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McCarrick to speak to ND graduates

Amber Travis | Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., will be the principal speaker during Notre Dame’s 163rd Commencement exercises Sunday.

McCarrick will also receive an honorary doctor of law degree from the University, according to a news release from the University.

University president Fr. John Jenkins said he is looking forward to celebrating McCarrick’s presence on campus after McCarrick presided over a Mass for Fr. Basil Anthony Moreau, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, last Sept. in LeMans, France.

“He was an indispensable participant in our recent and joyful celebration of the beatification of Blessed Father Basil Moreau, whose witness paved the way for Notre Dame’s foundation,” Jenkins said.

As the archbishop of Washington, McCarrick emphasized the importance of vocation, education and meeting the needs of new immigrants, the press release said. McCarrick has also taken part in many projects in support of a 2004 federal initiative for low-income families which gave them the option of choosing public or private schooling for their children and led to the enrollment of 1,000 scholarship recipients in Catholic schools within the D.C. area.

He was a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad and the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom.

McCarrick was also one of the 115 cardinals who participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, the press release said.

The University announced the Commencement speaker later than normal in early April. Assistant Vice President for News and Information Dennis Brown said the later decision had to do with this year’s early Easter season. There was a close proximity between the announcement of the winner of the Laetare Medal, which is always announced on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent and the announcement of this year’s Commencement speaker.

“We wanted to give some time between that announcement and this one so as not to have too many announcements all at once,” Brown said.