The Next Chapter

Campion at night.

A lot of hullabaloo has been made of Canada’s sesquicentennial year. But 2017 also marks two events of major significance in my life.

  1. On December 1, 2017, the feast day of St. Edmund Campion, our patron saint, Campion College will bring its 100th anniversary year to an end. We will have celebrated with a new accessible elevator, a beautiful new main entrance, 100 stories about people whose lives have been impacted by or have impacted Campion, several special projects, and a centennial reunion extraordinaire.
  2. It is also an especially important date to me personally because on December 1st, 2017, I will close the Campus Ministry office door for the last time!

Retirement – has a nice ring to it! I have never retired before, and it’s going to be quite an adventure. To bring these two events together, I offer the following reflection on how I got to be part of this amazing Jesuit school.

I actually graduated from Campion with a B.A. (Mention Bilingue) in 1993. Though most of my high school classmates finished their undergraduate degrees in 1972, ’73, and ’74, it took me 24 years to complete mine at Campion.

However, I then went on to complete a Certificate of Administration in Accounting, a Master of Divinity at Newman Theological College (Edmonton), and a Master of Theology at St. Stephen’s Theological College (Edmonton), where I also spent several years in a Doctor of Ministry program.

Four children kept me busy in those 24 years between high school grad and university convocation, as well as part-time jobs in banking, retail, and church-related activities, both paid and volunteer – not to mention the volunteer work in the community. I was around my local parish so much that people began to assume that I actually knew something about the Church, which I felt I didn’t. That’s when I moved to Edmonton to take up full-time study once again.

Church of Our Lady, Moose Jaw, SK. Source:glassincanada.org

After graduating with my M.Div., I was asked by the archbishop to take charge of parishes that had no priest. This I did with reluctance, but was continually amazed at the work that God was able to do through me and for me.

After two years of rural ministry and seven wonderful years at Church of Our Lady in Moose Jaw as a professional lay ecclesial minister, my first grandchild fell gravely ill with meningitis and ultimately lost her hearing. Moving back to my home of Regina was a no-brainer, in part to help my daughter out, and in part to work on completing the Doctor of Ministry degree.

I was successful in being a helpful mom and grandma, but not so successful in the doctoral area. It was at the same time that I unexpectedly received a call from the then-Dean of Campion College to ask if I would take on a chaplaincy position “just for one year.” That was 12 years ago.

In the time since, I’ve seen children who went through my sacramental programs in the parish come to university, graduate, go on to successful careers, get married and have their own children, travel, and all manner of things. I’ve been the Director of the Pastoral Studies Program as well for several years, have taught people who thought their university days were over decades before, and have seen them flourish in the rediscovery of the work of lay ministry. Some continue to work in degree programs as well, such is their excitement with education!

I’ve worked with some absolutely incredible people at Campion, and formed friendships that will last forever. The Jesuits with whom I’ve worked have shown me a Catholicism that truly cares about relationships – those with and for God, with and for people, and with and for creation. I continue to learn, and hopefully to teach, tenets of Ignatian spirituality.

Stephanie with her grandkids.

Being part of the Province Vocation Team has allowed me to see Jesuits and lay people all over Canada – in research, social justice and advocacy work, campus ministry, education, and other amazing professions. It’s been a wonderful 12-plus years, and when the calendar turns over to the magic date, I’ll keep memories of ministry and Campion close to my heart.

BUT don’t call me until June of 2018 if you’re thinking of asking me to help with anything.    I’ll be otherwise occupied.

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Source for all photos: Stephanie Molloy.

Stephanie Molloy is Campus Minister, Director of Pastoral Studies at Campion College, University of Regina, and Chair of the Vocations Committee for the Jesuits in English Canada.

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