New student award, sponsored by local rabbi, honors legacy of Basilian priest, teacher, and friend

St. Mark’s College is thrilled to launch the Father Gerald McGuigan, CSB Award for students pursuing their Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Culture.

Made possible through the generosity of Rabbi Yosef Wosk, PhD, ThM, the Father Gerald (Gerry) McGuigan, CSB Award of $1,000 will be given annually to a 2nd, 3rd , or 4th year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program at St. Mark’s College.

Fr. McGuigan’s years of experience as a teacher, priest, and innovator included work around the globe in places like the Republic of Niger, France, the Czech Republic, Colombia, and here in Vancouver. While studying in the Basilian community at St. Mark’s College, Fr. McGuigan taught economics at UBC and was an advisor and Chairman of Arts One and Arts Two, an experimental UBC program. A favourite of many students, one UBC alumnus described Fr. McGuigan’s office and classroom as relaxed: “People are sitting on chairs, on the floor, dress is casual, conversation is easy. Fr. McGuigan listens, directs, but never dictates.”

“Teaching is a sharing experience,” Fr. McGuigan once remarked. “If one is a good teacher, one is learning as much as the students.”

An imaginative teacher, a lover of humanity, a thinker and a doer, Fr. McGuigan went to the ends of the earth to help others learn to help themselves. He urged his Basilian confreres in schools and parishes to foster awareness of the issues of social justice both by teaching and by providing experience in developing countries. Fr. McGuigan’s zeal was balanced by a warmth and gentleness of character, a ready sense of humour, a love of the community, and a humility which did not allow him to take himself too seriously.

It was at UBC that Rabbi Wosk had the pleasure of being a student of Fr. McGuigan. Rabbi Wosk recently received The Order of Canada, is an appointed Member of The Order of British Columbia and a recipient of both The Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. He is well known for his work as philanthropist, author, community leader, religious art consultant, bibliophile, musician, businessman and academic. Through this new award for BA students at St. Mark’s College he wishes to honour Fr. McGuigan’s memory and commitment to arts and culture.

Students who want to apply for the Father Gerald McGuigan, CSB Award should be enthusiastic and imaginative thinkers and doers, with a love for humanity, a passion for social justice, and an interest in faith and interfaith dialogue. Like Fr. McGuigan, they should also have a sense of adventure, humour, and humility in all that they do.

More information on how to apply for this award can be found here:

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