Cardinal O'Malley: Ave Maria of "Great Service to the Entire Church"
Published on Sunday, 09 May 2010 18:24
Within the first few hours of his arrival in Ave Maria Thursday night, Cardinal Sean O'Malley lived up to his reputation as one of the more personable leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S. as the archbishop of Boston spent time mingling with town residents at the Queen Mary Pub and Grille. (Right, Cardinal O'Malley speaking with Queen Mary proprietor Daniel Dix.)
Students and town residents were impressed to see the cardinal, who stopped to chat and spend time in many of the business establishments in the town center.
"It was wonderful to see him," Chelsea Allan said after Cardinal O'Malley visited her shop, By Way of the Family.
It was Cardinal O'Malley's first visit to Ave Maria, and he said in an interview with The Ave Herald that he was impressed with the university and the town.
"I am delighted to see how much progress they have made here," he said, commending "the excellent formation they are giving to young people."
"I was already exposed to that by knowing people who studied here," he said, "but seeing the community and the cohesiveness here, and experiencing the beautiful liturgical life and learning more about the ambitious plans for the future, I am very very pleased."
The cardinal presided at the baccalaureate mass Friday, and in his homily called AMU "a center of Catholic spirituality, Catholic intellectual life and new evangelization."
He expanded on that later, saying that Ave Maria's dedication to instilling the Catholic faith stood in contrast with many other Catholic colleges and universities in the United States.
"In many Catholic institutions, the spiritual formation and the theological preparation is not strong, unfortunately," he said. At Ave Maria, however, there is "a commitment to present the beauties of our faith in these young people and to give them a way of life, to challenge them to live a personal call to holiness, to a personal vocation, and to be part of our communal mission."
He said it is "a great blessing for us to have a university like this," adding that the graduates will influence their dioceses, parishes and other Catholic educational institutions.
"What is being done here is of great service to the entire Church," he said.