November 1, 2013
|University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea honors His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan|
|His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, proudly hoists up his honorary doctorate degree to share with the more than 6,000 cheering people in attendance|
University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea presented the university's highest honor to a man he called "splendid in every way." Cardinal Timothy Dolan was presented with an honorary doctorate Oct. 26, 2013, at the Diocese of Bismarck THIRST Conference, held at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Among those attending were Bishop John Folda of the Fargo Catholic Diocese, Bishop David Kagan of the Bismarck Catholic Diocese, retired Bishop Paul Zipfel, from the Bismarck Diocese, Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, the university's founders and sponsors, priests and religious, Catholic laity and other dignitaries, including Bismarck Mayor John Warford, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Congressman Kevin Cramer.
In his presentation, Monsignor Shea noted that he was 23 and a seminarian at North American College in Rome when he first met Cardinal Dolan, who was then rector. As rector, Msgr. Shea said, Dolan was "splendid in every way. He taught us by what he said and how he led that the greatest happiness in life is to belong to Jesus Christ."
The Catholic Church and the nation have a great treasure in Cardinal Dolan, Msgr. Shea said. An exceptional leader, Monsignor Shea said, Cardinal Dolan "has distinguished himself in the responsible search for and service of Truth."
As a leader, the Cardinal has brought the principles of Catholic social teaching and religious freedom to the center of our national conversation, he said.
Praising the Cardinal as "a loyal friend of Catholic higher education, a beloved, gregarious spiritual leader," with "a listening presence, a warm graciousness, a joyful fidelity, buoyant wit, and greatness of soul," Msgr. Shea called it one of the great honors of his life to present the University of Mary's Doctor of Leadership to "this joyful man of God." I
In his acceptance remarks, Cardinal Dolan drew laughs from the crowd when he joked that already, as an alumnus of the university, Msgr. Shea had asked him for a donation.
On a more serious note, the Cardinal said he was thrilled to receive an honorary doctorate from a university that he has come "to know and admire tremendously."