Most Reverend Thomas Collins named Archbishop of Toronto

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Archbishop Thomas Collins
Archbishop Thomas Collins
Pope Benedict XVI today named Most Reverend Thomas Collins as Archbishop of Toronto. At the time of his appointment, he was Archbishop of Edmonton.

Before making the appointment, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic as Archbishop of Toronto in accordance with the Code of Canon Law which fixes the age of retirement for bishops at 75. Cardinal Ambrozic has served the Archdiocese of Toronto almost two years beyond his 75th birthday, and will be celebrating his 77th birthday this coming January. He has served as Archbishop of Toronto since 1990, and was named to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1998. In 2005, Cardinal Ambrozic participated in the papal conclave that elected the present Pope, Benedict XVI.

The new Archbishop of Toronto was born in 1947 in Guelph, Ontario. He holds a licentiate in Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University, also in Rome. Ordained priest in 1973 for the Diocese of Hamilton, he served in a number of pastoral appointments, including as assistant pastor of Holy Rosary parish, Burlington, Ontario, and of Christ the King Cathedral in Hamilton. Before being appointed rector of Saint Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario, in 1995, he started teaching Scripture and dogmatic theology there in 1978, and later was named dean of its faculty of theology and serving as vice rector, 1992 to 1995.

In March 1997, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Paul in Alberta, and in June of the same year succeeded Most Reverend Raymond Roy as Bishop of St-Paul. In February 1999, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Coadjutor Archbishop of Edmonton, and in June that year became Archbishop upon the retirement of Most Reverend Joseph N. McNeil. Two years later, while remaining Archbishop of Edmonton, he was also appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of St-Paul, a responsibility he held for several months until the appointment of Most Reverend Luc Bouchard as Bishop of St-Paul.

Since his first appointment as bishop 10 years ago, Archbishop Collins has been active in the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as a member of its Permanent Council, Programs and Priorities Committee, the episcopal committee for World Youth Day 2002 and the Commission for Theology as well as the Commission for Christian Unity / Religious Relations with the Jews / Interfaith Dialogue. He is currently liaison bishop with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada.

As Archbishop of Toronto, the Most Reverend Collins leads the largest Catholic diocese in Canada. It has a population of approximately 1,630,000 Catholics in 227 parishes and missions, served by 833 diocesan and religious priests, 111 permanent deacons, 715 religious Brothers and Sisters, and 61 pastoral workers.

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 20 2009  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.