CUA Welcomes Cardinal-Designate Theodore E. McCarrick

The university community welcomed its new chancellor, the Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick, during a Jan. 16 Mass and reception held shortly after the new Archbishop of Washington was installed.

Archbishop McCarrick (front, center right) with Father O'Connell and students outside Caldwell Hall.

Celebrated in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the service was punctuated by laughter and reminiscences of Archbishop McCarrick's time spent at CUA as a student and dean.

"It is most fitting that you return home to the place where your priestly ministry began," said the Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., President. "We are so privileged to surround you today with gratitude and affection as you lead us in this most special of prayers once more."

 Students, trustees, faculty and staff filled the pews to hear Archbishop McCarrick celebrate the Mass and deliver his homily some 42 years after he first arrived at CUA. The ceremony took place just six days before Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal.

"It's wonderful to see all my brother priests here," Archbishop McCarrick said during his opening words, looking back at the dais to smile at Father O'Connell, the Most Rev. William Lori, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and the CUA priests who assembled for the occasion. "I'm very grateful to see all of you students, trustees and faculty. It's nice to be back. It's nice to be home."

Archbishop McCarrick was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1958. His first assignment was serving as chaplain at CUA. For the next seven years, he worked as dean of students and later as director of development. At the same time, he worked on his master's degree in social service and earned a doctorate in sociology.

"In 1965, you left CUA but in the years and marvelous adventures to follow you never forgot alma mater, returning to campus often for a variety of special events and functions," Father O'Connell said during his comments at the welcome Mass. "In more recent years, you have given generously of your time and talents to CUA as a member of its board of trustees. On their behalf, especially those who join us today, I offer a special welcome."

After the Mass, Archbishop McCarrick thanked the campus representatives who offered welcoming remarks (see below).

"This is a great university," Archbishop McCarrick said. "I promise you everything I do will be to encourage that CUA is marked by three things. First, it will be an outstanding institution of higher education. Second, it will be of an authentic Catholic nature and third, it will be open to the poor and the newcomer ...

"If we can work together, we will make this great Catholic university an even greater Catholic university in service to the United States and the world," he said. "Thank you for letting me back into the family. I look forward to being part of it in a very special way."

Students in attendance were impressed with Archbishop McCarrick's sense of humor and approachable style.

"He's very genuine and has a commitment to the university, having been here before," said Lisa M. O'Neill, a senior English major from New Orleans. "I think he'll understand the needs of the students."

Archbishop McCarrick models his new CUA garb.

Andrea L. DePinto, a senior psychology major from Archbishop McCarrick's last post, the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., met the new chancellor last year.

"He was really nice and friendly," she said. "Since we'll be graduating this year, it's nice knowing he'll be here. I feel like the university is going to be in really good hands with him."

Following the Mass, a reception was held in Caldwell Auditorium, where the archbishop greeted a long line of well wishers.

On behalf of the student body, Undergraduate Student Government President Rashaun Martin presented the archbishop with a CUA logo sweatshirt and ball cap.

"It is my hope that this small expression of welcome will help you reacclimate to your new life here on campus," Mr. Martin said. "I'm sure you'll wear it proudly."

 

Welcome Comments:

Campus representatives offered the following comments at the conclusion of the Mass held to welcome CUA's new chancellor, the Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick.

 

The Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., President:

"Archbishop McCarrick, it is a pleasure to express a word of welcome to you, on behalf of the entire community of The Catholic University of America, as you have assumed your ministry as archbishop of Washington. In a very real sense, the phrase should be "welcome home" since you are quite familiar with the university.

Forty-two years ago, following your ordination as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, you began your first assignment here on our campus as chaplain. For the next seven years, you served the university as dean of students and director of development while, at the same time, earning your master's degree in social service and your doctorate in sociology. In 1965 you left CUA but in the years and marvelous adventures that were to follow you never forgot your alma mater, returning to campus often for a variety of special events and functions.

In more recent years, you have given generously of your time and talents to CUA as a member of its board of trustees. On their behalf, especially those who join us today, I offer a special welcome. And now, as our archbishop and chancellor of the university, you shall represent our interests and concerns as a pontifical university to the Holy See. It is most fitting that you return home to the place where your priestly ministry began. We are so privileged to surround you today with gratitude and affection as you lead us in this most special of prayers once more.

