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Former Prime Minister Acknowledged with Award at Annual Feast of St. Jerome

Former Prime Minister Acknowledged with Award at Annual Feast of St. Jerome

Date: Monday, October 02, 2017

The annual Feast of St. Jerome Liturgy and Dinner took place at St. Jerome's University on Friday, September 29th, 2017. In addition to celebrating the Catholic tradition of the feast with a liturgy, this scholarship fundraiser included a dinner and the awarding of the Chancellor John R. Sweeney Award in Catholic Leadership to former Canadian Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Paul Martin. The award is presented each year to an exemplary leader living a life rooted in the values of love, truth, and justice.


Due to circumstances beyond his control, Mr. Martin was unable to attend the event in person, but sent his remarks in a letter to the university’s President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Katherine Bergman. In his letter Mr. Martin acknowledged the honour of receiving this recognition, as he knew John Sweeney well, and identified St. Jerome’s University as “one of Canada’s great universities.” St. Jerome’s University Chancellor James Beingessner, Art Samson, and Paul Wending, former classmates of Mr. Martin at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, were on hand to accept the award on his behalf.


Mr. Martin’s letter was presented at the event by Dr. Bergman. His message focused on the importance of embracing indigenous knowledge for our country and the partnership we are seeking to build.  “I believe that St. Jerome’s University, with its tremendous reputation for knowledge, insight and understanding can play a major role here and I am sure it will,” noted Martin. 


Other highlights of the evening included a ceremonial welcome honouring the Spirit Celebration provided by Aboriginal Spiritual Advisor Gerard Sagassige; a speech by Student Union President and scholarship recipient Hayley Barnes; a Woman’s Traditional Dance performed by Florence Osawamick Sagassige; and a Man’s Traditional Dance performed by Miigwaans Omiigis Osawamiack Sagassige as they presented the Sweeney award. The money raised from this event is used to support first-year student scholarships. St. Jerome’s University is grateful to all who provided their support to this event.


Marilyn Caird,
Administrative Manager
President’s Office, St. Jerome’s University
(519) 884-8111 x28245