A Snapshot of NTC Students Over 50 Years

Alumni Profiles

To celebrate our 50th Anniversary the College has gathered the alumni profiles of some of those who have studied at Newman Theological College over the last half century. These profiles are a wonderful testimony to the work of theological education that NTC has been engaged in for 50 years.  These alumni profiles reflect the diversity of the NTC student body over the years: laity, seminarians, numerous male and female religious orders, teachers from different school districts, Christians from different denominations, different rites and different cultures. It is fascinating see how our alumni have used the education they have received at Newman Theological College for a variety of paid and volunteer ministries in the church and in secular society. They are spread across Canada and beyond. We truly do have something to celebrate.

NTC graduates who would like to share their alumni profile can do so by contacting the Dean of Students at doreen.bloos@newman.edu for information on how to do so.

All
1969-1979
1980-1989
1990-1999
2000-2009
2010-2019
Rev. Dino Benedet C.Ss.R. (1970 B.Th.)

I finished my studies at Newman Theological College in 1969. The Church was in the ferment of the Second Vatican council. Don McDonald had already been teaching Christology for many years. It was a time of change, of excitement, of confusion. I was ordained at 33 and spent the next 40 years in Redemptorist parishes through Western Canada. I was a little apprehensive about going to Grande Prairie. A big city boy going to a small place with only one movie theatre. It turned out to be a wonderful experience.

After that, big cities frighten me. I was in each of the four Western Provinces. Each Province has a creational- beauty and a faith- beauty of its own. My last appointment was in Sexsmith and Bezanson Alberta. The tiniest Roman Catholic Parish in the Province, perhaps in the world. A farming community. What wonderful people. I retired at 73 in 2010 to the Redemptorist Retirement Centre at the former Grey Nuns Centre here in Edmonton. I helped out here and there for about 7 years but now I just putter around and pray my way through each day.


Fr. Richard Lee Starks M.H. (1970 B.Th. & 1972 M.Th.)

Madonna House sent me to St. Joseph’s Seminary, for my four years of theology, so that I might also be close to the Madonna House community in Edmonton (Marian Centre). The Marian Centre became one of the few places I could visit without specific permission from the Seminary Rector. There was no plan for “pastoral experience” in the curriculum of the Seminary in 1968-69. The then-Rector allowed me to broker a deal with any pastor who would allow an “understudy” – and a generous invitation came from Frs. Richard Theroux and Karl Raab. They were the best of models and the most generous of teachers.

After my ordination as a priest in 1969, NTC was born and received its initial accreditation. I was retroactively eligible for a Master’s of Theology degree after writing a thesis – as all my class and course work had been completed at St. Joseph’s Seminary.

My assignments with Madonna House took me to Marian Centers in Edmonton, Regina and to Combermere itself. After thirty years, I was seconded to pastoral service for the Diocese of Pembroke, Ontario, and was privileged to a parish priest for over twenty-nine years. I am now retired.

I will never forget the formative years I spent at St. Joseph’s Seminary. I remember when the first lay people were employed on staff; I remember when the first female religious audited some classes; I remember harvesting potatoes for our winter eating, from the large garden directly behind the seminary buildings on St. Albert Trail; I remember when the Rites of Ordination morphed from all-Latin, to semi-Latin, to all-English. I remember the drama in far-off Rome, as the Second Vatican Council unfolded with its bold implications for future priests and all members of the Church.

I am honored to share a Golden Jubilee with the Newman Theological College in 2019, and I wish every staff and student a Blessing on your learning, your perseverance, and your experience of “being Church”.

Fr. (Tony) Antonius Dizy (1971 B.Th.)

I was in the first class to enter Newman Theological College after it was granted the Charter as an education centre. Many classes were held later in the afternoon and evening to allow students to attend classes after work or other university classes. I was ordained for the Archdiocese of Regina on Dec. 21, 1973. Since that time I have had the good fortune of serving in various capacities in the diocese. Besides pastoring in parishes, in 1979 I was a member of a committee to develop the first Diocesan Lay Ministry Formation Program in Western Canada and directing the program for the first 7 years. For twenty-five years, I was on the archdiocesan administration serving in the capacity as Director of Personnel & Human resources and as Chancellor. At this time, I am retired but do replacement ministry for priests who need a break.

The photo is of Fr. Karl Raab and myself at my 25th anniversary of ordination.

Shirleyan Threndyle (1971 B.Th. & 1975 M.Th.)

I registered at NTC, created under the leadership of Archbishop A. Jordan, as a part-time student in 1969. The Archdiocese was alive with many groups avidly studying the Documents of Vatican II. Newman Theological College had an amazing beginning with five very recent doctorates in theology. Sr. Lina Gaudette, Frs. Camille Dozois, Don MacDonald, Phil Mueller, and Mike O’Callahan. Several other priests completed the faculty. Every class was of the highest standard and deeply challenging.

I graduated with a M.Th. in 1975 and began teaching. Over the next 25 years, I taught about 15 different courses. During my 30 years at Newman, I was librarian, faculty representative for the Alumni Executive, vice-dean, acting dean, and acting president. I remember my years at Newman as profound and challenging learning, healthy social interaction with faculty and students, and a deep liturgical and devotional reflection. What I learned through 30 years of studying and experience at Newman is the extreme privilege of living in the light of the holiness of the God of Jesus Christ in the Spirit.

Dr. Ted Paszek (1972 B.R.E.)

I graduated in 1972 from Newman Theological College with a Bachelor of Religious Education. I was very fortunate to be part of a cohort from Edmonton Catholic Schools in the first year of the program. It was wonderful to engage in biblical studies, the history of the Catholic Church, study of the sacraments and Christology. It was an exciting time to engage in religious studies so recently after Vatican II. I have very fond memories of my colleague students and the wonderful faculty. My studies set me up for a long career in Catholic education as a teacher, religion department head, Central office consultant, and school principal. This love of learning also led me to complete a Master of Education and a Doctorate in Educational Policy Studies. I have also been serving as a Catholic school board trustee for many years including terms as President of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association and President of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association. Catholic education is in my blood and I was very fortunate to come full circle to join Newman Theological College as a sessional lecturer until recently in the Masters of Religious Education program. My wife, Jan, and I are active parishioners at OLPH Parish in Sherwood Park. God has blessed us with four children and 10 grandchildren.

Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie (1973 B.Th.)

In 1972, I was part of the move of St. Charles Scholasticate from Battleford, Sask., to Wing C of Newman Theological College in St. Albert. As an Oblate scholastic entering my third year of theological studies, I deeply appreciated that transition from what was a more hierarchical and clerical model of formation to a very stimulating, life-giving formation environment of scholastics, seminarians from the adjoining St. Joseph’s Seminary, religious from a variety of communities, and laity all learning and maturing together as one faith community. We shared classes, liturgies, meals and recreation with our professors. My final vows as an Oblate took place in the Newman chapel, followed by a pastoral year that launched me, after ordination in 1974, into decades of exciting and rewarding missionary activity among the Indigenous peoples of Northern Saskatchewan finally leading to the episcopacy. I find myself eternally grateful for the gift that Newman Theological College was to me at that critical juncture of my faith journey.

Catherine Stafford CSJ (Sr. Antonia CSJ) (1975 B.R.E.)

I started studying at NTC in 1970 taking evening classes. I graduated with my BRE in 1975 and returned to O’Leary HS as a Religious Education Teacher and chaplain until I left for Ontario in 1978.

Since then I have been involved as an Adult Educator in Parish Ministry (79-80); Team Formation Member for Lay missionaries with SFM (80-82); Founded, with Peruvian Women, a Women’s Centre in Zana, Peru (83-93); Founded Crossroads Too for sexually exploited women in Edmonton and completed my D.Min. at St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton. In 1998, I returned to my home country of Ireland where I worked with women in prison, in adult education with the Mercy Centre in Dublin, and co-ordinated Spirituality weekends with a friend. Returning to Ontario in 2017, I served on our Congregation Leadership Team as General Treasurer.

Five years ago, I came back to Edmonton and volunteered with CEASE (Centre to end All Sexual Exploitation) which was started by my friend from the 70’s Kate Quinn. At present, I am trying to age gracefully while being grateful for all I have been given in my life including a wonderful year, 1974-1975 at NTC.

Dr. Shannon Farrell (1976 &1979)

A First for a Canadian Scholar

SHANNON FARRELL of Edmonton is the first Canadian woman to receive a Licence in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute - the "Biblicum" - in Rome.

The licence marks a prestigious level of scholarly achievement: Farreil is now on her way to a doctorate in Sacred Scripture and is studying in Jerusalem.

The 35-year-old Edmonton native, a member of St. Joseph's Basilica Parish, is the daughter of Clifford and Betty Farrell. (Betty is a national council member of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.)

Farrell attended St. Catherine's School and Assumption Academy in Edmonton, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Carleton University in Ottawa.

IN ADDITION, she received bachelor's and master's degrees in theology from Newman Theological College and studied overseas in Germany and Italy as well as Jerusalem. Farrell is also an accomplished linguist and speaks French, German, Italian and Hebrew fluently, and reads Greek.

She celebrated her achievement with Pope John Paul II at his early morning Mass on Oct. 15 - coincidentally, the Feast of St. Theresa of Avila, a doctor of the church.

In a letter to the WCR, Farrell writes that her joy in her accomplishment was "not for my own sake, but in the name of the Canadian Catholic church and Canadian women everywhere."

Farrell was one of only 15 women studying at the Biblicum, whose student body also includes 300 men.

THE BIBLICUM (and related Catholic enterprises in France and Jerusalem) was born at the end of the 19th century with the purpose of defending Catholic orthodoxy and contributing to a field of knowledge revolutionized by historical, archeological and literary discoveries.

The basic structure of the institute was laid down by Pope Pius X in 1909.

Dan Jelinski (1976 B.Th.)

From the day I first crossed the threshold of Newman Theological College, the fall of 1968, to my graduation in 1976, to the present day, NTC has provided the lens through which I have made sense, not only of the Church, but of my place in the world. My theological vision, sense and practice of ministry were forever coloured by the incredible men and women I was graced to walk with during those years. Lovable, imperfect people committed to proclaiming the gospel to a lovable, imperfect Church and world.

The gift of a theological education, allowed me access to challenging the growing minds of thousands of young people as a Religious Studies high school teacher for 25 years. That same gift, morphed over time, into the foundational principles supporting my present leadership training workshops (Wisdom Speaks) in the corporate world. My goal, inviting harried men and women to stop, reflect and gently begin to humanize the workplace. Helping people connect from a gospel perspective, without using gospel language, is simply the result of embracing the theological value of radical inclusivity. I learned this life-defining principle years ago, because I heard it voiced and saw it lived, in the mind-expanding, soul-expanding atmosphere of NTC. Today, my ministry has taken me to far flung places: deserts, mountain tops and deep forests, working with men on their inner journey, the path of descent (Men’s Rites of Passage, Elder’s Rites of Passage, Illuman.org). The contemplative way, upon which I travel, had its genesis the day in 1968, I crossed the threshold of NTC.

Dr. Bob McKeon (1976 B.Th. & 1985 M.Th.)

I started my theology studies in 1974 at Newman as a seminarian for the Prince George diocese. Two years later, I completed my B.Th. In 1977 I left St. Joseph’s Seminary, having discerned that I that I was not being called to be a priest, but kept pursuing my theological studies as a lay person, completing my M. Th. In 1985. I taught my first course at Newman in 1980 and have continued over the years as a NTC faculty member in many capacities. Ten years later, I started teaching theology at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta. I furthered my theological studies at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, completing my Ph.D. in 2003.

My Newman studies helped prepare me for two terms in challenging and rewarding social justice ministry leadership positions with the Archdiocese of Edmonton (1977-1989 and 2009-2015). This included public presentations, workshop leadership and work with groups addressing homelessness, poverty, ecological issues and truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This involved working in Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith and community contexts.

I also wrote a monthly column, “Journey to Justice,” for several years with the Western Catholic Reporter.

As I move into retirement, I am glad that I can continue to be part of the Newman community as a “professor emeritus.”

Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon (1977 M.Th.)

I came to NTC in 1971 as a newly married Presbyterian who had completed two-thirds of her Master of Divinity degree in preparation for ordination to ministry. The reason this is so significant is that it was so soon after Vatican II and, I believe, I was the first protestant women to study at Newman – especially one studying for ordination to ministry. I certainly had lots of very interesting conversations with students at NTC about who I was, why I was there etc. In turn, I had many questions about Roman Catholicism.

Through a combination of courses at NTC and correspondence courses, I finished my degree and began a M.Th. with Sister Lina Gaudette as my Director. Five years and three children later I completed my M.Th. and am extremely grateful for what I received at NTC – not only the degree but also the friendships made and the generous hospitality extended to me as an “outsider.” In 1978 with one more child on the way, we moved to Toronto where I was ordained to ministry and completed my Th.D. at the Toronto School of Theology (TST). For 10 years, I served with my husband in a team ministry in Scarborough and during that time did part-time teaching at Knox College (TST). In 1994 I moved into seminary education as the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at TST (1994-1999) and then as the Principal of Knox College and Associate Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Preaching (1999-2018). For the past year, I have been serving as Interim Director of the TST. After forty-eight years, I continue to be married to Noel and together we have eight grandchildren. NTC played an important role in my life and for that I continue to be grateful.

