McGuigan, James Charles

James Charles McGuigan, cardinal, archbishop of Toronto (b at Hunter River, PEI 26 Nov 1894; d at Toronto 8 Apr 1974). The shy, anglophilic grandson of Irish Catholics who fled Ulster immediately before the Great Famine, McGuigan graduated from St Dunstan's College and Laval. In 1930, when only 35, he was appointed archbishop of Regina and engaged in vigorous efforts to help the poor, but 5 years later was delegated as archbishop of Toronto. McGuigan retrenched Toronto's archdiocesan finances and despite his professed ecumenism extended its separate school system against hysterical opposition lead by the Orange Order and Thomas Todhunter SHIELDS.

On 23 December 1945, McGuigan was nominated Canada's first non-French cardinal. Two years later, Pius XII appointed him legate to Ottawa's Marian Congress; as well the cardinal, a liberal, attended Vatican Council II. However, failing health, beginning with a traffic accident in 1957, lead to his semi-retirement in 1961.