Archbishop Collins awarded St. Mike’s honorary degree

  • June 21, 2007

TORONTO - Universities are at the centre of Catholic life, says Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, and that is why the Catholic Church began to create universities in the Middle Ages.

Collins, a Scripture scholar and former seminary rector, made the remarks at the annual convocation for the University of St. Michael’s College June 14. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree and presided at the convocation Mass.

Collins, who is the new chancellor of the university, said universities are “central to who we are” as Catholics as they are the locations for the development of Catholic intellectual life.

“This university really is the very centre of the archdiocese of Toronto and it has been since its earliest days,” he said.

The role of the bishop is also important to that of the university, said Fr. Dan Donovan, who introduced the archbishop.

“Teaching is at the heart of a bishop’s ministry,” he said. “It has to be a priority of all of us at all times. We hope that the archbishop’s presence here will mark the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship between Archbishop Collins and the University of St. Michael’s College.”

St. Michael’s convocation this year was unique in that it was the first time it celebrated the graduation of the “double cohort,” or contingent of students who came out of Ontario high school from the old Grade 13 in its final year before it was abolished, along with the first Grade 12 students to enter university.

Dr. Mark McGowan, St. Michael’s principal, said that 684 bachelor’s degrees were awarded, “the largest class in our history.”

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