Doug Paul (1977 B.Th.) & Marieta Paul (1979 B.Th. & 2014 M.Th.)

NTC has been a significant influence in the life of Douglas and Marieta, introducing them to lifelong friends and providing them with a solid and respected foundation for their careers. Douglas graduated in 1977 with a B.Th. Marieta graduated in 1979, also with a B.Th. They recently celebrated forty years of marriage and have four children and seven grandchildren. Douglas was the Religious Education Coordinator for the Calgary Diocese for some years, and he was the Religion Department Head at St. Joseph’s High School in Edmonton for over twenty years, until he retired. Marieta has been the Pastoral Associate at Holy Family Parish, St. Albert since 1991, and the Coordinator of Spiritual Care at Covenant Health Youville Home, St. Albert since 2008. Marieta graduated from NTC again in 2014, this time with a Masters in Theological Studies, and she continues to be involved with NTC, providing workshops for the Lay Formation program and for the Enculturation Program for International Priests on ministry to the elderly.

Rev. Dr. Dave Norman O.F.M. (1978 B.Th. & 1982 M.Th.)

You can consider me a Newman Theological College “lifer.” I came to Newman in September 1975 and began a Bachelor of Theology degree, which I completed in 1978. At the urging of the Franciscans, I moved directly into the Master of Theology program, which I completed in 1982. During that time, I was ordained to the ministerial priesthood in August 1980 at St. Francis of Assisi church in Vancouver, the city where I spent most of my formative years. After teaching part-time and working as the Franciscan Secretary of Formation, I went to Fribourg, Switzerland in January 1986 to begin a doctorate. The subject of my dissertation was the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Returning to Edmonton in December 1990, I began to teach full-time in January 1991. I have loved my time at Newman, both as a student and as a teacher. Over the years, I have taught Introduction to Theology, Christology, Theological Anthropology, Theology of Revelation, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, God and Humanity and the Film, as well as other courses. Every September, I still look forward to seeing the new students coming through NTC’s doors.

Fr. Robert (Bob) Mokry O.F.M. (B.Th. 1979)

I graduated from NTC in October 1979 with a BTh and spent about another eight years studying in Toronto and London, England. These studies were interspersed with teaching Church History and Spirituality at NTC, and with formation work and serving in various administrative positions for my Franciscan Province in Western Canada. After finishing a six-year term as Provincial Minister in 2007 and then going on sabbatical for a year, I went to the Franciscan missions in Morocco. Unable to escape administrative work, I served a term as Custos of Moroc-co and oversaw the union of the Franciscan Provinces in France, while ministering to the Catholic communities in several cities of Morocco. About eight years later, in 2016, I returned to Canada and was re-elected and served again as Provincial Minister for the west until the union of our two Canadian Franciscan Provinces in Octo-ber 2018. I continue to serve as Vicar Provincial and Master of Temporary Professed for the new Holy Spirit Province and as Franciscan Commissary of the Holy Land in Canada. I reside at our friary in Edmonton but am of-ten in Ottawa, Montreal, or elsewhere on the road or in the air!

Nancy Vick (1980 B.Th.)

My name is Nancy Vick and I graduated from NTC in 1980 as valedictorian. My degree was what was called then a BTH. However, this degree was not the same as the present BTH. Fr. Martin Moser explained to me once that my degree included much more theology than the design of the present one. The next step up, would have been the MTh. However, I was very interested in studying sacred scripture and being monolingual became a problem. Too bad! I continued studying full time for three more years. I then continued to take courses over the years, both for credit and audit. I loved studying at NTC so much, that I could have forgotten all about nursing (my career). Studying at Newman was one of the best things I have ever done. I even liked the research papers. So much to learn! The studies, as well as the whole atmosphere, deepened my faith. At present, I frequently take the Living in the Word and Treasures of the Faith seminars from which I have received many graces. Newman continues to be a treasure and the "pearl" of great price in my life.

Maureen Barr (1981 B.R.E.)

I started taking courses at Newman Theological College in the 70”s. An exciting time after Vatican II. One year I was fortunate to take time off teaching from the Edmonton Catholic School District and finish a BRE. My experience at NTC enlarged and encouraged my interest so much I went on to do a MRE at Seattle University. I stayed in contact with NTC for years through the Sunday community. I have fond memories the Newman students and professors.

After I retired from being a teacher and principal with Edmonton Catholic I took training to be a spiritual director. I do spiritual direction out of Providence Renewal Centre. Now I enjoy doing some writing and my time with family and friends.

Rose Marie Fowler (1981 B.Th. & 1984 M.Th.)

I was blessed to have the opportunity to study at Newman Theological College. While still a student I introduced the RCIA in my parish and continued to be involved in that ministry for 10 years. While completing my graduate degree I served on the executive of the Newman Alumni as treasurer for one term.

Also, while a student, I came to know, through a seminarian, of the existence of St. Peter’s Benedictine Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. Beginning with a retreat there in 1980, my association with this abbey was instrumental in the discernment and subsequent realization of my vocation as a consecrated virgin in the Ordo Virginum. My association with the abbey has continued in the ensuing years as a Benedictine Oblate.

From 1992 to 1998 I was employed as Registrar of Newman College. Subsequently, I taught two on-line courses in liturgy and sacraments in the Certificate in Theological Studies program. From 2002 to 2006 I served as the Director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Edmonton. In that position I was involved in the opening of Corpus Christi Chapel, the Archdiocesan Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, at St. Andrew’s Centre, in 2005. I have been privileged to be coordinator of the chapel for the last ten years.

I am deeply grateful to God for my years at Newman and for the many blessings that have flowed from that experience.
Fr. Douglas Jeffrey, OMI (1981 B.Th.)

I began taking classes at Newman Theological College after pronouncing my first vows with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1975. At that time the Oblates occupied “C” wing of the old College building. I ‘left’ Newman College in 1983, the year that I was ordained to the ministerial priesthood. As I left Newman and St. Charles Scholasticate, I took with me so many memories of students, professors, liturgies, social events, and activities (like scrubbing the floor in the old gymnasium with the seminarians and my fellow Oblates). Conversations with faith filled men and women occurred in classrooms, in the Lounge, in the Chapel, at the “Cornfest Fire”, around the dining room tables and on the steps of the College. Perhaps my most treasured memory is of a Church where everyone was welcome; staff and students ‘lived’ together in an effort to put flesh on the phrase, “love one another as I have loved you.’ I returned in 2001 as the Director of our Oblate Formation House and had the privilege of serving on the Senate. Today, I serve as the pastor of three communities, Meadow Lake, Green Lake and Waterhen in Northern Saskatchewan. The members of these Churches reflect the diversity of Canada and the Church, the Body of Christ. I am proud to serve them and with them proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, his life, his death and his resurrection. My Oblate Formation and my studies at Newman Theological College have given me many tools with which to accompany God’s Holy People. I am forever grateful!

Adrian Joosten (1982 B.Th.)

Has it already been 37 years? While finishing my Bachelor of Theology in 1982 I helped pioneer professional Youth Ministry in the Edmonton Archdiocese. After obtaining my B.Ed., I had the privilege of becoming a Lay Missionary with the Redemptorist Mission Team for 3 years. I subsequently taught for 30 years in Catholic schools in Alberta. Some highlights included working on the Religious Studies curriculums for Edmonton Catholic and Development and Peace-Caritas Canada. In my retirement, I continue to substitute teach and have recently earned an NTC Certificate in Eastern Christian Traditions. I am married with two wonderful daughters. Thank you Newman, for all the spiritual and academic formation you provided in preparing me for so much of my life! Deo Gratias!

Susan M. Campbell (1985 B.Th. & 1995 M.Th.)

I began my theological studies in 1980 when I was only 22 years old – fresh from serving a year with an itinerant youth ministry team in Canada and the U.S. – discerning a call to ministry within the Church. I completed a B.Th. in 1985 and an M.Th. in 1995. During those 15 years at the college I served in various ways from housekeeping to executive assistant to the president. My studies prepared me well for ministry in adult faith formation at the parish, diocesan and national levels. It also laid a good foundation for continuing studies at St. Paul University, Ottawa, and the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium. I currently serve as the director of Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in Cochrane. Newman provided an excellent theological education for which I will always be grateful. It also gave me a wonderful grounding for ministry in the way it modeled collaborative ministry among lay, religious and clerical students and staff.

Fr. John Malazdrewich, OMI (1985 C.M.F. & 1991 M.Div.)

I was fortunate to study at NTC. I graduated from the Certificate in Ministries Formation Program in 1985, and again in 1991 with a Master of Divinity. Together these programs prepared me well for ministry in the church. During my time at NTC, I served as the president of the Student Council, and was fortunate to serve as the Western Delegate to the Canadian Theological Students Association. This was a rich experience, which put me in contact with theological students from many faith traditions. I still benefit from this experience today. My ministry since 1991 has been in parish ministry, retreat house, and Oblate Leadership. At the present time I am the pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Gatineau, Quebec. I continue to do facilitation for various groups and I am a credentialed Executive Coach with the International Coach Federation. I facilitate sessions for the Oblates and others called “The Coach Approach to Leadership”.

Dr. Bob McKeon (1976 B.Th. & 1985 M.Th.)

I started my theology studies in 1974 at Newman as a seminarian for the Prince George diocese. Two years later, I completed my B.Th. In 1977 I left St. Joseph’s Seminary, having discerned that I that I was not being called to be a priest, but kept pursuing my theological studies as a lay person, completing my M. Th. In 1985. I taught my first course at Newman in 1980 and have continued over the years as a NTC faculty member in many capacities. Ten years later, I started teaching theology at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta. I furthered my theological studies at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, completing my Ph.D. in 2003.

My Newman studies helped prepare me for two terms in challenging and rewarding social justice ministry leadership positions with the Archdiocese of Edmonton (1977-1989 and 2009-2015). This included public presentations, workshop leadership and work with groups addressing homelessness, poverty, ecological issues and truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This involved working in Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith and community contexts.

I also wrote a monthly column, “Journey to Justice,” for several years with the Western Catholic Reporter.

As I move into retirement, I am glad that I can continue to be part of the Newman community as a “professor emeritus.”

Connie Hopkins (1986 B.R.E., 1987 B.Th. & 2016 M.Th.)

Attending NTC was the furthest thing from my mind when a teaching colleague suggested I take a course. His persistence led to what would be a life-long love of Newman.

I completed the course and loved it! This led to a BRE degree, which led to a BTH degree and into a MTH degree. There was studying evening, spring and summer courses, in addition to being mom to three daughters and a wife and an elementary teacher, with church committees and school committees. Then for a while, I worked as Religious Consultant for the St. Albert Catholic Schools. In the midst of everything, I ran out of energy before my MTH was completed, and stepped away from NTC. I missed Newman immensely.

A while later my husband and I left Canada to teach in Guatemala, a country of incredibly hospitable people. After four years we moved back to Canada to be near our daughters, seven grandchildren, and aging parents. This meant I could again attend NTC. Over time I excitedly completed my MTH.

Currently I am loving being an instructor at St. Joseph’s College. In addition, I am studying in the Spirituality of Aging program, through the Oblate College in San Antonio, Texas.

William (Bill) Lerner (1986 B.R.E.)

Three doors opened with Newman. The first door happened in 1984-85 when I had the privilege of attending Newman. I was on a sabbatical year from the Edmonton Catholic school district. I along with nine other B.R.E. candidates. It was a year of acquiring knowledge and experiencing a wonderful community. There were seminarians, students pursuing other degrees or diplomas we worshipped together, ate together, build a community together. It was the year that we started the first student council had dress-up days and many other activities.

The year changed me so that it improved an already good family, enriched my teaching of religion, and also my parish life. It was a year of growth like I had never experienced before as I grew closer in wonder to our God and started to understand His incredible love for everyone

The second door opened ten years later. I had retired from teaching and after a year I was slowly driving my beloved wife to distraction. I received a phone call from the then present President Kevin Carr asking me to be the director Newman College & St. Joseph Seminary Foundation (NTC). I responded with " Kevin I know nothing of being a director of a foundation " he replied Bill you know how to run a school if you could help us out for six months till we find a replacement for our present executive director. So I signed a six-month contract that ended up lasting for six years.

During that time I was able to give back to an institution in a small way for the gift it had given to me. The position gave me an opportunity to meet so many wonderful people cardinals, bishops, judges, lawyers, leaders in business, politicians Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, the poor and the wealthy. I also had the opportunity to visit many of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Also being sent on a fact-finding mission that began distance learning at NTC. I was also privileged in obtaining $3,000,000. from the Sopchyshyn Family and with those funds a new library was build that replaced a hallway and old classrooms and a modern residence for the seminary. I was privileged in being part of those exciting years.

The third door opened when my beloved wife of 52 years died. Newman opened for me another space where I was able to study and experience Sacred Scripture. It not only got me out of the house but I also grew in my love for Sacred Scripture. To be reminded that God loves me and that love is eternal. I attended those noon-hour seminars for seven years. It was a blessing that I can never thank Newman enough.

Fr. Vincent James O.M.I. (1987 B.Th.)

I am an Oblate of Mary Immaculate and Parish Priest in Fraser Lake, B.C and surrounding missions. Most of my life in ministry has been on Vancouver Island working among First Nations people: the Cowichan, the Thompson and for nearly 26 years among the Carrier people, who have honoured me by making me part of their Caribou clan. (That means I have a seat when they have their gatherings.)

In 1977, as an Oblate brother, I made my way to Newman College to study for the priesthood. Going to Newman was a challenge for me as I did not have any prior university education. I had no idea what was ahead for me. Learning about the Church and God, ecumenical works and so forth. All of this was opening me to new things and it helped me later on in my ministry.

One of the beautiful things about Newman was there was a real family atmosphere. We had wonderful lay people studying with us, women and seminarians and so forth. It was a great atmosphere to study. We had some great teachers there like Shirley Ann Threndyle, Sr. Lena Gaudette, Martin Moser, Ron Rolheiser, Gerald Wiesner, Paul Fachet, Don MacDonald and Richard Wolak. I seeing our professors cleaning the washrooms and dusting the corridors and I thought, “Wow. These people are amazing. They are so smart and look at them doing the most humble of jobs.” That really touched me and I felt, “You know, I am going to be okay here.”

I have a lot of happy memories about Newman: the friendships, the studies, all the things that were given to me and to the others that made me the man I am today. I am a priest now 36 years and I wouldn’t change a day of it. I thank God for all of that.

God bless you with a happy anniversary and great memories!

Bonnie Thiele Hunt (1989 M.Div.)

I came to Newman in 1986, a twenty-eight year old teacher rather saturated in faith experiences looking for a deeper grounding within scripture and tradition. Unlike many of my lay classmates, I was a single woman who completed the Master of Divinity in three years, and returned to Saskatchewan and the world of work. During my time in Edmonton, I was immersed in the life of Newman – studying, working in the library, serving in a variety of roles on the then fledgling NTC Student Council, and engaging in friendships that have now been sustained across decades. I have worked for the Archdiocese of Regina for thirty years, mostly in education and formation, and am currently working as a hospital chaplain at the Pasqua Hospital and as a pastoral assistant at Little Flower Parish in Regina. My Newman experience has come full circle – as some of my classmates and I are enrolled in the Forest Dwelling Program at the Oblate College in San Antonio. I also married Ed, a widower with three adult children, and now enjoy two granddaughters.

Michael Marien (1990 C.R.E., 1997 G.D.R.E. & 1998 M.R.E.)

When anyone asks me about the NTC experience, I tell them “prepare to be transformed”. From the very beginning of my teaching career, Newman College was there to support my religious education, and I soon learned what how beautiful it is to have a faith that seeks to understand. NTC professors extended themselves to travel to Red Deer for three consecutive years, and so it was that I received a Certificate in Religious Education in 1990. It was amazing, but I thirsted for more.

After eight years of evening and summer courses I completed my M.R.E., but the Lord, and NTC were not finished with me! I became the religious education coordinator for the St Thomas Aquinas School District, and at the same time, became a session lecturer at Newman in the areas of religious education and Catholic school administration. Even after retirement, I was part of the NTC faculty assisting in the accreditation self-evaluation and the Board’s strategic planning. In 2018, I “retired again” and am actively involved in faith formation at St. Stephen’s parish in Lacombe. I have been blessed with thirty-five years of marriage to my wife Shirley, and enjoy days of travel, gardening and outdoor pursuits.

Congratulations NTC on 50 years of service. My life was transformed by the grace of God and my experience of Newman.

Fr. Sylvain Casavant, PSS (1991 M.Div.)

I began my studies at Newman in 1986. I had just finished my undergraduate degree and was starting a new adventure in theology. I had a rough go of it at the beginning. I had never really studied my faith in the way I was being challenged to do so at the college. However, the professors were patient and generous with me. They eased me into theological studies. I graduated in 1991 and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Edmonton in 1992. The knowledge and the growth in faith I received through Newman was indispensable as I began my ministry. When the answers were not readily in my mind, my ability to research and my familiarity with theological subjects and writers helped me tremendously. At other times in my ministry I was surprised by my ability to respond effectively to the question posed to me. This, again, I recognized as the result of the college’s influence. From these simple ministerial beginnings, I went on to further studies and also joined the Society of St. Sulpice. I now work on the formation team at St. Joseph Seminary and teach at Newman Theological College. God has been gracious to me.

Fr. John Malazdrewich, Omi (1985 C.M.F. & 1991 M.Div.)

I was fortunate to study at NTC. I graduated from the Certificate in Ministries Formation Program in 1985, and again in 1991 with a Master of Divinity. Together these programs prepared me well for ministry in the church. During my time at NTC, I served as the president of the Student Council, and was fortunate to serve as the Western Delegate to the Canadian Theological Students Association. This was a rich experience, which put me in contact with theological students from many faith traditions. I still benefit from this experience today. My ministry since 1991 has been in parish ministry, retreat house, and Oblate Leadership. At the present time I am the pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Gatineau, Quebec. I continue to do facilitation for various groups and I am a credentialed Executive Coach with the International Coach Federation. I facilitate sessions for the Oblates and others called “The Coach Approach to Leadership”.

Irene Wilson (1991 B.R.E. & 2007 M.T.S.)

My first degree at Newman was in the Bachelor of Religious Education program. That degree introduced me into an understanding of adult faith formation that has served me well, particularly as I got involved in the RCIA. Under the leadership of Teresita Kambeitz in the BRE, I felt well prepared to journey with those who had a call to find a home in the Roman Catholic Church. The RCIA has been the ministry I have been devoted to for the past 25 years. Since retirement from teaching English to newcomers to Canada I have taken on shared duties as spiritual advisor for The St. Albert Conference of St. Vincent de Paul as well as facilitating sessions in my women’s faith sharing circle.

Sound theology from professors without exception, profound respect for the adult learning style, the invitation to think critically about our faith in order to embrace it more deeply as well as the opportunity to study and to celebrate daily Eucharist with the whole student body allowed me to encounter the spirit of Christian life in a very rich context.

Rev. Cecil Van Niejenhuis (1992 M.Th.)

I graduated from NTC with an MTh in 1992 after seven years of part-time study, driving in from Lacombe, where I pastored a Christian Reformed church. Classes at Newman were invigorating and I was often the only Protestant in class. The hospitableness of NTC students and faculty was a highlight for me, opening my eyes to the richness of what we share and afforded opportunities to speak at chapel, and ultimately teach a number of NTC courses. This continues to spark gratitude and surprise in me. After serving as a congregational pastor for 29 years, I have spent the past 11 years working in the office of Pastor-Church Resources for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. My work consists of advocating for healthy pastors and healthy church leaders, and tending to the relationships between pastors and churches. While the goal is to build resilient faithful leaders, much of my work involves responding to conflicts with as much grace and truth as possible. I continue to preach and explore the delights of the Scripture story with good memories of insights from Paul Fachet and Ronald Rolheiser.

Br. Dan Dionne O.M.I. (1993 B.Th.)

I have many wonderful memories of my time ant NTC where I served as a VP on student council. Some of the strongest memories have to do with discussions in the lounge, hallways, library (shhh). I lived at the Oblate scholasticate on Gareth place with oblate professors who taught at the college and other scholastics. Liturgies and especially music ministry were significant to me. We had many students from other denominations; this was also significant to me. We had fun and we worked hard.

Since graduating, I have been involved in many ministries putting the formation I received to work. It began in Manitoba with native, vocation and youth ministry. The beauty of native traditional spirituality captured me. I eventually moved back to Edmonton for 14 years where I engaged in parish ministry and a bold project in the Catholic Schools. Next, I accepted a request to work with homelessness in a mission parish in New Orleans, LA. I am now working in St. Patrick Church in Hamilton, ON. I try to use all of the resources I have gained and my experiences building the kingdom of God. Through all of this, I remember Newman and everyone there who helped mold me into the imperfect and grateful missionary I am today. Thank you Newman College.

Shannon Frost (1993 G.D.R.E. & 2002 M.R.E.)

Greetings! I began my journey at NTC in 1989, inspired by the model of my mom who studied there before me. I began part time studies working towards my Graduate Diploma of Religious Education supplementing my work with the Liturgical Studies Certificate Courses until I was granted a full-time bursary. During my fulltime year of study, I was immersed in the rich life of NTC with seminarians, lay people, clergy and religious. Our inclusive community made faith development of the covert curriculum as pivotal in my learning as the explicit faith development inherent in our lectures and liturgies. I graduated with my GDRE in the fall of 1993 honored to be chosen to deliver the Valedictorian Address and one month later, I also delivered my first child! Eight years later I celebrated the birth of my fourth child as well as the completion of my MRE, presenting my research to the community in the fall of 2001. My NTC experiences continue to permeate and define my teaching practice of 31 years as a primary school teacher with Edmonton Catholic Schools. I was invited to be a lead teacher for Curriculum Development for Development & Peace, hosted District Faith Development Day sessions, offered sacramental preparation workshops, I am Chaplain in our school community, and continue to advocate for Catholic Education and greater familiarity with Scripture through ‘Gospel Gossip’ each week.

Carolyn Martin 1993 (B.R.E.)

I began my studies at Newman in 1988 as a part-time student. I was teaching with Edmonton Catholic Schools and had been working with a group on a curriculum update of the junior high Religious Studies program. Through that group, I learned of and was able to take advantage of an opportunity supported by the district to work towards a Bachelor of Religious Education Degree.

At Newman, as classmates and instructors, we built a very close community. Studying at a smaller school was more personal, having so many of the same colleagues in the same classes. After graduating in 1993 with a BRE, I was invited to join the NTC Alumni Association where I served as president for many years. The members of the association became life-long friends. One of my favourite jobs, as past president, was to emcee the convocation ceremonies.

I have since retired from teaching and enjoying very much the freedom to volunteer, visit with family and friends, and travel whenever the mood strikes. I hold my time at Newman and the friends I made very close to my heart.

Rev. Gordon Cook O.M.I. (Dip.Th. 1994 & B.Th. 1995)

Forty-seven years old! It was hard for me to imagine that God was calling me to a new phase in my life, to be a Priest. God was serious because He had closed doors to my previous life so that I could cross the bridge to a new life. In January 1990, as I walked up the steps of Newman Theological College, I reflected that I had been married for twenty years, had two children and had worked as an accountant for twenty-three years. After completing the first semester in NTC, I knew that God was serious. In August 1990, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Mary called me to join their Order. In 1994, I graduated with a Diploma in Theological Studies and then in 1995 graduated with a Bachelor of Theology. On September 1, 1996, I was ordained to the Ministerial Priesthood. The Oblates first Obedience was ministry to the First Nations Peoples and to three missions from Moricetown, B.C. to Hyder, Alaska. My ten years working with the First Nations Peoples and working in the missions, were the most rewarding days of my life. Today, I am the Pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of Good Hope in Hope, B.C. I also serve the First Nations Peoples in the area, and I served as Prison Chaplain. With gratitude, I thank all the NTC Professors and students for helping me in my studies and for molding me to be a Priest.

Sr. Toyleen Fook SP (1994 B.Th.)

While ministering as a Pastoral Associate at St. John the Evangelist parish in Edmonton, I worked on completing my Bachelor of Theology degree in 1994. The rich experience at Newman Theological College beckoned me to pursue further studies at Regis College in Toronto completing the Master of Arts in Ministry and Spirituality and a Diploma in Spiritual Direction. I was resource person at Providence Renewal Centre for a year when my religious community, the Sisters of Providence, called me into community service. After a year of sabbatical and with the encouragement of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, I stepped into the role of chaplain at the Edmonton Institution and now at the Edmonton Remand Centre. This ministry opened my eyes to the many broken people suffering from addictions and mental illness. I am and continue to be confronted with my own powerlessness and my reliance and trust in Our Provident God who is compassion and merciful. Providence of God, I thank you for all.

Deacon Joe Lang (1994 M.Div.)

In October of 1994, surrounded by family friends and mentors, I graduated from NTC with my Masters of Divinity and was astounded to find myself the first recipient of the Joseph N. MacNeil award. I spent many hours assisting in the library as well as helping with music ministry and being on the original committee for Newman's ATS certification. I have many fond memories of the experiences and people I met at NTC. I continue to meet alumni of NTC, old and new, in the Canadian and international Church here and there. What a gift!

My time at Newman was intertwined with getting married (Rae-Lynn) and starting a family (in order: Paul, Michaela, Janaia, Benjamin). Christ, through the inspired culture of NTC and the teachers/mentors and classmates who became friends, opened my mind and my heart to a living dynamic Church. These living foundations in faith, theology and relationship have enabled me to find balances (mostly :-)) in my family, preaching, teaching and ministry in a contemporary world of strange polarizations, confusion and hunger for meaning.

After graduating from NTC we moved to Regina, Saskatchewan and assumed parish ministry for a number of years at Holy Child parish. I am currently a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Regina assisting at Resurrection Parish while working full time as a teacher/consultant for the Regina Catholic School Division #81. My joy is being a full time husband and Dad who has been gifted by the Lord in unbelievable ways through my incredible family, my ministry and a former archbishop, chancellor and diocese who were willing to risk for the first time ever, sponsoring and supporting a layperson at NTC. I am profoundly thankful and the foundations of NTC where God is always let "out of the box" and we are led by the kindly light in our faith seeking understanding!

Susan M. Campbell (1985 B.Th. & 1995 M.Th.)

I began my theological studies in 1980 when I was only 22 years old – fresh from serving a year with an itinerant youth ministry team in Canada and the U.S. – discerning a call to ministry within the Church. I completed a B.Th. in 1985 and an M.Th. in 1995. During those 15 years at the college I served in various ways from housekeeping to executive assistant to the president. My studies prepared me well for ministry in adult faith formation at the parish, diocesan and national levels. It also laid a good foundation for continuing studies at St. Paul University, Ottawa, and the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium. I currently serve as the director of Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in Cochrane. Newman provided an excellent theological education for which I will always be grateful. It also gave me a wonderful grounding for ministry in the way it modeled collaborative ministry among lay, religious and clerical students and staff.

Sandra Prather (1995 M.Th.)

As a retreat leader, writer, speaker and facilitator in the areas of spirituality and theology, my adage has always been, “Good theology gives life; bad theology kills it.” I know this from the heart.

Years ago, I came to Newman Theological College looking for life – and I found it! Suffering from bad theology, I had abandoned my Catholic faith as a young adult: too many questions, too many doubts. But by the time I reached my mid-30’s, the struggle to live in a world without God was too much and I began searching – for meaning, for hope, for faith. At Newman College I encountered ‘good theology,’ and with it, Life with a capital ‘L’. My faith, childish at best, had been filled with misconceptions and errors and for the first time, I was encountering Good News. So exceptional was it that I wanted only to share it: the desire to shout God’s name from the rooftops burned in my heart and has never left it. Eventually earning a Master of Theology, my work included leading retreats, teaching theology, and preaching parish missions, all in service of one purpose: “Good theology gives life; bad theology kills it.” I am forever grateful to Newman College and the professors and community there for setting me on that path.

Dean Sarnecki (1995 M.R.E.)

I had been teaching in a Catholic school for eight years when I was challenged to take a Newman course in the spring of 1991. Four years (1995) later, I received a Master of Religious Education degree from Newman College. I continued to take courses out of interest for many years after. In 1997 Fr. Moser asked if I could teacher a class on religious education and that teaching and relationship with Newman continues to the present. The MRE has been a blessing to me as I served in the Catholic school system in Sherwood Park as a school chaplain, teacher, and finally principal. In 2012 I applied for and got the position of Executive Director of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association where my formation at Newman continues to serve me well today. I am married to Antonia and have three adult children all living in Edmonton.

Rev. Eileen Conway (1996 M.Div.)

I enrolled at NTC in the fall of 1989, as an early step in discerning a call to ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. Part-time study for the M.Div. degree enlivened the next seven very happy years. I remember the rich diversity of the Newman community, including a number of true eccentrics—excellent teaching, and wonderful fellowship. I remember courses where each session began in meticulous expression of rigorous thought, yet midway metamorphosed into something like a warm poultice for the sore-hearted; and despite my best efforts I never could catch the moment when “the gears changed”! Another joy was the chance to teach English at Newman—sharing beloved texts in a theological setting (having approached theology originally by way of literature); and eventually I became an Anglican alumni representative on the Newman Senate for an extended period. Studying at Newman has blessed the rest of my life—and my family’s life, a gift beyond measure.

Dr. Pamela McCann (1996 M.Div.)

I graduated from Newman Theological College in 1996 with a Master of Divinity degree and my three years spent studying here have been among the best in my life! In particular, the friendships formed here were such a blessing. The experience of living and studying in the Newman community was the greatest gift and helped me become a committed community builder. At Newman I was inspired by the service of others and discovered that “the secret of living is giving.” It was a pleasure to serve the community as Chair of the pastoral care committee throughout my studies. Aside from organizing lots of parties and appreciation days with a team of lay students and seminarians, I loved learning theology and never stopped learning. After graduation I took the “Newman Spirit“ with me and went on to study canon law at St. Paul University in Ottawa and gain a PhD in theology from the University of Toronto. I have served in various ministries over the past 20 years as hospital chaplain, defender of the bond, tribunal judge, Newman College lecturer, marriage and family counsellor. Presently, I lead an ecumenical team of counsellors in Baden-Baden, Germany, where I live with my husband Tino.

Fr. Kevin Tumback (1996 M.Div.)

When Jesus said feed the hungry I am not sure he was thinking lobster, but it is a great event in the life of All Saints Parish Lethbridge, my current placement.

I am a graduate of NTC and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1996. My time at NTC was filled with many adventures and misadventures, everything from hanging Christmas lights to planning parties and of course going to class. May Fr. Martin Moser ever save a tree? I was part of the NTC student Council and sat of the Board of Governors for the Seminary and NTC. I had many good times and many graces and blessing provide by my professors. After graduating from NTC I spent a year at Foothills Hospital doing a residency in CPE followed by a year as a Chaplain with Calgary Catholic schools. This was followed by a pastoral placement at St. Mary’s Cathedral leading to my ordination to the deaconate March 17th of 1999 and my ordination to the priesthood June 29th 1999. I began my priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral and from there was sent to St. Albert the Great, a new parish formed in the city needing a home. Building a community and church can be a get hardship but is also an amazing blessing of developing trust in God, that all will be well. After 12 years at St. Albert the Great I was sent to All Saints in Lethbridge and here is am, all will be well.

Jovita Tobias-Fisher (1997 G.D.R.E. & 2006 M.R.E.)

Community life has answered my soul’s restlessness. When I immigrated to Canada in 1990, Newman Theological College (NTC) helped me tremendously. I was deeply grateful for my acceptance to the summer school course taught by Sr. Teresita Kambeitz o.s.u. I deeply treasure the warmth of welcome, hospitality and kindness of teachers and students. The grace from Mass before lunch break and the fellowship, enriched with true friends, I cherish forever. Through NTC, particularly the Oblates’ Community (OMI and OMMI), I was missioned up north for a full year as a volunteer catechist at St. Michael’s parish in Fort Rae, NWT. In 1997, I successfully earned a degree in Elementary Education from the Kings University College. Likewise, in 1997, NTC granted my Graduate Diploma in Religious Education. I then joined the Sisters of Providence but, my health failed me. While in remission, in 2001, I was hired by St. Andrew’s parish, Edmonton. I still needed two more courses from NTC. In 2006, I earned my Master of Religious Education while working full-time as a pastoral assistant. Alongside the parish’s faithful community, we support various ministries and groups, including the Filipino community and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP). I met Kent Fisher who is a member of the SSVP in Ontario. In 2010, the Year of the Priest, we were married in Cana (Galilee, Israel). I have been a full-time pastoral assistant for St. Andrew’s Parish for over eighteen years. Indeed, service in the Vineyard of the Triune God bears abundant fruit. Honor, glory, praise, and gratitude to the THREE IN ONE AND ONE IN THREE, with Our Lady.

Julien Hammond (1997 M.Div.)

I have had a long association with Newman Theological College since the early 1990’s: as a student & graduate of the college (M.Div. ‘97), as a staff member (Registrar, Dean of Students), and more recently as a sessional lecturer on specialized theological topics.

At NTC, I found my true vocation: serving as a lay ecclesial minister in the Catholic Church, teaching and encouraging others in the faith, and above all tending to the ministries of Christian unity and interreligious relations – most notably within the Archdiocese of Edmonton where I have been employed as Ecumenical Officer (with other duties as assigned) since 2002.

Most significant for me along this journey came in 1997, and the Anthony Jordan lectures presented that year by American Rabbi Asher Finkel. The rabbi spoke on contemporary Jewish-Christian relations and I knew immediately that this was a ministry field that I needed to explore more fully in my life.

That insight led me to a year of studies in Jerusalem, to graduate work in Toronto, to an invitation to minister in the Archdiocese, and to participation in many local, regional, national and international ecumenical and interfaith projects over the years.

Thank you, NTC! Happy 50th Anniversary!

Fr. Chris Lynch (1997 M.Div.)

Congratulations to Newman Theological College on their 50th Anniversary.

I graduated from NTC with a Masters of Divinity degree back in 1997 and I have been a Priest in the Diocese of Prince George since June 6th of that year.

I look back fondly on my four years at NTC. They were great years and I thoroughly enjoyed the studies, the faculty and students. What I really appreciated was the learning environment, rubbing shoulders with brother seminarians, lay male and female students, and students from other Christian faith traditions. It was a very holistic approach to learning and has stood by me well as I’ve interacted with many different people over the years as well as working ecumenically with other faith traditions.

Over the years since graduating, I have been a Pastor in many Parishes in Northern British Columbia. Always wonderful experiences wherever I’ve been posted and wonderful people to work with. God has been good and I want to express my sincere gratitude to NTC and St. Joseph Seminary for preparing me well for ministry.

May God continue to bless the work of NTC.

David Rodney (1997 G.D.R.E.)

I completed my GDRE & MRE in the late 90’s; & will be forever grateful to my profs & fellow students for the education they gifted me with—both in & out of the classroom! Newman helped me grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually, & culturally; & laid the foundation for all that has occurred since. After a rewarding career as a High School RS Educator & Youth Ministry Coordinator, it was time to establish the “Top of the World Society for Students” in Nepal (I had enjoyed the great fortune of becoming the first Canadian to summit Mt. Everest two times); & a career in keynote speaking, documentaries, writing, & international adventure guiding complimented that. Next, it was my honour to secure four terms as MLA Calgary-Lougheed, including as Alberta’s Minister of Wellness. Most importantly, my wonderful wife Jen & I have two amazing children & a beautiful little puppy! Lately, I have served as Senior Advisor for Alberta Counsel, completed my CDME, & become CEO of Tourism Canmore Kananaskis...& things have come full circle: my Master’s Thesis was on Sacred Spaces, & specifically, Mountains! Thanks again to all at Newman for equipping me with the life lessons required to enjoy a challenging but incredible journey so far!

Dr. David Peacock (1998 M.Div.)

This is David Peacock, Newman M.Div. alumnus from 1998. I recall when I first arrived at Newman one September morning, fresh off the plane from Australia, driving a flower decaled, rusty Acadia from 1972! I had just married Bonnie and moved to Edmonton (her car). I’m sure that made quite the impression on staff and students! I also remember relying on a strong group of friends, scholarly colleagues and financial supporters through the challenging M.Div. After convocation, I worked at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan in the 2000s and established an Engaged Learning program. Bonnie and I had our three children during that time in Saskatoon, and we then moved back to Australia for my PhD in the sociology of education. Since 2015, I have been Director of Community Service-Learning at the University of Alberta. Looking back, Newman gave me a deeper understanding of my religious and cultural roots, and a community that supported an exploration of the most important spiritual questions of existence. I am very grateful for that. I currently serve on the Board of Newman.

Fr. David Linder M.H. – Madonna House Apostolate (M.Div. 1999)

My years at NTC (1995-1999) were at times painful but always challenging. Being a twin institution with the seminary generated its share of problems, as both institutions had different visions. These were conflictive years. Returning only once since graduation, my visit wasn’t the least bit nostalgic. Rather, I liken my years there to a friend who had severe seizures last month; when he had recovered he said: “I feel strong but different, as if I think differently now.” I share this analogy not to imply ‘trauma’ but rather ‘change’; some part of my deepest being had shifted during my years at Newman. I remain grateful for several things: the chance to learn how to study, discuss and journey with a great mix of students and faculty, ‘rubbing shoulders’ in charity instead of conflict; also, for the exposure to theologies that continue to feed me twenty years later. I sincerely hope that NTC continues to stretch seminarians in positive directions. Since ordination I have served 9 years at our mission in Ghana, 8 years in formation work and the last three as ‘director of priests’ for my Madonna House community here in Ontario.

Barb Riley (1999 Dip.Th.)

What a privilege to have studied at (NTC) in my later years of life. Upon moving to St. Albert in the early 1990’s and having NTC so close to home, (at that time), along with three sons in school, I was able to study and work part time jobs. I loved my years at NTC where my faith grew and where I met friends I still correspond with today. After receiving my Dip.Th. in 1999, plus additional courses, I secured a job as Pastoral Care Coordinator (12 Yrs) with Michael’s Health Group, Edmonton until my retirement at age 70. I facilitated a few parish Pastoral Care courses and Eparchial Grief Share. In my 6thyr. of retirement, I do modified ministry (Joy Hour program and assist at Liturgy) at an assisted living, St. Albert, as well I serve with St. Albert Host Lions, refugee sponsorship, and volunteer at our food bank; continuing to serve (God’s humanity ) in need and putting my NTC learning into practice in community. I pray for our seven grandchildren so that they too can serve God and people in meaningful and life giving ways. I am grateful for NTC.

Janet (Werstiuk) Zilm (1999 M.Div.)

Prior to going to Newman I had been working as an R.N. for 6 years. I had a wonderful 4 years at Newman learning so much about Theology, Faith and Pastoral Care. After graduating from Newman, I moved to Saudi Arabia to work as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse and pay off my student loans. When I returned to Canada I moved to Vancouver and got a job as a Chaplain for the North Shore Health Region. After a year, I discovered that I really missed nursing. To sum it up….Chaplaincy was a lot of “Being”, and Nursing is a lot of “Doing”. I discovered that in my career I needed more “Doing” and only a little bit of “Being!” I moved back to Edmonton in 2001 and worked at the Cross Cancer Institute as a nurse. In 2007 I transferred to Children’s Home Care Nursing where I have been ever since. I love my job and find that it is the perfect combination of nursing and pastoral care. My journey took me full circle but I am a much better nurse due to completing my M.Div. In 2003 I met my husband Trevor. In 2008 we welcomed our fraternal twins, Jack and Hannah. My life since has been a cacophony of parenthood, marriage, work and mayhem which I love. I’m grateful for my time at Newman College. It was an incredible experience and I appreciate all the friends I made. I’m looking forward to the 50th Anniversary.

