Fordham to confer honorary degree on Cardinal Luis Tagle

‘The honor is ours,’ says Fordham President Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

‘The honor is ours,’ says Fordham President Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

Fordham University has announced it will confer an honorary degree upon His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, on Friday, March 28.

The Cardinal will also celebrate a special Mass on campus on Saturday, March 29, according to a press statement. Attendance at these events is by invitation only.

This is Cardinal Tagle’s first official visit to the United States as a cardinal and the first time that a U.S. university will award him an honorary degree.

On Friday, March 28 Fordham will confer a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, upon the Cardinal at a late afternoon ceremony in Keating Hall, on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. Cardinal Tagle, who is a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People, will address the audience on the plight of immigrants and refugees. It is estimated that more than 10 million Filipinos have left their homes in search of jobs overseas.

On the following Saturday afternoon, March 29, Cardinal Tagle will be the main celebrant and homilist at Mass in the University Church. During Mass the Cardinal will bless a memorial to Fr. John F. Hurley, SJ, a 1914 Fordham alumnus who was among the first American Jesuits to serve in the Philippines in 1921. On behalf of President Truman, General MacArthur awarded Fr. Hurley the Medal of Freedom in 1946 for his many heroic acts during the war time occupation of the Philippines.

“Fordham’s ties to the people of the Philippines are deep and longstanding,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University. “Likewise, the Society of Jesus has a distinguished history in the Philippines. Therefore, it is with delight compounded that we celebrate today our ties to, and history with, the people of the Philippines. When Cardinal Tagle accepts his honorary degree, he may be assured that the honor is ours.”

Fordham has close ties with the people of the Philippines, and with its sister Jesuit institution, the Ateneo de Manila University, which counts Dr. José Rizal, the Philippine national hero, and Cardinal Tagle among its alumni.

Cardinal Tagle is the 32nd archbishop of Manila, and when Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal in October 2012, he became the second youngest cardinal in the world.

Born in Manila in 1957, he was raised in a devoutly Catholic environment. The universal church has frequently relied upon the talents and generosity of Cardinal Tagle. Pope John Paul II appointed him to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, where he served from 1997 until 2002. Currently he serves on the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops and the Congregation for Catholic Education. Pope Francis recently appointed him to the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

On Sunday, March 30, Cardinal Tagle will also concelebrate the 10:15 am Mass with Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This Mass is open to the public.

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering education in the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College, University of London, in the United Kingdom.

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