Lay Catholics don’t get to see their bishop very often but I remember when I was growing up, I had always admired my bishop like a familiar father figure but simultaneously felt like he was high above my level. This episode is the fifth of my vocational series, where I ask my guests to pick a song relating to their vocational discernment and to answer these seven simple questions:
1. Please introduce yourself and how we got to know each other.
2. Explain your song of choice and how it relates to your discernment.
3. Please explain your vocation in general and what it means to you.
4. How did you discern your vocation in general? Were there any challenges?
5. Why did you pursue your vocation with this diocese/order/person in particular?
6. How has your faith changed since entering this vocation?
7. If you could advise your 18-year-old self about your vocation, what would you say?
One day, I emailed the Archdiocese of Toronto and was absolutely delighted when I got to interview the only bishop I ever remembered having … Thomas Cardinal Collins! Cardinal Collins is a man of deep faith and wisdom and has always felt a strong connection with his priests and bishops. From his high school teacher Fr. John Newstead to the bishops of his home Diocese of Hamilton—Bishop Lloyd Ryan, Bishop Paul Reding, and Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Tonnos—and his bishop in London, John Sherlock. Cardinal Collins was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Hamilton before being appointed rector of the seminary in London (Ontario), consecrated Bishop of St. Paul (Alberta), Bishop of Edmonton, and finally Archbishop of Toronto. I was surprised by how Cardinal Collins discerned his call to the priesthood and found his assessment of the times and his term as bishop to be very insightful. During COVID-19, the Archdiocese is live-streaming daily and Sunday Masses. You can find their website at https://www.archtoronto.org/.
The song you heard in the intro was “Wayfaring Stranger”, by The Quebe Sisters and the song Cardinal Collins chose was the “O God Beyond All Praising”, as performed here by the Villanova Pastoral Musicians. If you have any friends and family that you think would like this podcast, please share wherever you listen to your podcasts! You can drop a comment or question for me to answer in a future episode at firstname.lastname@example.org.