On Saturday September 21st, Thomas Cardinal Collins, the archbishop of Toronto, visited Ernescliff College to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Ernescliff College is a men’s residence serving students from the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and different technical colleges in the Toronto area. The spiritual activities of the college are entrusted to the Prelature of Opus Dei
The regional vicar for Opus Dei in Canada, Msgr. Fred Dolan, greeted the cardinal and gave him a tour of the Lyncroft Hospitality Training Centre, a women’s training centre which provides hospitality service to the college. Following the tour, Cardinal Collins celebrated a thanksgiving mass in the college’s oratory.
September 21st is the feast of St. Matthew and the cardinal gave his homily on our Lord’s call to St. Matthew. During his homily, Cardinal Collins focused on the message of Jesus to “come and go” – that St. Matthew was invited to be with the Lord but at the same time to go and make disciples of all men, even to the ends of the earth.
The cardinal said that St. Matthew as a tax collector may not be the person you expect to call, but that it was our Lord “looking through the eyes of mercy” that could see that St. Matthew could be a leader for the Church. We are also called to go and make disciples of Lord anywhere we are and be “leaven in the middle of the world.” The cardinal’s comments embody the message of the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaria: the universal call to holiness in the middle of the world.
Approximately 40 people attended the thanksgiving mass. They included men from all the different groups that the college serves: current and past residents, university professors and young professionals. Members of the boards of both Ernescliff Foundation, which operates the college, and Wellspring Cultural Foundation, which supports the college financially, were also present.
After the mass a reception was held in Ernescliff’s dining room with delicacies prepared by the staff of Lyncroft. The director of Ernescliff, Anthony Schratz, gave a short speech. He thanked all the people over the years who have made the college a success and a feature in life at the campus of the University of Toronto. He praised Msgr. Greg Haddock for his years of service and his guidance to countless young men to a life of virtue. Msgr. Haddock became Ernescliff’s chaplain in 1998. He passed away in January of last year at the age of 83.
At the end of the event Mr. Schratz presented a framed photograph of Cardinal Collins with Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, the prelate of Opus Dei, taken at their meeting last month in Toronto. The Prelate toured Canada spending time with his sons and daughters in many cities in Canada and encouraging them to strive for holiness and to be very apostolic. Mr. Schratz also presented the cardinal with a 25th anniversary pictorial book of life at the college over the years.