Article by M.C. Havey, Archivist
Two papers on the media career of Rev. Matthew Meehan opened the annual conference of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association (CCHA) on May 28 at the University of Waterloo.
With the assistance of photographs from the Edmonton-Toronto archives, M.C. Havey outlined the details of Fr. Meehan’s life that prepared him for 51 years as a broadcaster and columnist, which began in 1947 on the CBC and ended with a final magazine column just before his death in 1998.
Carol Hopp, an archivist and specialist in audio-visual records at the Archives of Ontario where the Meehan media collection was donated in 2010, described the historical significance of his media records as “defining the beginnings of Ontario’s religious media history.”
Each of the archivists showed a short clip of one of Fr. Meehan’s CHCH-TV programs from the mid-1980s, focusing on the content, production and interviewing skill.
The CCHA conference, part of the annual Congress of the Humanities, attracts Catholic scholars. Professor Mark McGowan of the University of St. Michael’s College, who is researching a history of religious broadcasting in Canada, introduced the session about Fr. Meehan’s media career.
The paper, which was presented at the conference, is being prepared for publication in the CCHA’s Historical Studies Journal.