New position offers unique educational opportunity
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic
VANCOUVER--Msgr. Mark Hagemoen will become the new principal and president of St. Mark's College and Corpus Christi College July 1. The board of directors of the two institutions made the announcement March 18.
"It is a tribute to the credentials Msgr. Hagemoen brings to his new position that the selection committee and board recognized they had the ideal candidate within our archdiocese," Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said.
"I want to express my appreciation to Msgr. Hagemoen for his unfailing service to the Archdiocese of Vancouver. While we are sorry to lose him from the archdiocesan curia, our Catholic colleges and the archdiocese as a whole will benefit from his skills and leadership."
Msgr. Hagemoen, the pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish, has been on the board of the two colleges for the past five years. He has served the Archdiocese of Vancouver in many positions, including as a member of the boards of the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) and Little Flower Academy.
This announcement comes after a long search for a replacement for current principal-president Dr. John Stapleton, who has been on loan to the colleges from the University of Manitoba.
"We used a national search firm from Toronto, Laverne Smith and Associates, to manage the search process, (and) had more than 100 applicants/nominations from around the world," said Neysa Finnie, chairwoman of the St. Mark's and Corpus Christi boards.
Finnie said Msgr. Hagemoen was selected because of his commitment to and vision for the development of the colleges, his leadership in a variety of ministries, and his knowledge of the two colleges and the archdiocese.
Msgr. Hagemoen said the colleges have demonstrated a tradition of quality education, and he wants to help them best serve the archdiocese.
"One of the trademarks of Catholic education is, not only is it education of the highest standard, but it is faith-based education," he said. "It (faith-based education) seeks to infuse the Gospel in all learning, and creates a unique and very important environment for teacher, student, and the larger academic community."
"I'm looking forward to expanding my role at the colleges and to working with the community at St. Mark's and Corpus Christi Colleges in building on the progress that has been made in strengthening Catholic higher education in Vancouver," Msgr. Hagemoen said.
"The development and success of these two colleges is needed more than ever, as the Catholic intellectual tradition is called upon to respond to and engage the range of issues of our time."
Msgr. Hagemoen was born and raised in Vancouver and received his bachelor of arts degree from UBC. After a year of travelling the globe, he entered St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ont., where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.
In order to better serve the archdiocese, in 1997 he earned a certificate in youth ministry studies and a diploma for advanced studies in ministry.
Demonstrating his commitment to higher education, Msgr. Hagemoen earned a doctorate in ministry from Trinity Western University in 2007. In December of that year Pope Benedict XVI honoured Msgr. Hagemoen's service to the Church, recognizing him as a prelate of honour with the title monsignor.
After years of working in the curia, Msgr. Hagemoen said, he will miss his co-workers, but leading the colleges is an important new mission.
"The Catholic centre is a great working environment, and I will miss it. However the colleges need to succeed in the archdiocese in order for Catholic higher education to make the contribution it needs to make, as the bar is raised in all sorts of areas of the diocese, in everything from support to our Catholic schools, to lay ministry development, to continuing education to people in the parishes, and now the new permanent diaconate program," he said.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of helping the colleges grow to be able to serve all of these needs, and others."