Saint Mark's College at UBC Receives $3M Gift to Fund Endowed Chair

VANCOUVER, Feb. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Saint Mark's College at UBC is pleased to announce that the Sisters of Saint Ann have contributed $3 million to the College to establish the Marie Anne Blondin Chair in Theology. The endowment represents the largest in the College's history and one of the largest gifts received by a Catholic theological college in BC.

The Sisters of Saint Ann is a congregation of women religious founded in Vaudreuil, Quebec, in 1850. The Endowed Chair memorializes the Congregation's founder, Blessed Marie Anne Blondin.

Formed to educate children in rural Quebec, the Congregation arrived in BC in 1858. By 1958, the Congregation's Sisters counted over six thousand students in thirty-four schools throughout BC, the Yukon and Alaska. The order maintains a commitment to religious education in rural areas to this day.

"This generous gift will help continue the congregation's 150-year strong legacy of supporting education throughout British Columbia," said Dr. Peter Meehan, Principal of Saint Mark's College.

"Having an Endowed Chair will enable the College to expand our academic and outreach mission by supporting important areas of teaching and research," continued Meehan. "In keeping with Pope Francis' call for the Church to embrace the need for encounter and dialogue, the gift will benefit students from all walks of life, including those working in education, healthcare, pastoral care, volunteer positions, and countless other endeavours."

"Religious education in BC is now mainly the responsibility of Catholic lay people, yet there is a lack of opportunity for continuing theological development in many parts of the province," said Sister Marie Zarowny, provincial leader of the Sisters of Saint Ann. "With the evolution and promising future of Saint Mark's College, the Sisters desire to support a stable theology department of excellence, one that responds to our evolving times and is at the forefront of the Church's dialogue with culture and the modern world."

"Saint Mark's College was founded by the Basilian Fathers, and for many years has been educating leaders to become well versed in the Catholic tradition," said the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver and Chancellor of Saint Mark's College. "Along with expanding its programs in theology, the College recently launched an undergraduate program to prepare future teachers. With a Saint Mark's education, these women and men will be capable of strengthening the ever-growing role and mission of the laity in their service as a leaven to the world."

A launch event will be held, attended by the Provincial Leader of the Sisters of Saint Ann and the Principal of Saint Mark's College.

Friday, February 5, 2016
4:00 p.m.
UBC Robson Square
HSBC Hall, Room C680

SOURCE Corpus Christi College

Image with caption: "Saint Mark’s College at UBC Receives $3M Gift to Fund Endowed Chair (CNW Group/Corpus Christi College)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160205_C4328_PHOTO_EN_614375.jpg

For further information: Elizabeth Morse, 604-649-1434, emorse@corpuschristi.ca

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