On April 2nd, the Commissioning Mass was held in St. Joseph Chapel to honour students who are graduating from Regis College. Some of our graduating students, and our up-and-coming student council president for 2014-2015 reflect on what it is to serve the world.
M.Div. Candidate 2014
“As a student who has recently completed an M.Div from Regis College, I will use the knowledge and skills I acquired to serve God through Newman Centre, Toronto. My work will be primarily with students supporting them through faith formation and empowering them to become leaders and work for the greater glory of God. Another area of my work will be centred on integrating faith and reason. Ministering on a university campus gives me the unique privilege to engage students intellectually and also show them that their faith and academics are not unrelated but that they complement one another.”
Doctoral Candidate 2014
“As a mother, woman of faith, and Catholic ecotheologian, I serve the world by developing new ways to envision the relationships among God, creation, and humanity and re-imagining how we are being called to live and love faithfully in the twenty-first century. This fall I will be making my new home at Wingate University in North Carolina as their “theologian” on campus and I am excited to be getting back to the classroom to continue my work.”
Lauren van Vliet
M.Div. 3rd year,
Student Council President 2014/2015
Lauren is one of 12 seminary and divinity students chosen by the fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) to participate in a two-week program for future clergy this summer in New York, Germany and Poland.
“The opportunity to be part of FASPE is very exciting. I can’t fathom all the ways that it is going to shape my last year at Regis and my future ministries. I am looking forward to the opportunity to travel and learn with theology students from across North America."
On Saturday May 24, Regis joined with the Jesuit Province in celebrating the priestly ordination of Matthew Livingstone SJ, and Gregory Kennedy SJ, Joseph Koczera SJ and Boniface Mbouzao SJ who were ordained to the deaconate.
Fr Matthew Livingstone SJ
Matthew Livingstone SJ completed his M.Div. and Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Regis College in 2012. This past year he completed a study of Arabic and Islam in Cairo, Egypt and was on the staff of the Jesuit Novitiate of the Near East and Maghrib Province. This fall he continues his studies in Rome where he is pursuing a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.
"I studied Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. During my studies I got to know the Jesuits through a trip to Toronto in 2002. I attended mass at Our Lady of Lourdes on the Feast of the Epiphany and heard Fr Philip Chircop SJ preach. I didn't know much about the Society of Jesus before that, but his manner of life and conviction mesmerized me... something about the Society. I approached him immediately after mass and told him that I wanted to enter the Society. That's where it began.
Regis provided a community for me to explore theological questions about my faith in the world, and gave me a context to understand my ministry in the Church. I hope to be part of the Church’s relationship of friendship to Muslims, and also help Christians understand Muslims better. I am attracted to the shared desire of both communities for spirituality and for a just world."
Joseph Koczera SJ is completing his M. Div. at Regis and will begin his Th.M in September 2014. He is a deacon at St. Elias, a Ukrainian Catholic parish in Brampton, Ontario and is coordinator of the Toronto Communio Study Circle, a group of students and laypeople who meet to discuss articles and topics in Catholic theology. Joseph also has attained several other degrees: A.B. (Government), Georgetown University; J.D., University of Notre Dame; M.A. (Philosophy), Fordham University.
“As a Jesuit, I’ve been blessed to accompany people from many different walks of life, from refugee families to university students to members of a suburban Ontario parish. I’m grateful for the ways I have been able to serve, and I’m grateful to Regis for helping me to serve better.”
Gregory Kennedy SJ has just completed his M.Div. at Regis College and acted as President of the Student Council for 2013-2014. He will spend the summer learning the skills of spiritual direction in Loyola House’s Practicum for Spiritual Direction. He then begins intensive Spanish language training this fall in order to pursue a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia.
“Halfway through King Josiah's reign he made a twofold discovery. First he discovered the ancient book of the Law, which all of the Hebrews were to have followed. Second he immediately recognized that the covenant accompanying the Law was woefully neglected by his contemporaries. The King without delay prayed for divine mercy and worked for social change. My hard discovery today is the human neglect of our covenant with creation and Creator. Like Josiah, I feel compelled to pray for mercy and work for changes that might return us to our creational covenant.”
Boniface Mbouzao SJ joined the Society of Jesus in 1998 after completing a degree in Mathematics at the University of Yaoundé. After two years of Novitiate work in Cameroon, he completed a Bachelor degree in philosophy in 2003. His Regency was spent in the Catholic University of Central Africa in Yaoundé. He came to Canada in 2005 and completed a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering (2009) from the University of Ottawa. He then completed a M.A. in Biomedical Engineering (medical informatics and telemedicine) in 2011 on medical images processing. At the same time he completed a degree in undergraduate teaching and the faculty of education, University of Ottawa (2012). In 2013, his book on medical image processing: “Quantitative Assessment of Human Motion with passive Vision Monitoring” was published. Then in 2014, he graduated with a Bachelor degree in Theology from Saint Paul University in Ottawa.
This fall Boniface will be pursuing a Doctorate in Computer Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. Distance learning is one of the application areas of his research.
"As a Jesuit, I feel blessed to be able to work in the field of computer engineering. I am following the great tradition of Jesus in science by bringing the Jesuit way of proceeding in IT. Many Jesuits are involved in various intellectual fields bringing together faith and reason."
Regis College is the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto and a Founding Member of the Toronto School of Theology.
Members of the public interested in theological education are invited to attend an open house in October and March each year.