Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rector's Angelicum Alumni Achievement Award Presentation Speech


Your Eminence,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Buona sera. My name is Fr. Joseph Agius. As Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas it is my great honor and pleasure to extend a cordial greeting and special congratulations to our 2009 Angelicum Alumni Achievement Medal Award recipient His Eminence John Patrick Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Angelicum alumnus, who earned his doctorate in our philosophy faculty here in 1965.

As Fr. Alejandro has stated, the Angelicum Alumni Achievement Medal Award is the University’s most prestigious award reserved for alumni of the University who have distinguished themselves by serving the Church's mission in exceptional ways. The Award designed by the internationally-known Dominican artist Fr. Thomas McGlynn, recognizes an alumnus who exemplifies the University’s motto, Caritas veritatis —The Charity of Truth— and salutes tireless dedication to the founding ideals and values which continue to inspire the Angelicum's community today.

His Eminence Cardinal Foley has distinguished himself by serving the Church's mission and has exemplified the University's motto in exceptional ways as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and currently as Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. His Eminence has sat on various organizations, including the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

He has been awarded honorary degrees by St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia (1985); the Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (1990); The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (1996); Assumption College, Worcester (1997); Regis University, Denver (1998); John Cabot University, Rome (1998); and the University of Portland (2007).

He was made Commander Grand Cross, Order of the Northern Star, Kingdom of Sweden (1991); knight commander with circle of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (1991); commander with grand cross in the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins of the Republic of Chile (1996); and commander with grand cross in the Order of Libertador General San Martin of the Republic of Argentina (2003).

Indeed our honoree is like a great commander who has held a steady course in every kind of weather. And in so doing this commander has earned the loyalty and affection of the Angelicum community and the Church. In turn, Cardinal Foley has been a visibly loyal and supportive alumnus of this university throughout the years.

Eminenza, la Sua vita è per tutti noi un'esempio del vero significato del motto datoci dal beato Giacinto Cormier, i cui spogli mortali restano nella nostra chiesa: Caritas Veritatis. Lei ha sempre cercato di aiutare la Chiesa a comunicare la Verità fedelmente e persuasivamente, convinto che la verità esprime la carità che e' Dio.

Hence, without further ado, it is with great pleasure that I ask his Eminence John Patrick Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and distinguished Angelicum alumnus, to come forward to receive the 2009 Angelicum Alumni Achievement Medal Award from the hands of Fr. Charles Morerod, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy.