Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington has been named the first William Cardinal Baum University Professor of Theology at The Catholic University of America. As is customary, the newly appointed archbishop had already been named chancellor of the university.
The professorship, named in honor of the third archbishop of Washington, will provide Archbishop Wuerl with the opportunity to lecture in theology, while exercising his primary ministry as the spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Washington. The archbishop is an alumnus of the university. The professorship was announced on the CUA website Aug. 30th.
During his tenure as Bishop of Pittsburgh, Archbishop Wuerl was appointed a Distinguished Service Professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he taught a course on the foundations of Catholic faith.
The day following the announcement, the archbishop presided at the Mass for the opening of the university’s academic year. Hundreds of students, faculty, and staff packed into the crypt church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
During his homily, the archbishop said what distinguishes a Catholic university or college from any other institution of higher learning is the faith context that provides its identity.
“Each of us gathered for this celebration of the Eucharist identifies ourselves in part by our belief in God and our faith in Christ,” he said. “Catholic University stands in the midst of this community as an integral part of the Catholic Church and its proclamation that Jesus is the answer to the significant questions of human life: How shall I live? What is the purpose of life? What are the values that should direct my steps through life?
“A Catholic university, this university,” he said, “offers you a vision of belonging to something much larger than just yourself.”
The Catholic University of America (CUA) was establish in 1887 and is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Located just north of the U.S. Capitol building, the university has long held an important place in both the ecclesial and political life of the country, especially through its outstanding curricula in Philosophy, Political Science, and Social Work as well as its noted Columbus School of Law. CUA is often recognized for its programs in such varied fields as Music, Architecture, Library Science, and Nursing.
Since his arrival in the late 1990's, CUA President Fr. David O'Connell has been working to rebuild the once esteemed School of Theology and Religous Studies, of which Arcbishop Wuerl will now be a part.
For further information on CUA, visit their website at www.cua.edu