Canadian Catholic School Trustees honour retired archbishop Joseph MacNeil

  • March 22, 2009
{mosimage}Edmonton Archbishop-emeritus Joseph MacNeil will be honoured in June with Canada’s top Catholic education award.

MacNeil is to receive the Justice James Higgins Award. Sponsored by the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association , it recognizes exceptional service in Catholic education.

“Archbishop MacNeil provides an exemplary role model for students, and for all who desire to be authentic followers of Christ,” said association president Regis O’Connor in a statement.

“He visits schools on a regular basis, and easily gets the students’ attention with his warm personality, vast knowledge and his colourful language which is adapted to any student level.” 

O’Connor added that MacNeil established an Archdiocesan Catholic School Committee in 1992 “to ensure open dialogue and communication between the Catholic schools and the church.”

MacNeil was ordained a priest in 1948 and served as a parish priest for seven years before becoming executive vice-president and director of the extension department at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. In 1969 he was ordained a bishop and appointed archbishop of Edmonton in 1973. MacNeil retired 26 years later.

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