SAINT FINNAN'S PARISH, ALEXANDRIA
"The missionary district of St. Finnan's comprises the village of Alexandria, with the following portions of the adjoining municipalities, to wit: Kenyon: first concession from lot number one to number seven inclusively, with part of lot number thirty-four in said concession; the entire second, third and fourth concessions and the south part of lot number twenty-one in the fifth concession of the said township of Kenyon. Lancaster: from thenine-mile road between lots twenty-three and twenty-four in the ninth concession to the military road; Lochiel: from lot number fifteen in the first concession, number seventeen in the second concession and number fourteen in the third concession inclusively in each concession, to the western boundary of the said township of Lochiel.
"The mission was established in the year 1832, when the few settlers who occupied lands in the neighborhood of Alexandria undertook to build themselves a church under the patronage of St. Finnan and under the guidance and direction of the late Reverend John McDonald, first pastor of the Mission who was at that time assistant priest of St. Raphael's, in which capacity he served the new Mission until 1840, when he was appointed pastor of St. Finnan's. At Christmas, 1833, the church was sufficiently advanced to afford the good and pious people the consolation to assist at Christmas Midnight Mass, it being the first Mass in the new church, the Reverend John McDonald aforesaid officiating. Some years later an apse and front additions werebuilt to the church. The church was built and paid for by the voluntary labor and subscriptions of the few settlers in the neighborhood, who formed the then congregation which assembled to worship in St.Finnan's church.
"The site on which the old St. Finnan's church stood and on which now stands the new church, also the old cemetery and the lot on which the presbytery (palace) stands, were donated to the parishioners by the late Col. Angus Macdonell, nephew of the late Bishop Macdonell, and one of the pioneer settlers of Alexandria. About the year 1840, Mr. Allan Williams, one of theearly settlers made a donation to the parish of a town lot which now forms a portion of the boys schoolyard. About the same time a Miss Ann McMillan, daughter of one Dougald McMillan, made a donation of twenty pounds with which was purchased a town lot on the east side of the church, which is now occupied by St. Margaret's convent and school-yard. About the year 1865 the Hon. D. A. Macdonald donated to the parish the land which now forms the new cemetery.
`The Reverend John McDonald first pastor of the Mission was a zealous and devoted missionary. In the discharge of the arduous duties of his mission, he must of necessity have undergone many hardships. He held jurisdiction over an extensive territory sparsely populated. Settlements were numerous but farbetween. Roads in general were almost in impassable condition, and in many instances the means of communication between one settlement and another was to travel over rude trails through the unbroken forest. Over these rude and difficult pathways, the devoted priest frequently travelled from one settlement to another, sometimes mounted on horse, often on foot, never absentfrom any settlement whenever the spiritual wants of his flock or of any member thereof called for his spiritual ministrations.
He made a yearly house to house visitation in the winter season of his entire parish, receiving from each family a donation in grain which he afterwards converted into cash. Thus he accumulated the means of procuring considerable real estate which, at the time of his death, he bequeathed to the parish for educational purposes.
"On the first of June, 1837, the parish was visited by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Gaulin, when he administered Confirmation to fifty-three persons; also on the fifteenth of January, 1843, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gaulin paid his last visit to the parish and on that occasion administered Confirmation to two hundred and fifty-four candidates, and from Plantagenet, a week later, he (BishopGaulin) addressed a letter of congratulation to the parishioners of Alexandria highly complimenting them on the flourishing condition in which he found matters with them spiritually and temporally, a copy of which is recorded in the Register of the Parish.
IN REI MEMORIAM
"REMIGIUS GAULIN, by the Grace of God and the Authority of the Holy Apostolic See, Bishop of Kingston, etc., etc.
`To Our dearly beloved children in Christ, the Catholics of the Mission of Alexandria, Greeting."It is with no small satisfaction that we congratulate you on the very prosperous state in which we have found your Mission in regard to its spiritual and temporal concerns. Your worthy Pastor, whose unrelenting zeal, assiduous care, and arduous labors entitle him to your unbounded gratitude, has testified to us his unqualified gratitude with your submissiveness, your docility, and your praiseworthy efforts in assisting him in whatever he under-takes for your own good, the greater glory of God and the greater respectability of your religious establishments. He has also testified to us the progressive improvements in your religious dispositions. We offer to the Author of All Good, our most heartfelt thanks for all these blessings, and we earnestly pray his infinite goodness to confirm in you what he has so liberally began.
"We have also learned with unmixed pleasure that your Mission possesses property which at this moment is worth from eight to nine hundred pounds, and which in the course of a short time, may be worth three or four times that sum. You consequently will be soon enabled to put your Mission and the religious institutions in it, on a solid and permanent footing, if you continue to he unanimous among yourselves and submissive to your Pastorwho has certainly given you hitherto undeniable proofs of his sincere zeal for the promoting of your temporal and spiritual welfare, and of his total disinterestedness with regard to his own private temporary concerns. You cannot, therefore, suspect him of any undue motive in his exertions. You must, on the contrary, be fully convinced that he has no other object in view than the advancement of religion, the improvement of his flock, and the greater glory of His Divine Master.
"We therefore earnestly entreat you to continue to give him, in this respect, a constant support, to be always guided by his directions, and to procure for him that satisfaction of seeing you always united and in peace with one another. This will be, most unquestionably, the sure means of drawing down upon your Mission, the choicest blessings of the Lord.
"Given at Plantagenet, in the course of our Spiritual Visit, this 23rd day of January, 1843.
"(Sgd.) R., Bishop of Kingston.'
"The Rev. John McDonald died on the ninth of May, 1845, at the age of fifty-five years, in the seventeenth year of his ministry and the twelfth of his charge of the Mission of Alexandria. His name is held in benediction with the people whom he served and is still mentioned with reverence by their children who have never seen him, but who have learned from their parents the merits and worth of the first pastor of Alexandria.
The following is the inscription on a tablet erected in St. Finnan's Cathedral.
TO THE MEMORY OF
REVEREND JOHN McDONALD
FIRST PASTOR OF THIS CHURCH
WHO DIED MAY 9TH, 1845
IN THE 55TH YEAR OF HIS AGE, AND IN THE
17TH YEAR OF HIS MINISTRY.
May He Rest In Peace.
I have, so far, merely copied the historical narrative of a parish priest written nearly forty years ago in the Register of St. Finnan's. It is, I believe, the fullest and the only authentic history of the first years of St. Finnan's. Newspaper articles, local tradition and private documents have enabled me to add these remarks.
My curiosity was aroused by a very ancient hell of peculiar yet exquisite workmanship found by one of the priests last year in the basement of the Cathedral. We know not whence it came, but we do know that it is similar in form to the famous Bell of St. Finnan (Fillan) in the Antiquarian Museum, Edinburgh. If we knew its history we might have a relic of the fifth century, possibly, indeed, the original Bell of the MacLaggans and MacDougalds.
The Stone of Destiny, the Stone of Scone on which were crowned the Scottish Kings until it was carried off to England in the thirteen century and which is now in Westminster Abbey, the bell of St. Finnan, and the crosier, are three relics of St. Finnan, disciple of St. Aide, contemporary of St. Patrick, about which tradition has woven many strange tales. In the sixth century, the conflict between the Ficts and Scots caused them to be taken from Wales to Scotland by the followers of St. Finnan. In Scotland, during the eighth century, there were invasions by northern barbarians and the relics were taken to Ireland. From Tara to the western Highlands they were taken by the Lords of the Isles (Macdonalds) and through them to Scone. King Robert Bruce gave the crosier to the Dewars. The bell was lost, but recovered from the depths of the Lagan river. It seems to have been in the custody of many clans, the McLennans, the MacLaggans and the McDougalds. Tradition speaks of it as religiously guarded in Lochaber, and devotion to St. Finnan was ever the peculiar trait of Highlanders in the western part of Scotland.
This no doubt explains why St. Finnan was given as patron saint to the parish of Alexandria, since the great majority of the first settlers came from Lochaber. If the crosier of St. Finnan came to Canada with the Dewars, why not the bell of St. Finnan? Who knows? Alexandria may be linked with the disciples of St. Patrick.
The original patentee of the lands upon which Alexandria is built was Colonel John Macdonell, well known in history as "Spanish John,". He was the son of John of Crowlin of the family of Scotus. His father was out with Prince Charlie in "45," and his grandfather was out with Montrose. He was sent to Scots College in Rome, in 1740, to be educated for the priesthood. After having been three years at the college he gave up the idea ef becoming a priest and resolved to become a soldier instead. A Spanish army was at that time in Italy and he decided to join the Irish brigade under General Macdonald who was in command of the army. He afterwards saw a great deal of service and suffered many hardships, being dangerously wounded in one of the battles.
Hearing of the success of Prince Charlie in Scotland, he and others of the Irish brigade left Dunkirk in April, 1746, to join his standard. They landed at Lochbroom and were informed of the defeat of Prince Charlie at Culloden. Spanish John had been entrusted with letters by the Duke of York and a sum of three thousand pounds for Prince Charles. In the attempt to carry out the duke's instructions he had many adventures and was finally made prisoner by Captain Ferguson. He was detained at Fort William for nine months and was released for want of evidence against him. He afterwards settled down at Knoidart.
He emigrated to America with a large following of his people in 1775, and settled in the Mohawk Valley under Sir William Johnston who was superintendent of Indian affairs for the Province of New York. Sir John Johnson succeeded his father in office, and upon the outbreak of the War, Spanish John followed him to fight in the King's Royal Regiment as one of its most distinguished officers. After the war he settled in St. Andrew's, where he died in 1810. He received from the Crown the lots 37 and 38 in the second concession of Lochiel as a reward for his services. We see, therefore, that Alexandria is linked up with the history of several wars, and if we had a detailed account of the life of Spanish John, no more interesting romance could be read. His grand-uncle, Alaistair Dubh, (Black Alex) was the greatest Highland hero of all times. He led Montrose's army through Argyle to avenge the massacre of Glencoe.
Alexandria was first known as "Moulin Taggart" (Priest's Mills), because the Reverend Alexander Macdonell, first Bishop of Upper Canada, established the town and built a mill there for the grinding of grain, he had bought the property of Spanish John and sold it to his nephew, Col. Angus Macdonell, whose residence is now the Knights of Columhus Club on Kenyon Street East. The town of Alexandria, therefore, owes it origin to Bishop Alexander Macdonell, and its name will ever link it in Canadian religious history with the great Bishop.
When Bishop Macdonell moved to Kingston to take possession of his See, the people of Alexandria sent him a petition to form a new parish. The request was granted, with the result as told in the chronicle above. The first pastor known as Father Johnson of John of John, (Maighster Ian mic Ian ic Ian) was born in the "Glen@, Williamstown, of the family of Big Finnan Macdonell, of Hudson Bay fame. He was a grand-uncle of the late D. R. Macdonald. Nothing is mentioned, in the chronicle about his private life, except that his great piety was a source of edification for the descendants of his parishioners.
The writer knows many who as children were familiar with Father John and has heard the stories told by them. There is one story which is familiar to all the older people of the country. I mention it merely to show how, in a comparatively short time, folk-lore and the love of the extraordinary make historical facts discredited.
The story of Father John's trip to Montreal is typical. His austere life and great sanctity were known throughout the whole district. He had been educated in the Grand Seminary, Montreal, and knew many of the seminary priests. He was invited to Montreal, or to one of the churches in that district, to exorcise a chapel or college where strange things were said to happen. He walked barefooted to Montreal, reading his prayers along the road.
His feet were torn and blistered. Just where he went and what he did will never be known. His own version of the occurrence, given to one who asked him and who repeated his answer to the mother of Rev. D. R. Macdonald, was, "Well, we did something, but we don't tell what we did." Presumably it was an exorcism.
Mrs. Macdonald lived at the Red Store, near Ste. Justine, and her neighbor at whose home Father John remained over night, both on his trip down and on his return, told her the story. From other investigations I have made I see no reason to doubt the story. However, the many versions of it, as told throughout the country, are mostly without foundation. We have even heard astory teller give a very vivid description of the result of the exorcism - to wit, that the devil in a blue flame shot out of the seminary, leaving a large hole in the side of the building which may still be seen. Father John himself never told the story, and what he did we know not. We do know that he was a great priest and that Bishop Caulin, in his letter to the parishioners, knew whereof he spoke. The land he gave for school support is known as Johnstown.
The chronicle continues the history of the parish. After the death of Father John, the Mission remained vacant for about six months. However, there were several priests who came to say Mass for the people. Father Hay of St. Andrew's was nearly always in charge. He had been with Father John during his illness and performed the funeral services. He entertained the Rt. Rev. Bishop Phelan when he administered Confirmation to eighty-six persons on August 10th, 1845. For several months a Father Clark acted as assistant priest, He was a Franciscan monk and spoke to the people about establishing a college in Alexandria. The Order wished to obtain from the parishioners a deed of the land now knows an Tomb's mill property. The project did not receive much encouragement at the time and Father Clark returned to Montreal.
"In the month of November, 1845, the Rev. Denis Begley assumed the pastoral charge of the parish. The following year preparations were made for a new presbytery which was not finished for several years. On the 12th day of August, 1851, Father Begley severed his connections with the parish and leftfor Kingston. He had been unwell for several months and suffered subsequently from mental strain. Local tradition has preserved some touching stories of this priest who was so kind and who had become almost childish through sickness.
"He was succeeded by Reverend Alexander Macdonell, (Mc Ian Mor) who continued in pastoral charge until the time of his death. The tablet in the cathedral reads as follows:-
Sacred to the Memory of
THE REV. ALEXANDER MACDONELL
LATE PASTOR OF LOCHIEL AND ALEXANDRIA
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
ON THE 4TH DAY OF APRIL, 1853
IN THE 39TH OF HIS AGE AND THE 7TH OF HIS
PRIESTHOOD. HIS REMAINS ARE
DEPOSITED UNDER THE SANCTUARY OF THIS CHURCH
Requiescat in Pace.
This tablet was erected by his affectionate father, Donald Macdonald.
"Father Alexander Macdonell was an uncle of Mr. Angus Macdonald of Elgin Street East. He was a relative of Very Reverend Mgr. Corbet, V. G. He was born in the first of Kenyon and educated in Montreal. He was a fluent and eloquent speaker in three languages. However, he was physically a very delicate man and the hard labor of his mission in L'Orignal and Lochielproved too much for him.
"The Rev. John R. Meade who was assistant priest with the late Father Macdonell during his sickness continued in charge of the parish until the month of November, 1853."
The chronicle then says:
"In November, 1853, the Rev. John McLaughlin assumed the pastorship of the parish. The reverend gentleman labored with earnestness and zeal during the term of his incumbency to renovate the church interiorly and exteriorly, to improve the premises and to sanctify the people. Among the good works effected by him may be mentioned the establishment of the Catholic SeparateSchool and the introduction of the Sisters of the Holy Cross into Alexandria in 1854, and who have continued in charge of the girls ever since. This alone was enough to establish a claim of gratitude in the hearts of the people for Father McLaughlin.
"On the 29th of July, 1855, the parish was visited by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Phelan, and Confirmation was administered by him to one hundred and twenty-five persons.
"The Rev. John McLaughlin died after a short illness on the 26th of October, 1856. His remains are interred under the new St. Finnan's Church. The tablet in St. Finnan's reads:
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
REV. JOHN McLAUGHLIN
LATE PASTOR OF THE PARISH
WHO DIED AT HIS PASTORAL RESIDENCE HERE
ON THE 26TH DAY OF OCTOBER, A. D. 1856
IN THE 52ND YEAR OF HIS AGE
AND THE 27TH OF HIS PRIESTHOOD.
Requiescat in Pace.
This tablet is erected is his late parishioners as a token of gratitude for his services, and testimony cf his great zeal for the cause of religion and education.
`The Reverend James Chisholm, immediately after the death of the lamented Father McLachlan, was appointed to the pastoral charge of his native parish, which he held until November 1866. Father Chisholm had studied in Rome and had the degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred upon him there. He built thebrick school for the boys, and made improvements on all the church and school property. The stately and beautiful shade trees in front of the Palace and Cathedral were planted by him. He introduced the Forty Hours' Adoration into the parish about the year 1864, which has been yearly attended ever since and which has been productive of much good among the people.
"During his incumbency the mission was officially visited three times by the Right Reverend E. J. Jioran, Bishop of Kingston, and Confirmation administered as follows, to wit: On the 21st of September, 1859, one hundred and twenty-six persons were confirmed; on the 14th September 1862, one hundred and thirty persons confirmed; on the 8th December, 1865, one hundred andforty-five persons confirmed. The Reverend Dr. James Chisholm was appointed to the mission of Perth in the year 1866, and in the Fall of the same year he left Alexandria to enter on the duties of his new appointment. Father Chisholm was a brilliant theologian, and at the various conference of priests held during his life-time, his opinion on all matters of Church doctrine of Church law was always held in high esteem. In manner, he was most affable, and being a delightful conversationalist, his attractive personality drew him many friends, particularly the young priests. He died suddenly in the year 1878 and was buried in Perth. His funeral was attended by a delegation of his former parishioners of Alexandria.
"The Reverend J. O'Connor succeeded the Rev. Dr. Chisholm in the pastorship of the Mission of Alexandria, in November, 1866. He enlarged the convent building, adding two spacious wings thereto, making it equal to the requirements of the school at that time. He obtained a grant of a town lot from Mr. Paul Campbell, 26/3 Kenyon, and built thereon St. Stephen's Chapel, now abandoned, which was a source of accommodation to the people of thatlocality. Father O'Connor bought and paid for a town lot east of the convent which will be serviceable when a new convent will be built. Father O'Connor effected much good among the people by his labors and exertions in the cause of temperance. He established a Total Abstinence society, and so flourishing was it, at one time, that the great majority of the parishioners were numbered among its members.
"On the 9th of September, 1868, the Mission was officially visited by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Horan and Confirmation was administered to one hundred and forty-three persons. On the 21st day of September, 1875, the Rt Rev. John O'Brien paid his first pastoral visit to the parish and administered Confirmation to the large number of three hundred and ten persons. Late inthe Spring of the year 1879, Father O'Connor was appointed to the important parish of Perth, Ont., and in June following, took his departure from Alexandria to enter on the discharge of the duties of his new pastorate.
"The Reverend Alexander Macdonell formerly of the parish of Lochiel was appointed to succeed the Rev. Father O'Connor in charge of the Mission of Alexandria, in June, 1879. The first work of importance undertaken by him in his new field of labor was to renovate the presbytery interiorly. After a year or two he commenced preparations for the building of a new church, much needed on account of the large increase of the Catholic population in that district.
"In the Summer of 1881, the Rt. Rev. Janles Vincent Cleary, S. T. D., Bishop of Kingston, made his first official visitation to the parish, and among many other good suggestions, made by him on that occasion, he strongly recommended the people to build a new church. He earnestly urged upon them the necessity of losing no time to begin a work so much needed, and expressed a hope that it would be of such proportions as would afford accommodation to the people and worthy of them in point of architectural design. Accordingly a move was made in the desired direction without loss of time, and a representative meeting ofthe parishioners was held in the Summer of 1882 to discuss the question, at which it was resolved that a subscription list should be opened in the parish, and that each head or representative of a family should subscribe according to his valuation, so as to secure an amount ranging from $25,000 to 830,000 payable in six yearly consecutive installments. The Rev. Pastor made the round of the parish, solicited and obtained the signatures of the people to the promised rates. It was also carried by resolution of the meeting of the Church Committee that the new church would be built on the site occupied by the old which was to be removed to an adjoining lot.
"The plans of the new St. Finnan's Church were prepared by William H. Hodson, Esq., architect, Montreal, during the Winter of 1883 and approved by the Rt. Rev. James V. Cleary, S. T. D., Bishop of Kingston, in the Spring of the same year. The contract of building the new church was awarded to Messrs. John R. Chisholm and Son, of Lochiel, on the 22nd September, 1883. The first ground was broken and commencement made on the 25th day of the same month. The corner stone was set and blessed with solemn ceremonies on the 13th July, 1884, by the Rt. Rev. James V. Cleary, assisted by the Reverend pastor, also by the Reverend Fathers O'Connor, Perth, Gauthier, Williamstown, Duffus, St.Raphael's, and Cicolari of Lochiel, and a large concourse of people, to whom his Lordship preached an eloquent and impressive sermon.
"On the 15th of March, 1885, the same illustrious prelate dedicated with solemn service to the worship of God interiorly and exteriorly the church, assisted by the Rev. pastor, also Fathers Gauthier, Duff us, Cicolari, and a full congregation of the laity. The Reverend Father Gauthier celebrated Mass and his Lordship preached an eloquent sermon appropriate to the occasion.
"On the 18th of June, 1883, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Cleary, Bishop of Kingston, visited the parish and administered confirmation to three hundred and sixty-three persons. On the 19th of September, 1886, His Lordship visited the parish and appointed the Very Rev. Alexander Macdonell, Vicar-General of the Diocese and received his oath of office in the presence of Rev. Thomas Kelly, Sec. Rev. C. J. Duffus of St. Raphael's, Rev. John Twomey of Lochiel, Rev. William A. Macdonell, Glen Nevis, and a full congregation of the laity, to whom the Bishop explained, in eloquent terms, the dignity and obligations of the office to which their humble pastor was raised.
"On the 21st of September, 1886, during the same visitation. His Lordship administered Confirmation to two hundred and seventeen candidates, after having carefully examined them in the Christian doctrine, having given them salutary admonitions before and after the administration of the sacred rite.
"In the Summer of 1861, the ground in front of the church was terraced and a new fence built to the west and in front of the church"
This ends the Chronicle as found in St. Finnan's Church Register.
I have decided to give several entries contained in the same register to give readers who have reached the middle age, a reminder of the days when they stood before Bishop Cleary to be confirmed. These entries are also interesting to-day, as they throw light on several questions, which seem to us quite modern. The world does not change so much.
1889. `On the 22nd of June, I, the undersigned Bishop of Kingston, came to Alexandria, for the purpose of inaugurating a mission or series of religious exercises for the congregation of St. Finnan's Church, under the direction of Rev. John Gotz, C.SS.R. Since my previous official visit, the church has been supplied with handsome stations of the Way of the Cross, the statues over thethree altars have been set in position, the church is more fully furnished and adorned interiorly and in its surroundings. I celebrated the 8 o'clock Mass, and presided in Pontificals at the High Mass at 10:30 o'clock. After Communion, preached to the crowded congregation on the season of plentiful grace provided by the Church for them by virtue of her divine commission and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that unceasingly directs her in her work of sanctification of souls. I exhorted and warned all to correspond with this extraordinary grace, which may never be vouchsafed again to many now present.
