Marquette University recently hired its first lay president; a “deeply spiritual” Catholic who regularly takes part in Eucharistic Adoration and felt called to lead the Jesuit university, according to the Milawukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
"I really need to thank God for leading me to this day," reportedly said Michael Lovell, the new president of Marquette University.
Lovell, who had most recently served as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, reportedly said he had initially declined to be considered for the role of president but after much prayerful consideration and conversation with family friend and priest Father Bryan Summers, he came to believe he should accept the position.
"It became clear to me I was called to Milwaukee six years ago to be Marquette's president," reportedly said Lovell.
On Wednesday, Lovell attended a special Mass on campus with his wife.
"He's a very prayerful man. He asks God to guide him in anything he does," reportedly said Fr. Summers, who has known Lovell since he was a chaplain at the University of Pittsburgh. "He's an extraordinary man who God gave many gifts. And I can't think of a better place for him to use those gifts than at a Catholic university."
Fr. Summers, who is the godfather of one of the four Lovell children, reportedly described Lovell's views as "in sync with (dogma and doctrine of) the church." Lovell, he reportedly added, has voiced admiration for Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Lovell, who also reportedly takes part in Eucharistic Adoration at his home parish, is scheduled to assume office on August 1, 2014.
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in a statement posted on the archdiocesan website that he is looking forward to “working with Dr. Lovell to ensure the Catholic values and identity of Marquette University remain strong under his leadership.”
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