CCHA Report, 3 (1935-36, 31-42
Any outline in whole or part of Catholic journalism in Canada must be examined against blurred horizons. For this reason some words of general explanation are needed at the outset. It would be making a beginning of the story at Chapter Three, after the manner of Tristram Shandy, if the narrative of the English-language side of Catholic journalism in this country were taken up in western Canada or away by the Atlantic. The start must be in Quebec at a stage when the future of British North America looked as cloudy as at any time since the Conquest. It is hardly necessary to explain that the term Catholic is applied in a general sense to journals published by Catholics and intended to circulate mainly among Catholic readers. It can carry no official or semi-official meaning.
Bishop Octave Joseph Plessis was the last occupant of the old See of Quebec and paid his first visit to Upper Canada in 1816. His association with Bishop Alexander MacDonell extended over a number of eventful years, during which their fruithful endeavors for religion and established authority had brought them into unique association -- considering the period of their labors -- with government from Downing Street. Catholic journalism in Upper Canada began with Bishop MacDonell, in Kingston. Let it be remembered that the nineteenth century had got well under way before the idea of vindication against misrepresentation and disability had recommended itself to Catholics as the largest body of Christians under the Crown.
The newspaper press, generally speaking, during the first half of the last century found existence itself a rather haphazard experience. For the early Catholic papers conditions were at constant hazard from start to finish. In retrospect those times seem to us much out of joint and confused. Public opinion was prone to express itself in terms of mob violence. It is no mere play upon the origin of a word to say of the "reform period," as it was called, that mobs were easily mobilized. Their responsiveness to some sort of underground alarm was much more descriptive of England than Canada. But Lord Elgin in Montreal got quite a taste of it after the manner of Wellington in London. In the Montreal riots, Francis Hincks' Pilot office was stoned in the best fashion of the period. At short notice the London mob could find in what was euphemistically called the "Catholic question" a sufficient incentive to its destructive propensities.
It will be recalled that the dawn of the century witnessed the "humble petition" of the Catholics of England to both Houses of Parliament. That petition drew attention to truly barbarous conditions. Though Catholics formed more than a fourth of the whole population of the British Empire the laws in force deprived them of most of the rights of loyal subjects and of several of he common rights of mankind and even followed Catholic soldiers with special pains and penalties in the service of the sovereign. It is interesting to observe that at that very time Quebec was being held up to admiration as representing the most loyal division of the King's subjects. All advocates of religious reform gloried in the loyal example of French Canada, because, as was usually declared, of the sense of security there in the free exercise of religion. Do as much, they said, for Ireland and Great Britain and the Empire will be immeasurably strengthened and consolidated; imperial unity will be brought within reach.
There is little room for doubt that loyal Quebec greatly assisted the cause of British religious reform. But all the same it was in a violently disturbed political atmosphere that Lord Howick's first bill to relieve English Catholics of heir disabilities was thrown out of the Imperial Parliament. Still, reform was in the march.
Two decades went by. But just as soon as a Reform Ministry had come into power Catholic Quebec got government recognition for its helpful role. the call of Bishop Plessis to the Executive Council and a like call to his friend Bihop MacDonell in Upper Canada could be regarded both as recognition of heir services to the Crown and as the first milestone on freedom's highway after Emancipation.
Earl Grey, head of the Reform Ministry of 1831, was the same Lord Howick who had introduced the Catholic bill of 1807. His place in the Catholic picture in Canada, it may be said in passing, has not been done entire justice o by writers of our history. Constitutional reform in Canada lagged for a while reluctant on the stage. But he who runs may read and learn how far Quebec's participation on both fronts accelerated the advance of religious quality and responsible government. We of the present generation who have witnessed the rise of dictatorships in so many nations can better understand the value of our constitutional heritage from the Reform period. Conspicuous assistance in the long drawn-out battle must be acknowledged to Quebec writers, all Catholic to the manner born, sons of the people educated in religious schools and thoroughly representative of a community bred to freedom and fair play.
