Graduation day is the start of a new story for every person donning their cap and gown. The commencement address is the forward before the first chapter of post-graduate life. This year, His Eminence, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, will offer words of wisdom as graduates prepare for what their new chapter holds.
Cardinal DiNardo will serve as the St. Edward’s University 2015 commencement speaker and will also be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa honorary degree.
When Austinite Mary Doyle donated her 398-acre farm to the Catholic Church in 1872, the bishop of Galveston invited Father Edward Sorin of the Congregation of Holy Cross to take on Doyle's challenge — founding a Catholic school on her old homestead. So began St. Edward's University, as well as a unique relationship between the university and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Cardinal DiNardo, the archdiocese’s current leader, has worked to advance many of the tenets that St. Edward's University has always stood for — a commitment to global awareness, human rights and social justice.
“Cardinal DiNardo’s presence at commencement helps us to celebrate and renew the mission of St. Edward’s University, which is both profoundly local and global,” said Rev. Peter J. Walsh, CSC, “His presence encourages the efforts of our graduates to develop an informed global awareness and make a meaningful contribution to our amazingly diverse and interdependent world.”
Cardinal DiNardo's own connection with the Congregation of Holy Cross began early in his ministry. One of his first assignments as a seminarian was as a teacher at the congregation's international school in Rome. He became the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston in 2006 and is pastor to the archdiocese's 1.4 million Catholics in 147 parishes and 60 schools — the largest Catholic population in the state and the 12th largest in the country. He is the first bishop of Texas and the southern United States to be named a cardinal and was recently elected vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Houston Chronicle has called him “the most prominent Catholic in the Lone Star State,” though his colleagues and parishioners also consider him a humble teacher, counselor and servant. Cardinal DiNardo strives to “make God known, loved and served” — the same wise counsel given in 1856 by Blessed Basil Moreau to the Congregation of Holy Cross.
St. Edward’s University will hold its 128th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, at the Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River Street.