June 4, 2019

   St. Paul’s High School is pleased to announce Ms. Anne and Mr. Paul ‘81 Mahon as the 2019 Ignatian Challenge Award recipients. In accepting this award, Anne and Paul emphasize the importance of St. Paul’s providing tuition assistance for students who would otherwise not be able to attend the school due to financial constraints. Recognizing how the proceeds from the Tribute Dinner go exclusively to support the school’s bursary fund, they are pleased to lend their names to this worthy endeavor.

   St. Paul’s High School President Kevin Booth offers this reflection, “James 2:26 reads, ‘For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.’ Anne and Paul are people of deep faith who have put that faith into action through their work and in the community.”

  Anne is an oral history writer. She is especially interested in writing stories of hope and resiliency among the disempowered. Her first book The Lucky Ones: African Refugees Stories of Extraordinary Courage (2013) was the winner of the Winnipeg Public Library's On The Same Page Book Award. Her second book is Redemption: Stories of Hope, Resilience and Life After Gangs (2017). Both books’ author proceeds are donated to social services organizations in Winnipeg. Over the past 30 years she has volunteered in many capacities, including serving as a spiritual director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, working with refugees and being a founding board member of Humankind International who built a school in the Dadaab Refugee camp in Kenya in 2014. Anne is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the BookMates Book Club at the Women's Correctional Centre. Anne becomes Chancellor of the University of Manitoba in June 2019.

  Paul is President and CEO of Great-West Lifeco (including Canada Life), a position he has held since 2013. Prior to that he was President and Chief Operating Officer of the company’s Canadian Operations. Paul has been with Great-West Lifeco since graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1986. He is a director and past Chair of the board of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Business Council of Canada, the Misericordia Health Centre Corporation, and the United Way Resource Development Committee. Paul previously served as a director of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.   

  Anne and Paul have three children: Kendra, Mark ’12 and Andrew ’15. The Mahon family has been intimately connected with St. Paul’s for decades. Paul’s father, James V. Mahon, KSG, graduated in 1949, and his brothers Patrick and Michael, graduated in 1975 and 1977 respectively.

   Former Ignatian Challenge honouree, Ruth Chipman, believes Paul and Anne exemplify core Ignatian and Christian values. “As an Ignatian community we are a discerning community, aware and responsive to the ‘signs of the times.’ We are called, as community, to engage the challenges around us. Our collective challenge requires creativity, collaboration and courage. Anne and Paul exemplify these gifts and share them generously and humbly.  Thank you both for carrying the Ignatian Challenge forward.”

  Bursaries are an essential aspect of a Jesuit education and provide tuition assistance to students who would not otherwise be able to attend St. Paul's due to financial constraints. This year 1 in 6 students received bursary assistance totaling over $500,000. When asked about what his bursary assistance meant to him, Dana Gregoire ‘01 commented, “It means everything. SPHS has pointed me to university — I am the first in my family to attend-- and my St. Paul’s network continues to be my rock, even in Toronto. St. Paul’s taught me love and empathy, and what it means to be part of a community.”

   Anne and Paul join past recipients 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, Mr. Mitch Bourbonniere ’81, Mr. Steve ‘68 and  Mrs. Ruth Chipman and last year’s recipients Sister Bernadette O’Reilly and Mr. Phil Chiappetta ’75 of Rossbrook House.

 The Ignatian Challenge Award will be awarded to Anne and Paul at the 26th annual Ignatian Challenge Award Tribute Dinner at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on November 5th, 2019. The award recognizes individuals within our community who embrace the ideals of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

To become an event sponsor or to purchase tickets for the 2019 Ignatian Challenge Award Tribute Dinner, please contact Mr. Randy Van de Mosselaer, Manager of Alumni Affairs & Events at (204) 831-2332 or rvandemosselaer@stpauls.mb.ca