The Catholic University of America

March 19, 2010

CUA President Gives Keynote Address at Colloquium in Belgium


Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M.


Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of Catholic University, gave the keynote address at today’s colloquium celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Brothers of Charity’s founder.

About 300 religious, social workers and other professionals attended the event in Gent, Belgium, honoring the Brothers of Charity founder, Canon Peter Joseph Triest. The address by Father O’Connell was titled “And the Greatest of These: Charity at the Heart of the Social Doctrine of the Church.”

Canon Triest, who was born in 1760, founded the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity in 1807 to care for impoverished elderly and the mentally ill. Today, the congregation has educational and charitable projects in about 30 countries.

The congregation collaborates with CUA in the education of brothers, both at CUA and in Belgium. Together, they offer a pre-baccalaureate certificate program in mental-health care at the International Institute Canon Triest in Gent. The partnership also allows brothers to earn bachelor’s degrees in nursing or education at CUA. In 2007, CUA awarded the $1 million Opus Prize to Brother Stan Goetschalckx to honor and support the humanitarian work he leads on behalf of the Brothers of Charity in Tanzania.