Historic Sponsorship Change for STM

Sponsorship Change Legislated for St. Thomas More College, U of S

The Saskatchewan Legislature has passed the St. Thomas More College Amendment Act 2013 which formally transfers the sponsorship role held by the Congregation of St. Basil in St. Thomas More College to the St. Thomas More College Society.

After a long-standing presence in the College formalized by an agreement with the Basillians in 1942, St. Thomas More College (STM) was formally notified in June, 2011 by the Superior General of the Basilian Fathers that the Basilians wished to relinquish their sponsorship role. 

The St. Thomas More College Amendment Act 2013 is the final step in what has been a two year process including sustained research and lengthy deliberations followed by the preparation and internal approvals of the several civil and canonical documents required to provide for the formal transition to a post-Basilian future for St. Thomas More College. The new Act references the canonical statutes that now govern St. Thomas More College which provides that “the St. Thomas More College Society is to succeed to the sponsorship role of the Basilian Fathers.” The St. Thomas More College Society is the formal title of the new Public Juridic Person that assumes this sponsorship.

In accordance with the provisions of the canonical statutes and the canonical by-laws that apply to St. Thomas More College, the Public Juridic Person, composed of the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon, the President and the Chair of the Board of Governors of St. Thomas More College, “continues the mission of Jesus Christ and assumes the responsibility to further the education ministry of the Basilian Fathers as relating to St. Thomas More College.”  The PJP formally appoints representatives to serve on the Board of Governors and the Corporation as well as on the Standing Committee for the Appointment of the President.  These appointees succeed the Basilian Fathers’ presence on these entities.  In accordance with the canonical statutes, “the Bishop of Saskatoon shall be consulted on the selection of the Chairperson of St. Thomas More College Corporation and Board of Governors.”

Subsequent to internal approvals by the Board of Governors and the Corporation, and with the support and approval of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Saskatoon, Most Rev. Donald Bolen, and the Very Rev. George Smith, CSB, Superior General of the Congregation of St. Basil, the relevant canonical provisions were approved by the Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Vatican in March 2013 to formally establish a new Public Juridic Person and provide for the transfer of the property of St. Thomas More College “in favour of the St. Thomas More College Society.”  The provisions of the canonical statutes and by-laws became effective when the St. Thomas More College Amendment Act 2013 was signed into law on December 5, 2013.

STM President Dr. Terrence Downey notes that this historic transition in the life of St. Thomas More College provides a distinct perspective from which to appreciate the past and envision the future.  “All members of the St. Thomas More College scholarly community stand in awe of the remarkable legacy of the many dedicated Basilian Fathers who first created and then sustained through untold sacrifices and legendary commitment this renowned institution.  We are inspired by generations of distinguished STM graduates who, transformed by a Basilian education, have in turn devoted their expertise and energies to transforming the organizations, professions and communities in which they work and live.  This is a noble legacy indeed, one that animates us to uphold and enhance the rich heritage of a vibrant Catholic College at the University of Saskatchewan capable of meeting the challenges and opportunities presented by the future.”