Amidst the handful of scandalous Catholic college commencement speakers, there are also signs of hope. This year, more Catholic bishops and cardinals have been invited to give commencement addresses at Catholic colleges and universities. They include:
On May 3, Archdiocese of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl concelebrated the annual Baccalaureate Mass and delivered the commencement address at Duquesne University.
“At this commencement I ask you never to accept less,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “Always recognize in your heart that you … have the possibility to change the world.”
"Science and technology have brought mankind enormous progress, but science and technology by themselves aren't going to answer all our problems," he said."Grounded in the material, they ultimately do not provide the hope that we need. Science without ethics, art without spirituality, technology without human moral values, materiality without transcendence, all remain branches in search of a vine. ... All of the branches have to be connected to the vine of truth. And this includes not just science and technology. Truth includes the word of God."
On May 3-4, Bishop Paul Etienne of the Diocese of Cheyenne celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass, and Bishop Edward Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa gave the commencement address at Wyoming Catholic College.
At the May 10 Franciscan University of Steubenville Baccalaureate Mass, the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, noted that today’s society believes “there is no God or his existence doesn’t make any difference. Worshiping God, living our faith, is more and more contrary to the law.” This presents a challenge for the Church, he said, because “we have to find new ways to proclaim Christ and to live as Christians in this culture. This is what the new evangelization is all about, and that’s what we expect from each one of you.”
Archbishop Gomez encouraged the graduates to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to change the world. “Our mission is to continue his mission: To redeem that little part of the world that we live in—our homes, the places where we work, our neighborhoods, to sanctify reality, to help our loved ones and the people we meet every day to find God,” he said. “And we go with Jesus, we go with God. He gives us the promise that he made to his first apostles, the promise that he would be with us, no matter what, until the end of the age.”
On Saturday, May 11, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo will serve as commencement speaker
at Thomas Aquinas College’s
annual graduation exercises. The archbishop of Galveston-Houston will also receive the school’s highest award, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion, in recognition of his life-long fidelity and service to the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Charles Brown will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 10, and will deliver the commencement address and be awarded an honorary doctorate at the Christendom College commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11.
Archbishop Brown is the Papal Nuncio to Ireland. Appointed nuncio by Pope Benedict XVI on November 26, 2011, he had previously served as an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was ordained a priest in 1989 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, and served the Archdiocese as a parochial vicar until 1994, when he went to work for the CDF, which was headed by the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
Archbishop of Seattle J. Peter Sartain, D.D., S.T.L, will deliver the 2013 commencement address at Saint Martin’s University on Saturday, May 11, at Marcus Pavilion on the Lacey campus. The archbishop, who is celebrating 35 years in the priesthood this year, will also receive an honorary degree in humane letters from the University. The ceremony will be streamed online at www.stmartin.edu/commencement2013/Webcast.aspx.
Sartain, whose education includes degrees from two Benedictine institutions, was appointed archbishop of Seattle on Sept. 16, 2010 and was installed on Dec. 1, 2010.
“Archbishop Sartain has dedicated his life to upholding the values of the Catholic faith and serving his community,” says Saint Martin’s President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “It is an honor to have him join us for our commencement ceremony, which is, at its essence, a celebration of Benedictine wisdom and the Catholic intellectual tradition — both of which are reflected in Archbishop Sartain’s leadership. As we formally send our graduates into the world, the Archbishop will provide an inspirational voice that reaffirms the values of a Saint Martin’s education.”
Cardinal Sean O’Malley is giving the commencement address at Regis College of Weston on May 11, and will be receiving an honorary degree.
“Regis congratulates Cardinal Sean for persevering in re-building trust within our Boston church, preparing this great ecclesiastical community for the challenges of the 21st century, and keeping major issues out in front,” said Regis President Antoinette Hays.
Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, announced that Baltimore Archbishop William Lori will deliver the University's 205th commencement address on May 12. Archbishop Lori earned his master's degree from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in 1977.
On May 19, Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan is delivering the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, and also receiving an honorary degree.
“Over the past several years, I have had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Cardinal Dolan,” said University President Fr. John Jenkins in a press release. “He is a man of great intelligence and personal warmth, and a dedicated shepherd of the Church. We were pleased to have him here in 2011 to give the inaugural lecture for the Notre Dame Project on Human Dignity, and we are grateful that he has accepted our invitation to join us in celebrating the achievements of our students and to provide them with words of wisdom as they set out into the world.”
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