Constantine Michael Scollen was born on April 4th, 1841 in Newton Butler, County Fermanagh, Ireland. His parents were Patrick Scollen and Marguerite McDermott. He died at Dayton, Ohio, on November 8th, 1902.
Brother Scollen studied in England and then entered the novitiate at Lys Mary, England, on the 14th of August, 1858 and professed on August 15th, 1859.
The Brother Coadjuditor Scollen taught at Inchicore, Ireland (1860-61) and then traveled to Leeds sometime s in 1862. He was then sent to the Canadian West and was the first teacher at the English-Catholic School at Saint-Albert (1862) and also had a school at Fort-des-Prairies [Edmonton] before returning to Saint-Albert.
On the 15th August, 1865, he made his perpetual vows as a teaching brother at Saint-Albert and remained a student there until 1873. He then served in Saint-Paul-des-Cris [Brosseau], Alberta in 1869. He passed the winter of 1870-71 at Fort-de-la-Montagne [Rocky Mountain House], Alberta, with Father Lacombe. In 1870, he began studies under the direction of Fr Vital Fourmond, o.m.i., studying Philosophy (winter 1871-72) at Saint-Albert, under the guidance of Fr Joseph Dupin, o.m.i., and Theology at Lac-Sainte-Anne under the tutelage of Fr Fourmond. He also edited (1872) some books in the Cree tongue. He was subsequently ordained a priest at Saint-Albert, April 12th, 1873 by Mgr Vital-Justin Grandin, Bishop of Saint-Albert. He was the only priest in the Diocese who spoke Blackfoot. He was sent to found a mission at Notre-Dame de la Paix on the Bow River in Calgary (1873-82) from which he visited Lethbridge (1873), Cluny (1872-74), Brocket (1873) and Fort Macleod (1873-1881). He also constructed a residence in 1880 in which he lived.
He was recalled to Saint-Albert in 1882 and was charged with the pastoral care of Edmonton (1883-84) and, then, founded the mission at Hobbema (1884-85). In the midst of the insurrection of the Indians and Métis in 1885, he succeeded in preventing bloodshed and returning to the Indians objects stolen from them. Fr Scollen was also present at the signing of various treaties between the federal government and Aboriginal Peoples.
He left the Congregation in 1885 and made another effort at the novitiate in Tweksbury in 1886, subsequently traveling to Saint-Laurent, Manitoba (1886-87), before going on to North Dakota (1887). He is then found at Lewiathe, North Dakota (n.d.); Saint Stephen Mission, Fremont, Wyoming (1889-92); at Saint John the Baptist, Buffalo, Wyoming (1892-94), Saint Joseph, Dayton, Ohio (1901), and at Saint Mary, Urbana (1901-02).
A plaque in his honour has been erected near Jumping Pound, Alberta. 1
Reprinted with the permission of Les Archives Deschâtelets and the publisher from Gaston Carriere, o.m.i., Dictionnaire de Marie Immaculée au Canada, tome III (Ottawa: Éditions de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1979), pp 178-79.
1. Scollen. Augustin, in Enciclopedia canadiana. vol. 9, p. 243; Bernice VENINI, Father Constantine ScoIlen, Founder of the Calgary Mission, in The Canadian Catholic Historical Association. Report 1942-194J. p. 75-86; archives paroissiales de Saint Stephen, Wyoming; archives diocésaines de Cincinnati, Ohio; James MCGIVERN, s.j., The almost forgotten priest, in The Catholic Register, November 5, 1975, p. 17.
Novemher 5, 1975, p. 17.
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