useful narrative of O'Connor’s life and work is Kathy Barclay, “Archbishop O’Connor, A Roman Catholic Traditionalist” (un­published undergraduate paper, St. Jerome’s College, 1985).

9Francis A. O’Brien, Life Work of a Saintly Prelate (Kalamazoo: Augustinian Print, 1914), pp. 1-6; The Catholic Register (Register), 6 April 1899. Michael Power, As­sumption College: The O'Connor Years, 1870-1890  (Windsor: Assumption University, 1986).

10PAC, Sir John A. Macdonald papers, Letter from Father P. Corcoran, PP to Macdo­nald, 13 January 1888, vol. 452, pp. 225141-225143; Record, 16 July 1898. When it was sug­gested that the late Archbishop Cleary of Kingston was to be replaced by Bishop Sheelan of Waterford the paper commented, “This is not home rule exactly.” (reprint from Buffalo Cath­olic Union Times)

11ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, AA01, Galley Proofs of Biography, author and date un­known. St. Michael’s College Archives, obituary clipping from Toronto World.

12Register, 6 July 1911.

13Archives of St. Michael’s College, Extracts from the Ordo of Archbishop Den­is O’Connor, 1899.

14Register, 11 May 1899.

15Archives of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Charles Gauthier Papers, Letter from O’Con­nor to Gauthier, 14 May 1900. In the letter he states: “I am slowly recovering my health ... but the gain in strength is slow. I said mass yesterday for the first time in more than six weeks.:

16ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, AA0303a, “Regulations to be Observed to Ensure Unifor­mity and Good Order.”

17PAC, McIntosh Papers, rough notes on history of the Archdiocese of Toronto; O’Brien, Life Work of a Saintly Prelate, p. 5.

18O'Brien, Life Work, p. 6; for confirmation of Sulpician rigorism see Brian Young, In its Corporate Capacity: The Seminary of Montreal as a Business Institution (Mon­treal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1986), pp. 153-158.

19ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, Examination of Young Priests, November 28, 1899; Let­terbook 3, Box 1, Acts and Decrees of the First Provincial Council, 1875, Decree X, “De Se­minariis Instituendis.”

20ARCAT, Holograph 22.78, Seminary of St. Mary and St. John the Evangelist, 1881-­1883.

21ARCAT, Examination for Young Priests, November 28, 1899; November 25, 1903; June 12, 1906.

22ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, AB16, “Examination on the Immaculate Conception,” November, 1904.


24ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, Examination Results, November, 1903. The church histo­ry question on the 3rd Lateran Council brought an average of 81.7% in a field of ten candi­dates. Sermons on guardian angels brought an average of 82.4% and written questions on confirmation earned the ten curates an average of 78.5%.

25ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, O'Connor to Cardinal Gotti, 10 February 1905. Original: “"Un tier du clergé je ne suis pas bien vu, et les autres ne sont as tous des amis zé­lés.”; Roman Correspondence, 8706, O’Connor to Gotti, 22 October 1904.

26ARCAT, Apostolic Delegate Correspondence, O’Connor to Sbaretti, 13 April 1903; Sbaretti to O’Connor, 21 August 1903; Sbaretti to James Minehan, 22 August 1903; Sbaretti to O’Connor, 13 September 1903; Sbaretti to O’Connor, 14 January 1904.

27ARCAT, O'Connor Papers, AA04.02, O’Connor to Rev. M. Whalen, 10 June 1901.

28Archives of the Scarborough Foreign Mission Society, Typescript of the Autobiogra­phy of Monsignor John Mary Fraser, c. 1955, pp. 14-15.

29Edmund McCorkell, Henry Carr – Revolutionary (Toronto: Griffin House, 1969), pp. 15-20. He refers to the Basilian intellectual tradition as “an arctic night” until the end of the nineteenth century.

30See Appendix A.

31Record, 23 March 1895.

32ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, Circular Letters, AA03.06, “The Pope and Church Mu­sic,” 1904 [original 22 November 1903]; Register, 21 January 1904. For a list of forbidden compositions see Register, 1 May 1919

33Register, 4 April 1891; 23 March 1893; 8 June 1893; 28 December 1893; 29 March 1894; 17 January 1895; 11 April 1895; 23 December 1897; 22 December 1898.

34Register, 19 December 1895.

35Register, 30 June 1898.

36Register, 11 July 1907. The three parishes were St. Helen’s, St. Mary’s and the Ca­thedral.

37ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, Circulars, “Notice,” AA03.07.

38Register, 25 December 1902 and 20 October 1904.

39Mary Hoskin, History of St. Basil’s Parish (Toronto: Catholic Register and Canadian Extension, 1912), pp. 83-84.

40Register, 19 October 1905; 11 July 1907; 19 September 1907; 28 May 1908. Arch­bishop Elder of Cincinnati held a conference on Gregorian Chant to encourage its use in the United States. See Register, 19 September 1907. Similar moves to plainchant were made in the Archdioceses of Ottawa, Dublin and Westminster. See Register, 7 April 1904 and 14 Ju­ly 1904.

41Register, 13 December 1903; Record, 20 April 1901.

42Register, 9 January 1908


44Register, 27 April 1905.

45Hoskin, History of St. Basil’s, p. 84.

46Register, 17 January 1907.


Register, 4 February 1909 and 24 April 1919.

48Register, 25 February 1909.

49ARCAT, McNeil Papers, AH08.103, Letter from a “Catholic” to McNeil, 31 Octo­ber 1919. See also St..loseph’s Lilies, vol. 3 (December, 1914), 49 for the Reverend J.P. Tra­cy’s praise of Mozart, Handel and Gounod. He claimed that the use of their compositions was proof of the Church’s recognition “that man not only has a head, but he has a heart,” and great music could convey eternal truths through the emotions.

50Archives of St. Michael’s College, O’Connor Papers, clipping from Catholic Record, quoting the Toronto World, June 1911; ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, AA04.02, Letter from O’Connor to Rev. M. Whalen, 10 June 1901, clipping attached.

51Register, 9 July 1903. 1 June 1905, 23 May 1907.

52Register, 14 January 1909 and 5 June 1913. More picnics are reported 19 Au­gust 1915 and 5 July 1917.

53ARCAT, St. Joseph’s Parish Box, Financial Report, 1902

54O’Brien, Life Work, n.p.; ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, Galley Proofs of Biography, AA01.01; Letter from William Macdonell, Bishop of Alexandria to O'Connor, 16 Septem­ber 1907, ABO8.13.

55ARCAT, Knights of Columbus Papers, Letter from Edward Hearn, Supreme Knight, New Haven, Connecticut to Archbishop McEvay, 19 February 1909 and J.T. Kidd, Archdio­cesan Secretary to Edward Hearn, 24 February 1909.

56ARCAT, Knights of Columbus Papers, W.H. Leacock, District Deputy of K.of C., to Archbishop Neil McNeil of Toronto, 16 March 1917.

57Might’s City Directory (Toronto: J.M. Might, 1900), p. 1043; Detailed Report of the Inspector of Insurance and Registrar of Friendly Societies (Toronto: Queen's Printer, 1895­1921) six reports used. See Appendix B; for an excellent examination of the rise and fall of Catholic voluntary associations in the city see Brian P. Clarke, “Piety, Nationalism and Fra­ternity: The Rise of Catholic Voluntary Associations in Toronto, 1850-1895” (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1986), chapter 8.

58Register, 8 April 1897.

59Register, 11 March 1897, 16 March 1899 [working women]; 25 March 1897, 1 April 1897, 7 July 1898 [rich women]; 8 April 1897 [other women’s columns]; 6 May 1897, 12 August 1897 [cruelty to animals]; 14 October 1897 [urban poverty]; 12 May 1898 [condemnation of Spanish-American War]; 2 June 1898 [euthanasia]; 2 June 1898, 29 September 1898 [equality of opportunity].

60Register, 2 June 1898.

61Register, 8 April 1897.

62ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, TAO 1.13, Letter from O'Connor to P.F. Cronin, Editor of The Catholic Register, 22 March 1901.

63Archives of St. Michael’s College, clipping from Record, June 1911.

64Register, 29 August 1901, 31 September 1905, 9 October 1905, 23 November 1905. The Register attempted to continue the “Domain of Woman” six months after its cancellation. Teresa was not the author and the columns reflected a conservative approach to women’s is­sues. The column ran from February to March, 1900, highlighting child rearing, practical reading and housekeeping.

65ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, O'Connor to Cardinal Gotti, 22 October 1904, 8706.

