St. Jerome's installs leadership team

  • September 24, 2007

{mosimage} WATERLOO, Ont. - New leadership has been officially installed at St. Jerome’s University, a Catholic liberal arts college federated with the University of Waterloo.

Peter Naus, a prominent retired psychology professor, was installed at a ceremony Sept. 15, along with the new president, Dr. David Perrin, a priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The ceremony took place in the cozy but packed St. Agatha’s Church in the tiny village of the same name on the outskirts of Waterloo.

The parish is run by the Congregation of the Resurrection, the same group of priests who founded St. Jerome’s in 1865. In fact, the site of the original one-room school is less than a kilometre away from the church.

The ceremony marked the end of a two-year search for a new president that began in December 2005 when former president Michael Higgins left to take on the presidency of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B.

“We can find hope as a Catholic institution in the presence of the Holy Spirit,” Perrin said in his remarks, reflecting on the turbulent milieu in which Catholic education finds itself today.

The new president drew inspiration from the Resurrectionists who started their school long before there was any government funding or structure in place. “Our university flourishes today because of the bold vision of the Congregation of the Resurrection.”

Perrin reminded the gathered well-wishers that Catholic higher education proposes to do more than simply train the mind. It also strives to form adults who believe there is more to life than just the material, and who will “consider the good of each other, the community and the whole world.”

Naus drew on St. Jerome’s mission to remain committed to “Gospel values of love, truth and justice.” He also said that the university is dedicated to awaken in students “an enthusiasm for the truth,” drawing upon St. Jerome’s motto.

Perrin comes to St. Jerome’s from Saint Paul University in Ottawa, where he served the past 16 years in the theology faculty. He is a past provincial of the St. Peter’s Province of the Oblates and has been president of the International Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. His own academic expertise is in Christian spirituality and he holds a doctorate in theology from Saint Paul and a licentiate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Naus worked as a professor of psychology at St. Jerome’s for 23 years, serving in numerous administrative roles during that time. He has also served on the boards of several community social and health institutions.

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