New campus leader takes the reins
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic
VANCOUVER--Cardinal John Henry Newman famously said Catholic colleges must be both "oracles of (reason) and shrines of devotion." Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, married these two concepts during a speech at the installation ceremony for Msgr. Mark Hagemoen Sept. 18.
"The harmony of faith and reason is not just a slogan to be invoked but is a reality lived in the mission and curriculum of Corpus Christi College," the archbishop said. "Here the world of reason and the world of faith - the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief - enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue for the good of the Church and society."
Msgr. Hagemoen was officially installed as principal of St. Mark's College and president of Corpus Christi College at the Mass and ceremony at Holy Name Parish.
After a lengthy search, the colleges' board of directors named Msgr. Hagemoen as the best person to continue the grand tradition of Catholic higher education in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, a tradition dating back to the first universities of Europe.
Msgr. Hagemoen said the constant challenge that exists within Catholic higher education is to balance the past, present, and future.
"Our Catholic colleges must address our circumstances and be creative in addressing challenges," he said. "They must honour, indeed celebrate, our traditions."
Archbishop Miller, who is Chancellor of St. Mark's, stressed the importance of the Catholic intellectual tradition in today's society.
"Without the contribution of Corpus Christi and other Catholic post-secondary institutions, society as a whole would suffer, sliding into a noxious secularism which would cut us from our cultural and religious roots," the archbishop said. "The graduates of both Corpus Christi and St. Mark's Colleges will neither passively submit to the dominant cultural influences nor become marginal in relation to them."
Msgr. Hagemoen said he was excited to take on the challenges of his new positions. He said he knows he'll have the support of the hardworking staff and faculty who run a great school with no government funding, relying completely on tuition and donations.
"I thought our Church organizations did a lot with a little," he said. "Well, our Catholic colleges have, in my mind, set a whole new standard for doing an awful lot with the little."
Archbishop Miller also thanked outgoing principal and president Dr. John Stapleton, who was on a two-year secondment to the colleges from the University of Manitoba. During his brief tenure, Dr. Stapleton helped St. Mark's achieve associate status in the Association of Theological Schools. He also obtained accreditation for Corpus Christi to offer associate of arts degrees.
"Both are remarkable achievements for a two-year term of office," the archbishop said. "You are blessed, Father Mark, by your outstanding predecessors in office and by the remarkable community support that has accompanied the growth of the colleges.