Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth confers doctorate degrees to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the death of Saint Columbanus

30 Nov 2015

Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth is delighted to advise that in order to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the death of Saint Columbanus and to honour the rich heritage and legacy which unites our work and mission, the Trustees of Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth and the Pontifical University* have today conferred the award of Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa:

  • Bishop Gianni Ambrosio, Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio, Italy
  • Mr Mauro Steffenini, San Colombano al Lambro, Italy
  • Reverend Kevin O’Neill, SSC, Superior General of the Missionary Society of Saint Columban

Each of the honourees are being recognised for the extraordinary contribution that they each have made in separate ways to continue the great work and mission of Saint Columban in the 21st Century.  In the case of Father O’Neill the honour is also intended as recognition of the outstanding work done by the entire Missionary Society of Saint Columban – formerly the Maynooth Mission to China from its foundation until the present day.


* St Patrick’s College, Maynooth opened its doors as an educational institution in 1795 and, over the intervening two centuries, it has established for itself an impressive reputation for scholarship and learning. Today, as a Pontifical University, the College specializes in the study of theology and philosophy and related areas.  It is now completely distinct from Maynooth University although both institutions share a history and campus and co-operate on many academic programmes.  Pontifical Universities are “academic institutes established or approved directly by the Holy See, composed of three main ecclesiastical faculties (Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law) and at least one other faculty. These academic institutes deal specifically with the Christian revelation and related disciplines, and the Church’s mission of spreading the Gospel, as proclaimed in the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia christiana”.  All Pontifical University of Maynooth academic awards are fully aligned with and recognized by the National Framework of Qualifications of the NQAI.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444