School History

Father Constantine Scollen (1841-1902)

Father Scollen is the patron of our school and someone whose values we should model in all we do. Born in Fermanagh, Ireland in 1841, Constantine Scollen entered the Oblates at the age of seventeen years and made his vows in 1859. An appeal for English speaking missionaries brought him to Canada. He reached St Albert in 1862, as the first English speaking Catholic missionary in Alberta. He laboured as a lay brother in Northern Alberta for ten years. He established the first regular school west of Manitoba. He also became proficient in the Indigenous languages and was the author, with Father Lacombe, of several Cree books.

In 1873, he founded a mission on the Elbow River, thereby becoming the first Catholic mission in what is now the Diocese of Calgary. During the next two years, Father Scollen made the little building the basis of his operations, but he traversed the length and breadth of Southern Alberta in his efforts to evangelize the Blackfoot.

Father Scollen remained as a superior of the Calgary mission until 1882, when he was transferred to Fort Edmonton. He was succeeded in Calgary by Father Lacombe. Father Scollen’s nine years as apostle to the Blackfoot and founder of the Church in the present diocese of Calgary, were filled with unimagined hardships, heroism, and great zeal. These traits were evident in his efforts to better the material conditions of the Indigenous as well as in his work of evangelization. Father Scollen was instrumental in bringing peace between the Indigenous and the Government of Canada. He was involved in the negotiations of Peace Treaty Number Six and Seven, to which his signature is attached as interpreter for the Government commissioners. These events made him a public figure of importance in the history of Alberta.