Fr. Bradford Fahlman (2000 M.Div.)

Time marches on quickly.

I graduated from NTC in 2000 with a Master of Divinity and carry many good memories of my time at Newman, finding it a stimulating experience and helpful to my personal growth.

I was ordained a diocese priest for the Archdiocese of Regina the same year and went on to serve for 3 years as associate pastor in rural and city parish communities in Southern Saskatchewan, becoming pastor of Holy Family Parish in Regina in 2003. I remained there for 11 years before taking a sabbatical at the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, CA.

Following that I walked the Pilgrim walk of St. James in Spain amidst other travel opportunities and soon after, entered a Master of Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University in Chicago.

I was happy to have been in Chicago when the Cubs won the World Series. I am now back in the Archdiocese of Regina as the Archbishop’s Delegate for victims of clergy sexual abuse and the current pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Regina. The adventure continues.

Doreen Bloos (2001 M.Div.)

I am a slow learner. After 13 years of studying part time at NTC, I graduated in 2001 with a Master of Divinity. I was active on the NTC Student Council (NTCSC) and served in almost every position on the council over those years. I loved my time at NTC so much that I never left and I have been working at NTC in many different positions since before I graduated. One of the positions that I have held for over 15 years is as Dean of Students. As such, I have sat on the NTCSC every year (except one) since 1994. That makes it 25 years on Student Council for me! That has to be a record. I am also the Director of Lay Formation so I have come to know a great many of the wonderful students we have had at NTC over the years. On a personal note, my three children have become adults since I first entered the doors of NTC and have given me five grandsons, who are the great joy of my life.

(Zibby) Zbigniew Jonczyk (2001 B.Th.)

My name is Zbigniew Jonczyk, also known to my friends as “Zibby.” I came to Canada in 1993 with a group of Polish theology students and I studied at St Joseph’s Seminary and Newman Theological College between 1994-1996, receiving my B.Th from NTC in 2001. In 2003 I joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a military chaplain. My military service has brought me to many places in Canada and abroad most notably to Afghanistan.

I have many fond memories of my time at the College and the Seminary, and of students, staff and professors at both of those fine Institutions. I enjoyed playing sports and participating in social activities. I truly loved our liturgies and enjoyed being part of a student’s choir.

St Joseph’s Seminary and NTC have taught me a lot about my own faith. Through my time with them, I learned the importance of dialogue, particularly amongst people professing different faiths. This ecumenical approach has been very helpful in my current ministry as a Military Chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces where I can use the skills I learned to better serve our men and women in uniform.

Rev. Dr. Marion Sutton (2001 M.Div.)

I am the Rev. Dr Marion E. Sutton, retired priest and Rural Dean of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Jamaica. I attended Newman College in preparation for the priesthood in the Anglican Church, Diocese of Edmonton. I graduated with distinction and was Class Valedictorian for the Master of Divinity degree in 2001.

I absolutely loved the time I spent studying at Newman College. It satisfied my soul's search for community, spirituality and knowledge of God. The teachers were brilliant, competent, caring and compassionate, especially Fr Moser, whom I will never forget. The staff were exceedingly helpful and caring. My fellow students and I were as one. The whole environment at Newman breathed love, equality and fraternity.

The well-being and education I experienced at Newman contributed greatly to my work as a priest, serving communities of the poor in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. I pursued justice through spiritual and socioeconomic development, hallmarks of the formation I received at Newman.

I served the Diocese of Jamaica with great ardour and tender loving kindness from 2002 to 2013, when ill health forced me to retire. Blessed love to Newman on this its fiftieth anniversary celebration!

Matt Hoven (2002 M.Div. & 2005 M.Th.)

I earned my M.Div. from Newman in 2002 and began working as a teacher and chaplain in Elk Island Catholic Schools. I had a passion for further studies and wanted to earn a doctorate in religious education; however, first I returned to Newman to deepen my theological knowledge and earned a MTh in 2005. Crystal and I married a year earlier and left for Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, for doctoral studies after finishing the MTh. Four years later, we returned to Edmonton for a tenure track position in religious education at St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta. I have been at the College since, teaching courses in religious education and sport and religion. I have published in these areas and have completed projects with local Catholic schools.

NTC fostered in me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Catholic tradition, while enriching my own spiritual life. I look back fondly on the too-many-to-name extraordinary classmates and instructors I met during my four years at the College. Today Crystal and I have three elementary school aged children and, as I did at Newman, enjoy skating on our backyard rink in the winters.

Fr. Jose Roy Allan C. Laudenorio, CD (2002 M.Div.)

Newman Theological College has blessed me with a graced opportunity to celebrate my Christian faith, wrestle with theological questions, and learn from the faith narratives of others. As an immigrant from the Philippines, I was able to articulate and synthesize my faith formation in this academic and faith environment. After completing my Master of Divinity degree in 2002, I continued my journey rooted in Jesus Christ, ready to explore and work in God’s vineyard.

A brief but profound placement in parish ministry at St. Albert Parish lead me to chaplaincy ministry in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2006. As a chaplain I provide pastoral and spiritual care to Canadian Armed Forces’ members and their families. What I find very fulfilling in this ministry is being invited to journey with people in their sacred space whether it be at home or in theatres of operation such as combat zones and training missions in Afghanistan or a humanitarian mission in the Philippines.

Being able to enter into a healthy and respectful dialogue with others, regardless of their faith journey, is a valuable skill that I acquired through the influence of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and NTC. This pastoral skill I continue to develop and integrate in my ministry as well as share with my chaplain colleagues.

Fr. William Hann (2003 M.T.S.)

I graduated from Newman Theological College with a Masters of Theological Studies with Distinction in 2003. Having the opportunity to return to university in my early forties was a profound experience in life long learning. NTC invited me to integrate my faith as I prepared for ministry as a Roman Catholic Priest. I am now pastor of two parishes in Victoria (Holy Cross and St. Patrick’s) and also the RC Chaplain at the University of Victoria. I am Vicar of Education and Evangelization for the Diocese of Victoria in addition to other roles and responsibilities. In all my roles of service, I walk humbly in the footsteps of Jesus striving to be a healing agent of hope, inviting people to join me in ministry as we build Christian community. My formation for ministry had its beginnings in my rural Newfoundland family where the underpinnings of faith, community and service imbued my Christian vocation. Newman Theological College was a conduit of grace in helping me become who I was called to be.

Fr. Ron Poworoznik (2003 M.Div.)

I am a grateful graduate from NTC Class of 2003. Since earning my Master of Divinity degree, I had served a small Orthodox mission parish in Sherwood Park for nearly 10 years. Following that, my interest in Biblical Scholarship (cultivated by the Very Rev. Dr. Paul Tarazi and Dr. Joanne Badley) had inspired me to offer many public lectures and teachings on Biblical topics in a true expression of ecumenism. Namely, I offered lectures and teachings at the Public Library, the Salvation Army, and the United Church. Today, I am a long-standing member of "Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies," a group of Biblical scholars and pastors who gather annually to present papers.

On a personal note, I have been happily married for over 25 years with two college-aged daughters. I am also a Respiratory Therapist specializing in Anesthesia Assistance at the Misericordia Hospital for nearly 30 years.

Sr. Dianne Turner (2003 M.Div.)

Part of my formation as a Franciscan Sister of St. Elizabeth was studying at NTC. It took me 15 years to complete the M. Div. (with distinction), as I was (and am) teaching science in Calgary Catholic at the same time. Some of the great blessings I received during my time at Newman were the camaraderie of the students and staff, the joy of preparing for and participating in the comprehensive exam, doing theology with theologians, participating in the Holy Mass and prayers, and being supported by the faith of the seminarians, fellow students and staff. God bless you!

Karen Ziegler (2003 B.Th.)

Once our 5 children were in school, I followed an inner longing to begin studying my favorite subject, God, through Newman Theological College. During the time of my studies, I followed a call to become a Catholic hospital chaplain with the Archdiocese of Regina. Within seven years, I completed a Bachelor of Theology degree in 2003.

My studies at Newman evoked spiritual, personal, and emotional growth. Each professor’s faith shone through the knowledge they taught, strengthening my own faith. My personal relationship with God came alive. Something amazing happened. The theological studies integrated into my being, becoming part of who I am. I brought this inner transformation to the bedside of each person I visited, to their family members, and to the staff who I worked side by side with as we all cared for each client.

I retired a year ago. After thanking God for the awesome journey of the first part of my life, I am waiting to see what God has in store for me in the years ahead. Right now, I continue to be a spiritual director and I am enjoying our two grandchildren. Thank you to all who made my time at Newman a life changing and enriching experience.

Linda (Lyn) M. Boire (2004 M.Div.)

I am a late bloomer. After working in liturgy and catechetics for years, I only started studying at Newman at age 52, so that I could receive the theological training to do what I was already doing – only to discover how much I didn’t know! Besides an excellent theological education, Newman has given me wonderful memories as well: the friendships I made with students and staff alike, the weekday liturgies where I played guitar and sang, so much laughter – and yes, some tears. And I can never forget trying to master words like eschatology, pneumatology, and soteriology!

Since graduating with my M.Div. in 2004, I have had the privilege of working in parish ministry, and am currently serving as Pastoral Associate at St. Charles Parish in Edmonton. My association with Newman has continued since I graduated. I have taught courses in NTC’s Certificate program, as well as the Summer School for Liturgical Studies, and I continue to do presentations for NTC’s Lay Formation program. In addition to equipping me for parish ministry, NTC gave me the theological background to achieve another of my dreams – in 2016, I graduated with an M.A. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Julien Fradette (2004 M.Div.)

In September 2000, following an early retirement, I arrived at NTC to begin my program of studies as one of the Lilly students. Upon arriving to live in the seminary, I recall standing in the chapel like it was yesterday; I stood there and wondered, “What am I doing here? Will I be able to survive?” Without question, it was a nourishing and fulfilling four years, while at the same time very challenging. I had left my wife, Linda, back home as well as my entire support network. Close bonds were established at Newman, firstly within our Lilly group, but also extended to the wider student body and faculty members. Upon completion of the MDiv I returned to the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface and undertook the responsibilities of director of pastoral services and finally retired in January 2015. It goes without saying, the Newman experience was formative and had a great influence on my personal life as well as on my professional life. Having retired, I spend my time travelling to Vancouver to visit with my daughter and grandchildren as well as continue in formation in San Antonio, Texas in the Forest Dwelling Program: the spirituality of our wisdom years, where Fr. Ron Rolheiser is president of the college.

Mona Goodman (2004 M.Div.)

I began my journey at Newman Theological College in 2000 with the support of my husband, Lyle, and our beautiful daughter, Calla (then seven years old). A scholarship through the Lilly program afforded me the opportunity to study and obtain a Master of Divinity in 2004. People came together from all walks of life to journey, study, and grow together as the living Body of Christ. We shared our life experiences, prayer, studies, spirituality, celebrations, and wisdom. Lifelong friendships developed, and we were companions on the journey of life. My professors encouraged and empowered me to deepen my covenantal relationship with God. NTC was a place where all of us gathered to embrace our love of a generous, compassionate, merciful God.

During my time at Newman, I was the treasurer of the NTC Student Council. After graduating, I worked at St. Albert Parish as the Pastoral Associate. We moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and I facilitated and coordinated the Lay Formation Program for the Diocese of Saskatoon from 2008-2017. What an honor and a privilege to journey together with others who desire a deeper covenantal relationship with our Loving Creator.

Lyle and I retired to Vancouver Island and because of friendships found and formed at NTC, I continue to offer retreats and journey with others who have a thirst to know God. I am grateful for the learning, the friendships, and the opportunities given because of my time at NTC. I am blessed indeed!

Teresa Kellendonk (2004 M.Div.)

Teresa Kellendonk is the Department Head of Pastoral & Parish Services and the Archbishop’s Delegate for Safe Environments & Abuse Prevention for the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton. She graduated with her BA from Brock University in linguistics and education. I accepted a role in parish ministry in the Diocese of St. Catharines working in Niagara Falls. My husband was transferred to Edmonton in 1997 and because I wanted to know and understand my faith in order to continue in parish ministry I began studying at Newman College, graduating with a Master of Divinity Degree. I continued my studies in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and through McMaster University in Addictions. I have worked in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. In 2016 I graduated with an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

I am a Certified Practitioner & Coach for the EQ1-2.0 Assessment tool (emotional intelligence). I am also involved with an international organization, International Prison Chaplains Association (IPCA) that unites, supports and equips a global network of chaplains as Vice President for that organization. I have had the honour to have been a participant at a United Nations Side Event speaking into Restorative Justice for prisoners. Newman was a place of formation, education and wonderful friendships.

Louis Kloster (2004 G.D.R.E. & 2015 M.R.E.)

I completed my Graduate Diploma in Religious Education (GDRE) in 2004. As I lived in Hinton at the time, half of my courses were taken online and the others in-class, during a deferred salary leave from my work as a Catholic school administrator. In 2015, I completed my Masters in Religious Education (MRE). My experience at NTC was enjoyable and invaluable. Each course, and each professor, contributed to my faith formation and further prepared me for my work as a Religious Education consultant. After seven years with Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, I retired from full-time work in June 2015.

Even in retirement, one must seek ways to share one’s faith experience and knowledge with others. During my first year, I taught several five-week online courses in NTC’s Certificate of Catholic Studies program. I continue to lead retreats for schools and parishes in Edmonton and area. I work part-time for Pearson Publishing and in service teachers so they can effectively teach the new religious studies program.

I also volunteer at the Marian Centre, a soup kitchen in downtown Edmonton, and do prison ministry at the Edmonton Remand Centre. Within my parish, I lead music at mass, lead a youth group, and am part of the Confirmation preparation team.

Jane (Ethier) Korvemaker (2004 Dip.TS. & 2005 B.Th.)

I love food, family, wine, and God (perhaps not in that order). I hold a Certificate in Culinary Arts, which pairs perfectly with my Bachelor in Theology from Newman. My time at Newman was mostly pleasant, the lack of sleep notwithstanding. In fact, it turns out that lack of sleep was very good preparation for having young children. Thank you, Newman.

While studying, I served as editor of the Newman Nickel on Student Council in my second year and Vice President in my third. I also worked in the library part-time and held great intel on which students actually looked up their references. And I know for a fact that Fr. Dave Norman kept bottles of wine in his office for when the occasion should arrive. But I’m sure times have changed since then.

Now living in Saskatoon, I spend my time homeschooling my three very vocal children and coordinating Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at my parish. You could say I’m punishing myself this year with taking several philosophy classes. No offence, Dr. West.

Rita Sandmaier (2004 M.Div.)

Never say never when realizing your dreams to accomplish something in your life whether it is learning to play the piano or getting a degree. Because I needed to work fulltime, I took a course or two every semester for years before enrolling in the M.Div. program. I finally received my M.Div. in 2004. The greatest gift throughout my studies was what it did for me spiritually as well as the ongoing confidence in knowing that I was receiving a strong foundation in the teachings of our Catholic faith. Most of what I do in the church is volunteer work. I was trained as a pastoral worker through CPE and continue to use this training. Ministries that I am involved in are: Pastoral Care at two of our Care Homes, Eucharistic Minister, Proclaimer and am I am on the Alpha leadership team. I facilitate the Grief program and have offered occasional retreats to small groups in my parish. I have led sessions in facilitating others in acknowledging their own grief experiences before ministering to others. I also help out with the AV services in our parish and consider it to be a ministry of blessing.

Blake Sittler (2004 M.Div.)

In 1999, I moved to Edmonton from Saskatoon to work towards a Master of Divinity from Newman Theological College. I enjoyed my work as a pastoral associate at St. Patrick’s Parish but I looked at the people working for the diocese and thought that I would like to work there one day. With the support of my wife, Brooke, and at the urging of another alumni, David Peacock, we packed up our life and went back to school. After four years of study, as well as a unit of CPE at the University of Alberta Hospital, I was back in Saskatoon and working at the Catholic Pastoral Centre. Ten years later, I was the Director of Pastoral Services. I am grateful to Newman Theological College, especially now in my role as Executive Director of the Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan, for the critical faith formation that the professors and fellow students offered me. Happy fiftieth anniversary to my alma mater!

Sr. Gabriela Villela (2004 B.Th.)

Newman Theological College was a leader after the Second Vatican Council for the Church in Western Canada. I was one of the students that benefitted from great professors in the areas of Scripture, Theology and Spirituality which I used in a variety of ministries in Edmonton such as in the Parish C.W.L, spiritual advisor to the St. Vincent de Paul West Particular Council and in particular with senior high and junior high students in a program in Edmonton entitled the Seton Way – A Service Project. I am most grateful to Newman College for the blessings received during my time as a student there.

Gwen Kinsella (Keyes) (2005 M.T.S.)

For me, Newman was a safe place to land after unexpectedly losing a parent in my early 20s. “Faith seeking understanding” was the college’s motto, and I was seeking understanding. My years at Newman College gifted me an M.T.S., many deeply meaningful friendships, and an epic husband. Who knew that last one could happen in a school with so many celibates? 😉 Post Newman, I worked as a pastoral associate for St. Charles Parish, as a teacher for St. Albert Catholic Schools, and as a full-time mama for our two inspiring children. This fall I start prerequisites for a Master of Counselling program. At my core, I am still a seeker and live in awe and wonder of all there is yet to learn.

Major Hope (Holst) Winfield (2005 M.Div.)

I graduated in 2005 with a Master of Divinity. This graduate program gave me the theological and professional preparation required to join the Canadian Armed Forces as a Catholic Chaplain (mandated Lay Pastoral Associate with the Military Ordinariate). What I remember most about my time at Newman was the student social life (harvest dances, jazz martini nights, wine and cheese fundraisers etc.) or in some instances misplaced competitiveness at the foosball table! I have gained life long friendships which I can count on for support and over the years have been proud to serve alongside many Military Chaplains, who themselves were classmates of mine or alumni of Newman. Thanks to the professors and various mentors who worked tirelessly to give us a solid and well rounded ministry foundation, I have been able to support the spiritual wellbeing of members within our military community both in Canada and abroad. Serving since 2003, whether as a student Chaplain, Faith Community Coordinator, Unit Chaplain or Senior Base/ Wing Chaplain, I have enjoyed it all!

Debbie Doornbos (2006 Dip.Th. & B.Th.)

“An oasis in the desert!” is how I describe my time at Newman Theological College. My journey to NTC came out of a hunger and a thirst for a deeper relationship with God. It was fuelled by a two-year lay formation program in Prince Albert, SK and the opportunity to attend NTC that opened as a result of a move to Edmonton. My eight-year journey toward a Bachelor of Theology degree at Newman Theological College was not so much a goal as it was an ongoing unfolding of events. Initially studying theology intimidated me. However, professors encouraged me to keep studying theology. With a family still at home and a part time job, I began with one course a semester, and then two, until my final year when I studied full time. I had the opportunity to serve as president of student council in the second half of the last year and was honoured to be chosen as the valedictorian of my graduating class. My time at NTC were treasured years-like finding the pearl of great price- that grounded me spirituality and deepened my love for my Catholic faith. If provided a strong foundation for my eleven-year ministry as Program Director at Providence Renewal Centre, my current ministry as a spiritual director and as the Canadian Director for Sacred Art of Living Centre.

Jovita Tobias-Fisher (1997 G.D.R.E. & 2006 M.R.E.)

Community life has answered my soul’s restlessness. When I immigrated to Canada in 1990, Newman Theological College (NTC) helped me tremendously. I was deeply grateful for my acceptance to the summer school course taught by Sr. Teresita Kambeitz o.s.u. I deeply treasure the warmth of welcome, hospitality and kindness of teachers and students. The grace from Mass before lunch break and the fellowship, enriched with true friends, I cherish forever. Through NTC, particularly the Oblates’ Community (OMI and OMMI), I was missioned up north for a full year as a volunteer catechist at St. Michael’s parish in Fort Rae, NWT. In 1997, I successfully earned a degree in Elementary Education from the Kings University College. Likewise, in 1997, NTC granted my Graduate Diploma in Religious Education. I then joined the Sisters of Providence but, my health failed me. While in remission, in 2001, I was hired by St. Andrew’s parish, Edmonton. I still needed two more courses from NTC. In 2006, I earned my Master of Religious Education while working full-time as a pastoral assistant. Alongside the parish’s faithful community, we support various ministries and groups, including the Filipino community and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP). I met Kent Fisher who is a member of the SSVP in Ontario. In 2010, the Year of the Priest, we were married in Cana (Galilee, Israel). I have been a full-time pastoral assistant for St. Andrew’s Parish for over eighteen years. Indeed, service in the Vineyard of the Triune God bears abundant fruit. Honor, glory, praise, and gratitude to the THREE IN ONE AND ONE IN THREE, with Our Lady.

Ryan Ledene (2006 G.D.R.E. & M.R.E.)

As a recent convert to the Catholic Faith, I began to teach in Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools in 1996. As I moved into an administrative role, I knew that I needed to strengthen my ability to lead in a Catholic environment. In 2006, I completed my Master's Degree in Religious Education as well as my Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Administration. My formation at Newman College helped me have two successful assignments as a school principal and facilitated my move to central office as the division Faith Coordinator. My Newman College experience continues to serve me in my current role as Associate Superintendent responsible for Faith Development and Division Support. This includes working collaboratively with Newman College to provide opportunities for our division employees to be part of graduate cohorts in central Alberta so our next generation of teachers and leaders can develop their own skills as Catholic educators.

Publicly funded Catholic Education is a blessing in Alberta and my wife and I are pleased that both of our children graduated from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. I am truly thankful that God has placed me in this beautiful vocation and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have attended Newman Theological College.

Marian Huber (2007 B.Th. & 2011 M.T.S.)

I initially attended Newman Theological College with the understanding that I would go one semester. Well, about five years later I graduated from the Master of Theological Studies program after having completed my Bachelor of Theology. I occasionally hear myself saying I sure wish I had of paid more attention in class!! Philosophy classes typically hurt my head but I admit the principles I learned have contributed positively to my ministry when sitting on ethics committee or facilitating various meetings. Having worked in health care as a Spiritual Care practitioner and Director of Spiritual Care at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan I understand the importance of philosophy, theology and history in the role of spirituality. When I reflect on my time at Newman I remember first and foremost the many professors who encouraged me in my studies as an adult student who was also working in the health care field. The greatest challenge I have faced as a Spiritual Care Practitioner in Saskatchewan was the government’s decision to not fund Spiritual Care in hospitals and at approximately the same time Medical Aid in Dying was mandated. The greatest blessing is working in a faith based facility who values and funds spiritual care.

Andy Korvemaker (2007 M.Div.)

I received my M.Div. from NTC in 2007. It was a good year. My Newman experience included the seminary, Student Association, and IT department. I married Jane, and we have three loud kids. Now I homebrew beer and work as the Faith Formation Minister at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon. NTC gave me a fantastic formation for my ministry, and I formed some solid, life-long friendships there. And I played a lot of foosball and StarCraft. All in all, an exceptional time.

Irene Wilson (1991 B.R.E. & 2007 M.T.S.)

My first degree at Newman was in the Bachelor of Religious Education program. That degree introduced me into an understanding of adult faith formation that has served me well, particularly as I got involved in the RCIA. Under the leadership of Teresita Kambeitz in the BRE, I felt well prepared to journey with those who had a call to find a home in the Roman Catholic Church. The RCIA has been the ministry I have been devoted to for the past 25 years. Since retirement from teaching English to newcomers to Canada I have taken on shared duties as spiritual advisor for The St. Albert Conference of St. Vincent de Paul as well as facilitating sessions in my women’s faith sharing circle.

Sound theology from professors without exception, profound respect for the adult learning style, the invitation to think critically about our faith in order to embrace it more deeply as well as the opportunity to study and to celebrate daily Eucharist with the whole student body allowed me to encounter the spirit of Christian life in a very rich context.

David Graves (2008 B.Th.)

“Give them The Stories” Fr. Catfish said, mentoring me through Newman’s Baccalaureate program and a Camp Encounter administration. I went on to get my Bachelor of Education. Now I teach Aboriginal Studies and support The Braided Journeys Program in the Edmonton Catholic School District, which believes “truth must be acknowledged” and “commits itself to The Truth and Reconciliation calls to action” (Carr, 2016). My work is in that abrasive intellectual space between the history of this territory, this Archdiocese, and the families impacted by genocide. There are, however, guides to survive infanticide, occupation, and assimilation and, as luck would have it, I happen to know a few.

“Give them The Stories” he said.

Thanks Newman.

Kate O’Gorman (2008 M.T.S.)

When I began my studies at Newman Theological College, my only intention was to learn. I had a deep interest in theology and felt inspired to expand my understanding. Newman did not disappoint. As a student I explored my faith, made profound friendships, and encountered highly skilled professors who challenged me to think deeply—but I never intended to work in ministry. Famous last words! A few short years after graduating with my Master of Theological Studies in 2008, I accepted a ministry position with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon and moved to Saskatchewan. For over eight years, I have had the privilege of journeying alongside the laity of this diocese as the coordinator of two formation programs: the Lay Formation program (now called Adult Faith Enrichment) and most recently, the Justice & Outreach Year of Formation program (or the J.O.Y. program). Since graduating, I have been graced with opportunities to not only serve, but to champion lay-led ministry. I am forever grateful for my time at Newman and to my professors in particular—those gifted men and women who not only formed my mind, but my faith as well.

Rev. Daniel Gurnick, OFM (2009 B.Th.)

I graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree at Newman Theological College in 2009. I also took philosophy and theological courses beyond the degree, which were necessary for ordination. Currently, I am on the retreat team at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre Cochrane, AB. I preach retreats to various groups, which includes people in the twelve-step recovery program. I use music, scripture and stories to connect with students in both the Catholic and Public-school systems. On a very part-time basis, I celebrate reconciliation and lead liturgies at two correctional facilities. My time at Newman College fueled a passion for theology. I enjoy profoundly to prepare and present homilies and various retreat talks. Newman College assisted in my passion for music especially while playing sister Conga (hand drum) during various Newman liturgies and social events.

