The Catholic University of America

July 2, 2008

CUA President Visits Students in London and Cracow

Father O'Connell with Sir Joseph Hotung, B.A. 1953, at his home.



The Catholic University of America's president traveled to London and Cracow, Poland, in late June on university business. Very Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M., visited CUA students interning in Parliament, attended an awards ceremony at Jagiellonian University honoring CUA and a CUA law school professor, and met with one of CUA's most illustrious alums, Sir Joseph Hotung (B.A. 1953), at his home in Kensington, England.

"Sir Joseph is one of those wonderful alumni who loved his time at Catholic University and benefited greatly from his education and experiences here," Father O'Connell said. "I have learned so much from him. He has vast experience and keen insight into the world in which we live."

While in London, Father O'Connell hosted a dinner for 11 CUA students working in the British Parliament on an exchange program that Catholic University has offered its undergraduates for 30 years.

"I was thrilled to see our students and to hear of their adventures this summer," observed Father O'Connell. "They are taking full advantage of their internships at Parliament and of opportunities to see London and to travel to the other great cities of Europe."

Although their internships end in mid-July, many of the students are planning trips to France, Ireland and Italy before returning home. On July 9, School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lawrence Poos will host a gathering in London of those who have graduated from that internship program over the years.

Father O'Connell visits with CUA students in the Parliamentary Internship program.

In Cracow, Father O'Connell received the Merentibus Medal from the prestigious Jagiellonian University on behalf of CUA and its law school. At the June 27 ceremony CUA Law Professor Leah Wortham was honored by the Polish university for her many years of distinguished service to the joint CUA-Jagiellonian American Law Program. Following the award presented by Rector Karol Musiol, Wortham delivered her remarks in both English and Polish and received grateful applause from the largely Polish audience.

In his own comments upon receiving the Merentibus Medal, Father O'Connell reflected that "When Pope Benedict XVI was on our campus in April, he invited educators to participate in the 'diakonia of truth,' a phrase used by his predecessor, the Polish-born Pope John Paul II. The Catholic University of America is honored and humbled to stand with the Jagiellonian University, the University of Vienna and the University of Orleans in that service and ministry. Truth must always be our goal and charity, its outcome."

The University of Vienna and the University of Orleans were also honored with the Merentibus Medal at the ceremony.

Father O'Connell and Parliamentary Internship program participants.
A reception for Father O'Connell was held in Cracow with all the students participating in CUA's Summer Law Program on June 27. Father O'Connell, in turn, hosted a dinner for Jagiellonian administrators and faculty that evening at Cracow's Ancora Restaurant. After ceremonies in the Great Aula of the Jagiellonian University and the Rector's Luncheon on Saturday, Father O'Connell joined CUA Professors Rett Ludwikowski, David Lipton and Leah Wortham along with Jagiellonian Professor Michal Chorosnicki and the students for a bonfire cookout at a mountain resort outside of Cracow.

"It was a marvelous visit and, as always, the highlight was being with our students and faculty," Father O'Connell said.

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Father O'Connell being welcomed at the Jagiellonian University

Father O'Connell speaks at the awards ceremony. Professor Leah Wortham delivers remarks in English and Polish.


Professor Leah Wortham and her husband, Eric Hirschhorn. Professor David Lipton with students in the CUA Summer Law Program.