The Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, will be inaugurated as the sixth president of Franciscan University of Steubenville tomorrow, Oct. 10, 2013, according to a recent announcement.
In addition to a Mass and the inauguration ceremony, the day will include a first-ever symposium on Catholic Higher Education and the New Evangelization. The symposium speakers include the newly appointed president, Fr. Sheridan, the president of the Catholic University of America, Mr. John Garvey, writer Dr. Scott Hahn, and Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville. Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J.Reilly will be present to represent the Society at these auspicious occasions.
Commenting on Fr. Sheridan’s elevation to president, Reilly stated, “Fr. Sheridan is the perfect choice to lead Franciscan University into the future, with commitment to both serious academics and strong Catholic identity. We look forward to working closely with him, as we have his predecessors.”
Fr. Sheridan began teaching in the theology department at Franciscan in fall 2012, and served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 2007-2012. He succeeds Fr. Terence Henry, who served as president from 2000-2013. Fr.Sheridan stated:
I am honored to serve as the next president of Franciscan University. It is inspiring and truly humbling for me to be here at Franciscan University with the students who are pouring their hearts into their education and their prayer life, falling in love with God and the Church, and striving to become saints.
In the summer 2013 issue of the Franciscan Way magazine, an article about Fr. Sheridan states “[Fr. Sheridan’s] resume isn’t your normal priestly resume.” Fr. Sheridan was a pharmacy training manager and lawyer before becoming a priest. In addition to earning his master of divinity, he also completed a doctorate in canon law and taught in the School of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America.
Fr. Nicholas Polichnowski,TOR, chairman of the Board of Trustees, stated:
Fr. Sean brings an excellent blend of academic, pastoral, legal, and business experience to Franciscan University. He has also demonstrated a strong care and concern for the good of the University’s educational and spiritual mission. Together, these qualifications will uniquely equip him to lead Franciscan University according to the “heart of the Church.”
Fr. Sheridan’s dissertation, entitled, “Ex corde Ecclesiae: A CanonicalCommentary on Catholic Universities ‘From the Heart of the Church’ to Catholic Universities,” addresses the challenges and provides solutions for Catholic colleges regarding the implementation of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic universities, according to the university.Fr. Sheridan offered background information on his dissertation in the university magazine:
When I was writing, it was approaching the 20th anniversary of the apostolic constitution’s promulgation. I saw a need to go back and evaluate what had been done to implement that over the last 20 years. Some universities have been very good at picking up the concepts and implementing them on a day-to-day basis. Others haven’t been so dedicated.
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