Fr. Ron Rolheiser, second from right, received an honorary doctorate from Saint Paul University April 13. He’s shown here with Saint Paul Rector Chantal Beauvais and Chancellor Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Saint Paul University grants honorary doctorate to Fr. Ron Rolheiser

By 
  • April 17, 2012

OTTAWA - If you dream your dream alone, you may make a splash but you will not make a real difference in peoples’ lives, Fr. Ron Rolheiser told Saint Paul University graduates April 13 after receiving an honorary doctorate.

After accepting the award, the popular author, speaker and columnist told the Saint Paul graduates to dream in community if they want to make a real difference in peoples’ lives. He told the story of the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Eugene de Mazenod, who dreamed of serving the poor.

Rolheiser said de Mazenod fell ill and realized that if he died, his dream would die with him. So when he recovered, he founded a community, which then sent missionaries around the world.

Since Oblates founded Saint Paul University, Rolheiser said he wished to leave the students with a message from the Oblate charism and quoted from a document: “What we dream alone remains a dream; what we dream with others can become a reality.”

He urged people to gather in community to watch the news together, rather than sitting alone and feeling helpless at the poverty and violence we see. A Church that watched the news together all over the world could change the world, he said.

Rolheiser is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, and is a popular writer on contemporary spirituality, with nine books and a syndicated column that appears weekly in more than 60 newspapers, including The Catholic Register.

Read Fr. Rolheiser's columns here

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