66ARCAT, Parish Marriage Registers, 1899-1900, passim

67ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, 7605, Walsh to the Propaganda Fide, 24 Febru­ary 1893 and 8113, Walsh to Pope Leo XIII, 14 March 1898. In the latter he writes: Sed quoicum in haec parte Ontariones Canadensis haeretici multo numerosiores sunt Ca­tholicis non raro evenit ut supra didas dispensationes Concillere necesse sit ad majora mala praecavenda. Nam experanda docet Catholicos, qui sponsalia venit cum Protestan­tibus si    eis non concederetur, saepe.

68See Appendix C.

69In 1905, census takers found that Holy Family Parish in Parkdale had a rate of one mixed marriage in ten, whereas the rate was one in four in the Eariscourt District, the future home of St. Clare’s Parish. ARCAT. Holy Family Parish Microfilm, Parish Census, 1905: St. Clare’s Parish Box, “Remarks on Earlscourt District.” 26 August 1908. Given O’Connor's policy on the subject most of these unions probably predated his arrival.


ARCAT, Apostolic Delegate Papers, Draft of report from O’Connor to Apostolic Del­egate, 20 November 1900.


72Record, 18 September 1915. Other comments against mixed marriages included “the contamination of doctrine,” an irreconcilable mix of “oil and water” and “no concord, no true happiness.” See Register, 6 September 1900, 30 November 1919, 25 January 1900.

73ARCAT, O’Connor Papers, Circulars, “Regulations”; Dispensation Stub Books. For publication of banns, see ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, Draft of letter from O’Connor to Cardinal Gotti, 22 October 1904.

74ARCAT, Apostolic Delegate Papers, Draft of Report from O’Connor to the Delegate, 20 November 1900.


O’Brien, Life Work, n.p.

76ARCAT, Marriage Dispensation Stubs, 1908-1920. For more information on Ne Te­mere, see John Moir, “The Canadian Protestant Reaction to the Ne Temere Decree,” Canadian Catholic Historical Association, Study Sessions, 48 (1981), 78-80.

77Register, 21 May 1908.

78ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, 8706, rough draft of letter from O’Connor to Car­dinal Gotti, 22 October 1910.


80ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, Cardinal Gotti to O’Connor, 14 September 1906, 8909, translated from Latin.

81See Appendix C; also ARCAT, Apostolic Delegate Papers, letter from Rev. J.T. Kidd, Archdiocesan administrator, to Delegate, 1 September 1912. Kidd reported “The number of applications for such dispensations made of late has been rapidly increasing. Although many of Catholic girls who keep company with a protestant [sic] young man will threaten to go to a protestant [sic] or magistrate if a dispensation is not granted, still a good proportion of them will not do so.”

82ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, Draft of a letter from O’Connor to Gotti, 10 Feb­ruary 1905, 8801; this is confirmed in Apostolic Delegate Papers, Donatus Sbaretti to O’Con­nor, 4 December 1903.

83Register, 6 July 1911. The paper, however, praised him as an educator and one who was very concerned with the spiritual development of children. As a point of comparison, Fer­gus McEvay’s obituary was four times the size of O’Connor’s.

84Integralism (integrism): “The modernist crisis did usher in a reaction in the Church which, in some instances, led to heresy hunting, calumny, and persecution. This movement of extreme reaction is referred to as ‘Integrism,’ due to the over-zealous efforts on the part of those involved to protect the integrity of the Catholic faith,” from James C. Livingston, Mod­ern Christian Thought From the Enlightenment to the Present (New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1971), p. 292. See also Gabriel Daly, O.S.A., Transcendence and Immanence: A Study in Catholic Modernism and Integralism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 8-12.

85See Mark George McGowan, “‘A Watchful Eye’: The Catholic Church Extension So­ciety and Ukrainian Catholic Immigrants, 1908-1930,” in John S. Moir and C.T. McIntire, eds., Protestant and Roman Catholic Missions in Canada (New York: Peter Lang, 1988).

86Nadia F. Eid, Le clergé et le pouvoir politique au Québec. Une analyse de l’idéologie ultramontaine au milieu du XIXè siècle (Montréal: Hurtubise, 1978). Several challenges to Eid’s theory of clerical class have already been made, including Guy Laperriere, “Religion populaire, religion de clercs? Du Québec à la France, 1972-1982,” in Benoit Lacroix and Jean Simard, eds., Religion Populaire, Religion de Clercs? (Québec: Institut Québécois de Recherche sur la Culture, 1984), 19-53.

87ARCAT, Roman Correspondence, Draft of letter from O’Connor to Cardinal Gotti, 22 October 1904.