The Catholic University of America

Aug. 17, 2009

CUA Experts Available to Discuss the Year for Priests

The following experts at The Catholic University of America are available to discuss Annus Sacerdotalis, the Year for Priests. For assistance in reaching experts, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.

  • THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, is available to discuss the priesthood and the Catholic Church.

    Father O'Connell is a frequent commentator for the national media on issues regarding the Catholic Church, Catholic higher education and canon law. He was a widely sought-after national news commentator during both the 2005 papal transition and Pope Benedict XVI's 2008 visit to the United States. He continues to be an expert source on many facets of Catholicism and the Church.

    He has a doctorate in canon law from CUA with a specialization in Catholic higher education. In addition to canon law, Father O'Connell holds degrees in moral theology and philosophy.

    To arrange an interview with Father O'Connell, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.
  • SEMINARY FORMATION - Rev. Melvin C. Blanchette, S.S., rector of Theological College, the national seminary of The Catholic University of America, is available to discuss the formation of young men for the priesthood.

    A spiritual director and formation adviser at Theological College since 2004, Father Blanchette was appointed rector of the seminary in 2007.

    In addition to degrees in theology and counseling, Father Blanchette holds a doctorate in psychology. Prior to joining the formation team at Theological College, Father Blanchette served as director of the Vatican II Institute for Clergy Formation in Menlo Park, Calif., and as director of the Center for Continuing Formation at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore. Since 1994, he has been a member of the General Council of the Society of St. Sulpice.

    To arrange an interview with Father Blanchette, contact Jane O'Brien at 202-756-4905.
  • LITURGY - Monsignor Kevin Irwin, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies and the Monsignor Walter J. Schmitz Professor of Liturgy Studies, is the author of 12 books on liturgy and sacraments.

    Monsignor Irwin served as a commentator on National Public Radio during the hours leading up to Pope John Paul II's death and for the duration of his funeral. He made many subsequent appearances on NPR to discuss the papal transition, and was a guest expert on various CNN programs. He also served as an expert commentator during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States.

    Monsignor Irwin can be reached at 202-319-5683 or by e-mail:
  • NEW MEDIA AND BYZANTINE RITE - Rev. Mark M. Morozowich, associate dean for seminary and ministerial studies, is available to comment on the Catholic Church's liturgical traditions from the perspective of its different rites (e.g. Byzantine, Maronite).

    Father Morozowich has also provided commentary on how social media and Web pages have played a part in the recruitment of vocations.

    Father Morozowich can be reached at 202-319-6512 or by e-mail:

To search for other CUA faculty who serve as experts for the media, visit the online Faculty Experts Guide at: or contact the Office of Public Affairs for more assistance at 202-319-5600.