The principle work of this mission is to quicken faith, hope and charity, to excite compunction for sin and to sanctify the soul by a good confession and Communion and a well founded order of religious life in the future. Among the virtues that will receive special attention from the preacher will be temperance. I strongly urged upon all to take up this cause earnestly, to combine in a general resolve to make the drunkard feel that his vice degrades him in public estimation. Let intemperance be banned as a social dishonor andlet this sentiment cooperate with religion for the promotion of virtue. I announced that on my pastoral visitation, a fortnight hence, I will require all the children who shall be confirmed to give me a public engagement not to taste liquor of any kind before twenty-one years of age, at the expiration of which term each one is to inform the pastor that his pledge is fulfilled. It is expected that the pastor will, in many cases, induce the young man or woman to renew it for five years more; when the period of greatest danger shall have thus passed away, the rule of total abstinence may easily be made life-long. I bade the parents prepared the children for this pledge by exhortation and explanation."
JAMES VINCENT CLEARY
Bishop of Kingston.
On the 12th day of July, 1889, His Lordship, the Most Reverend James V. Cleary, accompanied by his secretary, Rev. Thomas Kelly, arrived at Alexandria, He was met at the depot by the Very Rev. Alexander Macdonell, V. G., pastor, and a number of the parishioners, who conducted His Lordship and Secretary to the presbytery. On the 13th, His Lordship examined the candidates for Confirmation in their prayers and catechism of the Christian doctrine and expressed himself pleased with the accurate manner in which they recited their prayers and the ready and intelligent answers made to the various searching questions put to them in the Christian doctrine.
Before promising to confer upon them the sacred rite of Confirmation, he exacted from each youthful candidate, two solemn promises, to wit: First, that all and each one would assist regularly at the catechetical instructions in church every Sunday for one year from the date of Confirmation; secondly, that all and each candidate would give a solemn and public engagement to abstain from the use of intoxicating drinks until they would have completed the twenty-first year of their age, at the expiration of which period each candidate should present himself or herself before the pastor and inform him that the period of his or her pledge had been fulfilled, when it is to be hoped in many instances that the pledge will be renewed for several years longer. These pledges having been readily and cheerfully made by all the young candidates, the Bishop promised to confirm them and exhorted them to make a careful preparation to receive the great sacrament of Confirmation with good and pious dispositions.
On the 14th, His Lordship celebrated Mass at 8 A. M. and presided in Pontificals at the High Mass at 10:30, celebrated by his Reverend secretary, at which a full congregation of the laity assisted. Immediately after the High
Mass a number of the members of the congregation who occupied seats in the sanctuary during Mass gathered round the Bishop, and an address on behalf of the congregation, bidding a loyal and hearty welcome to the Bishop and expressive of sentiments of attachment to his person and of loyalty and devotion to his high office as chief pastor of the Diocese, was read by Dr. D. D. McMillan, and a second address was read on behalf of the children by Miss Macdonald, thanking His Lordship for his indulgence towards the children during the recent examinations and for his untiring labors in their interest.
"This being over, His Lordship proceeded to administer Confirmation to the candidates, being two hundred and fifty-nine in number. After Confirmation, the Bishop replied to the addresses. He thanked the people for their kindly feelings towards himself personally, and for their loyalty and attachment to his office as Bishop of the Diocese. He exhorted them to preserve, in theirpurity, the traditions of their forefathers, and to hand them down without stain or tarnish as a precious heirloom to their children.
He addressed himself to the newly confirmed; he reminded them of the two solemn promises to him publicly in presence of the whole congregation, which they did with cheerfulness and enthusiasm. He pointed out to them the evils and dangers of intemperance and the wisdom of taking this precautionary measure against its blighting influence: he impressed upon the minds ofthe children the importance of attending to the following points; namely, in the home circle, honor, respect and obedience to parents; in school, punctuality, assiduity and docility; and in church, reverence and obedience. He complimented the people on the satisfactory financial condition of the parish; he recommended them strongly to support cheerfully and unanimously the newly adopted system of procuring funds for the church by means of a silver collection at Mass on Sundays. He criticized the conduct of those members of the congregation who failed to pay their quota subscribed towards the building and completing of the church; he directed the pastor to call on them once more for the payment of their subscription, and in case of failure, within a reasonable time to hand in their accounts for collection to Mr. Tiffany, barrister.
"On the 15th day of July, His Lordship held a conference with the board of Separate School trustees of this place and other gentlemen interested in school matters and with the Rev. Mother Mary of St. Basil, Superior General of the Marianites of the Holy Cross, St. Laurent, and Rev. Mother Mary of St. Jerome, Superioress of the convent of this place, at which the following propositions were made by the trustees to the Superior of the Marianites of the Holy Cross in Canada to wit: That the Sisters of the Holy Cross build and complete a convent on land belonging to the Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Kingston, at a cost of $10,000 more or less, of sufficient capacity to afford accommodation to all the female pupils of the school section attending the Separate School taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, receiving salary therefore, also of sufficient capacity to afford accommodation for a select boarding and day school taught also by the Sisters of the HolyCross and maintained by monthly or quarterly rates, that the trustees rent from the Sisters the portion of the convent set apart for the purposes of a Separate School at a rental sufficient to pay interest on money invested and to keep the building in a state of habitual repair; or that the trustees build and complete a convent of the capacity aforesaid and that the Sisters rent of them the portion of the building set apart for the purpose of a select boarding and day school, at a rental equivalent to the interest of the money invested in said portion of said convent, that should the Sisters build and after a fair trial desire to sell their interest in said convent, the trustees buy the same at the actual price set thereon by a public appraiser, or by arbitration, that the owner of the property pay insurance and keep the building in a good state of repair.
"The above document was signed on behalf of the School Section by the Very Reverend Alexander Macdonell, V. G., and the Honourable Senator MacMillan.
"The same day, His Lordship took his departure from Alexandria for St. Raphael's, accompanied by his Secretary, Rev. Thomas Kelly, Vicar-General MacDonell and Rev. Terence Fitzpatrick, pastor of St. Raphael's."
CREATION OF THE DIOCESE OF ALEXANDRIA
AND THE APPOINTMENT OF THE VERY REVEREND ALEXANDER MACDONELL, V. G. AS ITS FIRST BISHOP.
`I, the undersigned Archbishop of Kingston, being engaged in pastoral visitation and administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation in several missions of the newly created Diocese of Alexandria, deem it proper to record here the main circumstances that attended the grave organic changes which have just been accomplished in the Church of Ontario as follows:
(Memoir by the Most Reverend James Vincent Cleary, Archbishop of Kingston, Alexandria, 4th Sept. 1890.)
"In December, 1897, I went to Rome to assist in the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Pope Leo XlII's priesthood, taking Very Rev. Charles Gauthier with me as a companion of my journey. As we proceeded by railway from Bayonne to Lourdes on the 21st of December, we read in the journals that Most Reverend James J. Carbery, Bishop of Hamilton, Canada, had died two days previously in Cork, Ireland. Diocesan business detained me in Rome until March. I became ill in Venice on my return journey, but was able after a few days to take the road again, and in due course we reached Vienna. Here I was again seized with more severe sickness and was ordered by the physician to go to Carlsbad in Bohemia for a month; at the end of which time, we proceeded to Berlin, Dresden, Amsterdam, and in the second week of May arrived in England.
"On stepping out of the train in Newcastle-on-Tyne, whither I went to inspect the stained glass which was being executed for St. Mary's Cathedral, Kingston, a gentleman informed me that Most Rev. John J. Lynch, Archbishop of Toronto, had died the previous day. There was no Bishop then in our Province, but the Bishop of Peterborough, Most Reverend John Walsh, Bishop of London, being in Ireland. It thus seemed necessary that I should shorten my visit to my friends in Ireland and hasten home, although my condition of health required a longer holiday in my native climate. I reached Kingston on June 27th, and received a grand public reception and a present of a carriage and team of horses from the clergymen of my diocese.
"The Bishop of London, as senior suffragan, immediately summoned me and Mgr. Dowling, Bishop of Peterborough, to meet him in Toronto for recommendation of priests to Rome for the sees of Hamilton and Toronto. We preferred to mike no recommendations with respect to Toronto at that time for several reasons, one of which was that Hamilton was entitled to a voice in the nomination for the Metropolitan See, and accordingly should be provided with a Bishop beforehand.
"Our unanimous recommendation to the Holy See was to transfer Most Rev. John T. Dowling from Peterborough to Hamilton, and appoint the Very Rev. Richard A. O'Connor, Dean of Barrie, to the See of Peterboro. This was accordingly done by Pope Leo before the end of the same year.
"In February, 1889, the four suffragan Bishops of the Province of Toronto met to consider whom they should recommend for appointment to the Archiepiscopal See. During the three years preceding this period, the journals of Ottawa and Montreal and Lower Canada generally had been incessantly reporting that the Counties of Glengarry, Stormont, Dundas and Grenville were about to be cast off from Kingston for the formation of a new Diocese, under a Bishop who was to be suffragan of Ottawa, recently made an Archiepiscopal See, with no other suffragan than the Vicar Apostolic of Pontiac.
"This aggressive scheme, which originated in the minds of politicians, menaced the rights of the people in the said Counties and would have been inimical to their best interests. Since Ottawa belonged to the Quebec Province it was resolved to preserve the integrity of the Ontario Church by the following method, after earnest prayer and protracted deliberation; First, Division of the Torontine Province into two; one of which was to have its Metropolitan See in Toronto, with London and Hamilton for suffragans; the other was to have Kingston for its Metropolitan See, with Peterboro and a new Diocese to be formed in the extreme east for its suffragans. Secondly, Translation of Most Rev. John Walsh from London to the Archiepiscopal See of Toronto and the appointment of Most Rev. J. V. Cleary, Bishop of Kingston, to the Archiepiscopal and Metropolital See in the same city. Thirdly, Division of Kingston territory and the creation of a new Diocese to consist of Glengarry and Stormont, with Cornwall only. The compilation of statistics and multifarious pressing occupations delayed the despatch of this recommendation to Rome till the middle of May.
Before the surprisingly short period of three months had elapsed, after the receipt by Propaganda of the document of the Bishops of Ontario recommending the partition of the Ecclesiastcal Province and all the other attendant changes, the Most Rev. J. V. Cleary received official notification from Cardinal Simeoni that the scheme submitted to him by the Prelates of Ontario had been fully considered by the Cardinals of the Congregation of Propaganda who approved of it in all its details in omnibus approbaverunt.
Most Rev. John Walsh received the Apostolic Letters of his translation from London to Toronto in September and took possession of his new See the week before Advent, admidst the hooting and the stone-throwing of the pious Orangemen and young Britons of "Toronto the good."
