Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada, will speak at the 166th annual commencement of Saint Vincent Seminary. He will receive an honorary doctorate and give the address. The commencement ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, May 11 in the Archabbey Basilica.
Archbishop Prendergast, a native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, as well as Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from Regis College, Toronto School of Theology. He taught in Halifax at the Atlantic School of Theology from 1975 to 1981 and at Toronto’s Regis College from 1981 to 1995, including terms as Rector (1981 to 1987) and Dean of Theology (1990 to 1995).
From 1992 until 1994 he was Executive Secretary to Bishop Frederick Henry in conducting an Apostolic Visitation of English-speaking Canadian seminaries for the Vatican. At the time of his nomination as bishop in 1995, he was Catholic Biblical Association Visiting Professor at the École biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem.
Appointed Titular Bishop of Slebte (an ancient diocese in Ireland) and Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto in 1995, he later served as Archbishop of Halifax from 1998 to 2007 and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Yarmouth, also in Nova Scotia, from 2002 to 2007. In 2003, the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life named him Pontifical Commissioner for the Fils de Marie, a group of priests and brothers based in the Province of Quebec, a post he held until 2007.
In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named him Ninth Archbishop of Ottawa. He was one of four Canadian Bishops elected by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to the Synod of Bishops “On the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church” (October 2008). Archbishop Prendergast was twice a member on the Canadian Bishops Permanent Council. In 2005, he completed his term as Liaison Bishop to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC), during which he worked with Catholic university educators and the Congregation of Catholic Education to elaborate norms for implementing Ex corde Ecclesiae in Canada. Recently he completed a fourth term on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) Doctrinal Commission and has recently been named a member of the CCCB Social Communications Commission.
Aside from his pastoral involvements, Archbishop Prendergast is a writer and retreat giver. For 10 years (1994 to 2003) he wrote a weekly Scripture column in Toronto’s Catholic Register; he has recently published the first two of three volumes based on these columns about the Sunday weekly readings: Living God’s Word: Reflections on the Sunday Readings for Year A and Living God’s Word: Reflections on the Sunday Readings for Year B (Toronto/Montreal: Novalis, 2010 and 2011) and is currently preparing the volume for Year C, which features St. Luke’s Gospel.
Having worked with young adults at the University of Toronto and at Halifax’s universities, he has been blogging almost daily without interruption since April 2009 (The Journey of a Bishop—www.archbishopterry.blogspot.com) and recently opened a Facebook account that he visits occasionally.