Our Mission

As the Catholic liberal arts college federated with the University of Saskatchewan, St. Thomas More College courageously explores the "riches of revelation and of nature so that the united endeavour of intelligence and faith will enable people to come to the full measure of their humanity" (Ex corde ecclesiae, 5). We are an inclusive community open to all persons.

Through our teaching we are devoted to a partnership of learning and growth with our students which addresses the synthesis of faith and reason in all aspects of the human condition.

The creative discovery of truth and its open dissemination nourishes our life as teachers and members of the wider academic and Catholic intellectual community.

As a Catholic college we are called to share in Christ's service to the people of God. Thus, the work of our college is not an end in itself, but must find application for the good of humanity.

Our Vision

St. Thomas More College will nurture its identity as a Catholic liberal arts college, and fulfill its calling as an exemplary embodiment of the Catholic intellectual tradition in Canada.

Throughout this document, we will use the phrase, Catholic identity and mission. While these two concepts are not the same, they are definitely related. Our mission flows out of and is shaped by our Catholic identity. Our identity, in turn, is strengthened as we live out our mission in concrete ways.

St. Thomas More College is animated by its Catholic identity and mission. The purpose of this document is to explore how we live out this identity and mission today. It is an invitation to those who wish to discover  more about STM’s Catholic identity and mission or who wish to deepen their commitment to it. It also invites us to participate in this living tradition, continually responding to the evolving needs of our community while remaining faithful to our source which is, ultimately, Christ.

This document comes about in response to a significant moment in STM’s history. As the College gives thanks for 75 years of Basilian sponsorship, it appropriately looks for ways to sustain its Catholic identity and mission into the future. The conclusion of Basilian sponsorship means that the responsibility for cultivating and fostering the College’s Catholic identity and mission is entrusted to all of the STM community: its staff, faculty, students, alumni and those who share responsibility for governing the College. Recognizing this responsibility, we seek to understand more fully what we are about as a Catholic college.

STM is a Catholic college federated with the University of Saskatchewan. Its community is diverse and ever-changing, as our students, who form the heart of our community, arrive and depart each academic year. Being addressed to an eclectic audience—including both Catholics and non-Catholics at STM; new, prospective, and returning students; members of the U of S faculty; and members of the wider community—this document seeks to express, in accessible terms, STM’s Catholic identity and mission and to invite members of STM to imagine new ways of living this mission.

By identifying five pillars of  STM’s identity and mission and by imagining ways in which these could be realized, we seek to identify fundamental human concerns that, ideally, will help us transcend ideological divisions. We hope that these pillars will be viewed as intrinsically important to our collective life as a College. As such, we are trying to express a corporate identity as it is lived out at STM. We recognize that the individual identities of those participating in the life of the College may not exactly coincide with what is articulated here. This is not our expectation. However, by naming what we perceive to be our collective identity and mission, we hope that individuals here will be better equipped to engage with this mission. It is our hope that this document might foster a space of unity in which we recognize that we share a common commitment to the life of the College and to the welfare of our students, even though we express and live out that commitment in different ways.1 Given that an identity is, by its nature, organic and ever-renewing, this particular articulation of our Catholic identity and mission seeks to cultivate an ongoing conversation about what it means to be a Catholic college today and what we hope our College may become.

Questions for Reflection
Imagine St. Thomas More College (STM) ten years from now.  How do you think a visitor to STM would recognize that we are a college living out of the Catholic faith tradition?

Continuity and Change

“Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.”2 Tradition is an intergenerational conversation, uniting those who are dead, living and those about to be born. Just as each generation matures to meet the unique challenges of its day, while remaining stamped by the DNA of its family identity, so too tradition itself grows and changes, while remaining genetically indebted to, and respectful of, its heritage.

Each aspect of STM’s Catholic identity and mission demonstrates this capacity for change within continuity:

