400-Year-Old Crucifix Found

By a Canadian student:

It is tiny in size — measuring only 1.1 inches in width — and its top is broken, but a 400- year-old copper crucifix found at Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula earlier in July has big historical significance, according to historians. It symbolizes an early dream of religious freedom in North America.

The artifact is clearly a Catholic item, featuring a simple representation of Christ on the front and the Virgin Mary and Christ Child on the back. Yet it was found in a predominantly English settlement.

Back in England, its owner would could be fined, imprisoned or put to death for practicing Catholic faith, according to Barry Gaulton, Field Director of the Colony of Avalon and Associate Professor of Archaeology at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

“The Catholic iconography is unmistakable. As with all archaeological discoveries, the context in which the artifact was found tells us its story,” Gaulton said in a release.

The story the crucifix tells is that of the dream of the Newfoundland’s settler, Sir George Calvert. Calvert was an English lord who helped settle the colony around 1628. His vision was to create a community where all Christians could enjoy freedom of religion without fear of persecution. He was one of the early pioneers of religious freedom in North America.

Just the presence of the Catholic crucifix reveals that Calvert’s vision had started to take shape. The small cross was found by Anna Sparrow, an undergraduate student at Memorial University in St. John’s.

As for who the crucifix belonged to, the archaeologists are not sure. They say it could have belonged to one of the craftsmen working on Calvert’s house, or the colony’s second governor, the Catholic gentleman Sir Arthur Aston, or even George Calvert himself.

An archaeologist’s job can be painstaking, tedious work, involving careful excavation, delicate sifting and gentle brushing. For Sparrow, the thrill of finding such a significant artifact, made all the hard work worthwhile.

As she said in a press release, “There is so much time, effort and patience involved in excavation, that to find something with such historical significance is incredible.”



Archbishop Bans Eulogies at Funeral Masses

Canadian Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast:

Roman Catholics in Ottawa are no longer permitted to deliver eulogies during funeral Masses, the local archbishop has decreed.

The Feb. 2 decree from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast reminds the faithful that Catholics gather at funerals “not to praise the deceased, but to pray for them.”

Contrary to popular belief, eulogies “are not part of the Catholic funeral rites, particularly in the context of a funeral liturgy within Mass,” the decree stated. Many Catholics, it pointed out, do not know this.

Rest here.



Saskatoon Church Gives Solar Energy Panels Stained Glass Disguise


A new type of stained glass just installed in a Saskatoon cathedral is trying  to prove green can also be glorious, combatting the stereotype of ugly, bulky  solar panels.

When the Cathedral of the Holy Family needed a new set of stained glass  windows, Toronto  artist Sarah Hall jumped in with a project she’s been working on since 2005  — one that combines old art techniques with new technology.

Working with engineer Christof Erban, who pioneered the concept of placing a  solar cell between layers of glass, Hall’s solar-infused masterpiece is a  colourful set of three giant windows set atop the Saskatoon church.

The work is called “Lux Gloria,” or “Light of Glory,” and the largest of the  three windows measures 37-feet high by 12-feet wide. The windows — a display of  silver solar cells fused with various colours of stained glass — simultaneously  shade the church, harvest solar energy from outside and block out heat.

While the Saskatoon project is just one example of Hall’s work in the field  of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – her first installation went up in  Washington, D.C., in 2005 – the Lux Gloria is the first of her pieces that feeds  back into a city’s electrical grid. She has also worked on two projects in  Toronto, one in Vancouver and one in Camas, Washington.

Hall’s studio said the embedded solar panels are capable of generating 2,500  kilowatt hours of power, or about 20 per cent of the electricity used per year  in the average Canadian household.

However, it is likely that the power will be used by the cathedral  itself.

In a statement, Hall says the Saskatoon installation is the “first cathedral  in the world to incorporate solar energy collection into its stained glass  windows, bestowing a threefold gift of beauty, inspiration and preservation of  world resources.”

Hall started the Lux Gloria project by sketching three full-sized drawings,  which were sent to a manufacturer in Paderborn, Germany, where large sheets of  glass enamels were airbrushed by hand. The glass was tempered before 1,013  polycrystalline solar cells were soldered in by hand, coloured silver to match  the artwork and then permanently embedded. Each solar panel is a different size  and shape to add aesthetic appeal.

While solar panels are usually hidden away on buildings’ roofs, Hall hopes  that calling attention to them will create awareness of the ease of harvesting  solar power. 

Hall is the first North American artist to specialize in BIPV, but she hopes  her work will open doors to further energy conservation options.



Report: Canadians Turning Away from Organized Religion

Religion News Service reports:

A new national study shows that while Canada remains overwhelmingly Christian, Canadians are turning their backs on organized religion in ever greater numbers.

Results from the 2011 National Household Survey show that more than two-thirds of Canadians, or some 22 million people, said they were affiliated with a Christian denomination.

At 12.7 million, Roman Catholics were the largest single Christian group, representing 38 percent of Canadians; the second largest was the United Church, representing about 6 percent; while Anglicans were third, representing about 5 percent of the population.

Observers noted that among the survey’s most striking findings is that one in four Canadians, or 7.8 million people, reported they had no religious affiliation at all. That was up sharply from 16.5 percent from the 2001 census, and 12 percent in 1991.

The Canadian trend seems to mirror but even exceed levels of non-affiliation in the United States. A 2012 survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life pegged the ratio of religiously unaffiliated Americans at just under 20 percent.

But Pew also has found that more than one-quarter of American adults (28 percent) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion — or no religion at all.

The Canadian study showed that just more than 7 percent of the country was Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist, an increase from 5 percent a decade earlier…

Officials in Ottawa stressed that the NHS results, which also examined trends in immigration and ethnic diversity, could be unreliable. Because it was a voluntary survey, it is “subject to potentially higher non-response error than those derived from the census long form,” Statistics Canada cautioned…

Reginald Bibby, a sociologist at the University of Lethbridge and one of Canada’s foremost trackers and interpreters of religious trends, said the NHS findings “do not point to the demise of religion in Canada. But the findings document the tendency of Canadians to reflect the pattern of people across the planet in variously embracing or rejecting religion.”



The Anglican Catholic Chronicle – ACCC Newsletter (May 2013)

The Anglican Catholic Chronicle newsletter of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada for the month of May is out.

It also covers the recent Consecrations of two new ACA – TAC Bishops in the United States.

Download it in pdf. here.

I see the TAC has a QR code too. That’s great.

There are more including one for the diocesan website of the ACCC: