Christendom College will celebrate its 37th Commencement weekend on May 13-15, and will honor renowned historian and author Dr. James Hitchcock and His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, at the ceremony.
Hitchcock will be the commencement speaker for this year’s ceremonies on May 14, where he will be awarded the college’s Queen Isabel Catholic Vision of History Award before delivering his address.
“Dr. James Hitchcock has for decades faithfully served Christ and His Church in numerous ways, particularly as an historian. He is an excellent example to all of us of scholarship in the service of the faith. He has been a good friend of Christendom College over the years and we are delighted to honor his service with the college’s Queen Isabel award for achievement in the field of history,” says college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.
Hitchcock is a longtime professor of history at St. Louis University, where he earned his A.B. in 1960. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, and is the author of several acclaimed works, including What is Secular Humanism?, The Pope and the Jesuits: John Paul II and the New Order in the Society of Jesus, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life, and his most recent work, History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium.
Edwin Cardinal O’Brien will be the main celebrant and homilist for the Baccalaureate Mass on May 13, before being bestowed with an honorary doctorate at the commencement ceremonies on May 14.
“Cardinal O’Brien has been a great friend of Christendom College for many years. He blessed our newly constructed St. John the Evangelist Library on the day of its dedication in 2004. He has met with Christendom pilgrims when we travel to Rome, and he has inspired countless souls in the Eternal City, the Holy Land, and around the world in his position as the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. It will be a tremendous honor to welcome him back to our campus, and to bestow on him the college’s honorary doctorate,” says O’Donnell.
After being ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1965, Cardinal O’Brien spent his initial years as a military chaplain, officially becoming an Army Chaplain with the rank of Captain during the Vietnam War. He earned his doctorate in sacred theology from the Angelicum University in Rome, and later served as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services for nearly a decade. In 2007, he was made the Archbishop of Baltimore by then Pope Benedict XVI. In 2011, Pope Benedict appointed him the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and in 2012 he was named to the College of Cardinals.
Since its first graduation ceremony in 1980, Christendom College has honored outstanding individuals who have rendered faithful service to the Church and nation, and whose lives can be emulated by the graduates and the college community.
For more information on this year’s Commencement, please visit here.