  • A tradition is inclusive because it necessarily contains a diversity of voices. The most obvious interplay exists between voices of the past and present, but differences are also to be found among historical authorities, as well as among present voices that have appropriated their heritage in distinctive ways; for instance, the expression of Catholicism in the Philippines differs from Catholicism in Canada. A tradition includes these many voices and recognizes that this creative dialogue within the tradition is essential to its continued vitality.
  • The Catholic Intellectual Tradition searches for truth in our time, while drawing upon the accumulated wisdom of human knowledge and experience. It recognizes that we better understand ourselves when we understand the tradition from which we emerge.
  • Catholic Social Teaching seeks models of responsible stewardship for the present and future, drawing upon the example of Christ’s solidarity with the marginalized. Our care for those who are suffering in any way bears witness to the ongoing ministry of Christ who healed lepers, reached out to sinners and proclaimed God’s love to all of humanity.
  • STM has a 75-year history of offering to students pastoral care. By fostering the intellectual, spiritual and social dimensions of each person, in the spirit of our Basilian founders, we believe students will be enabled to discover their future vocations and to grow into their familial and communal roles.
  • The Eucharistic sharing of bread and wine represents the fullest expression of our Catholic Sacramental Imagination. This practice has continued since the time of Christ, uniting generations who have celebrated the same mystery in different languages and through different liturgical practices.
  • These five pillars of our STM experience are ways in which we seek to live, ever more fully, our mission. It is our sincere hope that these will only be a beginning for us as an academic and faith-filled community. Let this document be a conversation starter, the initial words in an ongoing dialogue. As we move confidently into the future, may we celebrate the good work the Basilian Fathers began in 1936 and know that we are well equipped to continue their legacy into the decades ahead.

Questions for Reflection:
What do I find compelling or important about Catholic Identity? How can I communicate this to those around me?

How might this resource be used?

  • As an individual reflection tool
  • In small groups of faculty and staff to help assess the mission-effectiveness of particular units or departments
  • Among student groups to help plan initiatives with STM's mission and Catholic identity in mind
  • In classrooms whenever various aspects of Catholic identity are discussed
  • In any way which will encourage dialogue and mutual understanding of our Catholic identity and mission

If you have any questions or comments about this document, please contact STM's Director of Mission and Ministry: mission@stmcollege.ca


1. See John 17:21

2. Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1984), 65.

As one enters St. Thomas More Chapel and gazes upon the expanse of the Kurelek mural on the north wall, one notices that images of gathering abound.  Indigenous peoples and newcomers, women and men, young and old (and even one ghost!) gather around the central figure of Christ feeding the multitudes.  Better than any other image in the College, the mural depicts a core feature of STM’s communal life – we are an inclusive community.

To be an inclusive community means being conscious of God working in each person’s life, recognizing the dignity of the individual as a unique creation and revelation of the divine.  To that end, all are welcome at STM.  Furthermore, following Catholic tradition, discrimination is not tolerated on any grounds.*  We strive to live out of a deep respect for the human person, convinced that she/he is created in the “image and likeness of God.”1 

Perhaps paradoxically, but also boldly, we believe that being both inclusive and diverse strengthens the Catholic identity of St. Thomas More College.  Identity is never born in a vacuum.  Identity is forged and discovered in relationship.  Healthy identities breed healthy relationships; healthy relationships enable the deepening of our identity.  Theologian Peter Phan articulates well this mystery: "Rather than differentiation or exclusiveness, I conceive Catholic identity as intensification and deepening of those deep structures that are pervasive in the Catholic church’s faith and practice and that are possessed in common with other Churches and even with non-Christian believers.  In this way ecumenical and interreligious dialogues do not constitute a threat to the preservation of the Catholic identity; rather they provide necessary means and opportunities for deepening and intensifying the Catholic identity; not over [or] against the others but with them."3   

At St. Thomas More College, we live in the context of a federated relationship with the University of Saskatchewan.  Within that relationship we are both humble and confident, not only in our dialogue with believers from other traditions, but also with those who claim no faith tradition.  We also foster dialogue among the many expressions of faith within Catholicism.  Each encounter, each conversation, allows for a dynamic deepening of the quest toward greater truth.  We celebrate the discovery of our own collective identity as we develop a wide constellation of relationships within a diverse academic community, both at STM and the wider campus.

In practical terms, this means that our students, faculty and staff represent a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds.  We ask that those who participate in this community of learners willingly engage in dialogue ever conscious that, within a Catholic college, one of the interlocutors will always be the Catholic intellectual tradition.

At the end of the day, community must have the last word.  We see ourselves as a community of learners, striving for unity of vision amidst the diversity of human perspectives that naturally make-up our world.  Transcending difference and deepening communion is an act of love to which we bear witness.
Questions for Reflection

What are images or instances of community that you recognize at STM?
How might we better communicate to all who enter that we are an inclusive community?

*Gaudium et Spes #29:  “…with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, colour, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent.”
1  Genesis 1:26
2  Peter C. Phan, Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004), 59.

In religious language, a charism refers to a particular gift of God given for the good of humanity.  More particularly, religious communities of men and women are often said to bear a unique charism.  As such, St. Thomas More College has been shaped by the charism of its founders, the Congregation of St. Basil.  Put succinctly, the Basilian charism is three-pronged, demonstrating a commitment to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, social justice, and the pastoral care of students.  

The challenges facing Catholic higher education today are significant.  The media often presents faith and reason as polarized and irreconcilable perspectives.  Likewise, within academic culture itself, the perception exists that it is intellectually irresponsible to hold religious convictions.  Thus, one of the tasks of Catholic education is to show that the relationship between faith-reason cannot be reduced to a mere dichotomy.  Rather, the active interplay between faith and reason can lead to greater understanding in the ongoing pursuit of knowledge.  The university itself emerged from the desire of the medieval Church to foster a creative dialogue between intellectual inquiry and faith convictions. Thus, Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic colleges and universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae,1 identifies that the university was born from the heart of the Church. This 1990 document has become foundational for Catholic colleges and universities around the world. 

Catholic education resists the tendency to compartmentalize knowledge, encouraging instead intellectual explorations that not only recognize the interdisciplinary and ethical dimensions of knowledge, but also cultivate within the seeker a capacity for wisdom and discernment.  The Catholic Intellectual Tradition holds that the search for truth is enriched by one’s sensitivity to the ethical and spiritual dimensions of life.  So too, it recognizes that faith itself must be informed by intelligence: “if faith does not think, it is nothing.”2   Most importantly, Catholic education has the task of enabling students to hope and “to articulate why being a people of hope is not foolishly naïve, but an intelligent, responsible and faith-filled way of living this human life.”3     

Catholic education fosters a climate of intellectual freedom, encouraging students and faculty to explore new ideas and to question assumptions.   Since different worldviews intermingle on a university campus, this space naturally lends itself to dialogue and mutual enrichment.  Catholic education recognizes that different perspectives need to be articulated, listened to and respected.  At the same time, our tradition calls us to explore in depth the burning questions that we encounter through our human experience.  We do so, unafraid, knowing that the search for truth can never be antithetical to the search for God.

The Catholic Intellectual Tradition encourages one to engage questions of conscience, to reflect upon ethical implications and to put one’s knowledge in service of the well-being of others and our world. The responses to such reflections require wisdom, careful discernment and often a certain measure of humility; that is, a capacity to overlook self-interest and to recognize a horizon of human need around us. 

At St. Thomas More College, we wish to foster in our students a desire to seek truth, recognizing that the path of knowledge is multifaceted and ongoing. Through the Catholic Studies Minor, for example, students can learn about Catholicism in an interdisciplinary context that explores the Church’s history and culture, as well as its conversation with contemporary society.   Many other opportunities allow the STM community to engage in the dynamic interplay between faith and reason.  Public lectures, panels and conferences are often geared toward deepening the Catholic intellectual tradition.4

It is our belief that our living out of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition as a Catholic liberal arts college is a gift to the wider Church.  Our search for truth and knowledge is a gift of the Spirit which allows us to shed new light on contemporary questions.  It challenges us, at times, to speak prophetically as we read the “signs of the times” and reach into our rich heritage of faith.

Questions for Reflection
What are the ethical implications of my search for truth/knowledge? How will this affect individuals, families, institutions?
What does this knowledge teach me about the human condition? Having learned this information, do I have more empathy or understanding for those whose experiences differ from my own? 
When I encounter views that challenge my own, how can I meet that challenge with openness and respect?  What common ground can I find with this other perspective?

1  The Holy See, “Ex Corde Ecclesiae: Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II on Catholic Universities,” accessed Oct 2011 http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_1515081990_ex-corde-ecclesiae_en.html
2  Saint Augustine, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, 2.5 (Migne, PL 44.963).
3  Bishop Donald Bolen, Giving an Account of Hope: An Easter Pastoral Letter (Diocese of Saskatoon, 2011), 2.
4  Examples, to name but a few, include Basilian Fr. James McConica’s Keenan lecture, Is there a Catholic Humanism; the panel discussion, Christianity and Socialism: The Legacy of Fr. Eugene Cullinane; and the Catholic Studies conference, In Search of the Good in the World.

