STM Academic Mass includes investiture of new president

St. Thomas More College President Carl N. Still, PhD, has been reappointed as president of St. Thomas More College. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News

Dr. Carl Still, PhD, was officially installed as the 12th president of St. Thomas More College Sept. 29, 2019 during an annual Academic Mass.

Still, who joined the philosophy department at STM in 1995, and later served as department head, also served as dean of STM College from 2006 to 2016, and served as interim president after the retirement of Dr. Terrence Downey in 2018. The college’s board of governors subsequently appointed Still to serve as president of STM for a five-year term, effective May 1, 2019.

Dr. Gertrude Rompré, Director of Mission and Ministry for St. Thomas More College welcomed those gathered for the celebration. Bishop Mark Hagemoen presided at Mass. Special guests included three members of the Basilian order, which first established the federated Catholic College at the University of Saskatchewan in the 1930s: Fr. Ron Griffin, CSB; Fr. Terry Kersch, CSB; and Fr. George Smith, CSB (STM’s 10th president). Fr. André Lalach of the STM chaplaincy team and Fr. Sami Helewa, SJ, of Campion College in Regina also concelebrated Mass.

Harry Lafond, STM Scholar in Indigenous Education, introduced Elders Patricia and A.J. Felix who led prayers on behalf of the new president.

The investiture of the Catholic college’s 12th president began with a smudging ceremony introduced by Harry Lafond, STM Scholar in Indigenous Education, with prayers for Dr. Still led by Elders Patricia and A. J. Felix of Sturgeon Lake First Nation, who are members of STMs Advisory Circle on Indigenous Spirituality and Reconciliation.

Marie Stack, Chair of the STM Board of Governors then asked Dr. Still to pledge himself to the mission of St. Thomas More College “in light of its commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition, inspired by St. Thomas More, Blessed John Henry Newman and the charism of the Basilian Fathers.”

Dr. Still also committed himself to work to create an inclusive community at STM, to promote a partnership of learning and growth with students “which addresses the synthesis of faith and reason in all aspects of the human condition,” to foster the creative discovery of truth and its open dissemination, and “to share in Christ’s service to the people of God,” ensuring that the efforts of the college remain directed to the good of all humanity.

The new president was then vested with the academic gown of the STM College president.

The annual Academic Mass also included the commissioning of the wider St. Thomas More College community by Bishop Mark Hagemoen. Addressing students, staff, members of the worshipping community, board of governors, the STM corporation, alumni and friends, the bishop asked to community to also re-affirm their commitment to the mission and work of St. Thomas More College for the coming year.