The scope of this paper, however, is not to include any of the work contributed in the French language to the vindication of religion and constitutional liberty in the nineteenth century. One observation may be allowed: from the beginning until now, the foremost Province of Confederation in all that concerns education and literary achievement has brilliantly sustained the tradition hat is peculiarly its own.
The first Catholic editor of Upper Canada was the Reverend William Peter McDonald, afterwards Vicar General in Kingston. The Very Reverend William J. O'Grady, Vicar General in York (Toronto), also became an editor; but his paper stood in no such position to the Catholic community as the other.
The late Hugh F. McIntosh (Toronto), a frequent and respected contributor to Catholic newspapers and magazines, and a student of the times of Bishop MacDonell, was one of the writers chosen by the late Archbishop Walsh to assist Very Reverend J. R. Teefy, C.S.B., in the preparation of the jubilee volume of history concerning the Toronto See. Of Father McDonald Mr. McIntosh says that he took up his residence at St. Raphael's with the idea of taking charge of the proposed seminary for ecclesiastics. He was born in Scotland and educated at Douay and the Scots College at Valladolid, Spain. He was ordained in 1790 and for some time was attached to the British Embassy in Spain: "a thorough scholar and a polished gentleman, possessed of a refined poetic taste." Father McDonald published his paper at Kingston, off the press of Thomas Dalton's Patriot. Dalton's paper moved away from Kingston before the change in the seat of government. It is probable that The Catholic was suspended for that reason. It was resumed at Hamilton and appeared again from 1841 to 1844. Vicar General McDonald died at St. Michael's Palace, Toronto, on April 2nd (Good Friday), 1847, and his remains are buried in the Cathedral under the Gospel side of the altar. Mr. McIntosh wrote: "Many of Father McDonald's poems are of exceptional merit and if collected and published would form a notable addition to our slender stock of Catholic literature in this Province."
No. 6, vol. 1, the first issue of The Catholic I have been able to inspect, is dated at Kingston, Nov. 26, 1830. It is quarto size, three columns wide, and carries the motto "Quod semper; quod ubique; quod ab omnibus". The contents deal with matters of religion and instruction. The office of publication was that of the Patriot and Farmers' Monitor; and the price was $2.00 per annum, "exclusive of postage which is four shillings a year." The paper had agents in most of the towns of Upper Canada, and as far South as Maryland and Georgia. The agent in York was Mr. Bergin, merchant, whose name is to be mentioned again in connection with Vicar General O'Grady. Vol. 2, No. 13, is the first of the series printed in Hamilton on Dec. 8, 1841: "Published every Wednesday morning at No. 21 John St., the Very Reverend William P. McDonald, Vicar General, editor." Though favored with a column or two of advertising, the editor was not at all sanguine of a prolonged career. He wrote: "Should it happen that we are left in the lurch, as we have been on a former occasion, what an everlasting reproach it would be to our people in all the Canadas, that they would not support one single weekly periodical engaged in refuting the calumnies and misrepresentations of the religious Protestant press". These misgivings were not unfounded. In the issue of June 5, 1844, he felt called upon to announce: "In order to free myself from the entire responsibility of costs and editorial matter on The Catholic periodical, of Hamilton, I have made over the whole concern to Mr. John Robertson, the printer, now the editor, on the understanding that it continues favorable to the Catholic cause." Thereafter, but not for long, The Catholic appeared as The Liberal, a paper, of the former size, which presented comment on politics, particularly about the resistance of Sir Charles Metcalfe to the principles of responsible government, and Mr. Ryerson's enthusiastic defence of the GovernorGeneral. Mr. Ryerson not only defended the Governor-General, but charged that Mr. Baldwin, by advocating responsible government, had "invoked a critical declaration of independence before the arrival of the 4th of July."