The call to justice and peace-building proclaimed in the gospel is essential within the Catholic perspective.   As followers of Christ, we are called to reach out to all those who are marginalized in any way.  But, the commitment goes even further than this.  As Jesus stood in complete solidarity with human suffering, so too are we called to walk in solidarity with broken humanity.  Therefore, echoing the words of our mission statement, “as a Catholic college we are called to share in Christ’s service to the people of God.  Thus, the work of our college is not an end in itself, but must find application for the good of humanity.”

The call to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God”1 comes to us through the Hebrew prophets and continues through the ages.  The early Christian community was recognized by its desire to reach out to those in need2 and, throughout the centuries, the Catholic Church has been at the forefront of establishing institutions of care for the most vulnerable.  Today, this tradition of justice and compassion is most clearly articulated through Catholic Social Teaching, a body of papal and episcopal* documents responding to the particular social issues of the day.  The first modern social encyclical (papal letter) was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 and responded, in large part, to the issues faced by workers impacted by the Industrial Revolution.  Since then, popes and bishops’ conferences have responded to the times in a largely prophetic way.  In 1971, the Synod of Bishops in their letter, Justice in the World, proclaimed that "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation."3 

Thus, living out the gospel within the Catholic tradition mandates us to continue this healing mission of transforming the world into a more just and equitable place.  Indeed, in doing so, we believe that we are participants in the building of the Reign of God.  As perpetual idealists grounded in hope, we also believe in the possibility that this same Reign of God can exist “on earth as it is in heaven.”4

While we are motivated by our faith tradition to pursue justice, we also recognize that we share this thirst for justice with all people of goodwill.  As such, justice initiatives are a key place of collaboration between Catholics and those of other, or no, faith traditions.  The goal of a more just society, where each person is enabled to develop to his or her “full measure of his/her humanity,”5  demands fruitful dialogue and shared action, often deepening our resolve to work for lasting structural change.

Within the Catholic tradition, justice and service go hand-in-hand.  We are committed to working for social/structural change (justice) and also to responding to the very real and ees Catholics demonstrating in peace marches and serving in soup kitchens, lobbying politicians for change, as well as stocking food banks.  Members of the STM community demonstrate a commitment to each of these aspects of social action.  For example, each year, all of STM’s student groups collaborate to raise funds for a local charity.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to engage in community service.6   Indeed, a true culture of service exists as STM faculty and staff reach out to the community in a variety of ways.  At the same time, the minor in “Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good” provides a deep analysis of injustice and calls forth a just response that will work to change those social structures that constitute the root causes of the problem.  Confronting the complex issues of injustice in today’s world demands a multifaceted approach.

The Catholic tradition also takes a “seamless garment” approach to justice and service.  By this, we see ourselves equally concerned with all issues that impact the dignity of the human person.  Catholics can be seen promoting a deep respect for life at all stages, from conception to natural death.  At the same time, they can be seen advocating for an end to poverty and hunger, protecting our environment, working to abolish human trafficking, and standing for peace in war zones.  All these issues, and more, fall within the purview of the Catholic Social Justice tradition. 

At St. Thomas More College we seek to prepare our students**  to engage fully in this endeavour of building a more just and peaceful world, one that respects also the integrity of creation.  Through the STM Just Youth group, students advocate for social change through the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.  Through STM’s Engaged Learning Program, students volunteer in local service initiatives and reflect on this experience in both curricular and co-curricular settings.  Through the STM-Intercordia program,7 students encounter injustice and poverty in other countries around the world, coming back transformed in their own desire for justice.

The opening words of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, proclaimed that “…(t)he joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and the hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.  Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find echo in their hearts…”8  One could say that the joy and hope, grief and anguish of the people of our time finds echo in the heart of St. Thomas More College as well.

Questions for Reflection
How do we address social and economic inequality both locally and globally?
How do we engage with other religious traditions (or non-religious) in a discussion about social justice?
How do we provide education to those who otherwise would not have access to it?
How does my choice of research/area of study contribute to the “good of all humanity”?
How do our employment practices, policies and fiscal stewardship reflect our values about social justice?

