Supporters of Bethlehem University Become Cardinals

Four of Twenty-Two Recently Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI

Bethlehem University, Office of the Vice President for Development – Bethlehem University, the Vatican-sponsored university in the Holy Land conducted by the international Catholic Religious Order of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, is honored with four of the 22 new Cardinals named on 6 January 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI being close friends and supporters of Bethlehem University:  Archbishop Thomas Collins, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, and Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò. For the original letter issued by Br. Jack Curran, Vice President for Development, click here.

Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, Canada,  was introduced to Bethlehem University by Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, and Mr. Hugh MacKinnon, member of the Bethlehem University Foundation Board of Directors.

“Since the time when Archbishop Collins warmly welcomed Brother Peter Bray and me to a dinner hosted at the University of Saint Michael’s College in Toronto, he has been supportive of the Church’s educational mission at Bethlehem University,” said Brother Jack Curran, Vice President for Development at Bethlehem University.

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is also the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is another good friend of Bethlehem University and is among the newly named Cardinals.

A few months ago, Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University visited with Archbishop Dolan in New York City, when, among other things, they discussed some of the details of the Archbishop’s visit to Bethlehem University as part of the Archbishop’s upcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Just before Christmas, Brother Peter joined Archbishop Dolan on the air with his weekly radio address.  “He is a wonderfully engaging and spirit-filled priest and pastor. He has a genuine concern for the students, faculty, and staff at Bethlehem University. I look forward to welcoming the Cardinal designate to campus at the end of the month,” said Brother Peter.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, who was appointed on 29 August 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI as Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, is among the 22 newly named Cardinals.

Later this month, Cardinal-designate O’Brien and one of his Auxiliary Bishops, Denis J. Madden, have been invited by Brother Alvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, Superior General of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, to celebrate Mass and to join with the International Board of Regents at the Brothers’ Generalate in Rome.

“The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, which Cardinal-designate O’Brien leads, has been tremendously supportive of Bethlehem University since our founding days and we are honored with this appointment of Archbishop O’Brien,” said Brother Peter Bray.

Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants at the Vatican, is among the 22 newly appointed Cardinals.

From 2001 until 2009, Archbishop Vegliò served on the Bethlehem University International Board of Regents as the representative of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.  “The generous support and dedication of Archbishop Vegliò for Bethlehem University for many years is deeply appreciated,” remarked Brother Peter Bray.

Upon hearing of the appointments of the new Cardinals, Brother Peter Bray said “We wish all 22 of the Cardinal-designates well, extend a warm invitation to each of them to visit Bethlehem University, and pray that the Lord continue to bless each of them with good health, courage, and wisdom as they take on even greater responsibilities and opportunities of service to the Church.”

Providing quality higher education to the people of Palestine, Bethlehem University is the first university established in the West Bank. Serving as a center for the advancement, sharing, and use of knowledge, Bethlehem University has nearly 13,000 graduates and traces its roots to 1893 when the De La Salle Christian Brothers opened schools in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nazareth, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Emphasizing excellence in academic programs and the development of students as committed people to assume leading positions in society, Bethlehem University was founded in 1973 through the joint efforts of Palestinian educators, community leaders, the Vatican and the international Catholic religious order of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

A founding member of the Palestinian Council for Higher Education, Bethlehem University is a member of the Association of Arab Universities, International Federation of Catholic Universities, and the Lasallian Association of Colleges and Universities. As a Catholic Christian co-educational institution of higher learning welcoming students of all faith traditions, Bethlehem University aspires to fostering shared values, moral principles and dedication to serving the common good.  Bethlehem University has more than 3,000 students annually enrolled in undergraduate and post-graduate master degree and diploma programs in the Arts, Business Administration, Education, Nursing, Science, and Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism. An additional 1,000 persons are provided with continuing education and professional diplomas through the Institute for Community Partnership.