Of Vicar General W. J. O'Grady the late C. H. McKeown, the painstaking historian of Archbishop Lynch's period, tells how he said Mass in the house William Bergin when the faithful were few in York. The directory shows that a Catholic chapel stood in the eastern part of the town before the erection of St. Paul's church had been undertaken. The Protestant people of the provincial capital, to their credit, under leadership of Attorney-General Boulton and others in the Government, provided substantial assistance to the cost of first Catholic church in the place. The inducement of opportunity with easy ownership of land had drawn rising streams of immigrants from the United Kingdom and the American Republic. These hopeful people were sanguine advocates of freedom, for the exercise of which some of them were but equipped. Many newspapers started up to influence the form to be taken by the promised popular liberty. The Province was really fortunate in the fact that a few Irishmen favorable to reform, while patient in pressing the demand, held steady leadership in the Legislative Assembly. It has been called the "Irish period" in Upper Canada. The Orange lodges had one idea of liberty which they insisted on choosing for all. For them it was unpropitious that Catholic belief, the accession of King William IV and the Grey administration all synchronized. The "Patriot King" lost no time about going on record with his parliament against the pretensions of the Orangemen. He was particularly determined that they should be stopped in Canada. Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who came out with Lord Durham, and who may have been the actual writer the famous Report -- it has also been credited to Chief Secretary Charles Buller -- doubts that the King's proclamation against the Canadian Orange lodges was officially received here. Action taken upon it is spread all over the official records of Upper Canada; and a copy of the original printed proclamation is to be seen in the Archives at Toronto. Together with the proclamation Lord Glenelg sent out the resolution agreed to by the House of commons at Westminster on the 23rd of February, 1836. His Majesty added the resolutions of the "Faithful Commons" this sentence: "It is my firm intention to discourage all such societies in my dominions and I rely with confidence on the fidelity of my loyal subjects to support me in this determination. W. R.". On April 4th, 1836, Sir Francis Bond Head received from Speaker Bidwell the Assembly Address accompanying the opinions of Attorney General Jamieson and Solicitor General Hagerman as to how far the laws of the Province were calculated "if rigidly enforced" to put down Orange processions. His Excellency's answer contained this sentence: "I have no hesitation, however, in saying that I consider all factions and combinations as hostile to the real interests of the country; but unless they proceed to acts of violence or intimidation I consider that a forced remedy might prove worse than the disease itself."
The Canadian Correspondent, later the Correspondent and Advocate, a merger of two papers supporting the Reformers, denounced Orange methods. No. 5, Vol. 1 of The Canadian Correspondent, was published at York, Dec. 8, 1832, by J. Reynolds at 76 King Street, opposite Market Square. The name of the editor was not given; but he was a Catholic, probably James King, its founder, a Toronto lawyer and alderman, who died in Belleville in 1841 at the age of 38. Mr. King had a brother, Dr. King. Both were in politics. The issue of Jan. 4, 1834, contains the following: "We are happy to announce the arrival in this town of Rev. Dr. O'Grady; and his numerous friends will be glad to learn that he is in excellent health and spirits." Rev. Dr. O'Grady thus appears to have been known to the Canadian Correspondent and to many other Reform friends. He had been in South America, having gone out there from Cork, Ireland. In 1836 Vicar General O'Grady is named in the Home District Directory as editor and publisher of the Correspondent and Advocate. No numbers of the merged papers, as a matter of fact, gave his name as editor.
The paper devoted a large share of its space to the proceedings of the House of Assembly. Mr. Reynolds, printer of the House of Assembly, was named as the publisher in 1837. Dr. O'Grady's name appeared among the signers of the "Declaration of the Reformers of the City of Toronto" at the end of that year. Mr. Reynolds was one of those who attended the reform meeting which endorsed William Lyon Mackenzie. The issue that contained the report of the proceedings of the Reformers carried the first announcement of the death of King William IV.
