The Catholic University of America

June 12, 2007

CUA Names Interim Dean for School of Canon Law

Sister Rose McDermott, S.S.J.

Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., the university's president, today announced the appointment of Sister Rose McDermott, S.S.J., associate professor of canon law, as interim dean of the School of Canon Law of The Catholic University of America, effective Aug. 1, 2007.

Sister McDermott replaces Monsignor Brian E. Ferme, dean of the School of Canon Law since 2003, who is leaving CUA to assume responsibilities as president of the Institute of Canon Law in Venice, Italy.

"I have known and admired Sister Rose McDermott for many years, going back to my own seminary days," said Father O'Connell, a canon lawyer who earned his J.C.D. at the CUA School of Canon Law. "She is an extremely kind and effective canonist, completely dedicated to the Church and its law, eager to help the community of faith understand the great service that canon law provides to the Church. She has always offered her extraordinary gifts generously in that same spirit of service and her willingness to accept this new role as interim dean of canon law at CUA is just another example of her marvelous generosity. I am so grateful to her."

Sister McDermott, who holds a J.C.D. from CUA's School of Canon Law and a master's degree from Providence College, is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. A 17-year teaching veteran of the university, the associate professor specializes in Church law dealing with the sacraments and consecrated life and ministry.

Her major publications include "The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary" (Paulist Press, 1985) and "New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, (Paulist Press, 2000), in addition to articles and reviews for Commentarium pro Religiosus et Missionariis, Review for Religious, The Jurist and Studia Canonica.

Sister McDermott served as assistant to the vicar and delegate for religious in the Office of Vicar for Religious in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 14 years before coming to teach at CUA. She was director of formation in her religious institute for six years. Prior to her apostolate as a canon lawyer, she taught in three seminaries and in elementary and secondary schools in three archdioceses and two dioceses on the East Coast.

"In agreeing to serve as interim dean of the School of Canon Law, Sister Rose McDermott has again affirmed a track record of constructive citizenship for Catholic University and for the larger Church," said James F. Brennan, Ph.D., Catholic University's provost designate. "She brings a wealth of experience as a scholar and a practitioner of canon law. In terms of the latter, I am particularly impressed with her work for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and she represents through her experience the interface between the theoretical and the applied. I look forward to working with her in the months ahead."

On May 8, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI reappointed Sister McDermott as a consultor to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for a five-year period, a post she has held since her first of two appointments by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

Sister McDermott has been a member of the Canon Law Society of America since 1977 and received the Role of Law Award from that professional society in 2002.

The School of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America offers the ecclesiastical degrees of licentiate (J.C.L.) and doctorate (J.C.D.) in canon law and is unique as the only school of canon law in the United States of America. The program familiarizes students with the body of law of the Catholic Church, its development, interpretation and application. Graduates are prepared for the professional practice of canon law in diocesan and religious administration, in ecclesiastical tribunals, in the teaching of canon law, and for scientific and canonical research. Students of the school include lay and religious men and women from the United States and other countries around the globe. The faculty members also are particularly diverse, having obtained their canonical training from six different schools of canon law located in Europe, Canada and at CUA.