Saturday, November 7, 2009

Two New Bishops for Toronto - Judy Savoy's Comedy Show

Yesterday brought wonderful news for the Archdiocese of Toronto and its archbishop Thomas Collins: the appointment of two new auxiliary bishops.

I have had contacts with Bishop William T. McGrattan over the years he has served as rector of St. Peter's Seminary where I have been struck by his keen interest in well-integrated seminarians. He is also known as quite a hockey player, contributing goals and team spirit to the St. Peter's Team as it battled St. Augustine's for the Rectors' Cup. Maybe he will inspire the Leafs!

I also got to know Bishop Vincent Nguyen as he was posted to St. Patrick's Parish in Mississauga when I lived next door on Flagship Drive just before my transfer to Halifax in 1998. And I met him a number of times during the time he studied canon law in Rome and resided at the Canadian College.

Ad multos annos, Your Excellencies!

Bishop-elect William Terrence McGrattan

Born in London, Ontario, on 19 September, 1956, Father William Terrence McGrattan studied at St. Peter’s Seminary, London, Ontario, where he obtained a Masters of Divinity in conjunction with the University of Western Ontario. Following his ordination to the priesthood on 2 May, 1987, Father McGrattan pursued studies in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, receiving a licentiate in 1992. Following several pastoral appointments within the Diocese of London, he was appointed Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary, a position he has been holding since 1997.

Bishop-elect Vincent Nguyen

Born in Vietnam on 8 May, 1966, Father Vincent Nguyen moved to Canada in 1984. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Divinity from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. He was ordained a priest on 9 May, 1998. He then did further studies in Rome, where he received a licentiate in canon law from the Angelicum. Since September 2009, he has been serving as Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

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GET ME BACK TO THE GARDEN-I'M CHOKING ON THE WEEDS IS A ONE WOMAN COMEDY SHOW performed by Judy Savoy of Halifax. I had the chance to see it during the "Women of Grace" conference at the Lord Nelson Hotel in 2007. It was a remarkably humourous, even electrifying reading of God's plan for our salvation through people such as Mrs. Noah, the Samaritan Woman and others. You will laugh and cry--sometimes at the same time.

Her website describes her credentials as follows:

"Judy trained as an actress at the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto but since work for actors is always a bit lean, she talked her way into doing the weather on television and then went on to do everything in tv and radio that you can do without getting arrested.

"Judy is also a speaker,writer,singer and workshop leader. She believes that what she is doing now.... is what she was born to do.... using all the gifts and talents bestowed on her by God. She also wants to help make poverty........history. Judy lives in Halifax."

An added bonus is that the show is a fund-raiser for NET Ministries of Canada, which also evangelizes youth with skits and testimonies.

Show time is Tuesday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m. at the spanking new Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., Orleans. Cost: $12 adults; $8 students. Tickets: available at the door or by calling (613-841-4141).

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Backgrounder - How a Bishop is Selected

At least every three years, the Bishops of an ecclesiastical province meet to draw up a list of priests who are suitable candidates for the episcopate. This discussion is limited to the merits of individual priests proposed by their bishops as possible candidates for the episcopate. After this meeting, the list is sent to the Apostolic Nuncio (based in Ottawa) who in turn forwards it to the Holy See (Vatican).

When an auxiliary bishop is needed, the diocesan bishop puts forth his own recommendations and prepares a list of at least three candidates from either inside or outside of the diocese. He sends this to the Apostolic Nuncio, who in turn forwards it to the Holy See, after reviewing the list and adding his own opinion. This list can incorporate candidates from his own diocese, candidates discussed by the bishops of the ecclesiastical province to which he belongs or he may suggest names of possible candidates for the first time.

The terna is the short list of three names determined by the Holy See. After the terna has been decided, the papal representative, the Apostolic Nuncio, is instructed to commence an extensive investigative process on the Episcopal suitability of each of the candidates on the terna. On average, this process may take two to six months. Confidential advice is sought through letters and other documentation from those who have worked closely with the proposed candidate. When the Apostolic Nuncio has concluded his investigative process he forwards his final report containing his recommendation to the Holy See, usually to the Congregation of Bishops.

The primary responsibility of the Congregation of Bishops is to examine all the documentation presented to the Holy See by the Apostolic Nuncio and to advise the Holy Father, who alone decides the appointment of a bishop. The Congregation fulfills this function by meeting in a session where the documentation gathered by the Apostolic Nuncio is presented. Several Episcopal appointments from throughout the universal church may be discussed at this one meeting. The advice of the Cardinal Prefect and Bishop members of the Congregation is then communicated to the Holy Father. At a later time, the Holy Father makes his decision. In reaching his decision the Holy Father is not bound by the advice presented to him.

After the pope has made his decision the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops informs the Papal Nuncio of his decision, who in turn, contacts the appointed candidate to ask if he will accept the appointment. Through a letter, the Papal Nuncio officially informs the Bishop and the candidate of the appointment, requesting strict confidentiality of the information until the Vatican makes the announcement.


  1. Your Grace,

    I pray (and hope - in the theological sense of the word) that these new Bishops will engage in the fight for the faith via this and other media. For example, I hope that you will see the opinion piece offered in today's National Post blog. I post the link at the end of this comment. We have ceded the virtual medium too long to the opponents of the church and it is well past time to confront heresies and offenses that are offered to the faith here and elsewhere.
    Fr. Tim Moyle
    Diocese of Pembroke

  2. Father Tim, thanks for your well-written comments on the NP blog. You remind me of St. Augustine writing against the Manicheans, Pelagians and Donatists!

  3. Really enjoyed explanation. All the best to these chosen men. You will share in my daily prayers.
    Slainte<<<sp A hundred thousand welcomes!!!
    In His Holy Name, B.J.O'Neill O.C.D.