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Religion

Religion [Lat, religio, "respect for what is sacred"] may be defined as the relationship between human beings and their transcendent source of value. In practice it may involve various forms of communication with a higher power, such as prayers, rituals at critical stages in life, meditation or "possession" by spiritual agencies.

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November 30, -1

Louis-Alexandre Taschereau

Religion 

Taschereau’s Special Commission on Education

In 1924, Quebec Premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau established a Special Commission on Education to examine the case of Jewish students in Quebec’s public school system. After the commissioners remained at an impasse, Taschereau referred the 1903 Act to the Quebec Court of Appeal. It concluded that the Act violated section 93 of the BNA Act and was therefore invalid. Jews had no legal rights to attend Protestant schools, teach or serve as commissioners. The court also ruled that the Quebec government did not have the authority to set up separate schools. The government appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1926, it upheld the appeal court rulings but concluded that the provincial government had the right to establish separate schools. In 1928, the case was referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain, which agreed with the Supreme Court. (See also Jewish School Question.)

May 22, 1611

Port-Royal (Champlain's Drawing)

Religion 

First Jesuits Arrive in New France

The first Jesuits to arrive in New France, Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé, arrived at Port-Royal on May 22, 1611.

June 24, 1615

New France

Religion 

First Mass in New France

Father Denis Jamet performed the first mass ever celebrated in New France on the Île de Montréal.

January 06, 1642

Religion 

Maisonneuve Plants Cross

Sieur de Maisonneuve planted a cross near Mont Royal on the Feast of the Epiphany.

March 16, 1649

Martyrdom of the Jesuits

Religion 

Jesuits Killed

Jesuit missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Charles Lalemant were executed by the Haudenosaunee.

June 16, 1659

Laval, François de

Religion 

Laval Arrives at Québec

Monseigneur de Laval arrived at Québec as Vicar-apostolic in New France. He became Bishop in 1674.

March 26, 1663

Laval, François de

Religion 

Laval Founds Seminary

Bishop Laval founded the Québec Seminary (Grand Séminaire) to train priests throughout the diocese.

May 01, 1688

Place Royale Reconstruction

Religion 

Oldest Church in Canada

The first stone was laid for Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest surviving church in Canada, in Place Royal, Québec.

July 01, 1698

Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

Religion 

Marguerite Bourgeoys Establishes Congrégation

Marguerite Bourgeoys established the Congrégation de Nôtre-Dame at Montréal.On 1 July 1698 the secular sisters took simple vows and became a recognized noncloistered religious community.

January 12, 1700

Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

Religion 

Death of Marguerite Bourgeoys

Marguerite Bourgeoys, Canada's first woman saint, died at Montréal. She was canonized in 1982.

October 15, 1701

Religion 

Birth of Marie d'Youville

Mére Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, who was founder of the Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montréal and the first Canadian-born person to be beatified, was born at Varennes, Qué.

September 01, 1824

Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal (exterior view)

Religion 

Cornerstone of Notre-Dame

The cornerstone of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Montréal was laid; it is the oldest surviving Gothic Revival church in Canada.

June 07, 1829

Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal (exterior view)

Religion 

Notre-Dame Dedicated

Notre-Dame Church in Montréal was dedicated.

June 05, 1832

Hart & Papineau

Religion 

Jews Receive Rights

A law giving Jews legal rights was passed in the Lower Canada Assembly. By 1768, the number of Jews in Montréal had grown, and the community established Canada's first synagogue, Shearith Israel. Jews had also settled in Québec City and other parts of Lower Canada. Ezekiel Hart had been elected to the legislature of Lower Canada in 1807 but was denied his seat on the basis of his religion.

October 18, 1840

Fort Edmonton

Religion 

First Cleric in Alberta

Robert Rundle arrived at Fort Edmonton, the first permanent cleric in what became Alberta.

November 25, 1851

Religion 

First YMCA

Francis Grafton and James Clexton established the first North American chapter of the YMCA in Montréal.

January 01, 1854

Religion 

Founding of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

The Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery was established on Mount Royal for Montreal’s francophone Catholic community. As of 2021, it was the largest cemetery in Canada.

January 01, 1854

Religion 

Montreal’s First Jewish Cemetery Is Established

Montreal’s first Jewish cemetery — Shearith Israel — was established on Mount Royal. It was followed in 1863 by Shaar Hashomayim.

July 02, 1865

Religion 

Booth Founds Salvation Army

At a revivalist meeting at Whitechapel, London, England, William Booth formed the Salvation Army. The Army came to Canada in 1882.

July 01, 1867

Religion 

BNA Act Protects Some Minority Religious Education Rights

The British North America Act of 1867 gave provinces authority over education with one significant exception: Section 93 of the Act protected the religious education rights of the Protestant minority in Quebec and the Roman Catholic minority in Ontario. In Quebec, a dual confessional school system, controlled by Protestants and Roman Catholics, became entrenched in law. Although Jews and members of other faiths could attend either Protestant or Catholic schools, they did not possess equal education rights.

September 16, 1870

Religion 

Rome Surrenders

Rome surrendered to the Italian troops who wanted to bring about Italian unification. Canadian Zouaves arrived too late to take part in the battle.

September 02, 1875

Religion 

Guibord Affair

An attempt to bury Joseph Guibord in the Roman Catholic cemetery at Montréal failed. After the burial was accomplished under armed guard, Bishop Bourget deconsecrated the plot of ground where Guibord's body lay.

January 25, 1876

Religion 

George McDougall Lost

Missionary George McDougall was lost in a prairie blizzard during a buffalo hunt and froze to death.

June 07, 1886

Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau, archbishop and cardinal

Religion 

Taschereau Made First Cardinal

Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau was created the first Canadian cardinal.

July 12, 1888

Religion 

Jesuits' Estates Act

The Jesuits' Estates Act was passed by the Québec legislature, authorizing payment of $400 000 for property confiscated from the Jesuit Order.

January 01, 1903

Religion 

Pinsler Case and Education Act, 1903

After a Protestant school board refused to honour a scholarship won by Jacob Pinsler, the son of Jewish immigrants, the Pinslers sued. However, the Quebec Superior Court upheld the board’s position because only Protestants and Roman Catholics had constitutional education guarantees. Fallout from the Pinsler case led to the adoption of the Education Act in 1903. It stipulated that Jews would be considered Protestants for educational purposes, and the Protestant board would receive funding based on enrolment. Nevertheless, problems persisted and dissatisfaction on all sides increased. (See also Jewish School Question.)

April 25, 1903

Religion 

Jewish Education Rights (Québec)

The Québec legislature adopted legislation requiring Jews to pay their taxes to the Protestant schools panel and granting them education rights equal to those of Protestants. In 1928, the Privy Council ruled that the 1903 Act was ultra vires (beyond legal authority).

August 10, 1905

Religion 

Birth of Hilwie Hamdon

Hilwie Hamdon led the Muslim community around Edmonton in building the Al Rashid mosque — Canada’s first mosque. She was a leader in her community and inspired other Muslim women to take on leadership roles.

June 10, 1925

Religion 

First United Church Services

The first services of the United Church of Canada took place.

April 01, 1930

Religion 

The David Bill is Enacted in Quebec

In April 1930, the Liberal government of Premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau passed a law to create  a Jewish school board in Quebec. Under the statute, government-appointed Jewish commissioners were legally required to continue negotiations with the Protestant and Catholic school boards. However, the commissioners obtained few concessions other than an end to segregation. Discriminatory practices in hiring and religious education continued, as did taxation without representation. Opposition to the David Bill — named after Provincial Secretary Athanase David — erupted. Support within the Jewish community was split. The Roman Catholic Church denounced the Bill and French-Canadian nationalists protested. The Bill was repealed in 1931. (See also Jewish School Question.)

June 29, 1930

Martyrdom of the Jesuits

Religion 

Brébeuf Canonized

The eight Jesuit martyrs (including Father Brébeuf) killed by the Iroquois in the 1640s were canonized as the first North American saints.

December 12, 1938

Religion 

First Mosque in Canada Opens

Canada’s first mosque, Al Rashid in Edmonton, was funded through initiatives from the Arab community, led by Hilwie Hamdon. The Al Rashid Mosque has played a significant role in the growth of the Muslim community in Alberta and across the country.

December 23, 1945

Religion 

McGuigan a Cardinal

Pope Pius XII named Archbishop James McGuigan of Toronto a cardinal.