The Mirror had taken the field before The Catholic made its second appearance, and carries us through the Durham administration. Reflection of Catholic opinion which we get from it shows Durham the good-will ambassador. He was known to be one of the authors of Reform, a member of Earl Grey's cabinet and the great Earl's son-in-law. The Mirror declares itself "devoted to the attainment of independent local government." The first issue available for inspection is No. 70, Vol. 2, issued on October 19, 1838, at Toronto. The number contains the parting proclamation of Lord Durham, signed by Charles Buller, his chief secretary. The issue of July 30, 1840, contains the prospectus of Vol. 4 and notes that the paper was first published in 1837 "under very unfavorable circumstances during the Pantonimick Administration of Sir F. B. Head, that prince of unsuccessful experimentalists." The Mirror gave its "undivided support to the principles of responsible government as laid down by that distinguished statesman the Right Hon. the Earl of Durham ... to the indefatigable exertions of the illustrious O'Connell ... and against the compound compact of the twig aristocracy of Upper Canada." It was published every Thursday by Charles Donlevy and McTavey at. Church St., Toronto; and later by Charles Donlevy alone at No. 1 New St. Mr. Donlevy was a well-known Catholic.
The problem of curbing Orange processions remained before the Assembly in one way or another until Sir George Arthur had taken over the Administration in Toronto. Governor Arthur wrote the Marquess of Normanby informing Downing Street of the instructions sent out to the magistrates of the different districts of Upper Canada that they "should by every means in their power endeavor to make known ... that those processions be discontinued which have heretofore tended so greatly to provoke animosity and unkindly feeling." And on July 28th, 1839, the Marquess despatched to Lieutenant-Governor Arthur an expression of his hope that the exhortation already sent to the magistrates had "been sufficient to prevent any demonstration of which the tendency is to excite and exasperate civil and religious animosity between different classes of Her Majesty's subjects" -- Queen Victoria being on the throne.
Such was the political atmosphere in which Vicar General W. J. O'Grady virtually opposed Bishop MacDonell. Dr. O'Grady was certainly a responsive witness when he appeared before the Committee on Grievances ordered and presided over by Mackenzie. Neglected by his friends in changing political conditions, he dropped out of prominence. He died August 18, 1840, from the bursting of a blood vessel, the same cause which carried off Lord Metcalfe on his return to England. Reverend J. M. Jeffcott identified Dr. O'Grady's grave at Pickering, when pastor there.
The papers I have been referring to, with the exception of the Liberal and the Mirror, had disappeared prior to the exciting days of Governor Sir Charles (afterwards Lord) Metcalfe. Had not Robert Baldwin been the patriotic and loyal man he was, those days might have witnessed a second rebellion. It is generally conceded at the present time that Sir Charles was unfitted for the duty he undertook in Upper Canada. When he had allowed his blood pressure to be aggravated by Ogle R. Gowan the "father of Canadian Orangism," and the Reverend Egerton Ryerson, already ambitious to become a "Methodist Pope", as Langton, an official critic, put it, matters looked most disturbing. Gowan's relations with Sir Charles Metcalfe seemed to have restored the vehement instinct for political organization among Orangemen.
The uncertain service of Lord Metcalfe to the Crown may be allowed one stray item of credit. The now historic declaration of Sir John A. Macdonald, in presence of a later generation, "A British subject I was born; a British subject I will die," was his in the first instance. With Sir John's popularity in 1891 it let loose a veritable storm of political applause. But Nicholas Flood Davin had already quoted the words from the closing address by Metcalfe on his electoral triumph with what was called the "Gowan ministry" against Robert Baldwin. John A. MacDonald, the future Premier of Canada, in Metcalfe's time was an observer of the political situation.
