May 21, 2001
Contact: Melissa Steenson
Catholic University Honors Franciscan Friar with Presidentís Medal
The Catholic University of America conferred its highest honor, the Presidentís Medal, on the Very Rev. Mark Leo Curesky, O.F.M. Conv., of Ellicott City, Md. The medallion was presented at commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Father Curesky, currently the superior of the St. Anthony of Padua Province of Conventual Franciscans, was instrumental in extending the apostolate of his religious order to include CUAís Office of Campus Ministry.
Father Curesky approached Catholic University, then in need of a chaplain, in the summer of 1998 to offer the services of one of his Franciscan priests, the Rev. Robert Schlageter, O.F.M. Conv.† With the CUA Presidentís approval, a friary was established in a university clergy residence hall, and campus ministry was designated an official apostolic activity of Father Cureskyís province.† Since the arrival of Father Schlageter and, later, of assistant chaplains, the Rev. Brad Heckathorne, O.F.M. Conv., and the Rev. Michael Englert, O.F.M. Conv., the campusí spiritual life has flourished.† In addition to frequent Masses, there is an abundance of confessions, Eucharistic holy hours, benedictions, festivals of praise, prayer groups and a 24-hour chapel.
Born in Danbury, Conn., in 1947, Father Curesky graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy in 1970 from St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby, Mass.† He then attended St. Anthony Theological Seminary in Rensselaer, N.Y., where he received his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees.† Ordained in 1975, Father Curesky studied religious education at Loyola University in Chicago, where he received another master's degree in 1976.†
Father Curesky served as a high school teacher and administrator, a seminary professor and administrator and an administrator within his religious community.† He was a provincial superior and secretary/treasurer of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the United States.† In the last three years, Father Curesky has been a frequent visitor to Catholic University, assisting his friars with confessions and other religious duties.
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Revised: June 13, 2001
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