It's TC Time
The Sun is impressed:
[W]hat is most striking about Toronto's new Archbishop Thomas Collins is how supremely human he is.The paper also runs a fun Q&A.
Talking to him is like talking to a thoughtful, engaging next-door neighbour, excited about his future responsibilities, yet clearly in touch with his roots....
He's an open book. No question goes unanswered. Nothing is off the record....
Though he considered being a teacher -- "I was always a studious type" -- or a lawyer -- "because of my mother's work" -- those aspirations changed with the inspiration of one special priest.
Collins will never forget Father Newstead who went to the hospital every day to visit the sick, he said. "That kind of faithfulness really impressed me."
Newstead was also Collins' Grade 11 English teacher at Bishop Macdonnell Catholic High School, and one day, he said, "Tom, you should really think about becoming a priest," and that influenced him profoundly.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK, BESIDES THE NEW TESTAMENT?And on the op-ed page, Basilian Fr Thomas Rosica -- CEO of Salt and Light TV, who interviewed Collins earlier this month for the network -- writes that the city should "Rejoice."
The Lord of the Rings.
YOUR FAVOURITE MAGAZINE?
I don't really get magazines and if I do, they relate to my religious life. The one I subscribe to is First Things.
A Man for All Seasons
I don't watch a lot of movies.
FAVOURITE TV SHOW?
I don't watch TV very much, but I sometimes watch the Antiques Road Show.
BEATLES OR ROLLING STONES?
I like classical music, Bach. My favourite piece is the Christmas Oratorio.
WHAT HISTORICAL FIGURE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH OTHER THAN JESUS CHRIST?
Oh, shucks. Gosh. Interesting. I love reading biographies of American presidents, so Abraham Lincoln.
WHAT'S SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
I used to be a take-out waiter in a drive-in restaurant, it used to be that we took the stuff out to the cars. This was a long time ago now, but it was my first job. We served hamburgers and French fries and I remember once knocking over a big thing of chocolate milk shake. And at the end of the night, when we were finished our shift, we all got to eat all the left over French fries.
IF YOU COULD BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PRIEST, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
Gosh, I don't know because I'm in one of those situations where I am what I want to be. I love being a priest and I love being a bishop. I love being what I am.
WHO WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL, CHICAGO OR INDIANA?
This is a question too profound and deep for a humble soul like me. Too profound. Too profound.
STEAK OR SEAFOOD?
(Laughs) Depends if it's Friday. No. Oh, I like them both. I don't have any preference. I'm not very clear on these things, am I?"
[From Edmonton] I have never heard of so many people, especially young people, who are so sad to be losing their bishop to Toronto. That's quite a statement in this day and age in the church -- and for that matter in any organization. Archbishop Collins spoke to the mind, but even more so, to the hearts of many people. He knows how to walk humbly, and listen compassionately, yet he is no ecclesiastical wallflower. He is a teacher at heart and a man of the church in the best sense of the word.A couple notes to bring you all up to date: the final numbers are out on Tuesday morning's installation, which is expected to pack 1,000 guests (Canada's three cardinals, 60 bishops, 300 priests and leaders of government, commerce and culture) into St Michael's Cathedral downtown. The lone American among the hierarchy in attendance will be Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. of Denver, a friend of the man of the hour.
Archbishop Collins learned how to teach and reach people not only in the pews in church, nor in a formal classroom or lecture settings (even though he did a great job at that!)
Legend are the teaching moments that took place in Tim Hortons' doughnut shops in Edmonton, meeting young people and spending time in conversation with them. They listened to Archbishop Collins in Alberta. And they will listen to him in Toronto. God knows how much we need good teachers in the church today....
His appointment to Toronto has been hailed as an emblematic appointment by Benedict XVI. Why should Toronto be thrilled and grateful to be getting a bishop like Thomas Collins? The first and most fundamental quality any bishop must have is personal holiness. We Catholics understand holiness as not being "otherworldly," pie-in-the-sky spirituality, but rather a description of someone who walks humbly among us, reflecting in one's life love of God, personal integrity, humility, decency, honesty, intelligence, kindness, uprightness and sincerity....
What do we desire in a new bishop and shepherd? A preacher who can convert souls; a prudent administrator and disciplinarian, shrewd in finances and not governed by human respect; honest; experienced as a parish priest -- not symbolic, but a real, lifelong pastor; highly intelligent and learned in theology and scripture; familiar with secular culture and able to address it in its terms, and effective with -- and not intimidated by -- the media.
To Archbishop Collins: Welcome to Toronto, you breath of fresh, crisp, Western Canadian air! "Toronto the good" will be "Toronto the better" because you said 'yes' to Benedict's invitation to come to this great metropolis.
And to the rest of us who are watching and waiting, let us work together to make his burden light, and to be open to the many lessons this new shepherd will teach us.
Collins' feline "furry friend" Frodo made the trip from Edmonton with the archbishop. At least for the time being, however, the cat's staying with the prelate's sisters at the family home in Guelph.
And while Tuesday's installation marks the formal inauguration of Collins' ministry as archbishop of Toronto, the legal formalities have already taken place. In a private meeting of the archdiocese's college of consultors on Friday morning, the archbishop presented his bull of appointment to its seven members, at which point he took canonical possession of the post.