Bishop Douglas Crosby Receives the Chancellor John R. and Kay Sweeney Award
St. Jerome's University is excited to announce this year's recipient of the Chancellor John R. and Kay Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership is Douglas Crosby, OMI, the Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario. Since his priestly ordination in 1975, Bishop Crosby's vocation has been marked by service, leadership and generosity to the Church and the communities his work has directly supported, including St. Jerome's University.
Peter Meehan, president and vice-chancellor, stated, "Bishop Douglas Crosby's leadership as a priest, as Provincial Superior of his religious Order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and as a Bishop has embodied the professionalism, service, prayerfulness and holiness of life that Pope Francis has observed are critical to service as a bishop. His empathy, compassion and understanding have made him the very leader needed for the Diocese of Hamilton during these times and align him with the Holy Father's desire for a 'synodal Church' that journeys with the People of God in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the John and Kay Sweeney Award in Catholic Leadership."
In his role as Provincial Superior of the Oblates (OMI) in 1991, Crosby addressed the painful history of his order's administration of many of the Residential Schools located in western and northwestern Canada, and he issued the first public apology to local Indigenous communities from a Catholic entity. In 1997, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Bishop of the Diocese of Labrador City-Schefferville, and in 2003 as Bishop of St. George's, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador (transformed in 2007 to the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador).
Throughout his extensive career, Bishop Crosby has served the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) as Chair of the English-Sector Liturgy Commission and, for nine years, was the representative of the Canadian bishops on the International Commission of English in the Liturgy (ICEL). He was also a member of the CCCB's Permanent Council, serving as Co-Treasurer, Vice-President, and President. In 2015, he was appointed General Secretary of the CCCB. On June 1, 2022, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Crosby a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments under the prefecture of Arthur Cardinal Roche.
"Bishop Crosby has always embodied a zeal for collaborative ministry, which explains his motto, 'Trach Nos', which means to 'draw us'. He continues to be a pillar within the Canadian Catholic Church, who has embraced the values of love, truth and justice that are so important to the mission of St. Jerome's University," continues Peter Meehan, president and vice-chancellor.
This award was established in 2001 to honour the contributions of Catholic institutions, leaders, and educators to the cause of post-secondary education and to recognize the ongoing need for a Catholic presence and voice in shaping future leaders and engaging in the world's challenges today.
"I am honoured to be the recipient of the John and Kay Sweeney Award for 2023. When informed by President Peter Meehan, I was surprised and pleased. Aware of the significant contribution of previous recipients to the impressive community that supports St. Jerome's and surrounds it, I know that my contribution is humble. Since I arrived in the Diocese, I have strongly supported the ongoing efforts of our Catholic schools at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. I have been pleased to participate in regular meetings of the President of St. Jerome's, School Directors of Education, the Vicar of Catholic Education for the Diocese, and Diocesan personnel who provide helpful information and support. The project of Catholic Education is dear to my heart. We must do all we can to keep it vibrant and strong," stated Bishop Crosby.
The John R. and Kay Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership is presented annually at the Feast of St. Jerome | Annual Fundraiser for Student Scholarships. Please visit the website for more information about this event or to purchase tickets.