Professor Mary Jo Leddy receives Honourary Doctorate

Regis College congratulates its very own Prof. Mary Jo Leddy for being awarded an honourary doctorate by the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.  The text of the CSU's citation is as follows:



DOCTOR OF MINISTRY, honoris causa

Jesus commissioned The Twelve, instructing them, “What you have received as gift, give as gift” (Matt 10:8).  It is this profound sense of gratitude that marks the life and vocation of unreserved Christian witness by Mary Jo Leddy, who is the Executive Director of the Romero House for Refugees, the founding editor of the Canadian New Catholic Times, an award-winning writer, peacemaker, human rights advocate, and university lecturer.

Compelled by Emil Fackenheim’s question: “How can we possibly go on thinking in the same way after the Holocaust?”  Leddy studied the Shoah and the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt.  There she discovered the theoretical and passionate basis for social engagement; namely, “when good people fail to act, evil is free to reign.”  This gripping theme undergirds her conclusion that in our globalized, terrorized, and ecologically-threatened world, radical political resistance must take the form of gratitude and genuine relationships.

Gratitude is a habit of being which recognizes that the most important things we have are freely given to us.  Indeed, gratitude is fundamentally relational, and not self-centered.  All people- the very wealthy, the middle class, and the destitute poor – find true liberation beginning with a sense of gratitude for the grace of being alive.  Most significantly, gratitude is a source of empowerment for ministry.  The power of Jesus himself was “unleashed through active gratitude.”

It is a kind of power rooted in gratitude that Mary Jo Leddy has exercised in her ministry, working for the renewal of religious life, advocating for refugees, speaking truth to power, campaigning for peace, and giving witness through a life of commitment and integrity.  For these reasons, the Faculty and the Board of Trustees of Catholic Theological Union are proud to confer upon Mary Jo Leddy, the title of DOCTOR OF MINISTRY, honoris causa.

Given at Chicago, in the State of Illinois
The fifteenth day of May, 2008

Reverend Donald Senior, C.P.