Catholics who had depended on the aims and purposes of Baldwin and Sullivan sought by benevolent organizations some recognition of their future place in the community. St. Patrick's Benevolent Society was formed, the presidency of which was accepted by Robert Baldwin. Catholics and Protestants appeared together on the committee of management, Charles Donlevy, editor of the Mirror, being one of the number. The utterly tragic episode of the Irish famine and emigration of 1846-47 also served to unite more closely for a time the old-line Protestant leaders to the body of their Catholic fellow-Irishmen
As time passed into the fifties Bishop Charbonnel found Catholic schools menaced by the spirit of restriction in official places. Controversy developed and had renewed outbreaks up to the Confederation agreement. The Catholic Citizen belongs to the decade of the fifties. The first number of the Catholic Citizen preserved in the Archives at Toronto is 18 of Vol. I. It is dated May 4, 1854, and is a long sheet of eight columns, carrying the motto: "Let not religion, the sacred name of religion, which even in an enemy discovers the face of a brother, be any longer a wall of separation to keep us asunder -- O'Leary's Tracts." The paper was published at No. 48 King St. West, Toronto, every Thursday morning, by Robert L. Thomas, for the proprietors, whose names do not appear. Subsequent numbers display a really good collection of reading matter with copious news from Ireland and recollections of Ireland and the Irish by Thomas Francis Meagher. It is not easy to see cause of complaint in its columns by Egerton Ryerson, who often scolded it. It used more highly flavored language towards George Brown. The editor, Mr. Hayes, had to sell out for the benefit of his creditors. Thereupon (July 15, 1858) the Catholic Citizen was transferred to the hands of Messrs. Mallon and Moylan, to be published thenceforward as the Canadian Freeman. Mr. Mallon, an Irishman and a Catholic was well-known. Mr. Moylan, whose views and style were already familiar to the public, had been for some time a correspondent of the Citizen. The final tribute which Mr. Hayes paid to George Brown is a little too strong for reproduction as an historical item. Incidentally, in his farewell editorial the editor complained that "the crozier of a venerated bishop [meaning Dr. Charbonnel] had never been raised in our support,"
Vol. 1, No. 1 of The Canadian Freeman obviously was turned off the old press of the Catholic Citizen. It is dated July 15, 1858, and in addition to Irish news by mail gave a column of "ecclesiastical intelligence." Intended to fill the want of a weekly family newspaper, it addressed itself especially to Catholic readers: "guided by such a spirit of courtesy and conciliation as will entitle it to be included in the reading stock of every liberal man and institution in western Canada." It further declared itself: "On fundamental questions, such as the religious education of our children, there can be no compromise." Its editorials were the leading feature. Morgan's biographical notice of James G. Moylan says in part: "James George Moylan. Born near Maynooth, Ireland, January 11, 1826. Educated at St. Jarlath's College and Royal College, Maynooth. In 1851 he was attached to the Chilean Legation, Washington. In 1852 was Washington correspondent New York Times. Joined the staff of that paper. In 1856 came to Canada as professor of Classics and English Literature at the College of the Jesuit mission, Guelph. He established the "Canadian Freeman", Toronto, in 1856. In 1869 he went to Ireland as Dominion Commissioner of Emigration. In 1872 he was appointed on the Dominion Board of Penitentiary Directors and in 1875 was named as Inspector of Penitentiaries." The first issue of the Canadian Freeman contained the speech of Thomas D'Arcy McGee on the school question, in which the great orator closed with these sentences: "Are we, to win a name for liberality, to run into downright indifferentism ? No, Sir, No! In genuine liberality, in charity and courtesy, I desire not to be outdone by any member of this house. But I desire also to love the lessons taught me in my youth by my own parents. I am quite content with my own religion. I have children to whom I desire to transmit it as their best inheritance. And I cannot therefore subscribe for one moment to the doctrine that the State -- the political power of the day -- can exonorate Christian parents from the duty of selecting, and directing the education of their own children."
