November 7, 2014

On Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 the St. Paul’s High School community honoured long-time teacher, administrator, mentor and Man for Others, Mr. Larry Franz, with the Ignatian Challenge Award at the 21st annual Tribute Dinner. 

In front of a crowd of nearly 900 of his friends, family, colleagues, students and alumni, Mr. Franz humbly accepted the highest honour bestowed by St. Paul’s High School.   The Ignatian Challenge Award is presented annually 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.

“While previous recipients have generally supported St. Paul’s, as it were, from the outside, by their generous contributions of time, talent, and treasure, Larry has worked on the inside, as teacher, administrator, and spiritual leader,” explained  Fr. Len Altilia, S.J., President of St. Paul’s High School.  “His influence over students extends far beyond their academic formation, for which he has been duly honoured, to their human and spiritual formation, through the 54 Kairos retreats that he led, through his commitment to the El Salvador Project, the dynamism of his faith, and the humility and good humour with which he served.”

Stacy Dainard ’88, who introduced Mr. Franz, recalled meeting Mr. Franz for the first time, as a student, in 1984.  As a blissfully unaware grade 9 student, however, he didn’t know what was occurring “behind the scenes” at the time.  The fact was that Mr. Franz, who had just been appointed the first lay principal of St. Paul’s, took on this position of leadership “at a time of significant change and significant risk for the school.”  Dainard, a faculty member since 1993, treated the crowd to the myth of Mr. Franz: “Award winning teacher, the Energizer Bunny, family man and man of genuine service.”  He concluded with a quote from Fr. Brian Gorgan, who was reflecting upon the life and leadership of the former Superior General of the Jesuits Fr. Pedro Arrupe “If we can see far ahead, it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants”. Mr. Franz is without question a “giant” of St. Paul’s and has solidified the foundation that so many stand on today.

In accepting the award, Mr. Franz acknowledged the people with whom he wished to share the award: his wife Lorraine, his parents, his mentor Nick Laping ’61 and finally his colleagues.  Mr. Franz spoke with pride about the programs and educational experience offered by St. Paul’s High School.  “When I think of St. Paul’s now I see tremendous programs like Kairos and the Freshman Retreat. I see a huge cross section of athletics involving hundreds of students, debating, drama and so many more. I see religion programs many of which go beyond elementary catechism to worldviews. I see community outreach programs like Christian Service and mission trips to El Salvador. I see the effective use of technology. I see rigorous academic programs now including Advance Placement classes for the gifted and remedial programs for those who need a little time or help. While so much has changed over the years. St. Paul’s was always good, it is now even better. The students it influences now are so much more aware of themselves and the world around. And with the effective leadership the school has and the remarkable staff even greater things remain to happen.” 

He concluded with the real reason for the annual Tribute Dinner – the students, more specifically the Bursary Program.  “St. Paul’s has never been just a school for the well-off but has always been there for regular families who could never afford tuition. Those families and those students have always been welcome and the school has found ways to accommodate them. So many good students have been given a chance by that program.  And isn’t that what St. Paul’s is and always has been about – reaching out into the community?”

Returning this year was the Ignatian Challenge Award Tribute Dinner Raffle that included seven amazing prizes graciously donated my members of the St. Paul’s community.  This year’s raffle, along with a friendly challenge put out by guest in the audience, raised a record $100,000 for the St. Paul’s High School Bursary Program. 

The St. Paul’s High School community is extremely grateful for the support of our 21st 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:

PLATINUM ($10,500)

Guertin Equipment

The Kleysen Family

Paul's Hauling

Piston Ring & J Tennant Family

Bob Puchniak '65 and Family


GOLD ($5,500)

Freeman Audio

P.L. Campeau Financial Services

Wildwood Transport

RBC Dominion Securities

DeLuca Fine Wines


SILVER ($3,500)

Birchwood Automotive Group

Broadway Florists

Coughlin Insurance Brokers

James Richardson & Sons, Limited & Affiliated Companies

Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Els Kavanaugh


MacDon Industries

Mr. Carmine Militano ’72


Neptune Properties Inc.

SWOB Group Benefits

Winnipeg Building and Decorating

Winnipeg Free Press


BRONZE ($2,500)

Aikins Law

BDR Services

Bockstael Construction

Booth Dennehy LLP / Independent Fish Co.

CIBC Wood Gundy

Cropo Funeral Services

The Dufresne Group

Duha Colour Services

E.J. Coutu & Co. Funeral Directors


FWS Group of Companies

G.J. Vis Enterprises

Gillis Quarries

Harvard Developments Inc.

Jesuits of Winnipeg

Mr. Paul ’81 and Mrs. Anne Mahon & Family

Monarch Industries

National Bank Financial Wealth Management

The William Parrish Family


RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg

RBC Dominion Securities

RBC Royal Bank

Royal Canadian Securities

St. John Brebeuf Community

St. Paul's High School Parent Guild

Static Electric

Tower Engineering / LM Architecture

Twerdun Wealth Management

Waterford Global

Winkler Meats


Raffle Sponsors

Exchange Income Corporation

Churchill Nature Tours

RBC Royal Bank

BCV Asset Management

Guertin Equipment

Elkhorn Resort

RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg

Tracey Kucheravy


Please click here for a photo gallery of the 21st Annual Ignatian Challenge Award Tribute Dinner.