The settlement of a new Province of Kingston was more slow. Most Rev. J. V. Cleary received from Cardinal Simeoni the intimation in October that his appointment as Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kingston had been confirmed by the Pope. In the Papal Consistary of the 30th December, 1889, he was accordingly preconized. A fortnight later he received the Apostolic Letters declaring the Torontine Province divided and the constitution of the new Province of Kingston. Others letters received at the same time created him Archbishop of Kingston, from whose territory the counties of Glengarry and Stormont were separated in order to the creation of a new Diocese to be suifragan together with Peterborough to the See of Kingston.
Accompanieng these letters was an order to the Archbishop to inform the Holy See of the exact boundaries of the new Diocese and other descriptive particulars and to advise the Holy See as to the title to be given to the new Diocese, that is, what city or town should be the Episcopal See from which the Diocese would receive its title. The Archbishop of Kingston after consultation with the Archbishop of Toronto and the Bishop of Hamilton forwarded to Rome an exact statement of the claims of Cornwall and Alexandria respectively, together with maps and various tables of statistics, on receipt of which the Pope decreed that Alexandria should be the Episcopal See.
Next came the recommendation of the priests for selection of a Bishop, which the Holy See ordered to be presented by the "Metropolitan and the Bishop of Peterhoro." The Most Rev. J. V. Cleary deeming it, however, an odious responsibility thus laid upon himself, requested the Archbishop of Toronto and the Bishop of Hamilton to join with him and the Bishop of Peterboro in selecting the three names, which the Archbishop of Kingston forthwith sent to Rome.
In July, the Most Rev. J. V. Cleary received the Pallium from Propaganda and the news that the Rev. Alexander Macdonel, pastor of Alexandria and Vicar-General of Kingston, had been appointed first Bishop of Alexandria. Next day at a Jubilee celebration in honour of Rev. N. G. Stanton in Smith Falls, the Archbishop published the news to the assembled clergy, the Bishop-elect being present. On last Thursday, 28th August, 1890, the Archbishop of Kingston, at the conclusion of the Theological Conference in Cornwall, delivered the Papal Brief of Episcopal Institution to Vicar Macdonell in presence of the clergy, who came forward and successively paid him homage, kneeling and kissing his hand. Next day His Grace accompanied by the Bishop elect came to St. Raphael's for Confirmation and Visitation. At the clerical retreat in Kingston, early in July, the Archbishop arranged the order of Pastoral visitation in the eastern section of the Diocese. He had preciously arranged the first week in June, but the general Provincial election was suddenly announced, the whole cry of the Opposition Party being, "No Popery and abolition of Separate Schools," and the Archbishop of Kingston having had a protracted public controversy with Mr. Meredith, Leader of the Opposition, it became necessary to postpone the Pastoral Visitation, because the political and journalistic agents of the Opposition would be sure to misrepresent all the movements of His Grace among the people as a system of disguised electioneering, and thus arouse a combination of all Protestant sects against the Catholic cause.
Happily the election resulted in our favour, thank God. Although the Bishop of Alexandria had now charge of the territory, it had been agreed between him and the Archbishop that the latter should follow out the program of Visitation already twice arranged with the priests and people. Hence, after holding conference in Kingston and in Cornwall on Thursday, he came to St. Raphael's with the Bishop-elect on Friday, examined the children in the prayers and Christian Doctrine yesterday during three hours and Sunday (31st August) administered Confirmation to eighty-four males and ninety-nine females, and preached subsequently to both children and parents for an hour and fifty minutes on the means of preserving innocence and growing in holiness and virtue and insuring the transmission of Catholic traditions of faith and piety to future generations. He had obtained from all the children yesterday the twofold pledge (exacted by him always from candidates for confirmation) and called upon them to renew the same to-day after confirmation in presence of their parents and friends; viz, that they will attend the class of Christian Doctrine in the Church under the charge of the Pastor every Sunday for the ensuing year whensoever the weather permits them to come to Mass; and that they will abstain from tasting alcoholic drink of any kind till they shall have completed their twenty-first year of age.
JAMES VINCENT CLEARY
Archbishop of Kingston
CONSECRATION OF THERIGHT REVEREND ALEXANDER MACDONELL
FIRST BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA
Tuesday the 28th October, 1893, was a day of universal rejoicing in the town of Alexandria. The occasion was the consecration of the first Bishop of Alexandria, the Rt. Rev. Alexander Macdonell, and the erection of the town into an Episcopal See.
A large number of the visiting prelates arrived by the Monday evening train and a numerous gathering of the citizens of Alexandria went to the station to welcome them. On the arrival of the train, a procession, headed by the brass band, was formed, and passed up Main Street. The illumination of the houses attracted considerable attention, some of the buildings being handsomely decorated. The kind hearted citizens invited to their homes, with true Gaelic hospitality, all those for whom there was not room at the Bishop's Palace.
At 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, the Cathedral of St. Finnan was completely filled by an expectant gathering. The double row of evergreens on Church Street and the fine arch spanning the street between the episcopal residence and the cathedral, were admired by thousands. On entering the church one was struck by the beautiful decorations, evergreens and bunting in profusion being brought into requisition. Soon the Alexandria brass band played a march and the lengthy procession of Bishop and priests entered the sacred edifice, and the impressive ceremony was immediately began. The consecrating Prelate was His Grace Archbishop Cleary of Kingston, the new diocese having been erected by the division of the Archdiocese of Kingston. The assisting Bishops were the Rt. Rev. R. A. O'Connor, Bishop of Peterborough, and the Rt. Rev. Z. Lorrain, Bishop of Pembrooke. The officers of the Mass were Monseignor James Farrelly of Belleville, Assistant Priest; Dean Gauthier of Brockville, Deacon; Father Kelly, Secretary, Sub-Deacon; Father Masterson of Prescott and Father Duifres of Merrickville acted as Chaplains for the Bishop-elect; Messrs. Gascoigne, Macdonell and Campbell, ecclesiastics of Ottawa, were Masters of Ceremonies. So wrote a newspaper reporter of the day.
We can still read, in a carefully preserved copy, the names of the Archbishops, Bishops and priests, who were present. We can still admire the sermon preached by Father Fillatre, 0. M. I., of Ottawa University; there also can be found the addresses presented to the new Bishop, one from his own clergy, one from the clergy of the Archdiocese of Kingston, one from the members of St. Finnan's congregation, one from the Protestant citizens of Alexandria, which was read by Mr. E. H. Tiffany, who was accompanied by Major R. R. McLennan and Mr. Brock Ostrom. It was signed by James Smith, R. R. McLennan, B. H. Tiffany, M. Munroe, J. L. Wilson, John Simpson, H. A. Ahern, John Leslie, Alex. Munroe, Geo. Henderson, C. S. Falconer, P. A. Ferguson, A. L. Smith, A. E. Smith, A. E. Powter, R. A. Westley, C. Sugarman, Brock Ostrom, F. W. Crispo, Arch. McNab, James Tomb, and Rev. Mr. Squire.
We can still read the replies of the Bishop to those addresses. The address of St. Finnan's congregation will be given in our next issue for the benefit of those who still remember the occasion. It was read by Mr. David Fraser, who was accompanied by Mr. Theodore Chisholm and Mr. Alex. McKinnon.
"May it please your Lordship, We, your Lordship's late parishioners of the parish of St. Finnan, desire respectfully to approach your Lordship and to tender to you our most sincere and heartful congratulations upon the signal honor which has been conferred upon you by the Holy See in your appointment as first Bishop of the lately formed Diocese of Alexandria.
"We necessarily and naturally rejoiced when we heard that this place had been selected as the See of the new Diocese; but, for some time, our minds were harassed with apprehension and the fear that our gain in this respect might prove our loss in another, and that in the changes incidental upon the erection of the new Bishopric, we might be obliged to part with one, who, in an especial manner, had gained our hearts and earned our highest esteem and respect during the many years that he had, as our priest, ministered to us.
"Our doubts disappeared and our fears were alloyed, however, when the glad tidings came that the Holy See, in its wisdom, had selected you from amongst the many other eligible and distinguished divines, and we learned that, though we would be obliged to sever our relations with you as our parish priest, we would, nevertheless, retain you among us in the higher sphere to which you have been called, and thus continue to benefit by your administrations.
"We would be doing injustice to ourselves were we to omit to express in this connection, our satisfaction that the ties which bind us to the Diocese of Kingston are not totally to be severed, and our hope that though we have, in a manner, parted from the mother Diocese, His Grace, who so ably and in so eminently satisfactory a manner presides over the Archdiocese of which we still form part, will not cease to manifest the warm interest he has ever evinced in all that affects our material and spiritual well-being.
"Permit us to notice a singular and happy coincidence in your appointment as first Bishop of Alexandria. This place from which the Diocese takes its name was called after its founder, that devoted servant of God, and distinguished subject of his Sovereign, your namesake, the Honourable and Right Reverend Alexander Macdonell, the first Bishop of Upper Canada, who, though "long since dead, still dwells in the hearts of his countrymen," whose name must ever be most intimately associated with the County of Glengarry, and who was indeed the very father of his people whom he loved so well and served so faithfully. For many years before his elevation to the Bishopric of Upper Canada he was the priest of St. Raphael's, which parish then included the whole of the County of Glengarry, and we can boast that we have given the first Bishop to the Province and the first to the Diocese which is so intimately associated with the memory of your great predecessor, who may justly be said to have been in his day the bulwark of Catholicity, if not its pioneer, in what now constitutes the great Province of Ontario.
"The Catholics of the Counties of Glengarry and Stormont which constitute your Diocese have a history of which they may well he proud. The Counties were originally largely, indeed principally, settled by a hardy band of Highland Catholic Loyalists who clung to the Faith of their forefathers as they did to the principles of monarchy. Settled in one of the most fertile parts of what now constitutes the United States, where they had made homes for themselves, after leaving Scotland a few years before, they did not hesitate, obeying the dictates of conscience and the teachings of the Church, which inculcates into the minds of its adherents, firm obedience and unfaltering loyalty to existing institutions, to sacrifice all their earthly belongings in order to remain subjects of the British Crown. They fought the battlesof that Crown through the Revolutionary war and, on its termination, were, through its bounty, awarded lands in this district, in recognition of their services, where they and their descendants have since continued to reside, protected and guaranteed in their religious and political freedom by the mighty nation of which they form an indissoluble part.
"Friends and relatives from Scotland, including almost the whole of a Highland regiment, the first Catholic Corps in the British service since the Reformation disbanded with many others, during the Peace of Amiens in 1802, from time to time followed them, the earlier of them also receiving their lands from the British Crown, to which we, the descendants of these men,are bound by all the ties which bind the political consciences of men.
"Our neighbors from Lower Canada, the descendants of the pioneer settlers of the Dominion, have recently joined us in large numbers, satisfied that in the English-speaking Province of Ontario their liberties and rights are assured to them, and trusting to the spirit of fair play and of generosity which animates those of British descent, in which they have not been disappointed, for, like us of Scotch, Irish and English descent, they are the subjects of a nation whose honor is inviolable and which protects all its subjects of whatever race or creed alike.
"It is to your business capacity and to the zeal with which you devoted yourself to accomplish that which, though necessary, seemed almost at the time beyond the actual capabilities of the parish, that we can to-day point with some degree of pride, to the edifice which now becomes the cathedral church of the Diocese. It would almost seem as though the guiding hand of Providencehad led us to erect it in order that so qualifying and solemn a ceremony as that which we have just witnessed might he performed in a building befitting the occasion.