Mike Landry (2009 B.Th.)

When I first began work as a parish youth minister in the fall of 2002, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. At twenty-two years old, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of my faith, and so long as I had a Bible and the Catechism handy, I’d be able to take on any question a young person might throw at me.

Fortunately for me, my pastors saw that my enthusiasm needed some formation to go along with it, so I was encouraged to register at Newman Theological College in the fall of 2004. Thanks to their support, I earned a Bachelor of Theology in 2009 as well as an MA in Theology from Franciscan University in 2014. Today, I work for Evergreen Catholic Schools as their division chaplain, and I also travel across Western Canada presenting on a variety of topics in parishes and schools. It’s been a tremendous journey since those first days in a parish in 2002, and I owe a debt of gratitude for the opportunity to study at Newman. The studies and formation I have received, thanks to NTC, have been invaluable to me both personally and professionally.

Theresa Robinson (2009 M.Div.)

My time at Newman was so impactful to my life and career. The community first of all became a second family as I had moved from another province. I enjoyed the conversations over food and coffee, sometimes heated debates, much laughter. The classes and professors helped me grow in knowledge of my faith as I also grew along spiritual lines and came to deepen my relationship with God and gained a greater understanding of what God was calling me to in life, at least for the time being. I graduated and continued to grow my family. My husband and I have since welcomed 5 children into our home. Being a mother and wife is my primary love and vocation. Since graduating I have done parish work as a pastoral associate and from June 2015 have been working as a Campus Minister at St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta. In this role I have found a vocation that brings me great joy. I am furthering my education at the moment working on a Master of Psychotherapy part time as I continue to work at the college.

Fr. Dean Dowle (2010 M.Div.)

It seems an interest in education invariably leads to further education, and that is a very positive and satisfying outcome. In October 2010 I convocated from NTC with an M.Div. for Ministry as a Catholic Priest. The five years at Newman was foundational, formative and fun! There it was among many others that one developed the knowledge needed and necessary to serve God’s people, perhaps with humble confidence and hopefully in charity. Be it the interactive Classes, the insightful Professors, or the interesting Classmates all held a valuable part to offer. Consequently, I remain a strong advocate of Newman Theological College by encouraging our Catholic Teachers to obtain their MRE, in supporting the Annual Appeal, and through attending a variety of extracurricular events. Newman Theological College accredited me with my Degree, and to it I owe a great deal of credit for some of the best of experiences.

Rachel (Harrison) Krystopowicz (2010 B.Th.)

I graduated from Newman Theological College in 2010. During my undergraduate I took my first basic Clinical Pastoral Education unit and fell in love with chaplaincy. Following my undergrad, I started slowly taking Masters Classes with hopes of continuing in Spiritual Care. In 2014, I was accepted into my residencies in CPE in Vancouver and graduated with my Master in Public and Pastoral Leadership from Vancouver School of Theology in 2016. I am currently working at Royal Alexandra Hospital as a Spiritual Care Practitioner three days a week. We are expecting our second son in February 2020. Life is busy as a wife, mother, and chaplain but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Faith Nostbakken (2010 M.T.S.)

In 2004, I registered for one course at NTC some years after completing a doctorate in English, because my desire for learning drew me back to the classroom again. Proceeding at a slow, steady pace, I finished my MTS in 2010. During that time, I also trained to become a spiritual director and have been active in that ministry every since, primarily out of the Providence Renewal Centre, where I also lead retreats, guide the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, and serve on the leadership faculty of the training program for spiritual directors. I also found a way to bring together my English teaching background and my theology studies by helping SJS seminarians with their writing skills in a role that began before I completed my MTS and has carried on since then. In 2014, I became ordained as a Lutheran deacon and shortly thereafter was appointed an ecumenical officer for our Alberta Synod. The connection between theology and teaching has also led me to opportunities at King’s University, St. Stephen’s College, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon. NTC offered a learning environment where I could broaden my ecumenical roots and develop my theological foundation for these ongoing endeavors in various ministry settings.

Camille Wolfe (2010 M.T.S.)

It was a privilege to study at Newman Theological College! I proudly wear my NTC ring as a reminder of that time of my life I was a student. I always looked forward to my classes at NTC. The courses were interesting and stimulated my personal and professional growth in theological education. The courses stretched my thinking and thus deepened my spiritual and religious values. Part of the delight of being a student was sharing in worship and social events, getting to know students and faculty from different cultures, ethnic backgrounds and religious faiths, which truly incorporated the ecumenical aspect of Christian theology.

I found the courses of “The Concept of Christian Faith, Bioethics: Moral Issues for Life Sciences and Contemporary Christian Ethics” very meaningful and relevant to my work in the health care environment. I will always remember with fondness the enthusiasm the late Dr. Gwen Miller brought to these classes as she shared her wisdom. I have applied the learning from these courses in my role as an educator in the nursing profession. I currently facilitate the academic studies and clinical development of nursing students as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the clinical specialties of mental health, rehabilitation nursing, medicine and surgery.

On a personal note, I love spending time with my three children and seven grandchildren.

Pat Holt (2011 M.T.S.)

Newman has been a part of my life since the 1970s when an outreach program for administrators with Edmonton Catholic Schools introduced me to the study of theology. It was ‘faith seeking understanding’ all right, but then it became ‘understanding deepening and enriching faith’. I enrolled in a few courses then, and in 1977 our son was baptized in the beautiful chapel there.

Years later I was inspired to start studying theology again when a Newman CTS course was offered in Leduc. I began as a student in Open Studies and then picked the MTS path because I wasn’t planning on a specific ministry (other than teaching, parenting, parish work, and a few archdiocesan boards and councils). With the MTS program I could focus on scripture, including learning Greek so as to be able to read and understand the Gospels as they were originally shared and to read and study some of the other documents of the early church.

I took one or two classes each year, working slowly but in the depth that I liked. During that time I had the very fortunate experience of attending Newman classes in all three of its locations - the original community in St. Albert, the temporary location in Sherwood Park, and the first year in the new facility in Edmonton before graduating in 2011. Presently I serve on the Archdiocesan Interreligious Relations Advisory Committee.

Marian Huber (2007 B.Th. & 2011 M.T.S.)

I initially attended Newman Theological College with the understanding that I would go one semester. Well, about five years later I graduated from the Master of Theological Studies program after having completed my Bachelor of Theology. I occasionally hear myself saying I sure wish I had of paid more attention in class!! Philosophy classes typically hurt my head but I admit the principles I learned have contributed positively to my ministry when sitting on ethics committee or facilitating various meetings. Having worked in health care as a Spiritual Care practitioner and Director of Spiritual Care at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan I understand the importance of philosophy, theology and history in the role of spirituality. When I reflect on my time at Newman I remember first and foremost the many professors who encouraged me in my studies as an adult student who was also working in the health care field. The greatest challenge I have faced as a Spiritual Care Practitioner in Saskatchewan was the government’s decision to not fund Spiritual Care in hospitals and at approximately the same time Medical Aid in Dying was mandated. The greatest blessing is working in a faith based facility who values and funds spiritual care.

Cynthia Martin (2011 G.D.R.E. & 2016 M.R.E.)

NTC played an important role in my academic growth and more so spiritual development. My studies were a personal endeavour to deepen my understanding of the faith I was raised in. They did just that and more.

Roads twist as they will, and I first completed my GDRE in 2011 being quite satisfied with what I had learnt and had grown spiritually. I never intended to go on to complete my Master’s in Religious Education however, prompting from my family spurred me on. In 2016 I finished that program and was humbled to receive the Emmas award.

Many doors have opened doing work I love and have a passion for thanks to the completion of this education. As a lifelong learner since graduation I have also continuing my education through the Benedict XVI Institute.

I currently work for St. Paul Education as Religious Education Coordinator. In this role I am able to work with staff, students and parents walking with them on their journey to better understand and engage in Catholic Education and their faith. I am also fortunate to have time to do some retreat work in the Diocese of St. Paul, travel with my husband, spend time with our three adult children and appreciate the joy of grandmothering four amazing kiddos!

Jordan Robinson (2012 M.R.E.)

Through six years of study, I had the honour of study at Newman Theological College on all three campuses:old, temporary, and current. I enjoyed my time at Newman developing skills and understanding that have helped me succeed in education leadership. I received my Masters of Religious Education in Newman in 2012 and the Emmaus Award. Currently, I am a principal in STAR Catholic Schools based out of Leduc and a sessional instructor through St. Joseph's College at the U of A. On a personal level, my wife and I have five beautiful children together; she is currently a Campus Minister at U of A and a Newman Graduate.

Judy Darbyson (2013 B.Th.)

I grew up in the Montreal area, in the Province of Quebec. My husband and I moved our family out west, where we settled in Fort McMurray, Alberta. In 1995, we moved from Fort McMurray to Vegreville, then to Edmonton shortly after. Then I began my studies at NTC in the Summer School in Liturgical Studies in 1997 and took my first undergraduate course was in 1998. I received my Summer School in Liturgical Studies Certificate in 2003. I worked as the Assistant to the Registrar at NTC for 3 years, which was very rewarding. It took me 18 years of part time studies to complete my Bachelor of Theology degree, which I received in October of 2013. The growth and development I experienced and the wonderful people with whom I have connected along the way have made my time at Newman College very worthwhile. I would recommend studying at Newman to anyone who takes their faith seriously. I currently work as Pastoral Associate for St. Matthew Parish at Capital Care Dickinsfield, a role that I find very fulfilling.

I enjoy hanging out with my three daughters, playing with my three grandsons and eating my husband Terry’s home cooked meals.

Karen Koester (2013 G.D.R.E. & 2015 M.R.E.)

Born one day after the Second Vatican Council closed, I was only four when Newman Theological College came to be. I grew up attending St. Joseph’s Cathedral (now Basilica) in Edmonton with my family. From my youth, I joyfully answered God’s call to liturgical music ministry within parish and archdiocese as a cantor, trumpeter, and choir director. It has been an honour to serve the CCCB as a western Canadian representative on the National Council for Liturgical Music these past few years.

After completing my first year of teaching in June 1991, I enrolled in my first course at Newman – Women and the Scriptures. I loved it and wanted more, so completed courses in the evening, in July, and eventually online until I convocated with a GDRE in 2013 and a Master of Religious Education in 2015.

I am now blessed to serve as religious education coordinator in Evergreen Catholic School Division in Spruce Grove, Alberta. This role includes being part of an instructional team for teachers from four Catholic school jurisdictions who are completing Catholic educational leadership academy at Newman College.

Truly, Newman Theological College has been a source of God’s grace and the light of Christ to me.

Marieta Paul (1979 B.Th. & 2014 M.Th.)

NTC has been a significant influence in the life of Douglas and Marieta, introducing them to lifelong friends and providing them with a solid and respected foundation for their careers. Douglas graduated in 1977 with a B.Th. Marieta graduated in 1979, also with a B.Th. They recently celebrated forty years of marriage and have four children and seven grandchildren. Douglas was the Religious Education Coordinator for the Calgary Diocese for some years, and he was the Religion Department Head at St. Joseph’s High School in Edmonton for over twenty years, until he retired. Marieta has been the Pastoral Associate at Holy Family Parish, St. Albert since 1991, and the Coordinator of Spiritual Care at Covenant Health Youville Home, St. Albert since 2008. Marieta graduated from NTC again in 2014, this time with a Masters in Theological Studies, and she continues to be involved with NTC, providing workshops for the Lay Formation program and for the Enculturation Program for International Priests on ministry to the elderly.

Fr. Kristopher Schmidt (M.Div. 2014)

I entered St. Joseph Seminary in the fall of 2008 and started my philosophy and theological studies at Newman College. I graduated in 2014 with a Masters of Divinity as preparation for my life as a priest. With the fast-paced life of priesthood, I quickly realized my gratitude for my studies at Newman, as the time to prepare talks and catechesis was limited and I was drawing on my knowledge from my graduate studies. I spent 4 years as an associate pastor at the Basilica after graduation and have now been a pastor in Fort Saskatchewan for the last year.

Angela Veters (2014 M.Div.)

My time at Newman was a huge blessing in my life. Newman became like a second family to my husband and I. We were gifted with terrific friendships among seminarians and lay students. Student Council was a fulfilling experience as I became active in the school community and made great memories. Hours spent in the library and chapel helped form me. After four years of studies and the support of wonderful faculty and staff, I graduated in 2014 with a Master of Divinity.

In the fall of 2014, I began CPE and also received a contract to work as a Chaplain at a Provincial Correctional Institution. It was wonderful to find work in the field that drew me to do my M.Div. In 2015, my husband and I welcomed our third child and felt it was time to move back to B.C. Since 2016, I have worked for the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s prison ministry.

Fr. Michael Uso-Ereyi (2015 M.Div.)

I started the M.Div. program at Newman Theological College in the Fall of 2011 via Saint Joseph Seminary. I graduated in 2015. The years I spent at the college helped me to develop a theological foundation upon which my pastoral activities are continually been built. Because of the solid academic formation that I received from Newman College, my canonical formation at Saint Paul University was very easy.

I am currently the pastor of a vibrant Christian community, as well as the judicial vicar and vocations director of our archdiocese.

I will forever be grateful to the academic and non-academic staff of the college for their dedication to academic excellence over the years.

Brett Fawcett (2016 M.T.S.)

