Inauguration of President Katie Conboy at Saint Mary’s College

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We gather this morning to pray for and with President Katie Conboy on this day of her inauguration as President of Saint Mary’s College. We give thanks to God that Katie said “yes” to serve as President. With faith in the Lord, she assumes this office with trust in Jesus and His grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And she does so with the loving support of her husband David and her three beloved daughters.

As you know, President Conboy came here from another Holy Cross institution, Stonehill College in Massachusetts. And, of course, she received a Holy Cross education across the street at Notre Dame where she earned her doctoral degree in English literature. President Conboy’s move from teaching English literature at Stonehill to becoming Provost at Stonehill College and now becoming President of Saint Mary’s reminds me of one of her renowned predecessor, Sister Madeleva, who also had a PhD in English. I imagine Sister Madeleva, who was president of Saint Mary’s for 27 years, is an inspiration to Katie. Sister Madeleva, a gifted poet, participated in the Catholic revival of the early 20th century, established a center of Christian culture and educational innovation here at Saint Mary’s and founded the School of Sacred Theology, the first in the world to offer graduate degrees in theology to women. Dr. Conboy has that spirit of innovation. Dr. Conboy now stands in the line of Sister Madeleva and the other presidents of Saint Mary’s College, dedicated Holy Cross Sisters and, more recently, dedicated lay women, all inspired by the vision of education of Blessed Basil Moreau.

Dr. Conboy is committed to the Church’s vision of Catholic higher education. A Catholic college, in the vision of the Church and of Blessed Basil Moreau, “pursues its objective through its formation of an authentic human community animated by the spirit of Christ” (Ex corde 21). President Conboy’s Christian witness and her commitment to leadership as service are vital for the life and Catholic identity of Saint Mary’s College. I am confident that she will lead and serve this college in its commitment to the service of the Church and of the human family and in its fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church. These are essential characteristics of an authentic Catholic college (Ex Corde # 13).

Dr. Conboy embraces the vision express