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2016 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award Winner

This year's winner of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award is Bishop Christian Riesbeck. An alumni of St. Pius X High School, he was born in Montreal on February 7, 1970. Over his lifetime, he's earned several degrees: a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Divinity from St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, and both a master's degree and a licentiate in Canon Law from Saint Paul University in Ottawa. He also speaks English, French, Spanish, and German.

Bishop Riesbeck has selflessly served the Catholic church for over 20 years. He was ordained to the priesthood as a member of the Companions of the Cross on October 12, 1996, by the then Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Marcel Gervais. After doing pastoral work in the Archdioceses of Ottawa and Kingston for brief periods in the late 1990s, he served as pastor of Queen of Peace parish in Houston, Texas from 1999 to 2008. After obtaining his degree in Canon Law shortly afterwards, he was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Ottawa in January 2011. Then, on January 7, 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Reverend Christian Riesbeck, C.C., as Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa. At the time of his appointment, he was the Chancellor of the Archdiocese and the Assistant General Superior of the Companions of the Cross – a priestly society of apostolic life founded in Ottawa.

Bishop Riesbeck takes his responsibilities as a Catholic leader seriously. Before taking up his duties at Queen of Peace parish in Texas, he spent seven weeks learning Spanish so he could better serve the area's large Hispanic community. Under his committed leadership, the parish was revitalized: the number of parishioners, religious education classes, and the parish school enrolment all increased significantly.

His nominators describe him as a kind and approachable leader, and say he stands out as a young member of the Church who has chosen to dedicate himself to religious life at a time when ordinations are in decline. Despite always being very busy, he always finds a way to make time to assist with school and board activities. His kind presence is always welcomed by teachers and students, and he has been known to join student hockey games while visiting schools.

For all these reasons and more, Bishop Riesbeck is an inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with, and an exceptional role model for all graduates of the OCSB. There is no one more deserving of the 2016 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award.

Bishop Riesbeck has chosen to split the $5000 award between St. Pius X High School and Dr. F. J. McDonald School

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Christian Community Day 2015

Director or Education Denise Andre addresses the crowd at Christian Community Day.

On October 9, the OCSB celebrated yet another inspiring Christian Community Day at a packed Shaw Centre. The highlight of the day was a beautiful mass presided over by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. Director of Education Denise Andre's presentation was warm, thoughtful and inclusive, focusing on the Board's accomplishments and directions as well as kicking off this year's United Way Campaign. Associate Director of Education Tom D'Amico presented the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award to Dr. David LeBrun.

The day was interspersed with the lovely music of the talented OCSB Choir under the direction of Theresa Clarke. Soloist Deanna MacDonald-Johns' voice soared throughout the room, filling everyone present with joy and wonder.

A number of inspiring witnesses also took the stage, reflecting on the day's themes: restoration, joy, mercy, and love. Nadine Logan shared her story of finding a place where people truly cared for and about her child at the OCSB. Jimmy Ruggerio, an EA at Sacred Heart High School, spoke about his spiritual journey and the power of prayer in the life of his son Luca, who now attends St. Luke School. Carl Nicholson from the Catholic Centre for Immigration told the crowd about all the incredible work they do there. The collections from the Mass went to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Catholic Centre for Immigration.

All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to bring our whole community together. See the pictures from the event in our Facebook album!

Recent comment in this post
Guest — ChristianMagazine
This is good to celebrate community days and share positive thoughts top motivate people to achieve goal of life.
Monday, 04 January 2016 6:06 AM
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2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award

Dr. David LeBrun, recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award.

This year's winner of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award is Dr. David LeBrun. Dr. LeBrun graduated from St. Pius X High School in 1978, where he was second in his class. He then went on to Queen's University to study biochemistry, and was accepted into their medical school after only two years. After completing his residency in Toronto, he lived in California from 1990 to 1993 while completing a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular oncology at Stanford University.

Highly sought after, Dr. LeBrun returned to Canada to be closer to his family and to embark on a career in cancer research. In 1994, he began an appointment in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's, where he is currently a full professor and consultant in lymph node pathology.

David's list of accomplishments is lengthy. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has published extensively, and his research has been supported by multiple agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, and the Cancer Research Society. He is a member of the Correlative Science Tumour Biology Committee and Chair of the grant review panel at the NCIC. He is also a co-director of the Queen's Laboratory for Molecular Pathology. While these achievements are impressive, David's sister Anne Marie Lebrun, who nominated him for the award, said "his purpose has always been to work with people in order to help people."

David's lifelong learning is not limited to science. He is a voracious reader of everything. He loves Tolstoy, but will quote the latest Trailer Park Boys or Simpsons episode in the next breath. He loves music, traveling, highly respects the environment, and enjoys canoeing, hiking, and skiing.

Family has always been of utmost importance to David. In 1988, he married Mary-Ellen O'Connor, a fellow St. Pius X graduate. Together they have raised three great kids: Madeleine, Joey, and Lucie. They are active members at St. Mary's Parish in Kingston, and all three children attended and graduated from Regiopolis-Notre Dame High School in Kingston. David's Catholic faith has never wavered, and his humility and acknowledgement of the limitations of science make it easy for him to believe in a higher power.

Dr. LeBrun has chosen St. Elizabeth School as the recipient of the $5000 that comes with the award.
Dr. David LeBrun, centre, recipient of the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Also pictured, members of Dr. LeBrun’s family with: Left to right – Elaine McMahon, Chairperson of OCSB (grey suit coat); Denise Andre, Director of Education (purple dress); and Tom D’Amico, Associate Director of Education (end, grey suit).
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