With Papal Nuncio Ivan Jurkovic and Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal present along with 60 bishops, his Grace Francis Leo was installed as the new Archbishop of Toronto in the beautifully renovated St. Michael’s Basilica Cathedral. It was by invitation only and I was sitting at the far back of the clergy section.
Peter Stockland of the Catholic Register reported his Grace saying, “The most important thing is gratefulness to Jesus Christ … gratitude for our salvation, for the mercy he shows us, the wisdom and courage he gives us, and the grace with which he lifts us up.” Replacing retired Cardinal Collins at the helm of CMIC, Leo certainly has the proper focus for the position with his Christ-centred focus. Among the numerous obligations of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto, his Grace assumes the duties of the Apostolic Chancellor of CMIC’s Board of Governors. Already, he spoke at our Tastes of Heave Gala, chaired our Annual General Meeting and spoke at our St. Philip Neri Mass and Luncheon.
At the Gala he said, “As a mother the Church reaches out to care for her children. This is what CMIC has done for over 100 years. It’s similar to what St. Paul did in forming his faith communities.” He captured the ethos of our organization in a way I had not thought of before – caring for children as a mother. Everyone was excited to meet him and there were lines waiting in anticipation. He has a gregarious personality willing to speak with anyone he meets, whether billionaire or pauper being equally personable with each.
The Archbishop visited our office 4 floors below his own. It was an opportunity for us to meet and get to know each other. I had my own meeting with him during which he paid apt attention to what CMIC is about. He was already aware of our charity as Secretary to the Canadian Conference of Bishop where we initially met and was present at regional meetings of bishops when I was preparing the Day of Prayer for Canadian home missions. He is in good position to lead our Board not having to start from a blank slate.
We welcome him and look forward to his leadership in the coming years.