II-120149.1 | Archbishop Bruchesi, Montreal, QC, 1897
Archbishop Bruchesi, Montreal, QC, 1897
Wm. Notman & Son
1897, 19th century
17 x 12 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Keys to History
Among French-speaking Montrealers, as well as in the Irish and Italian communities, the Catholic Church was still a major social force. The number of parishes increased as the city expanded and the population grew. Religious orders boosted their membership in an effort to meet the growing demand for social services and education. The Church struggled with the challenges of an increasingly complex and diversified urban society in which materialist values were gaining in popularity. The archbishop, Paul Bruchési, tried to put up resistance to the new values, impose stricter morals and censor newspapers and entertainment, but his efforts met with only mitigated success. To retain a certain degree of social control, the Church had to rely on new institutions, such as the École sociale populaire, that sought to bring religion into greater harmony with urban society.
One of the most significant events of Archbishop Bruchési's episcopate was the organization of the Montreal International Eucharistic Congress, from September 7 to 11, 1910. A large number of bishops from many countries came to Montreal, and the congress ended with a grand procession.
Though born and raised in Montreal, Paul Bruchési was ordained in Rome, in 1878, which was rather unusual. But he had done all his theological schooling in the Italian capital and so it was only natural that he should enter the priesthood there, too.
Archbishop Bruchési's episcopate can be divided into two parts. From 1897 to 1921 he energetically performed the functions expected of a Catholic prelate. After 1921 illness largely prevented him from carrying out his duties. They were performed by the man who was to become his coadjutor and later his successor, Bishop Georges Gauthier (1871-1940).
Paul Bruchési (1855-1939) was appointed Archbishop of Montreal by Pope Leo XIII in 1897, the year this photograph was taken. His paternal grandparents were of Italian ancestry.