My Heart's Best Wishes for You: A Biography of Archbishop John Walsh by John P. Comiskey

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Plucked from obscurity and handed a destiny - this was the life of John Walsh (1830-1898), an Irish immigrant to Toronto who became the true founder of the diocese of London, Ontario. As he repaired the damage done by his predecessor, Pierre-Adolphe Pinsoneault, Walsh used his persuasive powers and talent for teaching to ensure that the diocese would prosper. Biographer John Comiskey illustrates Walsh's struggle to build up his diocese while promoting Catholics for positions of influence in society.

Walsh's life unfolded in nineteenth-century Ontario, a period filled with hopes for growth and prosperity, but also saddled with deeply rooted anti-Catholic sentiments. At the same time, English-speaking Catholics were establishing themselves within the Church in Canada as distinct from their French-speaking counterparts. Walsh encouraged new forms of cooperation, a type of ecumenism between Catholics and Protestants, and a growing respect for English Catholics as rightful leaders in society. Walsh also developed new approaches to collegiality among bishops and fostered collaborations between the clergy and laity, and became a beloved figure to both parishioners and the epoch's major figures - including Prime Minister John A. Macdonald.

My Heart's Best Wishes for You makes a significant contribution to the history of the Church in the nineteenth century and the growing acceptance of Catholics in English Canada.

McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9780773540132. 264 pp.
Hardcover. Near fine in a near fine jacket.