Archbishop Martin Michael Johnson

JohnsonArchbishop Martin Michael Johnson (1899–1975)

Date of Birth:
March 18, 1899, Toronto, Ontario

June 14, 1924, by Archbishop Neil McNeil, Toronto, Ontario

Episcopal Ordination:
September 29, 1936, by Cardinal James McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto, assisted by Bishop John Kidd, Bishop of Calgary, and Archbishop Joseph-Guillaume-Laurent Forbes, Archbishop of Ottawa, at St. Michael’s Cathedral, Toronto

Length of Episcopacy:

Motto: Da nobis pacem. (Grant us peace.)

After his ordination in 1924, Archbishop Martin Johnson, then Father Johnson, began working in various parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto. In 1931, he became the bursar at St. Augustine’s Seminary, and four years later, in 1935, he was appointed chancellor in spiritualibus for the Archdiocese of Toronto. He was elected the first bishop of Nelson on July 18, 1936, and was ordained a bishop on September 29, 1939, at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto. Johnson-coatHe remained in Nelson for eighteen years until being appointed titular archbishop of Cius and coadjutor bishop to Archbishop William Duke on November 27, 1954. Archbishop Johnson’s primary task when he arrived in the Archdiocese was arranging capital financing and managing the expansion of diocesan services and churches. Upon the retirement of Archbishop Duke on March 11, 1964, he became Archbishop of Vancouver. He oversaw the formation of the first Catholic school board in the Archdiocese, centralized Catholic services, and worked to restructure Catholic education. Archbishop Johnson attended Vatican II and called himself a “Vatican II man.” He resigned as Archbishop of Vancouver on January 8, 1969, and died on January 29, 1975, at Lions Gate Hospital, at age 75. Credit: Gordon Pinkerton

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