University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony

Congratulations to the graduates of 2013! Yesterday I addressed the graduates of the University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony and received an honorary degree. I would like to share a copy of my speech with you.

Here is an excerpt:

Thank you, Notre Dame, for the joy of your company, the gracious invitation, the warm welcome, and the high honor of this degree.

It was so obvious I almost missed it . . .

See, ever since, almost a year ago, Father Jenkins, with characteristic thoughtfulness, invited me to deliver this commencement address, I’ve been mulling over just what to say to you, class of 2013.

Only Friday a week ago I still had not yet completed this talk, and I got on the train in New York City to travel to D.C.   In Philadelphia, a distinguished looking man boarded the train and sat next to me.

He turned out to be a fanatical, in-your-face, obnoxious Notre Dame alumnus!  You ever met one?  Nice to meet you!  Now I guess I am proudly one, after the privilege of this honorary degree which I so appreciate and cherish!  He begins to speak with obviously radiant pride and gratitude about Notre Dame, telling me his faithful Jewish parents wanted him to attend a Catholic college – - because, in their words.  “The Church founded the universities, and educate better than anybody else” – - and reporting to me that, even as a faithful Jew, he considers his four years here at this Catholic university a gift beyond measure.  When I told him I’d be here for graduation, he beamed.

Click here to read the full text.

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5 Responses to “University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony”

  1. Patty says:

    That was so beautiful! I cried throughout the entire thing. Cardinal Dolan, you are such a gift to the Church. Thank you!

  2. Eric LArsson says:

    I totally concur with Cardinal Dolan’s take on the secret of Notre Dame. It is Mary and all the ways she is woven throughout the University. The Grotto is a very special place, and whenever I have stopped there – at 2AM, Noon, 8PM, there is always someone there praying, meditating, grieving, joyful. A special place, and every candle I lit there was worth it, even if the answer to that prayer was no, or wait. A special place.
    As a father of 5 – 3 of whom went to Fordham, 1 to Notre Dame, 1 to Catholic University (graduated just this Saturday) and 1 with a graduate degree from Notre Dame, I can only attest to the greatness of a Catholic education (I just wish it didn’t cost quite so much!). Glad to see that ND was not the lightning rod it has been in the past, by inviting you rather than someone that causes such a controversy (like BC this year). Thanks for focusing on the best of Notre Dame. Best Regards, Eric Larsson

  3. Frank DeRosa says:

    Tremendously human and personal message and reflection. Powerful and smooth, like a Stan Musial swing. Much for the grads to place in their memory bank.

  4. SK says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for such a beautiful address and for posting it so that all could read it! What amazing words from Howard! May God bless both of you!

  5. Terri Telepak says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan for honoring Our Lady and capturing the Spirit of Notre Dame! At Bethlehem, at Nazareth, at Cana, Calvary and in the Upper Room. She was there. We are there, thanks to Incarnation, Emmanuel, Eucharist: God is with us, and in us as we go out into the world as Pentecost disciples. Notre Dame, Our Mother, may she watch over and bless you!