NEW YORK – His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, the Philippines, will be conferred an honorary degree Friday, March 28. Fordham University, a Jesuit University of New York, will award the cardinal with a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at an invitation-only ceremony at its Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx.
This is Cardinal Tagle’s first official visit to the United States as a cardinal and the first time that a U.S. university will award him an honorary degree. Cardinal Tagle who is a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People, will address the audience on the plight of immigrants and refugees. It is estimated that more than 10 million Filipinos have left their homes in search of jobs overseas.
On March 29, Cardinal Tagle will be the main celebrant and homilist at a private Mass in the University Church. During Mass the Cardinal will bless a memorial to John F. Hurley, S.J., a 1914 Fordham alumnus who was among the first American Jesuits to serve in the Philippines in 1921. On behalf of President Harry Truman, General MacArthur awarded Father Hurley the Medal of Freedom in 1946 for his many heroic acts during the war time occupation of the Philippines.
On Sunday, March 30, Cardinal Tagle will also concelebrate the 10:15 a.m. Mass with Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This Mass is open to the public.
“Fordham’s ties to the people of the Philippines are deep and longstanding,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University. “Likewise, the Society of Jesus has a distinguished history in the Philippines. Therefore, it is with delight compounded that we celebrate today our ties to, and history with, the people of the Philippines. When Cardinal Tagle accepts his honorary degree, he may be assured that the honor is ours.”
Fordham has close ties with the people of the Philippines and with its sister Jesuit institution, the Ateneo de Manila University, which counts Dr. José Rizal, the Philippine national hero, President Benigno S. Aquino III and Cardinal Tagle among its alumni.
Cardinal Tagle is the 32nd archbishop of Manila, and when Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal in October 2012, he became the second-youngest cardinal in the world. Born in Manila in 1957, he was raised in a devoutly Catholic environment. Pope John Paul II appointed him to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, where he served from 1997 until 2002. Currently he serves on the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops and the Congregation for Catholic Education. Pope Francis recently appointed him to the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College, University of London, in the United Kingdom.