The Mirror, then edited by P. A. O'Neil, and the Canadian Freeman were together in the field taking vigorous part in the fight for religious education. Aid also came from Montreal and the Maritimes. The political ear was to the ground to know the signs of the times in that direction. The True Witness and Catholic Chronicle which appeared first on August 16, 1850, was edited by George E. Clerk, an accomplished Scot, and a fighter when the call came. Later editors were C. A. McDonell, Dr. J. K. Foran, Henry J. Cloran (afterwards Senator), P. F. Cronin. Timothy Warren Anglin, who had come out to St. John, N. B., from Clonakilty, County Cork, established the Freeman. Edward Whelan had been trained by Joseph Howe on the Nova Scotian. He had gone to Charlottetown and established the Palladium, and a few years Later the Examiner. Of Honorable Edward Whelan and Honorable Timothy Warren Anglin a few words of particular recognition will be pardoned. They were among the giants of their day. Mr. Whelan had arrived in Halifax a friendless Irish lad, but soon proved his ability to take charge of Howe's paper. He was but eighteen when he went to Prince Edward Island. He was but eighteen when he took the side of the people with pen and voice, his manner being consistently persuasive and conciliatory. He died in 1862. The writer of his obituary in the Examiner truly said "his thoughts like his words were always those of a Christian gentleman." Hon. T. W. Anglin started the Freeman first as a weekly, and shortly after as a tri-weekly in 1849. He represented St. John County in the New Brunswick Assembly for seven years and after 1868 represented Gloucester in the House of Commons. He was elected Speaker in 1874. In later years he was regarded as one of the leading protagonists of the Irish Catholics and their interests in Ontario. His children all gained high places, the eldest son, Francis A. Anglin, becoming Chief Justice of Canada
A workable formula for the elementary education question was earnestly sought as a condition precedent of Confederation. The faith and hope of English-speaking Catholics in the future of a united Canada were powerfully appealed to by Thomas D'Arcy McGee, already great in journalism and on the lecture platform. He had written on the Boston Pilot, the Dublin Freeman's Journal, the New York Nation, which he started, as well as the American Celt. He had been an aid to O'Connell in Ireland and had gained fame as a poet and patriot. In Montreal he started the New Era. He saw the vision of confederation and went to work to fill the minds of his fellow countymen in all parts of Canada with confidence in the blessings political unity would bring. D'Arcy McGee at all events succeeded in that purpose. The sixties saw the entrance at Toronto of the Irish Canadian, printed by Boyle and Hynes at 45 Colborne St. till the end of 1867; and afterwards by Patrick Boyle alone. Mr. Boyle advocated the interests of Irish Catholics throughout western Canada; seeing the certainty of Confederation, prepared to take their share of the responsibilities of D'Arcy McGee's prophetic new era. Different proposals for composing the school question had been threshed over and over almost interminably. From 1852 up to the final pre-Confederation hour the Catholic Citizen and the Canadian Freeman successively gave assistance to R. W. Scott (afterwards Senator the Hon. Sir Richard Scott), to Hon. John Elmsley and other laymen who were forefront advocates of fair play for religious education. Ryerson had slightly ruffled the great natural courtesy of Bishop Charbonnel before that distinguished ecclesiastic withdraw from the scene. In 1862 Bishop Lynch was in the arena, and in him Ryerson found a different type of adversary. Sparing of his words, Bishop Lynch took the props away from a favorite plan of the Superintendent, who when in difficulty would turn dispute upon sharp phrases taken from the Catholic press. Bishop Lynch told him he had no official Catholic papers. But it did not end the continual recourse to irrelevant issues; and when Ryerson retired in 1870 he was still claiming to have written "finality" to the development of Catholic schools in Ontario, the Catholic bishops of the two provinces and the rights of the future generations to the contrary notwithstanding.
The early Confederation period brought some satisfaction to Englishspeaking Catholics inasmuch as a number of their worthy representatives were called to public life and position. In Ontario, owing to the refractory sort of Liberalism which George Brown favored, the going was often unpleasant. Some of the more prominent Catholics left the Reform party. There was one most deplorable hour which demanded a public demonstration of their unity in deepest sorrow and affection in presence of the murdered body of D'Arcy McGee. Eight years previously they had shown the same type of loyal unity when the Prince of Wales (Edward VII) accompanied by the Duke of Newcastle had come to Canada. In Toronto Father Walsh (afterwards Archbishop) had asked that protest be made to the Duke against the erection of an Orange arch at the foot of the thoroughfare at which the Prince would most conveniently come ashore. Captain Elmsley, Colonel Baldwin and J. G. Moylan of the Canadian Freeman, as a committee, drew up and presented the protest, declaring that recognition of the arch "would be the means of preventing your memorialists from participating in the welcome to His Royal Highness in this part of Canada." As a result of the meeting and memorial the Prince of Wales avoided the arch, to the general satisfaction of the community.
