Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
March 26, 2001
Where faith, knowledge are one
St. Joe's College lauded as a beacon to society
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
EDMONTON — Students, faculty and alumni of St. Joseph's College joined with local dignitaries at St. Joseph's Basilica March 18 to thank the college for its 75 years of contributing to the life of Church and society.
Basilian Father Ronald Fabbro described the college as "a welcoming place for students and faculty to grow in their Catholic faith and to integrate it in their education and training."
Fabbro, superior general of the Basilian Fathers, referred to the resilience of the college, which has faced many changes and adjustments over the years, especially in its relationship to "an enormous secular university."
"St. Joseph's College is a beacon," he asserted, "for those who are searching for what it means to be righteous in our relationship to the world, our nation, our society and our God."
U of A Chancellor John Ferguson spoke about how strong and mutually beneficial the relationship of the college and the larger university community has been.
Quoting the college's motto, Teach Me Whatever Things Are True, he singled out the ethics and theology courses offered at St. Joseph's as contributing uniquely to the university's endless search for truth.
College President Basilian Father Timothy Scott, who concelebrated along with Archbishop Thomas Collins and Fabbro, alluded to the rich texture of college life.
Scott spoke of teaching, research, campus ministries, student services and residence life as contributing to the building of community and the growth of wisdom, knowledge and faith.
Many at the reception that followed the Mass were eager to tell of their affection for St. Joseph's.
Dr. Rebecca Davis Mathias, who has taught ethics at the college for two years, described it as "small but mighty." She appreciated the small class sizes, which allow her to get to know her students well. At the same time, being at the heart of a giant campus allows access to a vast reservoir of research materials and resources, she said.
Dr. Joe Buijs has taught philosophy at St. Joseph's for 20 years. He said the college has grown significantly in its academic presence within the university, providing a greater variety of courses to a wider range of students, both Catholic and non-Catholic.
Buijs pointed to a recent increase in students from the faculties of education and medicine attending courses at the college, with the latter showing special interest in medical ethics.
Alumnus Matt Hoven, who graduated with a bachelor of education degree in 1998, is now working on a master of divinity at Newman Theological College. He recalled the sense of community at St. Joseph's. Coming from a rural background, he welcomed an atmosphere in which he could get to know almost everyone.
Hoven especially appreciated the college's social justice group with which, under the leadership of faculty member and activist Robert McKeon, he gained hands-on experience ministering to families in Edmonton's inner city.
Third-year education student Lydia Cristini echoed Hoven's praise of the college as a close-knit, supportive community. Like many at the basilica, she also said she appreciated the opportunities the college offered to deepen and enrich her faith and to satisfy her curiosity about theology.
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