STEUBENVILLE - The Rev. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, will address his first graduating classes as president of Franciscan University of Steubenville at the 66th commencement exercises set May 9 and10.
Events begin May 9 with the baccalaureate Mass at 6 p.m. On May 10, nearly 650 students will graduate, beginning with the ceremony for master's degree recipients at 9 a.m., followed by the undergraduate ceremony at 11:30 a.m. All events take place in Finnegan Fieldhouse, which just underwent a $6.5 million renovation and expansion.
Graduates in the Class of 2014 come from all over the country, with Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Texas and Minnesota ranking as the top 10 states.
The top majors for bachelor degree recipients are theology, nursing, business (six majors combined), catechetics, psychology, communication arts, education, philosophy, English, biology, and history.
The Rev. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, will be the celebrant and homilist at the May 9 baccalaureate Mass and receive an honorary doctorate of sacred theology.
The visit will be a homecoming of sorts for DiNardo, who was born in Steubenville and raised in Castle Shannon, Pa., near Pittsburgh.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1977 for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he went on to serve as a parish pastor, seminary professor and chancery official. He then served in Rome on the staff of the Congregation for Bishops and in 1997 was appointed coadjutor bishop of Sioux City, Iowa. He began his service to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston's 1.3 million Catholics in 2004, and he was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2006 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
DiNardo served as a cardinal-elector in the Papal Conclave of 2013, which saw the election of Pope Francis.
Graduates from Franciscan's seven master's degree programs will be sent forth by Steubenville's own Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, who will receive an honorary doctorate of sacred theology.
Monforton was ordained and installed as bishop of Steubenville at a ceremony held at Franciscan University in 2012.
A Detroit native, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1994. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
During his years of service in Detroit, he held various parish assignments, taught high school religion, served as personal priest secretary to Cardinal Adam Maida and served on the faculty at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, becoming seminary rector in 2006.
Franciscan University's largest ceremony of the day, the undergraduate ceremony, will include bachelor of arts and bachelor of science graduates from more than 40 courses of study.
The featured speaker will be Michael P. Warsaw, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Eternal Word Television Network Inc. Warsaw will receive an honorary doctorate in communications for his leadership in evangelizing and catechizing through the media. Warsaw joined EWTN in 1991 and over the past 23 years has helped it become the world's largest religious media network. In addition to overseeing EWTN's mission in the U.S. and more than 140 countries and territories, he is the publisher of the National Catholic Register.
During the ceremony, a posthumous honorary degree in management and marketing will be awarded to Amanda Looman, a senior from Wintersville who died after an automobile accident in October 2013 in the Dayton area.
Sheridan will confer the degrees, and the Rev.Richard Davis, TOR, chairman of the board of trustees, will preside at both ceremonies along with members of the board of trustees and board of advisers.