Marian Doors Commission

For Saint Michael’s Cathedral/Basilica

Toronto – Canada






Photography by Sabrina Ramroop

Carving the Third Joyful Mystery.  St. Michael’s College studio.



Marian Doors Commission

St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica



The Rosary Story told in bas-relief sculpture.


Photography by Farhad Nargol-O'Neill

Original drawings of Marian Doors.


Farhad Nargol-O’Neill, from Unionville, Ontario, grew up in the York Catholic school system, and later attended York University in Toronto, Canada where he studied music.  


Photography by Concrete Pictures

Carving in Bell Tower Studio.



Though a music major at university when he graduated in 1991, Farhad had spent ample time in the sculpture studio, learning or teaching himself the technique of making sculptural works in metal.  Upon graduation, he taught music and made and sold art.    In 1995 he moved to his mother’s native city of Belfast to open a full-time sculpture studio.  His stay lasted ten years, and his work went out as private, public and diplomatic commissions, and exhibitions to many parts of Ireland, Germany, Spain, America, Jordan, Cyprus and Tunisia.  He is, in the main, a self-taught artist.


Photography by Farhad Nargol-O'Neill

Sketchbooks and tools.


Farhad returned to Canada in 2004 and continued to show his work, a Canadian highlight from this period being the “Corpus et Spiritus” sculpture commission for the York Catholic District School Board, Catholic Education Centre in Aurora, Canada, headed by Director of Education Susan LaRosa, and, supported by Fred DeGasperis.  presiding at the opening, was His Grace, Archbishop Thomas Collins, and following the commission, they became friends and stayed in touch.  


Photography by Farhad Nargol-O'Neill

Fourth and Fifth Joyful Mystery carvings.


In January of 2014, at the suggestion of Cardinal Collins, Farhad met with the Rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto, Fr. Michael Busch.  He proposed the creation of Marian Doors to tell the story of the Rosary.  Fr. Michael Busch agreed to the idea in principle and suggested that the north and south transepts is where the “canvas” should be used.  It was agreed that the Joyful and Glorious Mysteries be carved for the north transept doors, with that transept remaining as the Chapel to the Blessed Virgin, while the south transept, which would remain the Chapel to the Sacred Heart, would contain within its doors both the Sorrowful and the Luminous Mysteries.  It was also suggested that Farhad should attempt to make the images of the rosary specific to the cathedral, which he has subsequently done.


Photography by Farhad Nargol-O'Neill

Carving the Fourth Joyful Mystery.  Bell Tower studio.


Work began in January of 2014.   In September 2016, Farhad was made Artist-in-Residence of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and allowed the use of a private studio to continue the design and carving of the bas-reliefs for the Marian Doors.  The carving will finally come to an end, four-and-a-half years after beginning, in the summer of 2018. Then the work is off for casting, gilding and installation to complete the rosary story for the north and south transept doors of the beautiful St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica.


Photography by Concrete Pictures

Explaining drawing.  Bell Tower studio.



Photography by Concrete Pictures

Speaking with Paul Cormac (left) from Concrete Pictures.  Bell Tower studio.



Photography by Concrete Pictures

Explaining drawings.  Bell Tower studio.



Donations to the Marian Doors Commission would be most appreciated.  For more information, please contact St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica at (416) 364-0234 xt. 253 or


Photography by Farhad Nargol-O'Neill

Fifth Joyful Mystery.  Gilded Bronze.


Photography by VG Architects

Architects rendering of Transept.



Thank you for your generous support.






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