Michael Power (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Michael Power (Canadian bishop))
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people of the same name, see Michael Power (disambiguation).
Michael Power
Bishop of Toronto
Church Roman Catholic Church
Archdiocese Toronto
Province Ontario
Diocese Toronto
Installed 1841
Term ended 1847
Predecessor None - newly created diocese from Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston
Successor Armand-François-Marie de Charbonnel
Ordination August 17, 1827
Personal details
Born (1804-10-17)October 17, 1804
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died October 1, 1847(1847-10-01) (aged 42)
Toronto, Canada West
Buried St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto
Nationality Canadian
Residence Toronto
Parents William Power and Mary Roach
Occupation Bishop of Toronto
Alma mater Seminary of St. Sulpice, Montreal and Seminary of Quebec

Michael Power (October 17, 1804 – October 1, 1847) was the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Toronto.

Early years[edit]

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to Captain William Power and Mary Roach. He went to Seminary of St. Sulpice, Montreal and Seminary of Quebec and was ordained a priest in 1827 by Bishop Dubois.[1] He served as missionary priest of the Archdiocese of Québec and the Diocese of Montréal until 1839 when he was appointed Vicar General of Montréal.

First Bishop of Toronto[edit]

Power was canonically erected as Bishop of Toronto in 1841 by Pope Gregory XVI. Father Michael Power was appointed the first Bishop of the new See. He was also the first English-speaking Bishop to be born in Canada.


Bishop Michael Power as portrayed in the film Death or Canada

Bishop Power's most notable achievements were the building of St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto and the Bishop's Palace on Church Street. He also invited the Loretto Sisters (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) from Rathfarnham, Ireland to establish schools in the city, starting education for women and the growth of Ontario's separate schools.

In 2005, Dr. Mark G. McGowan wrote a book about him called, Michael Power: The Struggle to Build the Catholic Church on the Canadian Frontier.

In 2009, Bishop Power was featured prominently in the docudrama Death or Canada, which tells the story of the Irish Famine and its impact on Toronto in 1847. Power is portrayed as the hero of Toronto and is described as a "martyr of charity."[2] A book, also called Death or Canada, accompanies the film and is written by Dr. Mark G. McGowan.


Power's tenure was short, dying from typhus in Toronto on October 1, 1847 while ministering to recently arrived Irish immigrants, escaping the Great Irish Famine. Power's remains are buried in a crypt beneath St. Michael's Cathedral where he had laid the cathedral's cornerstone on May 8, 1845 and dedicated it after his diocese's patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Toronto
Succeeded by
Armand-François-Marie de Charbonnel