Sunday January 20th. 2013 Charity registration No. SC002876   Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Main Menu Sister Helen Cameron, IBVM, Guelp, Ontario Recently, I  received an email from Sister Helen  Cameron, Guelph, Ontario, asking if I would be good enough to send her a copy of the book I wrote about Fr. Alexander Cameron, which  which gave me great pleasure to do so. She wrote: I'm several thousand miles away, a Catholic Sister (belonging to the community founded by Ven.  Mary Ward in 1611), living and working in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in a Catholic High School named for the first Bishop of  English Canada, Rev. Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry. My own Cameron ancestors came from Nethy Bridge around 1817, having taken advantage of a land grant available to soldiers who had fought in the war of 1812.All of our family were staunchly Presbyterian until my grandfather married a French- Canadian Catholic. Many thanks for doing the research and writing about this priest, and blessings in this New Year. Sister Helen The town of Guelph was founded  in  1823. It is considered to be one of the first planned towns in Canada and was chosen as the headquarters of a British development firm known as the "Canada Company". The location was picked by the Company's Superintendent in Canada, a popular Scottish novelist named John Galt who designed the town to attract settlers to it and to the surrounding countryside. Galt chose the name "Guelph" for the new town because it was one of the family names of the British royal family, and it had apparently never been used as a place name. Hence the current use of the term "The Royal City" for Guelph. When the Grand Trunk Rail road reached it from Toronto in 1856. it developed into the thriving city of today.   In an article written by Sister Cameron, she mentions the part played by her own religious order: In 1856, four Loretto Sisters arrived in Guelph, Ontario, to begin what is now the second-oldest IBVM mission in North America.Out of those small beginnings of a one-room convent school for girls grew the the Catholic school system for that city and beyond.    On the 125th anniversary of our arrival in Guelph, the history students at Bishop Macdonell High school, the secondary school which developed out of Loretto Academy, made a time capsule with various artifacts from 1981: , letters and memorabilia.  On December 6th of this year, the 150th anniversary of an IBVM presence in Guelph, the time capsule was opened, the former students retrieved their artefacts, and a new history class added some of their own.  IBVMs and former school staff were invited to be part of this evening of prayer, memories and laughter, and among other items added to the time capsule in 2006 is a  Loretto around the World, which  will be opened in 2031.  (IBVM is the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, formerly  the Loretto Sisters) Bishop Alexander Macdonell  was born 17 July, 1762, at Glen  Urquhart, Inchlaggan. He was one of the heather priests. His early  education was at Bourblach, Loch Morar. He attended the Scots  Colleges at Paris and Valladolid. He was ordained a priest on 16  February 1787 at Valladolid. After the eviction of his kinsmen, Father  Macdonell led them to Glasgow and later formed them into the The  Glengarry Fencibles regiment, of which he served as chaplain, the  first Catholic chaplain in the British Army since the Reformation.   When the regiment was disbanded, Fr. Macdonell appealed to the  government to grant its members a tract of land in Canada, and, in  1804, 160,000 acres were provided in what is now Glengarry County,  Canada.He was ordained as Titular Bishop of Thabraca on  December  31st, 1820, and was appointed  Bishop of Kingston, Ontario, on January  27th, 1826.The above is just a small excerpt from the very full  information sent to me by Sister Cameron. Bishop Macdonell’s work in  Canada  was outstanding.  I will serialise it in forthcoming Bulletins as  it will be of immense interest to many of our parishioners  We send our good wishes to Sister Helen from the parish Bishop Alexander Macdonell Bishop Macdonell High School where Sister Helen teaches