SANTA PAULA, CA—On Monday, August 20, 2007, the Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino will preside over convocation ceremonies at Thomas Aquinas College. The school expects 102 freshmen to matriculate at that time.
The day will begin with a Mass of the Holy Spirit at which Bishop Morlino will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Matriculation will follow, with faculty and members of the college’s governing board processing in academic regalia. During the ceremony, President Thomas E. Dillon will welcome the freshmen and address the entire student body, after which new students will have the opportunity to greet President Dillon and Bishop Morlino and to formally enroll at the college by signing the school’s registry.
Also during the ceremony, Dr. Anthony Andres, a newly-appointed member of the teaching faculty, will make a Profession of Faith and take the Oath of Fidelity, in keeping with Pope Benedict XVI’s desire that Catholic teachers make a public statement of their intention to maintain fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings. A graduate of the college’s class of 1987, Dr. Andres obtained a PhD in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he also served as a philosophy instructor. He was then appointed to the faculty at Christendom College in Virginia where he has taught for the past 14 years.
ABOUT BISHOP ROBERT C. MORLINO
Robert Morlino was born December 31, 1946, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. An only child, his father, Charles, died while he was in high school, his mother, Albertina, in 1980. He was raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, graduating from Jesuit High School in Scranton. He entered the seminary for the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, and was ordained to the priesthood for that Jesuit Province on June 1, 1974.
His education includes a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Fordham University, a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, the master of divinity degree from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., and a doctorate in moral theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, with specialization in moral theology and bioethics.
Father Morlino taught philosophy at Loyola College in Baltimore, St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, Boston College, the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary's College. He served as an instructor in continuing education for priests, religious and laity, and as director of parish renewal programs. In 1981, Father Morlino became a priest of the Diocese of Kalamazoo and served there as Vicar for Spiritual Development, Executive Assistant and Theological Consultant to the Bishop as Moderator of the Curia, and as the Promoter of Justice in the Diocesan Tribunal. He served as administrator of a number of parishes, and as rector of St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo.
Father Morlino was scheduled to begin a full-time faculty appointment as professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit when, on July 6, 1999, Pope John Paul II appointed him the Ninth Bishop of Helena. Bishop Morlino was appointed the Fourth Bishop of Madison on May 23, 2003, and he was installed on August 1, 2003.
Bishop Morlino currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He is past chairman of two committees within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: from 2001 to 2004, he chaired the Bishops' Committee on the Diaconate, which deals with matters concerning the ministry of permanent deacons in the Church in the United States, and, from 2001 to 2004, he also chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care Issues and the Church, which assists the bishops in responding to moral and theological questions surrounding specific health care situations in their dioceses.