His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, has accepted President Michael F. McLean’s invitation to serve as Thomas Aquinas College’s 2013 Commencement Speaker. The youngest American cardinal, and the first Cardinal Archbishop from the Southern United States, he will travel to campus this spring to participate in the College’s May 11 graduation exercises. He will also serve as the principal celebrant and homilist at that morning’s Baccalaureate Mass.
In 2012 Cardinal DiNardo celebrated the 35th anniversary of his ordination as a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. It was also his 15th anniversary as a bishop, having been appointed to the episcopate by Bl. John Paul II in 1997. He served as Bishop of Sioux City from then until 2004, when the Holy Father named him the Coadjutor Bishop of Galveston-Houston. That title soon changed, however, to Coadjutor Archbishop, when Bl. John Paul II elevated the Diocese to a Metropolitan See later that same year.
In 2007 that title would change yet again when Pope Benedict XVI elevated Archbishop DiNardo to the College of Cardinals. Today, in addition to his responsibilities within his own See, Cardinal DiNardo is a member of the Board of the National Catholic Partnership for Persons with Disabilities, an advisor to the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic University. He also serves on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism.
He is additionally the chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, in which capacity he has spoken eloquently and passionately in defense of the unborn and against the threat to religious liberty posed by the HHS Mandate. “By our unflinching defense of human life and religious freedom, by our witness to the transcendent nature of the human person, and by our compassionate service to our brothers and sisters in need, may we spark a renewal of love and commitment to the true good of others,” he wrote in a statement for Respect Life Month in October. “Only a love that seeks to serve those most in need, whatever the personal cost to us, is strong enough to overcome a culture of death and build a civilization worthy of human beings made in God’s image.”
Notably, in light of his role as the College’s Commencement Speaker, Cardinal DiNardo has stressed the imperative that Catholic colleges and universities honor only those speakers who uphold the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life. In 2009 he remarked, “The fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the human person from conception to natural death is a principle that soaks all our lives as Catholics, and all our efforts at formation, especially education at Catholic places of higher learning.”
“Cardinal DiNardo has shown great fidelity to Christ in shepherding the faithful of his archdiocese and in his leadership among his brother bishops, particularly with regard to the sacredness of human life,” says Dr. McLean. “His presence at Commencement will be a great honor for the College and a special joy for our graduates.”
Posted: January 17, 2013