Sisters of St. Joseph to be honoured at Convocation
June 6, 2013
King’s convocation ceremonies on June 11th will celebrate the achievements of 639 new graduates from across Canada and from 14 countries. During the convocation at Alumni Hall, Western, they will hear a special message from Honourary Degree recipient Sister Margo Ritchie. The recognition by Western of the long affiliation between the Sisters of St. Joseph and King’s makes the 2013 convocation a special occasion for the entire King’s community.
Not only is Sister Margo a Western alumna, but she and other Sisters have long considered King’s their educational home. The Sisters support our popular Religious Life Lecture series, have made our campus more beautiful with their donations, and maintain a positive and supportive relationship with our leadership. As Sister Margo puts it, “we all care about the person as a whole.”
In accepting the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D), Sister Margo says she does so on behalf of her entire religious community which, under her leadership, merged to include Peterborough, Pembroke, Hamilton and London. Soon, the Sisters in London will open two wings of their residence on Windermere Ave as a new residential hospice for other members of the community in the final stages of their life.
Sister Margo says she is excited about the opportunity to speak to the King’s community at convocation about the importance of “unlearning cynicism.” During her address she says she will encourage the audience to “do good work for your neighbourhood – which is the whole world. It’s not the street you live on anymore; we live in a global neighbourhood.”
As the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph London for the past five years, Sister Margo also served as President of the Canadian Federation from 2009 to 2011. She has worked as a teacher; lived in a transition home for women and facilitated retreats for groups and individuals in need during her life of service. An ardent environmentalist, Sister Margo was instrumental in the CSJ London's 2007 move to a new home, which was the first LEED ® Gold Certified building in the Forest City.
“Life is an unlearning process all the time so that we can keep trying to stay connected to the whole. I will encourage the students to reach to places in the world where people are living goodness,” she says. “It’s all about ‘us’ as a whole.”
David Sylvester, King’s Principal, says the faculty and staff applaud the work of the Sisters and their dedication to education and health care in our area. “We are so proud to have Sister Margo as the recipient of an honourary degree during the King’s convocation at Western. Their work has impacted all of us in countless ways and we couldn’t be any prouder than to see the Sisters honoured in this manner.”
The convocation begins at 3 p.m., Alumni Hall, Western. It is preceded by a Mass at Labatt Hall, King’s campus, 266 Epworth Ave at 11:45 a.m. The mass and the convocation ceremony will be live streamed at www.kings.uwo.ca