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O’Donnell Speaks at Seton Commencement, Honors Dr. Mary Kay Clark with Award

June 4, 2019

Christendom College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell was the commencement speaker at Seton Home Study School’s 2019 Commencement ceremonies, where he also bestowed Christendom College’s St. Catherine of Siena Award on Dr. Mary Kay Clark, director of Seton Home Study School, for her contributions to Christ and His Church.

During his address, O’Donnell encouraged the graduates to be leaders in the world, filled with the courage that comes from a union with Christ in the soul.

“All of you have been given a vision, or rather the vision, by your parents who have worked so hard to give you a Catholic education, and by your studies with Seton,” said O’Donnell. “Follow the vision of hope, the vision of true courage. You want to make a difference? Take hold of the victory that Christ has set before you, in the great battle of life.”

After his address, O’Donnell presented Christendom’s St. Catherine of Siena Award to Clark, who he called “another Catherine of Siena.” Clark, named one of the Top 100 Catholics of the 20th Century in 1999, has been a long-time friend of Christendom and worked closely with Warren and Anne Carroll in the 1980s to found Seton Home Study School. Since its founding, Seton Home Study School has educated over 90,000 students, with many eventually attending Christendom for college. Clark’s seven sons are all alumni of Christendom College, as are many of her daughters-in-law, and her grandchildren.

Christendom created the St. Catherine of Siena Award to honor women who have made a significant contribution to Christ and His Church. By being honored with the award, Clark follows in the footsteps of Alice von Hildebrand, Anne Carroll, Kristin Burns, Irene Fedoryka, and Mary Ellen Bork, other past recipients of the award. The award is also fitting because St. Catherine of Siena is the patron saint of Catholic homeschooling organizations in the United States — a group that Clark has impacted so greatly during her decades of service.