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‘Newman Guide’ Catholic Colleges Honoring Pro-Life Commencement Speakers

May 14th, 2009
Cardinal Newman Society (

We are blessed in this country by the presence of many honorable leaders who promote the defense of innocent life in the public square.

MANASSAS, Va. (Cardinal Newman Society) - Amidst the ensuing commencement scandal surrounding the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor pro-abortion President Barack Obama, a number of Catholic colleges and universities noted for their fidelity to their Catholic identity are instead choosing to honor individuals dedicated to promoting a Culture of Life.

“We are blessed in this country by the presence of many honorable leaders who promote the defense of innocent life in the public square,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS). “Notre Dame could learn a valuable lesson from Catholic colleges that place principle before prestige when deciding whom to honor at commencement.”

In particular, a number of the Catholic colleges and universities recommended to parents and students in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College: What to Look for and Where to Find It have chosen exemplary individuals to receive honorary degrees at their commencement ceremonies this year.

Among the honorees are:

Ave Maria University – Dr. Thomas Hilgers, director of Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction

Belmont Abbey College – Most Rev. Michael Miller, Archbishop of Vancouver

Christendom College – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life

The College of Saint Thomas More – Dr. Ron Muller, founding President and Provost, The Cardinal Newman Liberal Arts Project

DeSales University – Sarah Gammon, CEO of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network

Franciscan University of Steubenville – Most Rev. Michael J. Higgins, TOR, minister general of the worldwide Third Order Regular Franciscan religious community; Michael Novak, Catholic philosopher and author

Magdalen College – Most Rev. Louis Gelineau, Bishop Emeritus of Rhode Island

Mount St. Mary’s University – Papal biographer George Weigel

Southern Catholic College – Archbishop John F. Donohue, emeritus archbishop of Diocese of Atlanta

Thomas Aquinas College – Most Rev. Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts – Most Rev. Francis Cardinal Arinze, former Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments

University of Dallas – Bishop Kevin Farrell, Diocese of Dallas

In addition to providing a public witness to the faith at their commencement ceremonies, a report from The Cardinal Newman Society’s research division, The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education, found that Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide are on average more affordable than other Catholic colleges and private institutions of higher education.

The Newman Guide is now available online as a free resource at The 2009 updated edition will be published in Summer 2009.

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