Highlights - November 2015

The Francis Effect

The Francis Effect

This past Saturday (Nov. 21st) the Diocesan Office of Justice and Peace and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace screened the documentary The Francis Effect.  This must-see film takes a critical and in-depth look at the impact of Pope Francis’ leadership:

“From the moment Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, he won the hearts of the people. His humility, simplicity and closeness to the poor reveal a man deeply in touch with the Gospel. His profile has soared. He has initiated a fundamental reform of the Roman Curia, challenged a “globalization of indifference,” and become the most talked about person in the world.”

The Francis Effect is available for loan through the Bishop Farrell Library.  Please contact us at 905-528-7988 ext. 2270 for information about borrowing materials or request the film through our online catalogue. You can also download a full listing of our resources on the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Press in the Diocese of Hamilton

The Canadian Register_Nov.10, 1945

Rev. Wm. Peter MacDonald, the first resident priest of Hamilton, published the earliest Catholic weekly for the area called, The Catholic, from 1841 to 1844.  The next Catholic paper of any consequence was Cathedral magazine published monthly by Msgr. Mahoney, Rector of St. Mary's Cathedral in 1916.  Mr. P. W. Sheridan, professor of the Catholic High School was the business manager. Under Bishop Dowling's direction, Fr. Joseph O'Sullivan and later Fr. Peter Maloney edited the Cathedral magazine and they did much to promote its growth. The magazine featured Catholic news in general and the parochial activities of the city. It was sold at all the parishes in Hamilton. When Fr. Joseph F. Ryan was appointed Rector of St. Mary's, he enlarged the Cathedral magazine and increased the circulation to 3,000. Fr. J. O'Reilly succeeded Fr. Ryan at St. Mary’s and continued to publish the periodical. 

In 1925, Bishop McNally organized The Catholic Voice and appointed Fr. Arthur O'Brien as editor. This was a monthly publication and its circulation extended throughout the Diocese. Fr. O'Brien's successors were Fathers P. Campbell and R. J. McKenna. Under Bishop Joseph F. Ryan the publication was placed in the hands of the staff of the Cathedral High School, with Rev. B. Harrigan as editor. At this time, the name was changed to The Catholic Standard and the paper took on a tabloid form. In 1942, The Catholic Standard gave way to The Canadian Register, when several diocesan journals were joined to form a national, uniform voice. The Canadian Register became The Catholic Register in the 1960s, returning to the title of a paper previously published in Toronto from 1893 – 1909. 

The Catholic Register has had a wide circulation in the Diocese of Hamilton, even during the earlier years when the Diocese had its own monthly publications. The Catholic Register has been at the forefront of Catholic journalism, acting as a forum to discuss all matters related to the faith.  Ownership of the paper has changed several times throughout its history, with bishops from Ontario sponsoring its publication through their dioceses.  It is currently owned by the Archdiocese of Toronto.

The Bishop Farrell Library and Archives maintains a significant collection of Catholic newspapers including The Catholic from September 1841 - April 1844, Benziger's Magazine from January 1908 - December 1909, Cathedral Magazine from November 1916 - May 1926, The Catholic Voice, February 1931 - June 1939, The Catholic Standard, November 1939 - March 1942, The Catholic Register, January - December 1894, and The Canadian Register from February 1943 - February 1973.  In addition, we have current issues of The Catholic Register from 2005 - present.

Portraiture in the Archives

Portrait Bishop Farrell_George DelfosseGeorges Delfosse, Portrait of Bishop John Farrell, Oil on canvas, 1904

While the majority of items in the Archives' collections are textual, we do maintain a selection of paintings.  This includes a portrait of Bishop John Farrell, the first bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, painted by Marie-Joseph George Delfosse. 

George Delfosse was a Canadian painter, portraitist, and illustrator. He was born on December 6, 1869 in Saint-Henri Mascouche, Quebec.  He died in Montreal, Quebec on December 22, 1939.  He was a member of the Art Association of Montreal and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.  He was educated and trained in Montreal and in Paris, France.  Delfosse produced over two hundred religious paintings including work for the church of Maisonneue in France, the Cathedral of Montreal, the Cathedral of Joliette, the church of Saint-Félix-de-Valois, and the Saint-Jacques Cathedral in Montreal.  His portraiture also includes a painting of Sir Wilfred Laurier, completed in 1897.  The works of George Delfosse can be found in several major institutions such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of Hamilton, McCord Museum of Canadian History, and Library and Archives Canada. 

The portrait of Bishop Farrell in our collection is on display in the meeting room of the Bishop Farrell Library & Archives. 

All Saints Day

Resources on Saints

November 1st marks All Saints Day, a day dedicated to the saints of the Church.  Learn more about the saints of the Catholic Church by checking out a book or DVD from the library.  We have a wide selection of materials including:


Joan Carroll Cruz, ed., Saintly Youth of Modern Times (2006) – Biographies of more than forty young saints who demonstrated heroic virtue beyond their years.

David Hugh Farmer, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (1987) – Concise accounts of the lives, cults, and artistic associations of various saints.

Frances Renda, A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus 1863 – 1885 (2011) – The letters of the Blessed Zélie and Louis Martin, which provide a snapshot into their lives and spirituality.  

Roberto Italo Zanini, Bakhita: From Slave to Saint (2013) – An account of the life, virtues, and miracles of Saint Josephine Bakhita, based on her autobiography.


God’s Doorkeeper: St. André of Montreal (2010) – This DVD looks at the heart and legacy of Br. Andre.  On October 17, 2010, Br. Andre became the first male Canadian-born saint and the first saint for the Congregation of the Holy Cross.  He is living proof that “it is with the smallest of brushes that the artist paints the most beautiful pictures.”

John Paul II: I Kept Looking for You (2014) – This documentary on the new saint reveals John Paul II’s remarkable legacy in the history of the Church and the world.  It portrays how his extraordinary personality, deep faith, generosity, courage, and sense of humour united people on all continents, regardless of their social status, age, or religious beliefs. It includes archival footage and features commentary from many world famous figures from the Church, politics, entertainment, and news industries.

Saints: Gospel Artists (2006) – A DVD documenting a pilgrimage of almost 100 Canadian university students to the homes and places of prayer of several saints.  Inspired by Saint John Paul II’s call to “Be the saints of the new millennium,” these students learn that there is a resemblance between holy lives lived and lives living for the holy. 

You can download a full listing of our resources on saints here or search for titles with our library catalogue.

For more information about these or other items in the library, please contact us by phone at 905-528-7988 ext. 2270.