Religion. – The missions to Canada followed, of course, the ways of colonization. The maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswirk and Prince Edward Island) with Quebec and Ontario were thus open to evangelization from the beginning of the century. XVII. Even apart from the attempt of the Jesuits Biard and Masse, evangelization was inaugurated in these regions and promoted in 1615 by the Recollets or Reformed Franciscans, in 1625 by the Jesuits themselves (eight of whom were canonized on June 29, 1930) and in 1657 by the Sulpicians, who are usually called the founding fathers of the Canadian church. The region, on the other hand, which embraces the provinces of the West, was essentially open to evangelization only at the end of the last century. For Canada religion, please check thereligionfaqs.com.
Although it is conceivable that the Indians of Canada of whom only 54,000 (about half) are Catholics, before suffering the depressing and demolishing effects of the morality imported among them by the first adventurers and the first settlers, may have been more numerous than now., it is certain that the primitive Canadian church organized first in the Apostolic Vicariate (1659) and almost immediately after in the Diocese (1674) with an episcopal residence in Quebec, was mainly made up of colonists from Europe. This also explains the characteristic phases of its gradual growth.
In fact, the population remained entirely Catholic and French until Canada remained a French colony; later the influx of Anglo-Saxon elements who came either from Europe or from New England and from the other United States at the time especially of the Civil War, was predominantly Protestant, and so it happened that the Protestants ended up numerically overwhelming the Catholics.
According to the 1921 census, the Canadian population is distributed as follows according to the religion they profess:
Of the approximately three million Catholics, 2,019,518 are in the state of Quebec alone. According to the latest statistics yearbook, the Catholic population from 42% as it was in 1921, would be reduced in 1929 to 39% of the entire population to the benefit of the Protestant population.
The Catholic hierarchy began to organize itself in 1659, at which time the country, removed from the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Rouen, was subjected to an apostolic vicar, then awarded the title of bishop of Quebec (1674). The vast diocese remained unique until 1817, when some apostolic vicariates began to be erected for Nova Scotia, Montreal and the regions of the West. This provisional organization was soon to be succeeded by a more stable organization. Today with the erection of the diocese of Gravelbourg (1930), the ecclesiastical circumscriptions of Canada reach the number of 44, of which 11 are archbishops, 25 are bishops, 6 are apostolic vicariates, a Nullius abbeyand an apostolic prefecture. They are then distributed in 10 ecclesiastical provinces (1. Quebec; 2. Montreal; 3. Ottawa; 4. Toronto; 5. Kingston; 6. Halifax; 7. Saint-Boniface; 8. Regina; 9. Edmonton; 10. Vancouver) to which is added an archbishopric without suffragans and immediately subject to the Holy See (Winnipeg). To these ecclesiastical circumscriptions must also be added a national bishopric, residing in Winnipeg, including all Ruthenian Catholics of the Byzantine rite (about 200,000).
The organization of the Anglican confession (1,407,959 followers) is modeled on that of the Catholic Church. The Anglican hierarchy, which began in 1787 with the erection of the diocese of Nova Scotia, now has 26 dioceses distributed in four provinces (1. Canada: maritime provinces and Quebec, Halifax residence; 2. Ontario, Sault Sainte-Marie residence; 3. Rupert’s Land: eastern provinces and territories of NO Winnipeg residence; 4. British Columbia, which recognize the archbishop of Rupert’s Land as primate).
School. – Canada does not have a uniform school organization since each of the nine provinces enjoys absolute autonomy in this field. No federal government body controls individual jurisdictions and the only office that in any way exercises a unifying function is the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, which publishes the Annual Survey of Education in Canada. Primary education is free and compulsory in all provinces, except Quebec. The age limits vary from province to province, but are generally set between 7 or 8 years and 14 or 15. The elementary schools proper, which last seven or eight years, are followed by high schools, or supplementary schools, of one or two courses at most. In secondary schools, teaching is given with criteria of great freedom and pupils have the right to choose most of the subjects of study. The technical and rural schools have great development. Higher education is provided by twenty-three universities, of which six are controlled by the state.
For the whole of Canada, the percentage of illiterate people fell from 19%, as it was in 1891, to 9% in 1921, oscillating from a maximum of 24.9% (Col. Brit.) To a minimum of 3% (Ontario): the figures are naturally higher in the western provinces, where however great efforts have been made for the dissemination of culture.