"The qualities which endeared you to your parishioners as priest, apart from your great administrative ability, are the best guarantee that the duties of the high station you now occupy, will be discharged for the greater glory of God and the spiritual welfare of the souls committed to your charge.
We, at all times, had access to you. Those in trouble knew where to seek the best advice; those in peril of death knew that there was one ready at any moment, no matter how great the personal inconvenience, to console them with prayers and to administer the last rites of the Church. In short, in health and in sickness, we found you the true pastor and true friend, and we trust that Almighty God may have many years of usefulness in store for you in the exalted position to which you now have, to our great joy, been elevated.
SIGNED On behalf of the parishioners of St. Finnan's and of their respective clans.
Theodore Chisholm; C. D. Chisholm; D. A. McArthur; J. A. Macdonell (Greenfield); D. A. Macdonald (Reeve); A. J. Macdonald; J. A. Macdonald; Capt. A. K. Macdonald; A. B. Macdonald; J. P.; Angus Macdonald; A. D. Macdonald; Angus Macdonald, Registrar; H. R. Macdonald, J. P.; C. Macdonald; D. J. Macdonald; J. A. MacDougald, J. P.; A. P. Macdonald; A. G. F. Macdonald; Angus A. Macdonald, J. P.; Donald McMillan, Senator; D. D. McMillan; Hugh McMillan; Jas. McMillan; A. B. Campbell; John A. CampbAl; John Cameron; Duncan R. Cameron; J. J. McRae; David Fraser; Archie D. McPhee; Angus Cattanach; ins. McCormick; Cosmos Kerr; Alex. McKinnon; Allan J. McKinnon; Archie McNeill; J. R. McLeod; Robert McLennan; Alex. Grecve; John McNaughton; Alex. R. McTavish; Angus McDougald Sr.; Donald McMaster; D. J. McMaster; J. H. McPherson; J. MacIntosh; J. A. Williams; G. Harrison; B. Burton; H. Bedard; W. Cullivan; ins. OBrien; 0. Charlebois; A. Lalonde; H. Lalonde, J. N. Gauthier; Capt. G. I. Nicholas; J. P. Cahill; F. Sabourin.
1. Some of my readers are perhaps, like myself, not just prepared to accept the statement that "all races and creeds have been protected alike." We suspect that even in the case of our Highland Catholic forefathers, the protection given by the English Government was, to say the least, peculiar. Indeed we are prepared to state that had it not been for the fact that the Highland Catholic priests were educated on the Continent, the English Government had "protected" the Highland seminaries so well that they were either reduced to heaps of ruins or turned into forts to give "Protection" to English regiments, the Catholic Highlanders would never have left the "most fertile parts of what now constitutes the United States." The Highland priests had seen the Republican troops of France in their mad war against religion and constituted authority, and Republicanism had the same sinister meaning in their minds which Bolshevism, at it worst, has for us to-day. Better a Czar who persecuted some of the races and creeds of his empire, than a red army without respect for religion, morals, or authority. Again, at the time mentioned in the address England didAprotect" a Catholic regiment. The Catholic chaplain of the regiment was a great statesman, he knew the English, he saw that he could procure real "protection" for Catholic Highlanders and for the Catholic cause. To-day we know that Providence used this soldier statesman and great priest to do for the Church of Christ in the British Empire more than those in a position to appreciate his work seem willing it give him credit for. Perhaps, also the British Empire owes him more than her historians of to-day or yesterday realize.
The bloom of spring has come again
Upon the quiet street,
But oh, the leaves were greener when
You watched their coming, sweet!
The sunlight, too, that used to stay
As if it loved the place,
Goes earlier upon his way
In search of vanished grace;
And all the birds that sang in glee
Have strangely silent grown;
I wonder do they miss, as we,
A lovely presence flown?
THE FIRST BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA AND ST. FINNAN'S
As we intimated, an address rarely says what those most interested in it expect to hear. The following extract from one read to the first Bishop will make this clear. I found it while looking over old newspapers and documents of the day.
After speaking about the Pope, the address goes on to say: It is fitting also that to you we should testify our firm and abiding loyalty to our gracious sovereign--the Queen--now entering on the sixty-third year of her beneficent and glorious reign. For we recognize that in thus giving expression to our sentiments of duty and allegiance to our spiritual and temporal rulers, we are fulfilling the Divine command which ordains that we should render unto Caesar those things which are Caesar's and to God those things which are God's. Well may it be the pride and the glory of the subjects of the Queen who are of the Catholic Faith that the present head of their Church and the present head of the nation are personages of either sex whose virtues challenge the admiration of mankind, and also are examples of all that could dignify the greatest spiritual and temporal thrones which canexist on earth."
Well anyway, Queen Victoria got more than she deserved in that address; the great Pope Leo, far less, and the Bishop of Alexandria saw the flag waved. And yet there was so much to address the first Bishop about.
In this history of St. Finnan's parish we shall give the impression of an altar boy who served the Bishop's Mass for many years. They will have the advantage of being personal-little boys always judge, and often remarkably well, those with whom they come ln contact.
The altar boy considered him the ideal priest. He remembered his unselfishness---what little boy would not remember a great Bishop whispering to him that he would he excused from coming to serve Mass next morning because it would be too stormy: "I'll get along alone;" his gentleness-what little boy caught in some childish prank would not remember a great bishop, merely saying, "I'm sorry that this has happened," as if he were grieved to appear stern-and he could appear very stern. We hear it said that some have a charming personality-for the altar boys; certainly there was a charm about the bishop.
They often chose delegates who went to him for some favor -everybody wanted to be a delegate; and as a rule little boys are self-conscious on such occasions-but then the Bishop was very easy to approach. His Mass server was once delegated to ask him to tell about the sick call he had when he caught the small-pox. He came over to the vestry and told us all about it. As altar boys, we knew that he was the most patient of men. We were told that he would suffer great personal inconvenience rather than cause pain to such and such who had become impossible characters but who had merited well by faithfulness in the past.
He always took his altar boy with him to see the sick, not that we were much help, for he always opened the gates himself. We remember a cold stormy day when he went to see old Archie McDougald in the 9th of Lancaster, and he had to break the road in front of the horse. On the way back he told me how the old man had, years before that, killed his neighbor and friend. They agreed to watch for bear in a field of grain. Old Archie's neighbor, to amuse himself, decided to creep towards McDougald's scaffold and frighten him. Unfortunately McDougald did not detect the trick; he shot McMillan, who lived only long enough to exonerate him from all blame.
The altar boy remembers him best at the early morning Mass in St. Margaret's. Often he tracked him through the deep snow before daylight to find him on the prie-dieu before the altar preparing for Mass. As the server came from behind the altar, he could see, as he sees to-day in memory, the saintly man, and back of him the Sisters of Holy Cross. It seemed and does yet seem pure religion-more beautiful because hidden from the sight of those who might applaud. What Sister who remembers but can yet get consolation to continue the daily sacrifices of her life?
We remember that everybody loved him. No matter where you heard him spoken of, there was almost a reverent awe in the very words. Children heard older folks express their love and admiration. Times had not changed yet; it was still the day when children heard their elders "speak with reverence of God and of his saints and ministers; of religion, its practices and ceremonies and of all things relating to Divine Service.
Indeed, in St. Finnan's we remember nothing which could be criticized. They could not but admire His Lordship's ability as organizer of parish activities, spiritual and temporal. They admired, as only hard Scotsmen can, the shrewd man of business. They wondered at the man who never made a faux pas; they were proud of the man, even as a man, his bearing, his looks, for among the fine-looking men of his day, he was remarked by all. We were proud of the comments made by those who read the reporters' remarks in the Ottawa papers about the dignified Roman Catholic Bishop from Glengarry as he walked with high head and frock coat between two stalwart clansmen, Col. R. R. McLennan and Senator McMillan, at the funeral of Sir John Thompson. They had been sent to represent Glengarry. We were not surprised when we heard lately, in an address, which was worthy of the occasion, that the dignity of his bearing and his piety had been commented upon by the journals of Rome on the occasion of his visit to the Holy Father.
At all times, people admire and are attracted by kindness in a man; but, strange to say, when a question of authority arises they admire and are attracted by the man who makes his authority respected. We shall never forget the impression made by a sermon he gave in the Cathedral. Strangers had come into the parish and wished to take matters ecclesiastical into their own hands. After that sermon, for a quarter of a century or more no one attempted to usurp episcopal authority. The very strangers soon learned that he was their friend, and came to him and his successor for advice and financial aid when their own friends proved mere time-servers. And yet other strangers may come and attack his memory, as was done in an address published last year in a local newspaper. Strangers come and go; those who disrespect the authority of Bishops generally go down and out; but the memory of the first Bishop is safe as long as ever one Catholic remains in Glengarry who is not a stranger in the land. And even a new generation will be forced to recognize that for true inspiration there is no better source than in the study of the lifework of Bishop Alexander Macdonell.
Until the final chapter of this history is written, we ask you to be content with this copy of the words written on a magnificent bronze tablet in St. Finnan's Cathedral.
IN MEMORY OF
THE RIGHT REVEREND
ALEXANDER MACDONELL, D.D.
First Bishop' of Alexandria.
Born in the parish of St. Finnan, Nov. lst, 1833; Ordained priest Dec. 20th, 1862; Consecrated Bishop, Oct. 28th, 1898; Died May 29th, 1905.
Through his zeal for religion and education were erected this Cathedral and the Bishops residence, St. Margaret's Convent, and the Alexander Macdonell School in Alexandria. Elsewhere his Episcopate was marked by the founding of the Hotel Dieu Hospital and St. Paul's Home, the erection of various parishes and the erection of several handsome churches.
While a dignified sacerdotal bearing stamped him as a priest of the Most High, a singleness of purpose, a winning benignity, an unfeigned humility, and a rare unselfishness characterized his life and illumined his every act.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE
Remember me, 0 my God, for good according to all that I have done for these people.
`This tablet was erected by the priests of the Diocese in fond Remembrance of one whom they' knew and loved as brother, Priest and Spiritual Father.
The history of the Cathedral parish will be continued at a later date for various reasons, ln particular because we are not distant enough from personages, events and policies to write fairly. We could indeed write most sympathetically and interestingly of the late Bishop William A. Macdonell, but as we have to tell of his life while parish priest at Glen Nevis and St. Andrew's we intend to make no further mention of him at present.
--GODLINESS is manly. Those who imagine that they would be losing some elements of manliness by becoming godly are mistaken. No ungodly man is truly manly.
----THE most trivial tasks can he accomplished in a noble gentle, regal spirit, which over-rides and puts aside all petty, paltry feelings, and which elevates all little things.
---Who is a true man? He who does the truth, and never holds a principle on which be is not prepared in any hour to act, and in any hour to risk the consequences of holding it.
The priests who have served as curates in St. Finnan's should be named at least. They are Fathers McIntyre, Connolly, McKinnon, Higgins, D. R. Macdonald, R. A. Macdonald, D. McMillan, Foley, J. H. McRae, C. McRae, Fox, Poitras, Majeau, Dulin, Macdougald, A. L. Macdonald, J. A. Macdonell, Bishop Gauthier.