I also welcome your fellow trustee, Bishop Lori, who joins us for this celebration. I want to express a word of thanks to Monsignor Bransfield and his staff here at the Shrine for their hospitality.

Following this Mass, the university community is eager to greet you at a reception in Caldwell Hall. Once again, archbishop, welcome and welcome home.

 Jennifer Gartlan, president, Graduate Student Association:

"Archbishop McCarrick, I am Jennifer Gartlan, president of the Graduate Student Association. I graduated from CUA in 1999 with a bachelors degree in politics and am currently a second year student in the Columbus School of Law studying international law so I guess you can see that I like it here! Your reputation as a compassionate and caring chairman of the board of trustees at Seton Hall precedes you. Therefore, it is my great pleasure and honor, on behalf of all of our students undergraduate, graduate and law to welcome you back to the Catholic University family as our chancellor. You can count on us for prayers and support as chancellor and archbishop of Washington."

 Richard Collins, vice president, Institutional Advancement:

"Your excellency, welcome. I am Richard Collins, vice president for institutional advancement at the university. When we discussed who should welcome you to CUA on behalf of all of our administrators, we reviewed your resume. In your previous life here you served as chaplain, dean of students and director of development. So, for what might be obvious reasons in todays day and age, I the chief development officer was selected to speak on behalf of all administrators. So, on our behalf, I welcome you as our chancellor and as our friend. Our prayers are with you in this important ministry to our university and to the archdiocese."

Judith Lindsay, Assistant to the Dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music

"Your excellency, Archbishop McCarrick. I am Judie Lindsay, assistant to the dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. I am honored to represent the more than 500 staff members of The Catholic University of America at today’s welcoming celebration. Being chancellor of this great university has been likened by some to being a conductor of a great symphony orchestra. So, as the staff of the university, we promise to study our scores, perform professionally and look to our leader, Father O’Connell, in order to keep tempo with his baton. In other words, Archbishop McCarrick, the staff welcomes you to our university community and pledges to you our prayers of support."

Steve Koppi, executive director, Office of Alumni Relations:

"Archbishop McCarrick, I am Steve Koppi, executive director of CUAs Office of Alumni Relations. As an alumnus myself, I welcome you, one of our most distinguished alumni, back to alma mater. Your excellency, we have a great deal in common. Each of us received a world-class education at CUA, and we both have served the Church in the Archdiocese of Newark. I was a youth minister at St. Helens Parish and, well, lets say, your role in the archdiocese was quite a bit weightier than mine. Somehow, we both have made our way back home to CUA, and on behalf of over 80,000 alumni and alumnae, I welcome you home again and offer you our prayers and support."

Che-Fu Lee, chair, Department of Sociology:

"Welcome, Chancellor McCarrick. I am Dr. Che-Fu Lee, chair of the Department of Sociology. On behalf of the entire university faculty, I am pleased to welcome you

Che-Fu Lee, chair, Department of Sociology, greets Archbishop McCarrick.

among us as someone who, by virtue of your earned Ph.D. from our department, your leadership on behalf of community, academic scholarship and human rights throughout the world, exhibits the best principles of sociology and of this university. You are rightly known for your success in attracting young men to the priesthood. We hope that the thesis and dissertation on vocations which you researched and wrote in this Department of Sociology was of some help in that ministry. May God richly bless your leadership in the Archdiocese of Washington and among us at The Catholic University of America."

 

 

Rashaun Martin, president, Undergraduate Student Government:

(remarks delivered at reception following the Mass)

"Good afternoon, your excellency. My name is Rashaun Martin and I am a member of the Class of 2001. On behalf of the undergraduate student body, I welcome you to the university as our new chancellor. As president of the Undergraduate Student Government, it is my honor this afternoon to present you with a gift from the students as a token of our appreciation of your presence. It is my hope that this small expression of welcome will help you reacclimate to your alma mater. Enjoy your CUA clothing and I know you will wear it proudly. Best wishes, Archbishop McCarrick, and welcome back to The Catholic University of America."