Newman Theological College was where I learned many of the skills that I use today. During my time at Newman, I served in different capacities for Student Council, including the role of the VP of Social Life. After graduating with my Master's of Theological Studies in 2016, my Newman degree enabled me to get into a prestigious education program, during which I won the Lieutenant Governor Award for Social Studies Education using knowledge about Canadian history I learned from Newman classes on Catholic Social Teaching. Along the way, I have been able to author or co-author two books, with another on the way based on my final Newman paper, and written well-received articles on education and other topics from a Catholic perspective for media outlets like the Edmonton Journal. I currently teach at an Alberta curriculum school in China with my wife.

Connie Hopkins (1986 B.R.E., 1987 B.Th. & 2016 M.Th.)

Attending NTC was the furthest thing from my mind when a teaching colleague suggested I take a course. His persistence led to what would be a life-long love of Newman.

I completed the course and loved it! This led to a BRE degree, which led to a BTH degree and into a MTH degree. There was studying evening, spring and summer courses, in addition to being mom to three daughters and a wife and an elementary teacher, with church committees and school committees. Then for a while, I worked as Religious Consultant for the St. Albert Catholic Schools. In the midst of everything, I ran out of energy before my MTH was completed, and stepped away from NTC. I missed Newman immensely.

A while later my husband and I left Canada to teach in Guatemala, a country of incredibly hospitable people. After four years we moved back to Canada to be near our daughters, seven grandchildren, and aging parents. This meant I could again attend NTC. Over time I excitedly completed my MTH.

Currently I am loving being an instructor at St. Joseph’s College. In addition, I am studying in the Spirituality of Aging program, through the Oblate College in San Antonio, Texas.

Catherine Mardon (2016 M.T.S.)

My life was supposed to take a different path, but God had other things in mind. Being disabled made pursuing a higher education quite difficult at times, but the staff and faculty of Newman were always quick to make accommodations. My ministry is with the mentally ill and mentally disabled. I serve on the Ethics Committee at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. My husband and I give lectures to the public, students and professionals on living with mental illnesses and living with those who suffer from them. We also take into our home teens and young adults who live with fetal alcohol, developmental disabilities, and/or serious mental illnesses. Some need help accessing supports. Some simply need a sense of family and parents. Many are significantly troubled. In recognition of this work with disenfranchised young people, we were invested into the Order of St. Sylvester, a Papal Kinghood. I also volunteer my time with the PPCLI Army Cadets, trying to keep constantly growing teenagers in uniforms that fit, and supervising the pipe and drum band. One service to the community that I’ve done for over a decade, is to open our home during the holidays to those with no where else to go. We routinely feed four dozen people with mental illnesses, the homeless, or even recent refugees. There is always a light in our window and food enough for all who appear at our door.

Rebecca Sackowich (2016 B.Th.)

In 2016, I graduated from Newman with a Bachelor in Theology. Before and during my studies at Newman I worked part time in youth ministry. I completed my degree for personal knowledge but also to aid in my ministry. I moved to Fort McMurray, post fire, in 2016. In the first two of three years there, I worked closely with NET Teams. I was also Sacramental Coordinator where I had to build a sacrament program, along with doing my youth ministry. Currently I am living in Edmonton and working for St. Albert Parish as the Youth Ministry Coordinator.

Glen Argan (2017 M.Th.)

I was grateful for Newman College’s move to its present location on Edmonton’s southside because it brought the college to the doorstep of my office at the Western Catholic Reporter and a five-minute drive from my home. I had long been looking forward to taking classes at Newman, both for my own interest and to hone my ability as editor of the WCR. The years I spent studying at Newman were precious, the most fulfilling of all my periods of academic learning.

Since the completion of my MTh in 2017, I have had the privilege of working in various capacities for Novalis Publications, as a columnist for The Catholic Register and now as program coordinator at Star of the North Retreat Centre. My studies at Newman provided excellent preparation for all those ministries.

Bethsaida Pecson (2017 M.R.E.)

Attending Newman was life changing for me. My four-year journey towards a Master in Religious Education Degree had been both intellectually stimulating and soul stirring. I have been privileged to come back to the College with my students to lead the Music Ministry during NTC’s Fall Convocation Masses, and I am reminded every year of how far reaching the College’s influence is for many Catholic teachers.

I am blessed to continue to work with the Edmonton Catholic Schools as a Music Teacher and Chaplain of Monsignor Fee Otterson School, and the Conductor of the ECSD All-City Junior High Choir. I also serve as the Music Coordinator of Annunciation Parish Church. Through these capacities, I channel my energies, my time and what I have learned to nurture my students’ and choristers’ understanding of a merciful God through music, liturgy and social justice.

It has always been my joy to mentor young people to aim for the highest calibre of choral musicianship, especially in school, district and Archdiocesan liturgies. With the unwavering support of my husband and four children, Newman Theological College has elevated that joy into passion and turned my profession into a spiritual lifeline.

Br. Benjamin Ripley, OFM (2017 M.Div.)

I am a member of the Franciscan Friars of Canada and attended Newman Theological College from 2014-2017. I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree and am grateful to Newman Theological for giving me the tools and theological foundation necessary for my Franciscan vocation. During my time at Newman, I served on the NTC Student Council as VP Spiritual Life, which helped me to become more confident in leadership roles and a greater appreciation for liturgical worship.

My studies at Newman Theological College have allowed me to apply theological learning to practical ministry, which helps bring God’s message of love and mercy to others. Newman Theological College gave me the opportunity to participate in Theological Field Education in the area of prison Chaplaincy. It also opened doors in Clinical Pastoral Education where I have done practicum units in hospital chaplaincy. It is my hope to continue in this field in the future. A Newman degree has enabled me to serve in parish ministry as a Director for Ministry with Senior Adults. Currently, I am serving as a formator helping to form student Franciscan friars in their vocations. I have grown as a Franciscan when I first came to NTC and I am grateful for its role in giving me the tools for my wild spiritual journey.

Andreas Tabert (2017 M.Th.)

I began taking courses at NTC in 2009 while I was pastoring an independent evangelical church in a small town north of Edmonton. During that time, I appreciated the opportunity to come into the city and learn with people beyond my own tradition. Not only did it enlarge my intellectual horizon, it put me in touch with the larger body of Christ. I finally graduated with an MTh in 2017. Along with all the courses I took, the process of research and writing sharpened my skills and enriched my understanding of Scripture. I especially appreciated the friendship and direction of my academic advisor. Currently I’m pastoring another independent evangelical church and teaching at a Bible school in Edmonton. My wife and I have three children who are becoming adults. It’s great fun watching them grow up and launch into life.

John Vizza (2017 M.Div.)

One of the absolute hallmarks of my time at NTC was the community life among the students. Whether they were from St. Joseph’s Seminary, a group of Catholic school teachers, or people of Catholic, Christian or non-religious backgrounds, it was the community that cultivated an enriching and life-changing environment. As the President of the NTCSA for two years, being able to sit in my “office” in the atrium and listen to the stories and experiences of my fellow classmates was a unique privilege which I was immensely grateful to have received. Their own stories and backgrounds benefited the College in numerous ways, and each person brought gifts and talents which fostered an engaging community and learning atmosphere. Moreover, these moments benefited me in my current work. As a Case Instructor, Auditor and Advocate for the Interdiocesan Tribunal of Edmonton, I journey with people who are seeking a Declaration of Nullity to their marriage which has ultimately ended in divorce. I listen to their stories, their experiences, and their hurts. This is an important and life-changing ministry which has directly benefited from the experiences I had at NTC. On a personal note, I have been married for almost six years and have three amazing daughters!

Billie–Jo Grant (2018 M.R.E.)

I am a proud Métis educator with over 20 years of classroom experience, teaching K-9 students in both the public and Catholic school divisions. In the Fall of 2015, I started my Masters in Religious Education (MRE) with Newman Theological College (NTC). It was a wonderful fit that supported my devotion for inclusive education. During my time at NTC my passion for Indigenous education was fueled. I was the recipient of a 2017 Indspire National Award in the role model category for Indigenous education and received a 2018 International Women's Award for work in my local community and Indigenous education. I convocated in the Fall of 2018 with my MRE and ultimately stepped out of the classroom to work on resource and curriculum development with Rupertsland Institute - Metis Centre of Excellence. I am appreciative of the support, small classes, accessibility and open conversations at NTC that helped develop my faith, leadership, and knowledge. It is my goal to leave this world a better place and walk in a way that honours God.

Belinda Halbach (2018 M.Div.)

I was running for civic office and the job I wanted had come available at my parish when my husband came home and told me he had been offered a position in Nisku. The peace that enveloped me with this news led me to understand that God was calling me to something else. Once we moved, I began attending the Treasures of Faith seminars at Newman and shortly after began my Masters of Divinity degree. I graduated in the Fall of 2018. A highlight of my time at Newman was learning from my fellow students and my three years on Student Council as VP Academic, VP General and VP Finance. I enjoyed the learning process so much that I applied for the Catholic Women’s Transformational Leadership Course and am currently a member of Cohort 2. I will graduate with a certificate in April 2020. Although currently unemployed, I volunteer on the committee for Newman’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and at the Diocesan Development Office. I have also used my theology degree as the Spiritual Development Chair on the Diocesan CWL. “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” (1Pt 4:10).

Bernadette Mandrusiak (2018 M.Div.)

In 2010 I was working as a Speech Language Pathologist and raising four teenagers. I enrolled for my first class at NTC, then my second and eventually, confident that a career change was what God was calling me to, I left my other career behind and began taking more classes per semester. However, I soon reverted to one class at a time as I began a position with the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton as Director of Catechesis, where I continue to work. I finally graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2018.

NTC not only provided me with the academic knowledge I need as director of Catechesis, but also challenged and deepened my faith. It fed me spiritually and has given me the confidence to journey with others in their faith journeys.

I plan to continue working in whatever way that I can, for the Glory of God. I am blessed to have been able to take this journey, and I know that it is where God has called me to be.

Br. Michael Perras (2018 B.Th.)

I was first introduced to Newman Theological College through the Summer School in Liturgical Studies. The time spent over those summers were foundational to my ministry in both youth ministry and as a pastoral assistant. It was when I joined the Franciscan Friars that I was reintroduced to NTC and completed a Bachelor’s of Theology in 2018. While studying for this degree not only was I able to study scripture, history, pastoral and systematic theology I was able to serve the NTC community by being part of the Students Association. This was the perfect combination for me of studies, practical and community. If one studies about the church and the riches of the church and our faith and fails to make it real, to live it out and embrace the gospel then one is simply a gong booming and I did not want that.

I now serve as part of the Retreat Team at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre. I journey with hundreds of people over the course of the year by breaking open the message of Jesus Christ and sharing how our lives are entwined in Him and his message. As a Solemnly Professed Friar my commitment to living the gospel is central to my daily life. Studying at NTC reminded me that faith continues to seek and we must be real and honest in who we are as Christian. We must be people of welcome and hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ.

Darryl Tymchuk (2018 M.Div.)

I was a student at NTC from 2013-2018. Initially a part-time (mostly online) student, I eventually transferred to full time and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2018. During my time at the college I served on the student council first as VP Academic and then as VP Spiritual. It was important for me to not only study at NTC, but also be involved in the life of the college. I have a wife and 11 daughters. Completing my degree made an already full life very busy. Newman was very gracious in helping me to complete my studies with such a large family, while also pushing me to excel academically. Through study, I fell more in love with Jesus, and learned to embrace the beauty, which is found in the study of theology. I am currently working full-time as a Pastoral Associate at St. Albert Parish and part-time as a chaplain at both Edmonton Maximum Institution and Edmonton Institution for Women. In the ministry God has me serving in, I have the opportunity to bring what I gained in studying at Newman to the people I serve.

Linda Chiupka (2019 M.Div.)

After three years as a distance education student I made a quick hop from Northern Ontario to Alberta to complete my last two years on campus before graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2019. Never one to be satisfied sitting in the shadows for too long, I offered to fill the the first role on student council that came open- that of secretary - at Christmas. The following spring I was honoured to be elected president of Newman's Student Association. Having been raised in Manitoba, and with the intention I would return, I had been following the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Synod since it was called in 2016. By the grace of God, the close of the Synod, with its decision to hire an Implementation Coordinator, coincided with my availability and on August 1, 2019 I was appointed to the position.

With formal studies behind me, I am now settling into life in Brandon, Manitoba where I work from my home. My husband and I are fortunate to be able to live on an acreage where we are surrounded by the beauty of creation, and where we are in close proximity to old friends and family. God is good!

Br. Peter Pitchko (2019 M.Div.)

It is certainly to be counted as a great blessing to be able to study theology – that is, to get to know more about the Lord God, and to know myself as one of His children. I think that this is what my studies at Newman can be classified as: a blessing. Working toward, and completing, the Master of Divinity degree at Newman College was not without challenges, but it was certainly rewarding. In those four blessed years of study, I was able to go deeper into discovering the faith and learning more about my place in the Church of Christ. All while building new relationships within an active and faith-filled Newman community.

Now, I am in the pastoral year of my formation, seeking to share the blessings which have enriched my life with those in my parish community. As a member of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and a member of the Universal Church, I hope to share the person and message of Jesus Christ in any way that I can; a message and person more clearly understood and known through my time of studying theology.