The early Confederation period also saw the organization (and much benefit through united action ) of the Catholic League. Most of the Catholic men who came upon the federal and provincial platforms, as representatives of Ontario soon after Confederation, had become members, or helped to organize the League. Thomas McCrossan, who was born in. Strabane, Ireland, and came to Canada in 1846, brought out another paper The Tribune to be more definitely Catholic than the Irish Canadian. It appeared from 1876 to 1879 and proved competent in the line of succession. Mr. McCrossan got a provincial appointment.
The unruffled common sense with which Archbishop Lynch looked at the part for a minority to take was not without effect on the Catholic papers. The note of minority grievance was omitted from most if not all of them. Thomas Coffey (afterwards Senator.) was building up an excellent name for the Catholic Record, of London. The paper acquired a wide circulation. Its editorial page, to which Rev. George Northgraves was chief contributor, held high respect. The Antigonish Casket brought variety of subject and the fullest information into an editorial page that won equally sound opinion. Thomas H. McGuire, who in later life was elevated to the judicial bench, edited the Daily News and the Canadian Freeman in Kingston, the latter paper afterwards being conducted by Patrick Daly. A more ambitious effort was made by the Catholics of Montreal to support a good daily that would fill a generally felt Catholic want in that city and in eastern Ontario. Carroll Zyan, a gifted newspaperman, and H. J. Cloran each tried out the field with the Daily Post. The idea of a Catholic daily had to be abandoned after some years.
It has, of course, occurred to Catholic observers of the press, that the working journalist in the daily field is often a good deal in the public eye. Catholic news and Catholic discussion are expected to be handled with understanding. The daily press of Canada has engaged many notable Catholics. Martin Griffin, who went from Halifax to the Toronto Mail and became parliamentary librarian, contributed literary criticism to the Empire (Toronto) and later to the Montreal Gazette. Dr. J. K. Barrett and Dr. Thomas O'Hagan still keep alive an interest in the welfare of Catholic journalism both inside and outside Canada. There were T. P. Gorman, Ottawa Free Press, Joseph P. Downey (Guelph), T. P. Owens (later editor of "Hansard"), who was prominent in the parliamentary Press Gallery for a decade. There was, several rears earlier, Patrick Monaghan who published the Abstainer and preached temperance to the whole continent from Nova Scotia. And, much later, Peter Donovan, who went to London with Lord Beaverbrook from Saturday Night, Toronto. These are names that readily. occur from the list of more or less recent years.
The Catholic Review made its bow in Toronto, under the editorship of Gerald Fitzgerald, followed by the Catholic Register, which, with the financial support of J. J. Foy (afterwards Attorney General of Ontario), A. C. Macdlonell (afterwards Senator), and G. P. Magann absorbed both the Review and the Irish Canadian. P. F. Cronin, who had charge of the Catholic Register, invited to its pages a number of writers who had already been frequent contributors to the Catholic press . Among them were the Very Reverend J. R. Teefy and the Rev. Father Ferguson, of Sandwich, both Basilians; the Rev. Dr. Flannery, St. Thomas; the Reverend Lancelot Minehan; the Reverend Dr. Treacy and the Reverend Frank Ryan, S.J., attached to the Cathedral; and the Reverend T. M. Jeffcott. Fathers Flannery and Ferguson were also contributors to the Catholic Record. Monsignor Dollard (Toronto) and his brother, also in the priesthood, were to display an abundant share of the poetic gift. The Catholic press in different countries gave unstinted recognition to them. Teresa Brayden, whose poetry has found wide appreciation, began to write on the Catholic Register. Miss Rose Ferguson was a contributor to the Catholic Review.
