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Cardinal Wuerl to speak at Saint Vincent College commencement

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By Jennifer Reeger
Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 1:24 p.m.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and the former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will be the principal speaker at St. Vincent College's 167th annual commencement.

Wuerl will receive an honorary doctor of theology degree during the May 11 ceremony, when more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees will be awarded.

St. Vincent College President Brother Norman W. Hipps said the college community is “highly honored” that Wuerl accepted the invitation.

“During his service as bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he was clearly committed to Catholic education and to providing educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged children,” Hipps said. “As archbishop of Washington, his influence in the church has become international. Our students and faculty are proudly looking forward to welcoming Cardinal Wuerl to St. Vincent.”

Wuerl is a native of Pittsburgh who served as bishop of his home diocese for 18 years.

He is known for his teaching ministry and is involved nationally and internationally in education, health care and social service organizations.

He hosted Pope Benedict XVI in Washington in April 2008 on the pope's historic journey to the United States. Wuerl, who was ordained to the priesthood in 1966, holds earned graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America and the Gregorian University as well a doctorate in theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome.

He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II on Jan. 6, 1986, in St. Peter's Basilica and served as auxiliary bishop in Seattle until 1987 before taking his appointment in Pittsburgh.

He serves on numerous national and international bodies and is chairman of the board of trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, chancellor of The Catholic University of America and chairman of the boards of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation and The Papal Foundation.

He is widely known as the “education bishop” for his ongoing work as a teacher and educator and was recognized with the prestigious St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award by the National Catholic Educational Association.

Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or

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