Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


4/15/2009 (7 years ago)

Christendom College (

Notre Dame is honoring one of the world's most pro-abortion leaders while Christendom College will be honoring one of the world's most pro-life leaders.

Commencement ceremonies across the country are meant to be times of celebration for the various institutions, and a time to honor individuals from whom we want our graduates to learn and grow as young Catholics entering today’s increasingly secularized society,says Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.

Commencement ceremonies across the country are meant to be times of celebration for the various institutions, and a time to honor individuals from whom we want our graduates to learn and grow as young Catholics entering today’s increasingly secularized society,says Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.



Christendom College (

4/15/2009 (7 years ago)

Published in College & University

FRONT ROYAL, Va. (Christendom College) - Christendom College will celebrate Commencement Weekend on May 15-17, 2009, and will honor Reverend Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, and Dr. Jude Dougherty, Dean Emeritus of The Catholic University of America's School of Philosophy.

Since its first graduation ceremony in 1980, Christendom College has honored outstanding individuals who have rendered faithful service to our Church and nation, and whose lives can be emulated by the graduates and the college community. This year's invitees are no different.

Fr. Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. Ordained in 1988, he is a priest of the Amarillo Diocese and serves full-time in pro-life leadership. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life, and he is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard - the world's largest ministry of healing after abortion. He has served as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family at the Vatican, and he received the "Proudly Pro-life Award" by the National Right to Life Committee.

Christendom will honor Fr. Pavone with its Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country.

"Over the years, we have had some great Catholic men and women as commencement speakers, particularly, some great pro-life ones. Nellie Gray of the March for Life, Joseph Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, Gov. Robert Casey, and Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey," says Director of Admissions and Public Relations Tom McFadden. "And we have honored many individuals with honorary doctorates, including Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop Raymond Burke, George Cardinal Pell, Francis Cardinal Arinze, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel."

Professor Jude Dougherty will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the College and deliver the Commencement address.

Dougherty is Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at the Catholic University of America School of Philosophy. He has written or edited many books, including Jacques Maritain: An Intellectual Profile and Religion-Gesellschaft-Demokratie: Ausgewählte Aufsätze. He has also written over 100 articles on topics in metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and social and political philosophy in English, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, and Polish philosophical journals and collections.

In recent years, a number of Catholic colleges and universities have gotten into hot water with their constituents and the local hierarchy for the people they invited to either deliver the commencement address or receive an award from the institution. Most recently, The University of Notre Dame is receiving a lot of attention for its decision to invite President Barack Obama to be its commencement speaker and to award him with an honorary doctorate. The uproar comes from the fact that President Obama's policies regarding the sanctity of human life go against the Catholic Church's teachings on these matters, particularly in respect to embryonic stem cell research and abortion.

"Notre Dame, the university named after 'Our Lady,' is honoring one of the world's most pro-abortion leaders on May 17 while Christendom College will be honoring one of the world's most pro-life leaders on May 16. I wonder which one Our Lady is happy with?" questions McFadden.

According to Notre Dame's President, Fr. Jenkins: "The invitation to President Obama to be our commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem cell research."

"Commencement ceremonies across the country are meant to be times of celebration for the various institutions, and a time to honor individuals from whom we want our graduates to learn and grow as young Catholics entering today's increasingly secularized society," says Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell.

"To think that, as a Catholic college, we could invite someone who promotes policies and values that are contrary to basic human truths that can be known by the natural light of reason and are contrary to the fundamental right to life would be a violation of the noble mission of Catholic higher education."


Christendom College is a Catholic coeducational college institutionally committed to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.


More College & University

BREAKING: UCLA on lockdown after shooting on campus Watch

Image of UCLA is on lockdown.


The UCLA campus has been put on lockdown after reports of a shooter in the university's Boelter Hall were released via social media. Police reported a shooting on the UCLA campus, issuing a tweet to say that the school's Westwood campus was on lockdown following a ... continue reading

Christian students in U.S. not allowed to speak to other students without permits Watch

Image of Christian liberties denied at North Carolina State University (Wikipedia).


In a move reminiscent of the early 1900s, North Carolina State University segregated a student Christian group from the rest of the student population. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grace Christian Life is a registered student Christian group on NC State's ... continue reading

Benedict XVI Centre approved by Holy See, but what will they be doing there? Watch

Image of The center will focus on religion and social sciences (CDJ).


St. Mary's University in Twickenham, London has been formally approved to name one of their buildings after Benedict XVI. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to its website, St. Mary's University will name one of their buildings the Benedict XVI Centre for ... continue reading

Alarming University campaign threatens First Amendment rights Watch

Image of The University of Portland asks students to report discrimination, interactions of intolerance and incidents of discomfort (Stefan Redel/


The University of Portland recently launched a "Speak Up" campaign designed to put an end to discrimination, intolerance and "incidents of discomfort." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The University's Speak Up website specifies inclusion is a top priority - one ... continue reading

Comparing some students to 'Catholic jihadis,' Mount St. Mary University president comes under fire Watch

Image of Mount St. Mary University President Simon Newman said in a memo,

By Adelaide Mena and Matt Hadro, CNA News

Amid uproar over comparing struggling students to bunnies that should be drowned or shot, Mount St. Mary's University president is now under fire for criticizing expressions of the Catholic faith at the school. Emmitsburg, Md. (CNA) - Already facing turmoil, the ... continue reading

The fight for religious liberty: How one Catholic college deals with threats Watch

Image of

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

The future of religious freedom in the United States will one day be in the care of today's college students, so one Catholic college is working to equip them for that struggle. Washington D.C., (CNA/EWTN News) - Wyoming Catholic College is trying to form a "community ... continue reading

4 reasons Catholic education needs your help this year Watch

Image of Are America's Catholic schools being attacked? (Wordpress)


The Catholic education system is coming under attack by a plethora of policies designed to make the hiring process, acceptance of anti-Christian viewpoints, transgender issues and Catholic identity concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Cardinal Newman ... continue reading

Catholic identity or education: Are the top Catholic universities falsely rated by secular standards? Watch

Image of


A list of the top 40 traditional Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America was created, but were they rated fairly? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Newsmax revealed their top forty Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America, but what were their standards?The United ... continue reading

Becoming Divine Mercy: A Mission of Mercy Watch

Image of

By Jessie Tappel, Communications Director at Divine Mercy University

God, the source of all mercy, provides us with an experience so great that we have no choice but to reflect it to our own brother and sister. Mercy calls for an outward response, which is made clear in the examples of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. You can ... continue reading

UST Breaks Ground on New Center for Science and Health Professions Watch

Image of

By Darnell Miller - University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas, a member of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, broke ground on a new Center for Science and Health Professions on Nov. 12, 2015. The new facility, containing more than 100,000 square-feet of modern lab space and classrooms, will meet ... continue reading

All College & University News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:1-10
1 So, since the Law contains no more than a reflection of the good things ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the mud of the mire. He ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:31-35
31 Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 24th, 2017 Image

St. Francis de Sales
January 24: St. Francis de Sales was born to a noble family ... Read More