Wilton Cardinal Gregory to Present Inaugural “Faith Leaders for Racial Justice” Lecture, Oct. 13

Wilton Cardinal Gregory to Present Inaugural “Faith Leaders for Racial Justice” Lecture, Oct. 13

The seventh Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Wilton Cardinal Gregory is the first African American Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.

Media Contact: Susan Cipollaro, scipollaro@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2726

Presented by Fairfield University’s Office for Mission & Ministry, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of the Diocese of Washington, D.C., will present the inaugural "Faith Leaders for Racial Justice" lecture at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13. This event is free and open to the public; tickets are required. Reserve your tickets at quickcenter.com.

“We are deeply honored to have one of the leaders of the Church in the United States and one of the outstanding faith leaders of our time join us to inaugurate our ‘Faith Leaders for Racial Justice’ series," said Rev. Paul Rourke, S.J., vice president for the University’s Office of Mission and Ministry. "Cardinal Gregory has been a consistent and eloquent voice for human dignity at all stages and a courageous and insightful leader in the Church’s efforts to address the sinful legacy of racism."

Appointed as the seventh archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington in 2019, Pope Francis named Archbishop Gregory one of thirteen new cardinals from around the world on October 25, 2020. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in a November 28, 2020, Consistory in Rome.

Born and raised in Chicago, Cardinal Gregory converted to Catholicism as a student at St. Carthage Grammar School. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College (now St. Joseph’s College Seminary) of Loyola University Chicago, and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1973, and three years after his ordination, began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome. There, he earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980.

Cardinal Gregory has served in many leading roles in the Catholic Church including as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001 to 2004. He has written extensively on church issues, in pastoral statements on the death penalty, social justice, euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide, and interreligious and ecumenical affairs, and has published numerous articles about liturgy, particularly in the African American community.

Cardinal Gregory currently serves as a member of the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and on the Board of Trustees for the Papal Foundation. Additionally, he is the Catholic Co-Chair of the National Council of Synagogues consultation for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The recipient of nine honorary doctoral degrees, Cardinal Gregory was awarded the Great Preacher Award from Aquinas Institute of Theology in 2002; a doctorate of humanities from Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. (2002-2003); the Sword of Loyola from Loyola University of Chicago (2004); a doctorate of humane letters from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama (2005); a doctorate of humane letters from Xavier University in Cincinnati; a doctorate of humane letters from McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill.; a doctorate of humanities from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO; an honorary law degree from Notre Dame University (2012); and the Chicago Catholic Theological Union Honorary Doctorate (2013).

Said Fr. Rourke, "Cardinal Gregory will inaugurate a lecture series dedicated to telling the story of faith’s role in promoting racial equality and the dignity of all people. The story of the Abolition movement, the Civil Rights movement, and the ongoing work of building a just society are all interwoven with the story of faith and the work of faith leaders. Cardinal Gregory will help us tell that story, and I cannot imagine a better person to help us start the 'Faith Leaders for Racial Justice' series.”

Presented by Fairfield University’s Office of Mission & Ministry, the inaugural “Faith Leaders for Racial Justice” lecture with Wilton Cardinal Gregory is free and open to the public. Tickets are required. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. To reserve your ticket to this event, please visit quickcenter.com.

Posted On: October 1, 2022

Volume: 54 Number: 24

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.