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Brother Seán Sammon Doctor honoris causa

25/03/2009: Brazil - Photo gallery

The Catholic Pontifical University (PUC) of Paraná, whose main campus is situated in Curitiba (Brasil), anticipated a comprehensive programme to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation in 1959. On the programme of activities forseen for such a significant event, a highlight was the solemn conferring of the title of honorary Doctor given to Brother Sean Sammon, Superior General of the Marist Brothers. This act of recognition took place on 13 March 2009. The occasion was distinguished by the presence of the Rector Clemente Ivo Juliatto, the Grand Chancellor of the PUCPR, Dom Moacyr Vitti, the Provincial of the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Sur, Brother Davide Pedri, the President of the Paranaense Cultural Association, Professor Darìo Bortolini and the other authorities of the University.

The Rector of the university, Brother Clemente Ivo Jiuliatto, emphasised that to grant this award to Brother Sean Sammon, was an honour for the institution. The university recognized the many personal merits of Brother Sean which made him deserving of this title. He emphasized the life dedicated to the knowledge of the spirit and of spirituality. His life was guided by two principles, science and faith. With his psychology, Brother Sean had tried to understand human beings so as to lead them to God, and with his profound knowledge of the religious life, tried to understand the mysteries of God so as to address them to men.

For his part, Brother Sean Sammon, declared that he accepted the distinction “in his own name and in that of the Marist community” He gave thanks for the honour received personally and in the name of the whole Marist Institute, and expressed his respect and admiration for PUCPR. I am sure that this University is going to have much to celebrate, and many more years of life. In his speech he emphasized the three dimensions of this work which is “university”, “Catholic”, and “Marist.”

Of universities, he said that they were among the most durable institutions in the world. These institutions were not professional schools, nor seminaries, not places simply for providing people with work qualifications – although at times they may seem to take one of these forms – but communities of persons to whom had been entrusted the task of teaching young people to dream, so as to go beyond what they know and to imagine what might be possible, even if in the beginning it might seem impossible. “The mission of any centre of higher learning, therefore, is an affair of the heart and not only of the mind and the hands,” said Brother Sean.

Of the Marist university, he declared that it inherited the tradition of Saint Marcellin and was called to continue his work for the poor as in the beginning. The university has to be the public conscience which reminds the whole of society of its obligation to take care of and be part of the lives of the persons on the margins, of those in the society who have much less than others.

The programme of activities to celebrate this important anniversary for the Marist University includes a tribute to the members of the Municipal Council of Curitiba which will be held at the university, the inauguration of the Master of Theology degree, a cycling track, a planting of commemorative trees, the launching of the stamp commemorating the event, as well as the launching of various publications connected with the 50 years of the PUCPR.



Speech Brother Seán - Doc Word - 50 kb
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Speech Brother Clemente Ivo Juliatto - Doc Word - 70 kb
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