Aug 26, 2011

Catholic community mourns the loss of Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic

Catholic Community Mourns the Loss of Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic

Toronto (August 26, 2011). With great sadness, the Archdiocese announces that His Eminence, Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, retired Archbishop of Toronto, died earlier today, after a lengthy illness, at the age of 81. The late Cardinal was a priest for 56 years, bishop for 35 years and served as 9th Archbishop of Toronto from 1990 to 2006.

Aloysius Ambrozic was born in 1930 in Dobrova, Slovenia, the second of seven children. In May 1945, the entire family fled to Austria, living in several refugee camps, where the young Ambrozic completed his high school education. In September 1948, the family immigrated to Canada and settled near Markham, Ontario. Shortly afterwards, Aloysius Ambrozic entered St. Augustine’s Seminary, a spiritual home he would return to often as a student, professor, bishop, archbishop and cardinal.

After almost 21 years as a diocesan priest, Fr. Ambrozic was named an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Toronto in 1976. Bishop Ambozic served alongside Archbishop Philip Pocock and Emmett Cardinal Carter, before his appointment as Archbishop of Toronto on March 17, 1990. In January 1998, Pope John Paul II nominated him as Cardinal, a position that resulted in his participation in the conclave of 2005 that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Ambrozic served on a number of Vatican committees related to immigration, culture, worship and the economy. He also hosted the largest gathering of Catholic youth in Canadian history, World Youth Day 2002, that culminated in the celebration of Mass by Pope John Paul II at Downsview Park for more than 750,000 pilgrims.

The Cardinal’s legacy is commemorated in several places throughout the GTA, including Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School in Brampton as well as the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence, the long-term care facility in Scarborough, where the Cardinal spent his final months.

Archbishop Thomas Collins, the cardinal’s successor as Archbishop of Toronto, offered his condolences to the Ambrozic family and Catholics across the Archdiocese:

“Cardinal Ambrozic's tremendous contributions to the spiritual life of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the heritage of his wisdom, his knowledge, and his love of the priesthood will remain with us all.”

The Cardinal will lie in state at St. Michael’s Cathedral for a public viewing, dates and times to be determined. His funeral Mass will also take place at the Cathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese.

An online tribute to Cardinal Ambrozic including photos, a complete biography and other relevant information can be found at:


Anonymous said...

May God bless his faithful and beloved priest.

Anonymous said...

Eternal rest grant unto Cardinal Ambrozic Lord. May her erest in peace. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Toronto Catholic District School Board said...

The Toronto Catholic District School Board community extends our sincere sympathy. His Eminence was well-known to our community as Honorary Director of the TCDSB from 1990 until 2006. We join other Catholics across the Archdiocese in commemorating his devotion to scripture and religious education and offer our condolences to his family.

jjh said...

In his homily at the Opening Mass of World Youth Day, the late Cardinal said: "In our day-to-day life, in our words, in our most ordinary actions and our entire way of acting and reacting we are asked to show God's countenance to the world. We are asked to be ready to make our defense to anyone who demands from us an accounting for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). When occasions arise we ought to present, calmly and confidently, the faith we live by; we must refuse to feign the politically correct tolerance which imagines that all religions and convictions and values are equally valid. Through us, the world is to be drawn to Jesus, and with him to the Father." Cardinal Ambrozic tried to live these words. Like the rest of us, he did not always live up to them. But generally, often quietly and simply, sometimes reluctantly in the glare of the media's scrutiny, he carried out his responsibilities with sincerity. May God grant his faithful servant eternal happiness.

Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace Cardinal Ambrozic. May the perpetual light shine upon you and grant you eternal peace. My condolences to your family, your community, and the Catholic Church.

Angelo Minardi said...

This morning I was informed by the Archdiocese of Toronto and a family member of Cardinal Ambrozic of the passing late last night of His Eminence Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic. Having been provided the gift of opening the doors to Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School in Brampton back in September 2009 has allowed our school to inform ourselves more deeply on the life of Cardinal Ambrozic. A man of poignant words and character. Not afraid to speak about the issues that were in the minds of many and that triggered a passionate response by many in society at large and within the Catholic Church community. Although his physical presence was at times daunting and maybe even intimidating, he was very gentle and soft spoken. He had a keen interest in the needs of the poor and refugees. He was a man of justice and of the Lord. A faithful servant of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Holy See. He will be forever remembered in our hearts and prayers.

Blessed are those who have died in the Lord; let them rest from their labors for their good deeds go with them.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Chaplaincy Leader,
Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School, Brampton Ontario

barryc said...

Very saddened to read of the passing of Bishop Ambrozic, as I remember him. When I attended Blessed Trinity Elementary School in the 1970's, Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic confirmed myself and all my siblings at the Church. I remember him as being kind, warm and a forthright man. His nephews also went to the same school-wonderful family. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

In the early 1980's, a timid young woman requested an appointment with the bishop in order to discern a calling to the ancient rite of Consecrated Virginity. Bishop Ambrozic was the epitome of a kind father, patient, insightful, gentle, highly spiritual, full of grace, with an undercurrent of fierce strength and courage. I am forever grateful to the then Bishop Ambrozic for granting me the gift of his time and counsel. May his great gentle soul rest in peace, and may he continue to guide the faithful from his state of blessedness.

John Hughes said...

Instead of being sad let us rejoice that our former Arch Bishop Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozio is now with our father in heaven

Anonymous said...

Happened to known His Eminence's biography and passing through internet. It is very grateful to His Eminence Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic done for the refugees at large, especially for the Vietnamese catholics. May God grant His Eminence an eternal life in peace.