Few there are indeed who remember Father McIntyre. Among all the records I have looked over, I find but one mention of him. An entry in the fascinating diary of Father John Macdnald of St. Raphael's for May 15th, 1858, says: "The Rev. Father McIntyre, the grandson of Bishop McEachan's brother, went to Rome in 1833 -one year before James Chisholm, John Hay and Allan Macdonald (Gore) went. He was nine years studying there and left Rome in 1843. He was born in 1820. Was in Alexandria 1858."
In Father McMillan's history of the Catholic Church in Prince Edward Island I find that he was a brilliant and accomplished priest, but ill-health forced him to leave his Island home for a dry climate. After several months in Alexandria, he went to the Western States where he shortly afterwards died.
Father Connolly is remembered by many of the older people. He came from Kingston to act as curate for V. G. Alex. Macdonell (afterwards Bishop). He died last year at Trenton, Ontario. In conversation with him several months before his death, this fine old parish priest asked with great feeling for many people in the parish of St. Finnan's, he still remembered the concessions and even the numbers of the lots of people whom he had visited many years before. By his manner one felt that he was kind in memory to those he felt were kind to him as a young priest.
Father McKinnon was born in the Cathedral parish-in Eigg; his death only a few years ago took place at Cote des Neiges, Montreal. He was curate at St. Finnan's for the first Bishop Macdonell and afterwards was parish priest at Crysler. He returned to the Congregation of the Holy Cross and taught in their colleges at St. Joseph's, Memramcook, N. B., and at St. Laurent, Que. As nearly everybody who reads these lines knew this gentle priest, we need only say he was sensitive by nature and quiet, in manner almost timid. It would seem that his vocation evidently was to be with brother priests and college students and so we find him happy where God had called him. As a secular priest, we do not think he was happy, but we must not forget that at a time when curates were few he made the sacrifice to serve among his own. The good he did is known to God, Who was loved by him.
Father Higgins was already retired from active parish work when he came to Alexandria to live with the Bishop. He was old and feeble, and many can, as we do, remember him saying his Mass, and though often it seemed with great effort, still there was there the charm which the old priest has. He died more than a quarter of a century ago in Kingston.
Father Archie Macdougald was born in St. Finnan's parish, 1st. Kenyon. His life as a priest was all too short. Broken in health by his studies he was ordained but to die-God did not ask him to work long in the ministry. That he would have worked hard and long we know but God did not wish it thus, and he lies buried under the Cathedral with those great priests of by-gone years who were permitted to work hard and well and long.
Father J. A. Macdonell was born in Lochiel parish (Greenfield Mission). For several months he was curate in St. Finnan's. To speak of this young priest is not an easy task-we were boys together, we were seminarians together, we were priests together, we knew him well-but we judge him better now than we did as boy or seminarian or brother priest. We realize now what energy, what zeal, what sympathy, what self-denial and, above all, what faith was in him. In 1918 while attending the many sick calls in Crysler parish during the influenza epidemic he was himself struck down and died a saintly death in Hotel Dieu, Cornwall. He lies buried in the cemetery of St. Catherine's, Greenfield.
These are the anointed of the Lord who have labored as curates in St. Finnan's. Pray for them.
The story of the First Parishesas told by the Bard
Of the English it has been said "they dearly love a lord"; of the Scotch and Irish it may be said "they dearly love a bard." From time immemorial the bards were held in honor by the Celts. Each clan had its inspired poet to sing the glories of its heroes, its gifted story teller to preserve traditions. The bard was, as a rule, most conservative concerning religious and political principles, and indeed there was little to inspire enthusiasm in the cold religion of the General Assembly or the stupid indifference of the first Georges. The Highland bards kept alive the spirit of chivalry attachment to the Stuart cause-and when priests were hunted in the glens and forced to flee to mountain caves, the bards would go from house to house to hold the clansmen first in the love of the "Milk-white-Hind."
Even our forefathers in this country honored the bards. The man who could compose Gaelic songs and tell of deeds of war, of thrilling adventure on dangerously rapid river, of strange encounters with the savage men-he was a welcome guest.
As we are to give the story of the early days in Glengarry in the words of the last of these bards, a short description of him will show that he is, in a manner, typical of a race that held for a thousand years and more but have now forever passed away.
The bard is old but tall and of a dignified bearing. His long flowing white beard gives him almost a venerable look, his memory is unbelievably retentive; the unwritten songs and tales which entertained our grandfathers and their grandfathers he still remembers word for word. He yet will go from house to house among his friends at regular intervals and live again his boyhood days when song and story "spent the night." Intensely religious, his great devotion to the Sacred Heart makes him ever mindful of the First Friday devotion. With song and story that help the Faith he is most familiar, but his marvellous memory has permitted him to retain almost everything of interest in genealogy, history and folk-lore.
As we are now one of the circle of friends we have been honored with a visit by the old man, and for two days we listened. Some of the stories we shall tell, and his history of the first parishes we shall give, preserving as much as possible his vocabulary and mannerisms, adding here and there documentary evidence we have gathered from other sources.
One of the first questions he asked me on the occasion of his visit was, "Well Father, do you ever doubt the Providence of God?"
We were rather startled as we were hardly prepared to be catechized by the last of the bards."
"Well," he said, "I'll tell you a story I heard sixty years ago of a priest who was taught a lesson about the Providence of God."
The old man sat upright, cleared his throat, excused himself for having to tell a Gaelic story in English and began thus:
"A holy priest in Scotland was almost a saint. Indeed God was pleased with all his works and many blessings came through him. He would actually be a saint but for one thing, he could not understand why some of his people who were good were allowed by God to suffer from poverty while often a less pious neighbor was rich and prospered in all his undertakings. One night the priest had a "celestial visitor," an angel in the form of a young man, who informed him the priest that he had been sent to accompany him on a visit around his parish. It was agreed that they should begin their journey the next morning and that the priest should not disclose the identity of his companion. The evening of the first day they arrived tired and hungry at the house of a young couple recently married. They were made welcome, were given a hearty meal and were invited to spend the night as guests. Both man and wife were attentive to their wants, and as a special mark of hospitable welcome a golden goblet they had received as a wedding-gift was handed to them with liquid refreshment. They retired for the night and the priest concluded that this young couple would be blessed by God for their Christian charity. In the morning they thanked their hosts and proceeded on their journey. Imagine the priest's surprise when he noticed that the "celestial visitor" had under his mantle the golden goblet. Strange reward, thought he, to steal the goblet from those who had been so kind, but he held his peace.
"That night they arrived, worn out, cold and hungry, at the home of an old couple. Here they received scant welcome, nor food, nor fire, nor comfortable bed-only a scolding from both husband and wife. The two companions had to beg for a shelter on the floor which was grudgingly granted on condition that they would depart at break of day. The priest was dumfounded when he saw that the "celestial visitor" gave this hard-hearted couple the golden goblet he had taken that morning from the generous couple. Out of deference to his visitor the priest said nothing, but he thought such conduct strange.
The third day they wandered far, and at night they reached the home of a young couple who received them with every mark of kindness. God had blessed this home with every comfort, which the Christian man and wife were ready to share with their worn-out guests. He had also blessed this home by giving them a baby boy, a gift of which the parents were proud indeed. The "celestial visitor" rocked the cradle while the mother was busy in the service of her guests. The priest was horrified to see his companion place his hand over the mouth of the sleeping babe, and in a few moments the child ceased to breathe. The grief-stricken parents were unaware of the cause of death, nor did the priest tell what he had seen. They left the couple at dawn to travel in silence all the day, and again night found them weary, and the priest full of strange fear, almost anger, that his guest should repay the generosity of the hosts of the previous night with such base ingratitude.
"On the night their hosts were a wealthy old couple. Here again, they fared well; never were guests treated with such deference, such liberality, such genuine charity. In the morning the old man insisted that his servant should accompany them to guide them through the dangerous mountain pass beyond the river to a distant town whither they were bound. The "celestial visitor" thanked them and all seemed well. They journeyed on without mishap until they reached the river. While crossing the bridge the servant showed them the rocks below; and while he leaned over, the priest was paralyzed with fear when he beheld his heavenly companion push the servant over the edge, to fall where he was crushed to death on the rocks beneath. This indeed was too much. He decided then and there to leave for home and have no further companionship with such a desperate character.
`How is it?' said he-'You call yourself from God, and first you take the golden goblet from the good couple and give it to the couple who were so mean. You then destroy the child of the generous parents, and now kill the servant of the old couple who were so considerate of our wants. I fear you have deceived me and that you are from the devil.'
`Father,' said his companion, who now appeared all resplendent in the glory of an angel, `Learn this lesson. First, I took the golden goblet from the good couple because they would have become attached to gold and worldly gain; they will profit by their loss to seek happiness in sacrifice. Again, I gave the gold to the hard-hearted pair because they will be taught thereby to be ashamed of their conduct, and if they do not repent it will be all they will get here or hereafter. I took the child from the young parents because they were making an idol of him; he would have been ruined, and they would have committed grievous sins to make him rich; I caused the death of the servant because he was now ready to die and had repented of his sins. Had I spared him he would have put into effect an evil design, namely, to kill his rich employers and steal their wealth.' With more about the Providence of God, he left the priest with much to wonder at and to praise the Lord. "How incomprehensible Thy ways.
Such were the stories told by the old people. The bard had a great number of Gaelic proverbs which, while they lose in the translation, still contain matter for reflection-for example, the following couplet in free translation will serve as an example.
A house without a word, or joyfulness, or a laugh:
A house without a cat, or a dog, or a little child.
The bard would tell with great interest the voyages of Michael Scott, theologian, hermit, ambassador, politician, and thaumaturg of the fifth century, whose great work consisted in bringing from Rome the final decision for the correct date for Easter Sunday and the beginning of the Easter Duty season. For those who are familiar with the great controversy about the Paschal celebration this story is of interest. Even to this day we have Anglican, and sometimes Presbyterian, theologians who maintain that they are part of the old Celtic Church of the years following St. Patrick'smission. In the faraway Highlands for a time there was schism. Some refused to accept the date set by the Roman Church. Hence the story of Michael Scott.
For sixteen centuries have our forefathers through their bards told of his great work-that of obtaining the submission of the Highlanders to the decrees of Christ's Vicar on earth. Our Faith is not of yesterday.
THE BARD TELLS THE STORY OF WILLIAMSTOWN
Williamstown is named after Sir William Johnston. In 1784 Sir John Johnston came over with the United Empire Loyalists. He built a house which still stands as part of the beautiful mansion of Col. D. M. Robertson. He built a mill and in other ways looked after the interests of the new settlers. As the centers of Catholicity were to be St. Andrew's and St. Raphael's, no church was built at Williamstown for many years and it became the cradleof Presbyterianism in Ontario, as St. Regis, St. Andrew's and St. Raphael's were the cradles of Catholicity.
For more than half a century St. Raphael's was the parish church of Glengarry as St. Andrew's was the parish church of Stormont. The Catholics of Williamstown, Martintown and Lancaster had frequently asked for a parish of their own and the Rt. Rev. Patrick Phelan, Bishop of Kingston, decided to gratify their desire. The land for church, presbytery and cemetery was donated by Hugh McGillis, Esq., a man who had always been an eminent benefactor of the Catholic Church. His nephew John McGillis and his excellent family continued for many years to carry on the generous work.