Those who have given much attention to Catholic journalism must have observed the discouragements of the one-man weekly publication in a constantly widening field of popular discussion. As a rule, however, it is not quite as bad as that. The editor of a Catholic paper, though too much shut up in his office away from contact with the actors on the public scene, is not without their cooperation. The present writer, speaking for his own day, can recall a long list of Catholic men and women in other walks of life who kept in touch with the paper and supplied it with information and views concerning this and that. They may not all be named; but appreciation would certainly select Mrs. M. A. Sadlier, one of the associates of Brownson and McGee; James Jeffrey Roche, who had gone from Charlottetown, P.E.I., to become assistant to John Boyle O'Reilly on the Boston Pilot; Archbishop Cleary of Kingston, and his keen, competent secretary, the Reverend Thomas Kelly; Bishop M. F. Howley, St. John's, Newfoundland; M. J. F. Quinn, a leader at the Montreal bar; the Very Reverend Dean Egan (the Father Healey of Ontario); Matthew Teefy, Richmond Hill, father of distinguished sons and daughters, whose thorough acquaintance with Canadian history was always available; the Reverend Dr. Bergin, the Hon. John Costigan, the Hon. J. J. Curran, Montreal, the Hon. Hugh McMahon, the Hon. Charles Murphy. Nor was the list confined to Catholics. Political leaders offered candid assistance occasionally to a better understanding of matters under debate. Archbishop O'Brien, of Halifax, in his generation was one of the austere figures of literary service to Church and Country. His sonnets sometimes came out through Catholic papers.
The list of publications and writers long in the field has not been exhausted. Dr. J. K. Barrett, already mentioned, was in control of the NorthWest Review when the Manitoba authorities abolished Catholic schools. John George Colclough, born at Bic, P. Q., called to the Irish bar in Dublin, and afterwards a contributor to English and French reviews, wrote a notable paper on the matter. The minority claims have never been surrendered. Dr. Barrett had assistance from Nicholas D. Beck, afterwards called to the Alberta bench, a convert to the Catholic faith. Differences of view concerning ultimate considerations of the minority demand when presented before the Federal authority led up to the special mission of Monsignor Merry del Val to Canada. The papal ablegate after a little while was created a cardinal. He had made favorable impressions on all the people of Canada. One Catholic editor of the time had the opportunity of observing how the distinguished representative of His Holiness dealt with journalists. Monsignor Merry del Val worked under constant pressure when callers and receptions crowded his last hours in Toronto. He extensively revised the draft of his farewell address with a stub of pencil in a brief interval between engagements. The writer has retained the original document as a curiosity of work done under high pressure. Some bishops have not infrequently displayed the journalistic qualifications. Archbishop Neil McNeil, who was once a working journalist, editing the paper Aurora, never permitted a serious misrepresentation of Catholic principle or position to pass uncorrected in the newspaper press. His letters were models of brevity and courtesy and went straight to the mark. The late Bishop Fallon (London), when professor of English literature in the University of Ottawa, became a practised hand as editor of the Owl. Newspaper reporters and editors found him satisfactory on all occasions.
It may be allowed to draw some comparisons between the Catholic press of this time and of the years past which in outline have gone under review. It may help to show us how true it is that Catholics can never be a neutral body in this country, or indeed in any country. They are concerned with and affected by all phases of civil change and commotion. So far as the present is concerned, nothing in our generation has been changing more in character and influence than journalism. The big modern newspaper sheets change year by year. Does the Catholic press also change with the times? Does it grow and gain circulation like the daily press? Expansion on any scale would mean new features and greater cost of production. The question may be asked in a different way. What can the Catholic press afford out of its narrow resources to offer in the way of wholesome attractiveness for each and every member of the modern family in competition with the blazing obtrusions of the colored Saturday editions? Certainly nothing of that character. The Catholic paper is, however, standing up against the competition. It must possess some claim of its own to public circulation. Look it over from one end of Canada to the other end and it will be admitted that it more than holds its own in comparison with former times. The Casket, the Freeman (St. John, N. B.), the Beacon (Montreal), the Canadian Freeman (Kingston), the Catholic Register, the Catholic Record, the North-West Review, are better papers than any of twenty-five years ago. They deserve, as the Catholic press of other countries deserves, recognition for service to religion. Practically all their space is devoted to religion and its related interests. It is a clear enough conclusion, then, that on religion depends all the claim to public circulation. This conclusion is one of special interest to men and women who are interested in the study of the Catholic journal from the historical standpoint. For a century the Catholic press we have been looking over has served as a means of moral intercourse between Canadian Catholic families. Among our widely separated minorities in the different provinces it has at the same time been a continuous aid to Catholic organization and action.