The Catholic University of America

Dec. 11, 2009

The Holy See Praises The Catholic University of America

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, recently wrote to Very Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America to express the Holy See's gratitude for his 12 years as president of CUA. Father O'Connell also serves as a consultor to this Congregation.

In his Nov. 29 letter, signed by the Cardinal prefect and Archbishop Jean Louis Brugess, O.P., Congregation secretary, Cardinal Grocholewski indicated that "the Congregation is pleased to see the ongoing scholarly productivity of the ecclesiastical faculties" and wishes them and the entire scholarly community at CUA "continued blessings on their work."

"The Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy," he stated, "unique in the United States, stands among the best in the country. The Congregation is pleased to note the high number of scholarships and other financial awards available to students." The prefect --- himself a canonist --- praised the Faculty of Canon Law, noting its "high levels of scholarship and commitment to teaching. Not one of your faculty members has failed to publish significant works in these last 12 months." Turning his attention to the Ecclesiastical School of Theology and Religious Studies, Cardinal Grocholewski recognized the school's "commitment to constantly improving itself each year with new faculty members and a tradition of scholarship and publishing."

"The university has grown in size and stature," the letter continued, and has developed a "reputation as a seat of learning and of fidelity to the Magisterium to grow among the ranks of universities generally and ecclesiastical faculties specifically."

"To receive such a letter from the Vatican at the conclusion of my tenure here," reflected Father O'Connell, "bears witness to the leadership of our deans and the incredible depth and breadth of our outstanding faculty. This recognition is something in which we can all rejoice and take great satisfaction. It is also an encouragement and an invitation to continue the excellent work and progress of this great Catholic university."