Vancouver, BC - May 9, 2017. St. Mark's College at UBC is pleased to announce that Sister Nuala Patricia Kenny, OC, BA, MD, FRCP(C) - an internationally recognized pediatrician, ethicist, and educator on healthcare and policy - will be awarded the institution's highest honour, the Doctor of Sacred Letters (honoris causa).
The degree will be conferred by the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver and Chancellor of St. Mark's College, at the College's upcoming Convocation, to be held at the College Chapel on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 1:30 pm.
This honour recognizes Sister Kenny's long-time commitment to child health, medical education, and bioethics. She has long helped both the Church and society tackle fundamental ethical questions in healthcare and policy, including research ethics, the protection of minors, sexual abuse prevention, and euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Starting in the late 1980s, Sister Kenny became instrumental in helping the Church confront the clergy sexual abuse crisis. Along with contributing to an archdiocesan inquiry in St. John's, NL, she has delivered numerous public lectures and workshops on this issue, and published a book on the crisis, Healing the Church.
Born in New York, Sister Kenny joined the Sisters of Charity in Halifax in 1962. She graduated from Dalhousie University Medical School in 1972, and became a pediatrician in 1976. After working in Ontario in the early 1980s, she returned to Halifax in 1988 as a professor and head of the pediatrics department at Dalhousie and chief of pediatrics at the local children's hospital, later becoming deputy health minister for Nova Scotia.
After an extensive career in pediatrics and medical education, Sister Kenny founded the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie in 1996. In 1999, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contributions to child health and medical education.
"Sister Kenny exemplifies the values of St. Mark's College, along with our mission to help our students 'think rigorously, act justly, and serve faithfully'," remarked Dr. Peter Meehan, Principal of St. Mark's College. "We are proud to recognize Sister Kenny for her many significant contributions to ethics and teaching, for being a champion of the vulnerable, for approaching her work with an enormous sense of empathy, and for helping the church not only explore the causes of, and harm caused by, the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Church, but also help in finding possible ways forward."
Sister Kenny is presently Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie and serves as Advisor to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for the Protection of Minors. Her new book, The Art of Dying and the Paschal Mystery: A Compassionate Vision of End of Life Care, is forthcoming from Novalis in September 2017.
About St. Mark's College at UBC
St. Mark's College is a member of the Community of St. Mark's at UBC, which comprises St. Mark's College, Corpus Christi College, and St. Mark's Parish. As the affiliated Catholic Theological College of the University of British Columbia (UBC), St. Mark's College offers a variety of academic programs and continuing education opportunities for Catholics and non-Catholics. Together with Corpus Christi College, St. Mark's College desires to become the centre of excellence for undergraduate and graduate Catholic education in British Columbia.
St. Mark's is committed to promoting an authentic Christian humanism, marked by the pursuit of academic excellence and animated by the joy of searching for, discovering, and communicating truth in every field of knowledge. The College prepares graduates who continually strive to integrate and synthesize faith and reason, women and men who think rigorously, so as to act rightly and serve humanity better.
The College offers programs that are grounded in the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition, including a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Culture for aspiring Catholic teachers; Master's degrees in Religious Education, Theological Studies, Pastoral Studies and Catholic Leadership; and engaging public lectures and professional development opportunities addressing faith leading to understanding.
Elizabeth Morse, Communications, St. Mark's College at UBC