Sister Ellen Leonard Twice Honoured
On June 10, Sr. Ellen Leonard received the Ann O'Hara Graff Annual Award in Reston, Virginia at the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The Women's Seminar in Constructive Theology, the awarding body, looks for "women whose accomplishments include both womanist, feminist or other woman-defined scholarship and liberating action on behalf of women in the church and in the broader community." The award honours the late Ann O'Hara Graff who made significant contributions to women both in the academy and beyond.
To mark this occasion in a 'local and lasting' way, the University of St Michael's College honoured Sister Ellen Leonard CSJ with the planting of a rosebush on their campus on Sept. 29, 2004. Sister Anne Anderson, CSJ, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, noted that this occasion was chosen to mark in a way Professor Ellen Leonard's recent reception in Virginia of the ANN O'HARA GRAFF AWARD at the Catholic Theological Society of America. The award goes to a woman 'whose accomplishments include ... woman-defined scholarship and liberating action on behalf of women in the church and in the broader community.' Sister Ellen was cited for her 'commitment to women throughout her academic career.'
Father James K McConica, CSB, Praeses of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, had chosen Topaz Jewel, a 'shrub rose with clusters of fragrant large, double, soft yellow flowers which blooms all season.' He noted that the qualities described in the catalogue for the rose apply as well to Sr. Ellen: 'very hardy, vigorous, disease resistant and shade tolerant.'
Richard Alway, President of the University of St Michael's College, spoke with appreciation of Sr. Ellen's work at the Faculty of Theology and the contribution of Sisters of St Joseph to USMC over the years. Sister Ellen's sister, Anne, many friends, colleagues and members of the faculty and staff of St Michael's, as well as members of her congregation, the Sisters of St Joseph, were in attendance. The ceremony was followed by Mass in St Basil's Church as the formal opening of the 'Michaelmas term' and then by a reception in the parish hall for all who were present.