This month ACU will bestow honorary doctorates on two very special recipients - Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila. Several events will be held to coincide with their trips to Australia and I encourage those who can to attend.
Cardinal Tagle is a charismatic speaker and is celebrated around the world for his preaching and teaching. He has proved to be a very effective communicator of the faith, and adept at using social media to spread the Gospel. Well known for his presence on various social networking sites, he is reputedly the most popular cardinal on Facebook.
Courageous in denouncing corruption in government, Cardinal Tagle has also urged the laity to play their part in promoting good government and the values of fairness, empathy, and integrity.
He has also been unwavering in his promotion of humanitarian and development projects for the disadvantaged, especially in the Philippines - one of the most disparate countries in Asia in terms of distribution of wealth.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Tagle as Archbishop of Manila in October 2011, and named him to the College of Cardinals in October 2012, making him one of the youngest cardinals in the world.
Born and raised in St Louis, Missouri, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the tenth and current Archbishop of New York. He has made a considerable contribution to the role of the Church in the public sphere, and is recognised internationally for his advocacy of the relevance of Church teaching in the development of public policy.
Cardinal Dolan has also been a significant player in Catholic higher education, both as Rector of the Pontifical North American College and as a Trustee of the Catholic University of America. He has been a champion of the Catholic intellectual tradition, particularly in the higher education setting.
It is our great privilege to bestow an ACU honorary doctorate on these men, and I know you will join me in congratulating them.
In other university matters, I have now completed round one of Staff Talks for this year. Thank you to all those who attended. I enjoyed your questions and ensuing discussions, and look forward to seeing you all at round two later in the year.
For those who would like to attend events for Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the details are as follows:
What: Cardinal Timothy Dolan - Mass of Thanksgiving and awarding of honorary doctorate
Venue: St Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, Mount Street, North Sydney; then the Peter Cosgrove Centre, Tenison Woods House, Level 22, 8-20 Napier St, North Sydney
What: Living the Joy of the Gospel - Cardinal Dolan will share his experiences of seeing the Gospel in action on the streets of New York. The presentation will include special performances by Triple J Unearthed musician Genevieve Bryant and Evergreen.