The construction of the present stone church, 85 feet x 52 feet, was entrusted to the supervision of the Very Rev. George Hay, pastor of St. Andrew's. The slab over the main door bears the date 1849, with the inscription "D. 0. M." The church was blessed by His Lordship Bishop Phelan assisted by the Very Rev. Vicar General John Macdonald of St. Raphael's, the Very Rev. George Hay of St. Andrew's, the Rev. John McLachlan of Alexandria, and the Rev. John Meade of Lochiel. The cemetery and the bell, the latter a gift of John Hay, were consecrated the same day. The donor and Mrs. McGillis were sponsors for the bell. The first parish priest was the Rev. Francis McDonagh, and the first entry on the parish register is dated Oct. 20th, 1854. Father McDonagh lived in private lodgings for a short time until the completion of the presbytery, a comfortable brick house erected at the cost of $2,000. Four years later, on June 20th, 1858, the Rev. Isaac J. McCarthy was appointed parish priest by the Rt. Rev. E. J. Horan. Much work was done by Father McCarthy for the parish.
The following extracts from the Parish register are of interest to all readers. On Sunday afternoon, September 22nd, 1861, the remains of the Honorable and Rt. Rev. Alexander Macdonell, first Bishop of Kingston and of all Upper Canada, which were brought from Scotland, were conveyed from St. Raphael's to St. Mary's Church, Williamstown, accompanied by an immense concourse of people. They were received at the church door by the Rev. Isaac J. McCarthy, pastor of the parish, assisted by the Very Rev. Angus Macdonell, V. G., nephew of the illustrious deceased, and the Rev. John Guinan, of Tracadie, Nova Scotia. The remains were placed on the catafalque before the altar and the absolution was performed. The next morning at 8 o'clock a Solemn High Mass was offered up, the Very Reverend Vicar General Macdonell being the celebrant, assisted by the Very Rev. Dean Hay and the reverend parish priest as deacon and sub-deacon. The funeral oration was delivered by the Rev. John Guinan; the sermon being ended, another solemn libera was chanted by the Rev, parish priest, at the conclusion of which the hallowed remains were borne to the neighboring parish of St. Andrews.
I. J. MCCARTHY, P. P.
Witnesses to the above:
Very Rev. A. Macdonell, V. C., Kingston.
Very Rev. John Macdonell, V. G., St. Raphael's.
Very Rev. George Hay, R. D., St. Andrew's.
Rev. J. J. Chisholm, D. D., Alexandria.
Rev. John Guinan, P. P.' Tracadie, N. S.
On the 17th day of June, 1863, was made for the first time in the Parish of Williamstown the public procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The canopy was carried by six gentlemen, viz: John McGillis, Est. Laird; Angus McGillis, South Branch; John Hay, Gore; Duncan G. Macdonell, Front; Archibald Grant, Front; and Peter Gadbois, Williamstown.
The lanterns were carried by Walter Barret, John McRae, Angus Ban McGillis, Duncan Macdonald (Martintown), Thomas Heenan. Twelve little girls in white strewed the way with flowers. Two repositories were erected, one at Thomas Barret's and the other at the Laird's, John McGillis, Esq. About two thousand people accompanied the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In testimony of the above I hereunto affix my signature.
I. J. MACCARTHY, Priest.
-A MAN that is young in years, may be old in hours, if he have lost no time.
FATHER MacCarthy left Williamstown in April, 1875, to be parish priest of Brockville. He was succeeded by the Rev. C. H. Gauthier who acted as parish priest until 1886. During that time the future Archbishop had as curates the future Bishop William Macdonell, Father Kelly and Father Denis Twomey. They attended to Lancaster, Martintown, Glen Nevis and Glen Robertson. In 1886, Father MacCarthy returned to Williamstown where he remained until his death on January 12, 1892. He had lived fifty-seven years, thirty-four of which he had spent in the ministry. He had read much, travelled much, done much for the Church. He is best remembered as an educationalist and as a priest who was devoted to the parish of St. Mary's, Williamstown. Let St. Mary's be grateful.
He was succeeded by the Rev. John Twomey who remained at Williamstown as parish priest until his death in May, 1914. Father Twomey saw a generation come and go while he was in charge at Williamstown and there are many who remember the stately Dean. Outwardly he was abrupt, exacting and unrelenting when Church rules and regulations were in question. When in good health he was typical of the fine gentleman and priest, but extreme suffering caused by an ailment hidden to the world brought on frequent nervous attacks and illness. After his death there were found numerous ejaculatory prayers written in the margin of books he used each day which ran thus: "Oh God, give me the grace to be patient with my people!" He had the grace of a happy death and "Oh, Father, if I had time I could tell you many beautiful stories about the poor old Dean. God rest his soul."
Father Albert McRae succeeded him and remained until a couple of years ago, when the present pastor, the Rev. R. A. Macdonald came to Williamstown.
THE BARD TELLS THE STORY OF ST. ANDREW'S
St. Andrew's is very old. As an English-speaking Catholic settlement it ranks first in Ontario. There is every reason to believe that Catholic Highlanders settled there very soon after the outbreak of the American war of Revolution and we do know for certain that in 1783 there was already a settlement well established about St. Andrew's. The names of some of the heads of families who were there then are Alexander Macdonell (righ) Ranald Macdonald, Captain John Macdonald, Patrick Maguire, John Cameron, John McMillan, Hugh MacGillis and others. There are still some descendants of each of these heads of families in the parish. They came from what is now the State of New York, from the Mohawk Valley, near Albany. They were among the first of the United Empire Loyalists.
As I am better acquainted with the story of the St. Raphael U. E. L.=s---I shall go more into details when giving the history of that parish. I have heard old people say that Alexander Macdonell (righ, Gaelic for King), was forced to kill his dog to procure meat to keep himself and his family from dying of hunger at one stage of the journey through the trackless forest. I saw his sporan and the silver buckle of his plaid in Father Macdonald's house at Lochiel. Tradition says that the first group of wanderers encamped by the river in front of the present Church on St. Andrew's night and for that reason called the place after the patron Saint of Scotland. On this spot, which is now the cemetery, they built a small wooden building which served as a church. What priest came to them before 1783 we know not. It seems probable that Father McKenna may have kept in touch with them, or at least have advised the Jesuit missionaries stationed at St. Francis Regis, the Indian reserve below Cornwall, to visit them. We do know for certain that a priest of their own clan, Father Roderick Macdonell, attended to their spiritual wants after the last months of 1782. He had come from Scotland to be a missionary among the Indians. His mission was precisely where he could keep in touch with all his people scattered from Albany to St. Andrew's and West to Niagara. He was, as missionary to the Indians at St. Regis, the only priest between Albany and Buffalo and certainly there was no priest north of the St. Lawrence River-moreover the entries in the baptismal register at St. Regis written by himself show that by the end of 1782 he was already in charge of the mission and that he baptized early in 1783 children from St. Andrew's mission, In that year there are entries in Gaelic, in Indian, in French, and in English. We know that he could speak Spanish fluently.
Father Roderick was the seventh son of Angus Macdonell of Leek and of Mary Macdonell. Four of his brothers were "out" in `45 fighting for Prince Charlie. They emigrated to America and were captains in the King's Royal Regiment during the war. His brother John succeeded to the family title of Leek, and was the father of Colonel George Macdonell, the hero of Ogdensburg and Chateauguay. Father Roderick was educated at the Scots College, Valladolid, and was for some years a priest in Glengarry, Scotland. He had made a promise to be a missionary among the Indians in America. He belonged to a wealthy family and had influential relatives settled in America. It is easy to understand why the ecclesiastical authorities gave him charge of St. Regis Indian Reserve. He could fulfil his promise and still serve his own people. In the first article of this series you read the King's reply to his request for money, as salary for the work he was doing among those who remained loyal to the British Crown. They could not support him nor could his Indian children. He was parish priest of St. Regis for twenty-four years. In 1795, he built the church and presbytery which still serve, and, if solid thick stone walls mean durability, they will serve for many more centuries. The energy of the man must have been extraordinary, and the building of a church on the lonely shore of Lake St. Francis, opposite Cornwall, was only a small part of his work. He had to learn the Indian language, he had to live among his people and know them. His missions to the North alone must have taxed his strength to the utmost.
On the 8th day of September, t862, the devotion of the "Forty Hours" adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament was established in the Mission of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of Williamstown.
His Lordship opened the devotion by a Pontifical High Mass, at which the Rev. Monsieur Marcoux of St. Regis and the Rev. Dean Hay of St. Andrew's assisted as deacon and sub-deacon. The other Reverend gentlemen present were Canon H. C. Fabre of the Cathedral, Montreal; William Leclair of the Seminary of St. Sulpice; B. F. Cholette of St. Polycarpe; J. J. Chisholm of Alexandria, and John S. O'Connor of Cornwall.
This is the first mission in the Diocese of Kingston where this devotion has taken place. During it eight hundred and fifty-three persons approached the tribunal of penance and received Holy Communion. Eighty-three persons were confirmed, most of them were adults.
I. J. MACCARTHY, P. P.
On the first day of September, 1865, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame from Montreal opened their day and boarding school. This flourishing convent was destroyed by fire over a quarter of a century ago and was never rebuilt. Many there are who remember its fame and regret that it has passed into history.
On Sunday the 8th day of July, 1866, the Rt. Rev. E. J. Horan assisted by the Very Rev. George Hay and the Rev. Francis Marcoux of St. Regis consecrated the grand altar, the gift of John Hay, Esq., of the Gore, to St. Mary's Church.
On the 10th day of July, 1867, the Rt. Rev. E. J. Horan, Bishop of Kingston, conferred upon the Rev. Walter Barrett, Deacon, the Sacred Order of the Priesthood in the presence of a large congregation and the undersigned Reverend gentlemen. Rev. Arthur Staunton preached the sermon of the day, a masterpiece of pulpit oratory.
Very Rev. Dean Hay, I. J. MacCarthy, Rev. John Masterson, Rev. J. J. Chisholm, D. D., Rev. M. Stanton, Rev. John O'Connor, Rev. E. Murray, Rev. M. Lynch, Rev. Alex. Macdonald.
On the 14th of December, 1868, took place the funeral of Rev. Walter Barrett, Priest, aged 34 years. His Lordship Bishop Horan, assisted by the Very Rev. Dean Hay as assistant priest, and the Rev. M. Lynch and Alexander Macdonell as deacon and subdeacon, celebrated the solemn requiem Mass. The attendance was very large. The church was draped in deepest mourning and everything possible was done to show respect to the memory of the honored dead, whose loss was most sincerely deplored by all who had the happiness of being acquainted with him. His remains, in a metallic coffin, are interred beneath the floor of the Sanctuary on the Gospel side near where stands the pulpit.