March 07, 1965

Roman Catholic Mass in Igloolik, Nunavut

Religion 

First Masses in English

Roman Catholic churches in Canada celebrated mass in English and other vernacular languages for the first time.

June 22, 1980

Religion 

Kateri Tekakwitha Beatified

Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk, was the first North American Indian to be beatified.

May 23, 1982

Saint Joseph's Oratory

Religion 

Brother André Beatified

Brother André was formally beatified.

October 31, 1982

Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

Religion 

Marguerite Bourgeoys Canonized

Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal, was canonized (the first Canadian woman made a saint).

October 23, 1983

Religion 

Dedication of Guan Yin Buddhist Temple

The Guan Yin Buddhist Temple in Richmond, BC, was dedicated. Designed by architect Vincent Kwan, it is the most architecturally authentic Chinese imperial-style Buddhist temple in North America.

February 28, 1985

Religion 

Zündel Convicted of Intolerance

Ernst Zündel was convicted of publishing false news causing harm to racial tolerance by publishing his claims that the mass extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany never occurred. The conviction was later overturned on constitutional grounds.

April 24, 1985

Religion 

Lord's Day Act Ruled Contrary

The Supreme Court of Canada found that the Lord's Day Act was contrary to the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Charter of Rights.

September 20, 1987

Religion 

Pope Visits Fort Simpson

Pope John Paul II visited Fort Simpson, NWT.

October 05, 1994

Religion 

Temple Murders and Suicides

Fifty-three members of the religious cult, the Order of the Solar Temple, were found dead in Switzerland and Canada, apparent victims of a series of murders and suicides.

July 26, 1996

Religion 

Bishop Convicted of Sex Crimes

A BC court convicted Roman Catholic bishop Hubert O'Conner of sex crimes committed at St Joseph's Mission, near Williams Lake, in the late 1960s.

January 01, 1997

Religion 

BNA Amendment Allows Neutral Linguistic School Boards

The Jewish School Question was finally resolved in 1997 when section 93 of the BNA Act was amended. This enabled the creation of religiously neutral linguistic school boards to replace confessional schools in Quebec. The transition to a secular public school system granted legal education rights to the Jewish community in Quebec after more than 100 years of inequality.

November 18, 1997

Religion 

Constitution Act Amended

Parliament voted to amend the 1982 Constitution Act in order to allow Québec to replace its religion-based school system with one drawn along linguistic lines.

March 16, 1998

Religion 

Vatican Apologizes to Jews

The Vatican issued a long-awaited statement apologizing for the Roman Catholic Church's failure to take action against Nazi Germany's killing of the Jews.

September 15, 1999

Religion 

Church Refuses to Apologize

Québec's Roman Catholic Church refused to apologize to 3,000 orphans who claimed that they were sexually and physically abused in church-run institutions. The children had been declared mentally ill to qualify for federal subsidies.

February 07, 2000

Religion 

Death of Wilfred Smith

Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the Canadian-born scholar of Islam, died in Toronto. He had established or directed centres for religious studies at McGill, Dalhousie, U of T and Harvard.

January 01, 2001

Religion 

Religious Tolerance and the Kirpan

In 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a Québec student had the right to wear a kirpan while in school. The Québec Court of Appeal struck down the decision in 2004, ruling that community safety was more important than wearing the ceremonial dagger, but in 2006 the Supreme Court again decided that religious tolerance was to be encouraged in Canadian society and that a total ban infringed on the guarantee of religious freedom under the Charter of Rights.

November 21, 2007

Religion 

Ouellet Apology

In an open letter to Québec newspapers, Cardinal Marc Ouellet issued an apology for errors committed by the Roman Catholic Church, asking Quebeckers to forgive the institution for its former attitudes toward anti-Semitism and racism, indifference to First Nations, and discrimination against homosexuals and women.

March 04, 2017

Religion 

Death of Edna Rose Ritchings

Vancouver-born Edna Rose Ritchings, who led the International Peace Mission Movement and was also known as Mother Divine and Sweet Angel, died at the age of 92.

March 13, 2017

Religion 

Death of Vincent Foy

Roman Catholic priest Vincent Foy, an opponent of contraception who served for the Archdiocese of Toronto for 78 years, died at the age of 101.

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