*Catholic popes and bishops, in response to the gospel call to justice, regularly issue statements responding to the social needs of the day.  Pope Benedict XVI, for example, recently issued Caritas in Veritate which touches a wide range of issues, from the environmental crisis to economic justice.  In this document, the Pope calls for a justice based on “caritas” or selfless love.
** "CSL has challenged my assumptions — it's complicated some issues, and it's clarified others. CSL has put a human face on philosophical and social realities, and made me realize the difference between working for people and working with people." - Veronica Carr, Fourth Year Philosophy

"My passion for social justice used to be angry but theoretical. CSL has made me a more empathetic and understanding person because I have an increased focus on real people and the ways they are working to address systematic injustices rather than dwelling on feeling frustrated and helpless." - Philomena Ojukwu, Fourth Year Political Studies

1  Micah 6:8
2  Acts 2:46
3  Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World (1971), 6.
4  Matthew 6:10
5  Ex Corde Ecclesiae
6  The community service work of faculty is recognized annually through the Margaret Dutli Professional Community Service Award while volunteerism among staff is acknowledged through the granting of a Community Service Leave Day.
7  For more information about Intercordia or other Engaged Learning Programs at STM, click on “Community Service Learning” at www.stmcollege.ca.
8  Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), 1.

Alumni of St. Thomas More College often share their memories of the “White House” – the building that originally housed STM.  In the White House, and later in the current building, the Basilian Fathers offered hospitality to students who were often leaving the farm for the first time and seeking a “home away from home.”  STM became that home for generations of students. 

The Basilian Fathers were dedicated to both the spiritual and academic formation of their students and would have seen their relationships with young people as an opportunity not only to share knowledge, but also to offer pastoral care.  Each Basilian was expected to be a chaplain and to minister to the young adults who came to be in his care.  Today, that tradition of pastoral care continues.  Faculty and staff, and indeed the students themselves, create and foster an environment where all members of the community feel a sense of being cared for and belonging.

John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae defines pastoral ministry as “that activity of the University which offers the members of the university community an opportunity to integrate religious and moral principles with their academic study and non-academic activities, thus integrating faith with life.”1  Integrating faith with life, responding to the needs of the whole person – spiritual, intellectual, emotional and social - is a core facet of our Catholic identity at St. Thomas More College.

The Campus Ministry team is charged, in a special way, with providing pastoral care to students, faculty and staff.  They are professional pastoral ministers trained in the art of spiritual direction and faith formation.  However, the call to offer pastoral care to students goes beyond the Campus Ministry team.  Each person engaged in the life of STM is challenged to take on a “ministry mindset,” having the good of the whole student in mind when accomplishing her/his tasks.  Members of the Student Services team, for example, demonstrate this commitment when they provide not only academic advising but also opportunities for students to get involved in the arts through Newman Players.  Other examples abound within the College.

Another aspect of the pastoral care of students is the creation of a culture of vocation, allowing students to discover their own callings in life.  Author and theologian, Frederick Buechner, defines vocation as that place “where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.”2   Helping students discover their own giftedness and give name to their own deep gladness, thereby allowing them to respond more fully to the hungers of the world, is part of being a caring community, of answering our own collective call to offer pastoral care to our students.

Pastoral care is not restricted to students, however.  STM strives to be a compassionate workplace, allowing its members to also develop to the “full measure of their humanity.”3  Pastoral care offered and given among faculty and staff, and even reaching out to the wider community, remains a hallmark of the STM experience.

Questions for Reflection
Have I come to know at least some of the students with whom I have crossed paths?  In what ways have they left an impression on me?
Where my work at STM calls me to do so, do I stop and find ways to ask students how they are (beyond academics)?
Faculty/Staff:  How might I consider my work here a ministry?
How do we respond to the diversity of students we encounter?
How do we enable students to come to “the full measure of their humanity”?
1  Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 38.
2  Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1973), 95.
3  STM Mission Statement.

The Catholic sacramental imagination emphasizes God’s presence in the created world as an expression of love for humanity.  Each created thing—each person, each moment, each part of nature—holds the potential to communicate the sacred presence in so far as it participates in the whole of God’s self-revelation.  Since our physical senses cannot directly perceive God, our liturgical practices rely upon physical objects that are both gifts of creation and tangible reminders of God’s invisible presence. Thus, for example, the light of liturgical candles awakens in us an awareness of the intensity of God’s love, of the power of bright hope to dispel despairing darkness, of the promise of our new life with Christ both in baptism and when this life’s journey ends.

