The Bethlehem University community today mourns the loss of Cardinal John Patrick Foley, former Grand Master Emeritus of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and great friend of Bethlehem University. Foley died at the Villa St. Joseph in suburban Darby, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said due to health issues. He was 76.
On May 4th, 2011, Bethlehem University presented a Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, to Cardinal John Patrick Foley, a longtime supporter of Bethlehem University and tireless advocate for the people of God and the Catholic Church throughout the world, and especially in the Holy Land.
In 2007, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Foley as the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which he led until his resignation due to illness this February. Cardinal Foley has significantly enhanced efforts of the Order in providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the various initiatives of the Lieutenancies of the Equestrian Order to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land.
“The commitment of Cardinal Foley to the Church is unsurpassed,” said Br. Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University. “His encouragement of pilgrimages to the Holy Land has enabled thousands to deepen their faith in God, through the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
In January of 2008, Cardinal Foley was awarded the Bethlehem University Medal of Honor. “I would like to thank you in the name of the University’s students, faculty and staff. Without the tremendous moral and financial support Bethlehem University receives from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, it simply would not be possible to continue our work,” Brother Robert Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs stated, while presenting the medal to Cardinal Foley. Brother Jack Curran, Vice President for Development added, “Your solidarity gives our students, faculty and staff hope to go on with their struggle for a better future.”
Bethlehem University humbly offers its condolences to the family, friends and associates of Cardinal Foley. May he rest in eternal peace.