November 17, 2017

On Tuesday, November 7th, 2017, in front of more than 900 friends, family, alumni and supporters, St. Paul’s High School honoured Mr. Stephen ’68 and Mrs. Ruth Chipman with the Ignatian Challenge Award.


The Ignatian Challenge Award, St. Paul’s High School’s highest honour, is presented at the annual Tribute Dinner to men and women who embrace the ideals of St. Ignatius Loyola, and reflect the character and qualities inherent in a Jesuit education at St. Paul’s High School: faith, generosity, a commitment to justice, and a willingness to serve. 


President of St. Paul’s High School, Fr. Len Altilia, S.J., celebrated Steve and Ruth and “their years of devoted and unstinting service to the poor through the Immaculate Conception Drop-In and other charitable endeavours especially in the north end, their commitment to the Christian Life Community and to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, their leadership in the business community, their devotion to their family, all of which stands as testament to the legitimacy of their selection as this year recipients.  Even more so the unfailing humility, spiritual freedom and good humour with which they go about all that they do.”


The Tribute Dinner also serves as an inspiration and example for the St. Paul’s community – its students, staff, alumni and friends.  Fr. Altilia explained “Ruth and Steve do not like being in the limelight.  So I had some convincing to do to get them to see that even this is an act of service because it allows us to use their example of humble and generous service to inspire the rest of our community, and most especially our students to do the same.  Thank you, Ruth and Steve, for letting us benefit from your leadership in service.”


In accepting the Ignatian Challenge Award, Mr. and Mrs. Chipman explored their relationship with the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and their inspiration from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, their profound experience at the Immaculate Conception Drop-In, the community they serve and the hope and inspiration they draw from the diverse people they meet on a weekly basis.  They also explained how receiving the Ignatian Challenge Award wasn’t so much an honour for something “in the past, an accomplishment - but rather what are we called to do in the future.” 


Using a quote from Pope Francis, Mr. and Mrs. Chipman explained what we are all called to do.   “We are drawn out of the safe spaces of our life. We are called to help others to lead an authentic life, which means a life that is always one that serves others.  In the end, living authentically is a question of inter-dependence, of committing one’s self to the common good.  It is, in its most basic reality, a question of a person coming to the understanding that one’s good, that your good, is intimately tied to the good of everyone else.  And that an authentic life is one that embraces a responsibility, a responsibility to the society in which one is a very, very small part.”

Mr. Chipman, a former junior high teacher, did not end without giving the audience some ‘homework’, challenging those in attendance to participate in the daily examen made famous by St. Ignatius.  “It is the replaying of the day’s events, in your mind.  Paying particular attention to where you saw goodness, in you and around you.  And perhaps where you and others may face challenges or difficulties, and perhaps were not your best self.  In this very, very busy world, the daily examen gives you the opportunity to stop and reflect, to be grateful, to dream big and to become the best version of yourself.”


The 2017 Tribute Dinner Raffle included nine amazing prizes graciously donated by members of the St. Paul's community. This year's raffle raised an additional $53,050 for the St. Paul's High School Bursary Fund, surpassing our goal of $50,000.  A big thank you to this year’s raffle sponsors: Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Brandt Tractor, Calm Air, Dufresne, Guertin Equipment, Lazy Bear Lodge, Maple Leaf Construction, Nott Autocorp, RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, Reimer Soils, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank True North Sports and Entertainment and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. 


The St. Paul's High School community is extremely grateful for the support of our 24th annual Ignatian Challenge Award Tribute Dinner and would like to thank everyone for making this year's dinner possible.


In particular, thanks to this year's sponsors for their generosity and dedication to the mission and vision of St. Paul's High School: