Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 27, 2009
Knights fundraise for unique Catholic college
Education students benefit from receiving sound Catholic theology
Southern Alberta Knights are fundraising to pay for St. Mary's College renovations.
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
CALGARY — The councils of the Knights of Columbus in southern Alberta have raised about $80,000 to help renovate the convocation hall and classrooms at St. Mary’s College in Calgary through pancake breakfasts, dinners and other fundraising events.
This is certainly short of what the Knights had anticipated, but funds are still coming in and activities are still being planned, says Past State Deputy Leo Klein, who is in charge of the fundraising.
The goal is to raise $250,000, which includes a $100,000 donation request to the Supreme Council. The convocation hall, soon to be named Father Michael McGivney Hall in honour of the Knights’ founder, is a former United Church building bought by St. Mary’s to accommodate its bachelor of education degree.
The building, built in 1989 and attached to St. Mary’s, is structurally in excellent shape.
But it required extensive renovations to develop classrooms, a curriculum lab, a student study area, a new altar and a chapel for the students.
Many renovations were done prior to September 2008 and students are already occupying the building. But the project is not yet completed. Total costs of renovations are estimated at $1 million.
“This facility is drastically needed to accommodate the education degree program, which is based on Catholicism,” says Klein. “The young boys and girls that will graduate with their degree programs at Father McGivney Hall will ultimately go out into our school system with a good knowledge of Catholic theology.”
Klein, Guy Blasetti, Leo Bunz and Wally Muscoby are all part of the Father Michael J. McGivney Hall Fundraising Committee.
St. Mary’s University College is a Catholic liberal arts university college that on the date of its establishment in 1986, was the first new Catholic university college in Canada since the 1950s. It has grown from only 25 students in September 1997 to about 700.
Since its inception, St. Mary’s University College has had as a priority the creation of a bachelor of education (BEd) degree program specifically directed to educate teachers for the Catholic school systems in Alberta and Canada. The province authorized it to begin in September 2008.
SIXTY COUNCILS INVOLVED
About 60 councils in southern Alberta, which is covered by the Calgary Diocese, are involved in the fundraising effort.
“Up to now what we’ve done is appeal to individual brother knights and we have sent our brochures to councils in the southern part of Alberta,” Klein says.
“Some of the councils still had some bingo money or gaming funds from their previous activities until the bishop asked us to get out of gambling. But councils have raised funds through several means, including fundraising banquets and pancake breakfasts in their own parishes.”
The Knights are planning ethnic fundraising dinners and silent auctions as future fundraisers. An English-Italian parish has already offered to organize an Italian dinner to raise funds for St. Mary’s.
“I’m delighted with their support,” said St. Mary’s president Terrence Downey. “We don’t get any capital funds, so their support allows us to offer this bachelor of education.”