Christendom College celebrated commencement weekend on May 12-14, awarding 110 bachelor of arts degrees and honoring the Vatican’s Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Gerhard Cardinal Muller and the renowned Mary Ellen Bork. Cardinal Muller celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, received an honorary doctorate during the commencement ceremonies on Saturday, and delivered the commencement address. Bork was awarded Christendom’s St. Catherine of Siena Award.
Cardinal Muller honored the graduates and the Christendom community by his very presence over the weekend, spending time individually with countless families on Friday and Saturday. During his commencement address, Cardinal Muller focused on Christian anthropology, inspiring graduates to recognize Christ in others as they now enter into a fuller participation with society.
“The Father wills that, in all men, we recognize Christ our brother and love him effectively in word and in deed,” said Cardinal Muller. “By thus giving witness to the truth, we will share with others the mystery of the heavenly Father’s love. As a consequence, men throughout the world will be aroused to a lively hope, the gift of the Holy Spirit, that someday at the last they will be called up in peace and utter happiness to that fatherland radiant with the glory of the Lord. The summary of all natural and Christian anthropology is to say ‘dare to be great’ in the grace of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
After receiving the St. Catherine of Siena Award, Bork praised Christendom for its education and for its outstanding faculty, encouraging the graduates to go out and become diplomats and guides for all those looking for Christ in society today.
“This award reveals the soul of Christendom College, and I would like to say that we can emulate St. Catherine of Siena in two ways: her peacemaking ability and her fidelity to the life of prayer,” said Bork. “We too are standing against today’s forces of dissolution, and we will have many opportunities to encourage peaceful solutions to problems whether they be familial, political, or societal, knowing that we are rooted in Christ and in the treasures of the Catholic tradition.
My wish is that you may be diplomats, peacemakers, and guides to all those who are looking for the bridge that is Christ. The world needs you. As Catherine famously said, ‘be all that you can be and you will set the world on fire.’”
Closing the ceremony, college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell delivered his charge to the graduates.
“May you always carry this concrete reality of what is true, beautiful, good, and knowable in you wherever you go. May you always bear Christ and His Church joyfully in your heart, and when you encounter, as you will, toxic bubbles which have imprisoned your brothers and sisters, may you joyfully and confidently — a fruit of your education here — share the bursting forth of your bubble, with that strong breeze of the spirit and all the exuberance of the Gospel, that it may wash over them and guide them to the one who alone can set them free. Restore all things in Christ, and know that our hearts and prayers go with you,” concluded O’Donnell.
The 110 members of the class of 2017 are John Adams, Bren Blackburn, Hannah Brezinsky, Emily Bufford, Monica Burke, Derek Casey, Amy Collins, Timothy Cook, Peter Corkery, Vincent Coyle, Magdalena Cuddeback, Kathleen Curran, Elizabeth De La Cruz, Cameron DeLaFleur, George Dewey, Timothy Egan, Sydnee Eidle, Bernadette Ellis, Gregory Ellis, Abigail Ethridge, Lindsay Farrall, Felicity Fedoryka, Paul Flagg, Clare Fletcher, Stephen Foeckler, Ashton Forbeck, Andrew Ford, Elizabeth Ford, Anastasia Forst, Sarah Furth, Lauren Gall, Emily Gary, Mary Goba, Madeline Gomez, Hannah Gordon, Sophia Guerrero, Matthew Hambric, Bridget Handy, Thomas Hepler, Madeline Hill, Rachel Hoover, Joshua Huber, Matthew Kane, David Keatley, Edward Kelly, Mary Kate Kelly, Melanie Kelly, Ksenia Koltusky, John Kristine, Joseph Kuplack, Margaret Mary Lagarde, Mary Katherine Lagarde, Nicole LaRochelle, Francis LoMascolo, Catherine Lyon, Peter Marra, Colleen McCrum, John McGlynn, Joseph McMahon, Michael McMahon, Patrick McNeely, Rosemarie McNeely, Claire Mello, Jennifer Mersch, Teresa Miller, Thomas Monico, Daniel Montanaro, Grace Mooney, Olivia Musilli, Anne Nelson, Martin Norton, Edmund O’Brien, Xochitl Ortega, Josephine Ostrowski, Sarah Padgett, Joseph Pennefather, Elizabeth Raabe, Hannah Rainey, Philip Redlinger, Abigail Reimel, Jonathan Reineking, Elizabeth Rensch, John Ross, Alexandra Skuba, Rachael Smith, Mary Solitario, Evelynne Stewart, Peter Tapsak, Katie Titus, Angela Townsend, Madeleine Trull, Elodie Turpin, Meghan Uebel, Michael Urban, Maximilian Van Hecke, Caitlin Van Valkenburgh, Katharine Ward, Corinne Weaver, Aidan Wenzel, Nicholas Wenzel, Francisco Whittaker, Rachel Wiener, Abigail Wilkinson, Allison Williams, Luke Williams, Brendan Williamson, John David Williston, Monica Wilson, Stacie Wimmer, and Anne Wysoski.