Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 24, 2010
Newman bursary honours Johnstone's contributions
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
EDMONTON - Justice Cecilia Johnstone, would have been thrilled with the first woman to receive the bursary set up in her honour. The former chief justice on Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench was a prominent Catholic woman with a passion for her Church.
Her faith as a Catholic informed her career, leading her to a life of excellence in pursuit of the common good. She was concerned with the academic formation for others who, like herself, wanted to bring their faith to bear on the questions facing us today.
She had a passionate belief in the importance of faith and faith education, and to that end undertook service to the Church becoming the first female chancellor of Newman Theological College.
Following her death in 2006, the Cecilia Johnstone Bursary was established in her memory to encourage women to develop their theological knowledge and pastoral skills so that they could better serve our Church and our world.
Master of divinity student, Brittney White, has the same generous heart and tenacious spirit that Justice Johnstone exemplified throughout her life. Like Johnstone, Brittney exudes a love for life and a determination to make the world a better place for those on the fringes of society.
Where Johnstone's professional life reflected her commitment for the advancement of women and gender equality in the legal profession, White's interests have developed a passion in her for causes of social justice and the pursuit of equality for all.
With the help of the Cecilia Johnstone Bursary, Brittney has been able to continue her studies in social justice and to deepen her faith through her studies in theology at Newman Theological College.
It was her determination to instruct others in the rich social tradition of the Catholic Church that led Brittney to graduate studies at Newman Theological College.
Today besides studying theology, Brittney works as a pastoral assistant at St. Albert Parish, coordinates numerous local service experiences for youth, leads biennial trips to the Oblate Guatemala Mission and works at the Youth Emergency Shelter on weekends. Her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and love for all people made her the ideal first recipient for this bursary award.
Brittney is only one of a large number of women who have studied theology at Newman Theological College over the years.
Female graduates from Newman Theological College are working in a wide variety of pastoral positions throughout the Church in Western Canada: in hospital, prison and military chaplaincy, in campus ministry, as religious educators, diocesan directors and in Adult Faith Formation. They are involved in retreat ministry and many of them work as pastoral assistants in parishes.
This year, Newman Theological College will once again award this bursary to another worthy recipient. If you are interested in studying theology to learn more about your faith, to serve in a parish, to engage in youth ministry or to equip yourself theologically for a career in chaplaincy, you may want to look into the Cecilia Johnstone Bursary or other bursaries available through Newman Theological College.
(Doreen Bloos is dean of students at Newman Theological College.)
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