Cardinal-designate <st1:personname w:st="on">Thomas Collins, a former Archbishop of Edmonton and current Archbishop of Toronto, is among 22  Bishops and priests who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals during the Consistory that will take place in Vatican City on February 18, 2012. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, had announced the nomination of the new Cardinals on January 6, 2012. Archbishop Collins will become the fourth Cardinal in the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the 16th Cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region>. <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> will now have three Cardinals. The two others are His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal, and His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and former Archbishop of Quebec City.

The new Cardinal will be accompanied by a delegation from the Archdiocese of Toronto together with members of his family and representatives from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.   The official representative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will be the Most Reverend <st1:personname w:st="on">Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Gatineau and Vice-President of the CCCB.  The Catholic Channel Salt + Light Television will offer extensive live and pre-recorded coverage of the consistory celebrations on the weekend of February 18-21 (see schedule).

In a statement issued January 6, CCCB President Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, congratulated Archbishop Collins on behalf of all the Bishops of Canada. “Cardinal-designate Collins has already provided excellent leadership for the Church in Toronto and throughout Canada by his dedication to and involvement in lectio divina, the quality of his preaching, and for his insistence on safe and secure environments in our communities for the vulnerable and the young,” the CCCB President stated.

Archbishop Collins was born in 1947 in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Guelph, <st1:state w:st="on">Ontario. He holds a licentiate in Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in <st1:city w:st="on">Rome and a doctorate in theology from the <st1:placename w:st="on">Pontifical <st1:placename w:st="on">Gregorian <st1:placetype w:st="on">University, also in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rome. He was ordained priest in 1973 for the Diocese of Hamilton. In March 1997, he was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Paul in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alberta, and in June of the same year succeeded the Most Reverend Raymond Roy as Bishop of Saint-Paul. In February 1999, Pope John Paul II appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Edmonton, and in June that year he succeeded the Most Reverend Joseph N. MacNeil as Archbishop of Edmonton. On December 15, 2006, he was appointed Archbishop of Toronto, in which capacity he also became an ex officio member of the CCCB Permanent Council.