The celebration of the Eucharist is the most important sacramental event in the life of the Church.  As Catholics, we believe that the ordinary materials of bread and wine are transformed into the real presence of Christ.  The nature of this transformation is mysterious, but its implications are inspiring.  By partaking in this sacred meal we become wholly united in Christ, as the Eucharistic bread that we eat is incorporated into the substance of our own bodies. By partaking, we are also drawn more deeply into communion with our brothers and sisters who profess with us this same mystery.  By partaking, we are commissioned to go forth in peace to love and to serve.  Recalling with Teresa of Avila that “Christ has no body now but yours”, we are strengthened in our desire to be authentic witnesses of Christ to the world. For Catholics, the Eucharist is central to one’s life of faith. 

Throughout the year at STM, many opportunities arise for the STM community to worship together.  A good example is the Academic Mass when we, as a community, ask the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire our work in the coming year.  All are invited to the Academic Mass, regardless of religious affiliation.  Those who are not Catholic are invited to the Eucharist as prayerful participants or as respectful observers. 

The Liturgy of the Word, focused on the reading of Scripture, offers an opportunity to listen to, and to reflect upon, the Word of God.  All Christians share a profound reverence for these texts, and while our interpretations of Christ’s message may differ, we can listen, learn and be enriched by each other’s traditions.  All Abrahamic faiths share scriptural reading as a devotional practice, and so, though we name our God in different ways, we all seek to be guided by the words of divine wisdom.  For non-Christians who stand respectfully with us, and we with them, the participation in STM’s liturgical life may be a sign of solidarity with the STM community or respect for the Catholic tradition.  For all participants, the liturgy invites us to become reflective, to renew and cultivate our inwardness.  This attentive care to our inward nature enables us to become more attentive listeners, to become less anxious or angry, to become more reflective and peaceful. This encounter with the sacred is a summons, calling us to care for the needs around us: in particular, to create a sense of belonging for our student community.    

An encounter with the sacred must be fostered and nurtured.  At STM this work is enhanced by St. Thomas More’s Campus Ministry team who is committed to ministering to the faith-life of the entire STM community.  They support opportunities for us to discover more about faith or to nourish our faith-life; these opportunities include weekday celebrations of the Eucharist in the Roman and Byzantine traditions, Bible study groups, retreats, spiritual direction, and encounters with other faith traditions.

Sacraments and Sacramentality:  Catholic doctrine defines sacrament as “any visible sign of God’s invisible grace” and, as such, identifies seven specific sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick.  Catholic understanding of sacraments is built on the broader principle of sacramentality which theologian Richard P. McBrien describes as the “fundamentally Catholic notion that all reality is potentially and in fact the bearer of God’s presence and the instrument of divine action on our behalf.”1

For clarification on Catholic practices regarding intercommunion, please refer to a member of the Campus Ministry Team.  Reference can also be made to the diocesan document, Pastoral Notes on Sacramental Sharing.

Questions for Reflection
How does STM’s faith-life affect me? 
Does my participation in the mass or other prayer groups draw me closer to others in the community? 
Do I find inspiration in the faith of others in these settings?  
Do these contexts help me to cultivate inwardness, to become more reflective, and to be a better listener?

1  Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism: Volume II (Minneapolis, MN:  Winston Press, 1980), xlv.

The Leslie and Irene Dubé Chair for Catholic Studies was established in fall 2012 by St. Thomas More College (STM), to provide intellectual leadership for STM and the broader Catholic community through the discipline of Catholic Studies.

The Chair, made possible by Leslie and Irene Dubé’s $1 Million endowment to the College, supports scholarship and research related to Catholic teaching and tradition, fosters Catholic education, and promotes ecumenical dialogue and awareness of other faith traditions.

The Leslie and Irene Dubé Chair for Catholic Studies also sponsors an annual lecture in Catholic Studies exploring topics related to faith and the intellectual life, ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, and Catholic reflections on current issues. Through this lecture series, distinguished scholars engage with key issues of our time and bring the Catholic tradition into dialogue with contemporary culture.

Fully funding the Chair will enable STM to name a respected scholar to act as a beacon of the Catholic intellectual tradition within our community and beyond. Please consider contributing toward this endowed fund, to ensure that the best of Catholic scholarship remains a living tradition emanating from STM to the benefit of students and the wider community. 

(Pictured: STM President Terrance Downey, Leslie and Irene Dubé, and Bishop Don Bolen at the
announcement of the Leslie and Irene Dubé Chair for Catholic Studies in 2012)


 Read about how you can help make the vision of a Chair for Catholic Studies at STM College a reality:

To contribute toward the funding of the Leslie and Irene Dubé Chair in Catholic Studies, please contact:

Connie Andersen
Director of Advancement