MANILA, March 13, 2014—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Fordham University, the Jesuit University of New York, on March 28 for his contributions in the field of Humanities both in the local and global scale.
Tagle will be conferred the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa during a ceremony, which will be held at the Keating First Auditorium of Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus in Bronx, New York.
“Fordham’s ties to the people of the Philippines are deep and longstanding,” Fordham University president Joseph McShane, S.J., was quoted as saying in an article posted in thefilam.net.
“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,” McShane said.
In the conferment ceremonies, Tagle, who is a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People, will discuss the plight of immigrants and refugees in the present-day context.
The Philippines alone deployed a total of 1,802,031 overseas workers in 2012, a sharp increase as compared in 1975 when only 36,035 Filipinos left the country to work overseas, according to the 2013 Country Migration Report (CMR) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
On March 29, a Eucharistic celebration will be officiated by Tagle at the University Church in Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus. A special collection will be done during the mass to raise funds for the aid of victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) that battered Central Philippines last November.
During the mass, Tagle will bless a memorial to Fordham alumnus Fr. John F. Hurley, SJ, who was among the first Jesuits to serve the Philippines in 1921. Hurley was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1946 for his heroic deeds during the Japanese occupation in the country.
Tagle is an alumnus of the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola School of Theology, and San Jose Seminary (Philosophy and M.A. in Theology). He obtained his Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C, in 1987 and 1991, respectively.
The honorary degree to be conferred by Fordham University is Tagle’s first honoris causa coming from a US university. He has been conferred with three honorary doctorate degrees in Humanities from three universities in the country: Far Eastern University, San Beda College, and De La Salle University – Dasmariñas.
Tagle, who was born in Manila in 1957, was raised in a devoutly Catholic environment with strong influence from the Jesuits. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the International Theological Commission, where he served from 1997 until 2002. In 2012, he was appointed Vice-President of the Commission for the Message of the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. He was also appointed as member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People the following year.
Established in 1841 by the Archdiocese of New York, Fordham University is the first Catholic institution for higher education in the northeastern United States. It was first established by then New York Archbishop John Hughes as St. John’s College. (Jennifer Orillaza)