Last Updated: Wednesday - 01/05/2011
November 12, 2001
From math to technology
Newman grads find new kind of challenge in seminary
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — When Deacon Mike Mireau first came to Newman College his interest was in math, because it was harmonious.
"Theology isn't as harmonious as math," said Mireau. "We've got different opinions about this and that."
After less than five years of studying theology Mireau could say that "It has been challenging and rewarding."
Growing in his way of thinking about God and about relationships with each other and the Church is something that would not occur for him while studying math.
"Theology is a challenge, a growing relationship, a kenosis, a self-emptying."
Mireau, who is preparing for ordination to the priesthood for Edmonton Archdiocese, is this year's recipient of the Joseph MacNeil Outstanding Achievement Award at Newman.
He served on the students' council three times, as president, pastoral care chair and senate representative. With 32 other graduates, Mireau received his degree in master of divinity at the annual convocation, Nov. 3.
Guest speaker Bishop Lawrence Huculak of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton urged the graduating class "to get to know (Christ) better through contemplation."
"I hope you realize that you have not captured all the theological knowledge there is . . . as Christ is a mystery and will remain a mystery," Huculak told the graduates.
"Studies aid in the deeper contemplation of God" and in doing pastoral work, Huculak said. However, for Huculak, "Pastoral activity is not busy for its own glory, but it does lead to holiness . . . because we can't be satisfied with religious" mediocrity.
The Rev. Dr. Marion Sutton was the class' valedictorian. "I discovered the richness of unity in diversity at Newman," said the Anglican deacon.
Sutton considers her years at the college as "an experience of great spiritual growth and development."
"I'm quite satisfied with the level of academic development and especially with the level of personal development in terms of my Christian formation," she told the WCR
"It wasn't just what we did in the classroom but the interaction, the community . . . the sharing and caring that has made me more conscious of who I am in Christ," Sutton said.
Borden Petriw is discerning to become a Ukrainian priest for the New Westminster Eparchy in B.C.
Studying at Newman, he said, is the greatest gift he could ever receive from God.
"To be able to take the time to ponder my life, ponder his creativeness, . . . I just can't think of a better journey that I have been on," Petriw told the WCR.
Vice Principal Michelle Dupuis of Bishop Greschuk School received a graduate diploma in religious education.
Her experience of Newman was life giving. "It opened my eyes to the fact that God is with us every moment of every day, in the ordinary things that happen."
Father Kevin Smith of the Winnipeg Archdiocese is now associate pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Brandon, Man.
"Over the last five years, it has been an incredible journey of faith as it has pushed me and stretched me and challenged me," Smith said.
Smith singled out Scripture as the most challenging and inspiring area of studies, although he sees that all other areas are also important and relevant.
"For example in systematic theology, attempting to delve into the mystery of God is such an incredible journey."
Carol Ann Seed, pastoral assistant in Spruce Grove, studied at Newman for three years earning a master of divinity.
"Newman has given me the tools to go out to people and speak about the God who loves us and whom I love," said Seed.
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