I. J. MACCARTHY.
The following account as told in Pringle's "History of the Eastern District" may serve as a sample: "It was in the Spring of the year. The groom and bride were ready; the preparations for the customary rejoicings were all made; the whole country-side was invited but alas! no priest could be had to bless the happy pair. At last the father of the bride started to the Front to fetch His Reverence. No wheel carriage marked the ground in those days and the horse which pater familias rode sank at every step over his fetlocks in the thick mud and half melted snow as he traversed the roadless forest. He reached the St. Lawrence, across which an Indian paddled him in his canoe to the village of St. Regis. The good priest was ready at day-break the next morning to commence the journey to St. Andrew's. The river was almost crossed in safety; but as the clergyman and his guide were preparing to land an accumulation of ice and snow on the bank suddenly gave way, swamped the canoe, and threw its occupants into the swift stream. They struggled to land, and after drying their clothes at the settler's who had taken charge of the horse, started inland, the priest riding, the St. Andrew's man walking at the bridle rein. In this manner they toiled on hour after hour. The mud was worse than it had been the day before -for rain had fallen in the meantime. Father Roderick was advanced in years and weakened by his labors. It was with difficulty that he kept his seat; indeed he would have fallen from the horse and died where he fell but for the strong arm of the Macdonald who walked beside him and sustained him in the saddle until they reached the longed for house in the forest and found themselves welcomed by warm-hearted friends, eager to enter upon the festivities proper to a Highland wedding.
The Bishop of Quebec on the occasion of his visitation to St. Andrew's pronounced the wooden building used as a church unsuitable for Divine Worship and desired Father Roderick to take steps to erect another. Maighstair Rory, as the priest was called, assembled all the heads of families, then numbering thirty-eight, and asked them to undertake the building of a church in compliance with the Bishop's desire, telling them that with God's assistance (lecuid eachadh Dhe) they could succeed. Thirty-six out of the thirty-eight favored the movement and the building was begun about the year 1788. The interior of the building was 78 feet long by 39 feet wide. The wall was three feet thick and of stone. The influential friends of Father Roderick were helping him to build the beautiful church and presbytery at St. Regis; there were also influential friends to help him in St. Andrew's. These were the gentlemen of the North-West Company, the chief factors of which were mostly from the Highland Scotch families of the Glengarry Clan. Besides, his parishioner, Simon Fraser, who lies buried in the graveyard there, was about that time on his famous voyage of discovery. It is not surprising to find a record in the parish books that the gentlemen of the North-West Company contributed before Father Roderick's death some 222pound sterling to pay for the building of the Church. Father Roderick died in 1806. The chair in which he died suddenly is still preserved at St. Regis. He was buried there in the church he had built. There were many who wished to have his remains at rest among his own people at St. Andrew's. The Indians, however, had such profound love and veneration for their great missionary that it would have been almost impossible to remove his remains from their midst. Father Macdonald of Lochiel is at the present time collecting material for a short sketch of his life to appear at a later date. Father Roderick also took great interest in St. Raphael's parish, as I will explain later on. In fact, when I was young, I often heard the old folks speak of the great missionary. In 1805 St. Andrew's received its first resident parish priest, the Rev. Francis Fitzsimmons, an Irish Franciscan Friar, who had previously been with the North-West Company as Chaplain. Displeasure at the conduct of Lord Selkirk, Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, caused him to return to the East. While parish priest at St. Andrew's he lived in the sacristy and started the first register kept at St. Andrew's, it is headed thus: "This register was bought in March 1807 by the Rev. A. F. Fitzsimmons who came to St. Andrew's on the 24th day of March, 1805, and served said church with attention and fidelity till the month of September 1808. May God grant him a happy death!" He has left a translation of a pastoral letter by Bishop Plessis of Quebec, who, it seems, visited him, as tradition has preserved the little incidents connected with the visitation. He left for Baie de Chaleurs, New Brunswick, and we always heard the old people say he was drowned on Christmas Day that same year. We know little or nothing about him except the little tales preserved by the old folks of St. Andrew's and St. Raphael's. There is a letter written by Father Roderick to the church-wardens of St. Raphael's after the death of Father Alexander Scotus Macdonell in 1803, which shows that he was parish priest there before going to St. Andrew's or at least that he acted as curate for Father Roderick until the Rev. Alexander Macdonell, the future Bishop, came to St. Raphael's in 1805. This letter is now in the possession of J. A. Macdonell, Greenfield.
To Angus Macdonell, Principal Church-warden, Donald Macdonell, John Kennedy, Malcolm Macdougald, Archibald Macdoneil, Lachlan McKinnon, Donald Macdonell, Duncan Macdonell, Hugh Macdonell, Alexander Fraser, John Macdonell, and Alexander Macdonell, church wardens at St. Raphael's: I have to acquaint you that the Rev. Mr. Fitxsimmons has come to this country to serve you as a pastor and that he is appointed by the lord Bishop of Quebec for your parish of St. Raphael. If Mr. Macdonell (future bishop) arrives this year it will meet with the Bishop to appoint him or not. In the meantime, you are to receive this gentleman as your lawful pastor and render him every service in your power. You know that no priest can be pastor in any parish unless he is appointed by the Bishop, and that it entirely depends on the Bishop to appoint anyone he pleases. Therefore Mr. Fitzsimmons having been duly appointed by the Bishop of the Diocese, you are bound and obliged to receive him with every mark of esteem and attention in your power. The Bishop will write you in February and settle everything respecting your mission.
Your obedient servant,
St. Regis, 12th Sept. 1804
About this appointment more will be said when I tell the story of St Raphael's.
From 1807 until 1821, the future Bishop Macdonell (Alexander) was parish priest of St. Raphael's and St. Andrew's. He was followed at St. Andrew's by Father O'Mara who in turn was followed by Father William Fraser.
THE REV. W FRASER
DIED APRIL 5TH. 1838 AGED 48 YEARS
THE REV. GEORGE HAY
BORN JUNE 1807 IN GLENGARRY (GLEN)
WAS ORDAINED) PRIEST IN AUGUST 1832
DIED 2ND NOV. 1870
PASTOR OF ST. ANDREWS 40 YEARS
THIS CHURCH THE GREAT WORK OF HIS LIFE, WILL, REMAIN A MONUMENT OF HIS ENLIGHTENED
ZEAL UNTO DISTANT POSTERITY.
Father Fox was pastor pro tem. until 1879: Father George Corbet, now Vicar-General, from 1879 until Sept. 1890; Rev. William Macdonell (future Bishop) from 1890 to 1906; Rev. D. C. McRae (deceased) from 1906 to 1908; Rev. J. A. McRae (China Mission College, Toronto). from 1908 to 1922: Rev. Albert McRae, from 1922 to the present time.
The latter part of this sketch of St. Andrew's parish will be written with more interesting details as there are records of very great importance which require careful study.
The writer of these articles wishes to call attention to the fact that while the Bard's history is of interest, nevertheless there are documents and records of much value in the different parish houses and among the people. He therefore makes an appeal for reasonable co-operation, failing which he has decided to finis this to these articles.
-IN devotion to the Sacred Heart we find the grace of holiness, for, said Saint Margaret Mary, "nothing is better calculated to raise the soul in a very short time to the loftiest degree of holiness
-THE more guilty we are the more greater must be our confidence in Mary. Therefore, courage, timid soul; let Mary know all thy misery, and hasten with joy to the throne of her mercy.
NOTES ON ST. RAPHAEL'S PARISH
THE bard has preserved the story of the voyage of the founders of St. Raphael's parish. It is told in Gaelic verse. We are so far removed from that date that we fail to realize what must have been the yearning of those people for the land of their birth. Sometimes we meet train-loads of emigrants at the railway stations. There is always on their faces a sad expression. What must have been the sorrow, then, of those who came to an unknown and undeveloped wilderness? The following is a very free translation by the bard himself of a few verses of the Glengarry Odyssey. We believed him when he said that the English rendition could not convey the pathos of the original song. His very voice-his suspiciously moistened eye while he sang in Gaelic-showed all too plainly that this is essentially a song of the Gael.
When I was at home, I could climb the mountains and traverse the glens.
The ground was more smooth and my steps were not weary.-
There were beautiful lakes and shores in Scotland.
Here there was nothing but the cloudy forests,
My hardships on the ocean and the memory of the Highlands.
Make me feel weary and ready to die,
My friends are far away from me, and I cannot see them,
Until we sleep in the sleep from which we will not wake,
I long to he back in my native glens,
And so in my thoughts I travel them daily.
It is my only joy.
THE FIRST PASTOR
The bard's history of these men is as follows :-The first settlers of St. Raphael's parish were the United Empire Loyalists, and before them the disbanded soldiers of Wolfe's regiments. Until the year 1786, there was no resident priest, but the settlers were frequently visited by Father Roderick Macdonell of St. Regis. We may safely say that St. Raphael's, as a Parish, dates from the time of the landing of the Highland emigrants, brought out by their priest, Father Alexander Scotus Macdonell.
This zealous pastor was the fifth son of Angus III of Scotus, whose first wife was Catherine, daughter of Sir Norman MacLeod of Bernera. Alexander was the only child of a second wife. The following letter written by himself will give his life up to a year or two before he left Knoydart with six hundred and two parishioners.
"Since I, along with the other graduates of the Scots College, in Rome, was informed some months since by His Lordship, the Bishop of Daulins, who returned last summer from Rome, of the desire of His Holiness Pope Pius VI, now happily reigning, that we renew the pledge formerly given under oath, to write each year to the holy Congregation of the Propaganda, I feel that Ishould no longer delay to fulfill my duty in this regard, and to forward this letter to your Eminence, both in testimony of my perpetual submission to the Holy See, and as a pledge and beginning of yearly reports throughout the future, as long as I live.
"Purposely omitting the trifling details of a rather obscure life, and all that would be wearisome, I will set forth the chief headings of my history since I returned to this kingdom. After being raised to Sacred Orders in the year 1761, by order of Cardinal Castello, of blessed memory, almost against my wish, since I had not yet completed the course of studies, and after I had returned to my native land, through the special favor of the indulgent kindness of my superiors on the mission, I spent several months with that illustrious man, Father John Geddes, that under his training I might most safely learn the customs and practices of the priestly office on this mission.
When finally I was called to active ministry, by order of my superiors, I at various times travelled over the various parts of this diocese, situated in the west of Scotland, or, as they say, in the Highlands-and spent as much time in these places as pleased the faithful.
"Finally, for the last few years, I have been placed among my own people in my own country. With God's favor, I have received my mother and various others into the fold of the Catholic Church; and in fulfilling my duty, I spend my life, as things go, in a way neither unpleasant, nor wholly useless. "Let this end my report for the present, and be it allowed me, most Eminent Prince, with the greatest humility, of both soul and body to kiss the hem of your garment of sacred purple.
Written from the Shrine of St. C., in Knoydart, Dec. 30, 1782,
Missionary Apostolicand alumnus of the Scots College in Rome."
ARRIVAL OF THE KNOYDART SETTLERS
Much has been said about their departure from Scotland their trip and their arrival in Canada. The following is an extract from a letter by Father Austin Macdonell, parish priest of Knoydart in 1787:
"Two years ago I removed to the parish of Knoydart. Here Mr. Alexander Macdonell was formerly stationed, a pupil of Scots College, Rome, but he has gone to America with six hundred and four of his parishioners."
This from the Quebec Gazette, Sept. 7th, 1786:
"Arrived at Quebec, ship McDonald, Captain Robert Stevenson, from Greenock, with emigrants, nearly the whole of a parish in the north of Scotland, who immigrated with their priest the Reverend Alexander Macdonell, Scotus, and nineteen cabin passengers, together with five hundred and twenty steerage passengers, to better their case, to Cataraqui."
From A Pastor's Breviary -
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