May 25, 2017

St. Paul’s High School is pleased to announce Mr. Stephen ’68 and Mrs. Ruth Chipman as the recipients of the 2017 Ignatian Challenge Award.

More than 44 years after one of their first dates at the 9 pm Folk Mass at St. Ignatius, Ruth and Steve Chipman continue to enjoy the blessings of a deep and rich association with the Jesuits and the Ignatian community in Winnipeg. Over the course of many busy years, which saw the couple raising their three sons, Kevin ’02, Brian ’03 and Tod ’05, and Steve building a varied professional career in education, law and ultimately the family business (where he now serves as President and CEO of the Birchwood Automotive Group), the call and example of St. Ignatius has been at the heart of their 38-year marriage. The challenge of Ignatius Loyola has inspired them as committed lay leaders at their parish of St. Ignatius, as active members of Christian Life Community, and as retreatants in the Spiritual Exercises. Ruth and Steve’s Jesuit formation in action can be seen in their many voluntary works in our community. Steve serves as secretary on the board of Gonzaga Middle School, has served on the board of Cancer Care and was the 2013 Campaign Chair for United Way. Ruth serves as a Spiritual Director for the Spiritual Exercises, has served on volunteer committees at House of Peace, United Way and the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre.  Point Douglas holds a special place in Ruth and Steve’s Ignatian journey. For the last 14 years, Ruth and Steve have coordinated the Immaculate Conception Drop-In and have loved watching St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s students, alongside parish and community groups, be in community with volunteers and guests from the neighbourhood.

Fr. Len Altilia, SJ, President of St. Paul’s High School, explains the choice for this year’s honourees, “In the Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius Loyola says, “Love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.”  Ruth and Steve Chipman, both of whom have prayed the Exercises, have certainly taken that to heart.  Their humble, faithful, dedicated service to the poor in Winnipeg is the embodiment of that statement, and a challenging example for all of us.”

2015 Ignatian Challenge Award recipient, Sr. Lesley Sacouman SNJM, echoed Fr. Altilia’s comments adding “Ruth and Steve, congratulations on receiving the 2017 Ignatian Challenge Award.  You lead with courage and conviction.  You lead from within.  Your lives challenge all of us to act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly and to have great fun doing it.  How blessed we are to know you!”

The Ignatian Challenge Award will be presented to Stephen and Ruth at the 24th annual Tribute Dinner at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017. The award recognizes individuals within our community who embrace the ideals of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and who reflect the characteristics and qualities inherent in a Jesuit education at St. Paul’s High School. Award recipients, through their leadership and commitment to service, become examples for our students of a lived faith and a commitment to becoming Men and Women for Others.

Steve and Ruth join past recipients including Dr. Arthur Mauro, Mr. Paul Albrechtsen, Dr. Michael Phelps ‘63, Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Els Kavanagh, Mr. Gregg Hanson ‘69, Fr. Joseph Driscoll SJ, Dr. Angus Reid ‘65, Mr. Richard and Mrs. Kathryn Bracken, Mr. Joe Stangl, Dr. William Norrie, Mr. Robert Puchniak ‘65, Mr. Gary and Mrs. Janice Filmon, Mr. Robert Chipman ‘44, Mr. James Tennant ‘66, Mr. Hubert Kleysen, Dr. Emöke Szathmáry, Dr. Peter MacDonald ‘76, Mr. Gary Doer ‘66, Mr. Paul and Mrs. Carol Hill, Mr. Michael Guertin ‘76, Mr. Larry Franz, Sister Lesley Sacouman, SNJM and last year’s recipient Mr. Mitch Bourbonniere ’81.  

St. Paul’s High School is Winnipeg’s only all-male, Catholic, Jesuit high school dedicated to educating Men for Others.  Since 1926, St. Paul’s High School has provided an educational environment with emphasis on academic excellence and the growth of the whole person in preparing young men for post-secondary education and subsequent leadership in the community. It is owned and operated by the Society of Jesus and is part of a worldwide network of Jesuit schools recognized for excellence in education and spiritual formation.

The event is an annual fundraiser for the St. Paul’s High School Bursary Program which provides need-based tuition assistance to qualified students. Bursaries are an essential aspect of a Jesuit education and provide opportunities to families who would not otherwise be able to attend St. Paul’s High School because of financial constraints. In recent years, St. Paul’s High School has awarded as much as $485,000 per year in financial aid to qualified families.

To purchase tickets or to become a sponsor for the 2017 Ignatian Challenge Award Tribute Dinner, please contact Mr. Randy Van de Mosselaer ‘86 at (204) 831-2332 or or through the Crusader Shoppe online.