The 31-voice choir at the Newman College convocation was directed by Melanie Turgeon.

WCR PHOTO | LASHA MORNINGSTAR

The 31-voice choir at the Newman College convocation was directed by Melanie Turgeon.

November 3, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sunshine and joy spilled over Newman Theological College Oct.18 as 37 students graduated during Newman College's 45th convocation ceremony.

Friends and family filled the gorgeous chapel at St. Joseph Seminary. Babies gurgled. Little ones chattered. And adults sat waiting, most with smiles, twitching their programs.

In the previous Mass they heard the homily delivered by St. Paul Bishop Paul Terrio (a former president of the college).

Two graduates won special awards for outstanding achievements.

Terrio drew upon three ideals or qualities from the Bible for the graduates including being a hard worker like Luke, seeing the whole of life in the light of the Paschal Mystery and being "beacons of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in our world."

Angela Veters (master of divinity) won the Archbishop Joseph MacNeil Award for Outstanding Achievement. She earned high marks, had students over to dinner and was president of the student council, all the while caring for two young children.

Veters was also the valedictorian.

Gayle Brodie won the Emmaus Award, given to a graduate of the master of religious education program.

She kept her grades up, created community in her classes, got along well with her professors and stayed strong in her faith.

Melanie Turgeon, associate professor of music at The King's University College and choral director of Kappella Kyrie who directed the 31 singers, was guest speaker for the event.

MUSIC AND THE SENSES

Turgeon spoke of how music should appeal to one's senses – all of them.

The sound should invoke the power and peace of God enough to catch a glimpse of heaven, she said. Pointing out that God has given each of us gifts, we in turn must take care of these precious gifts.

A musical interlude followed, and then the degrees and diplomas were conferred.

Once the hard-earned degrees were handed out, Veters gave her valedictory address.

All students started out on different paths, she said. The difference though is they all had Newman's educational foundation. "This is something that will leave a permanent imprint on us as we move throughout our lives."

PART OF COMMUNITY

The college, she said, encourages students to not only think, but to prepare to be part of the Christian community, no matter where they end up.

Veters also saluted the school's instructors. "We have all received a great amount of support and encouragement from the staff and faculty of the college who regularly give 110 per cent."

She brought chuckles from her fellow students when she noted, "We may not miss pulling late nights or all-nighters writing papers for Fathers Dave and Don, but no doubt will take what we have learned from them and share the knowledge that has deeply affected our theological development."