As the only Catholic university in America founded by the U.S. bishops, The Catholic University of America boasts a rich Catholic tradition going back to the late 1800s from its campus in Washington D.C. This tradition has provided the school with one of the most unique legacies for an American Catholic institution of higher education: a legacy filled with saints. The Cardinal Newman Society recently asked Catholic University President John Garvey to discuss the many saints and holy people who have walked the halls and sidewalks of “bishop’s university.”
Newman Society: The Catholic University of America is known as the “bishops’ university,” since it is the Church’s national university in the U.S., but not many people know that canonized saints and prominent Church leaders have visited and studied there. Who are some of these saints, and what stories stand out from their time on campus?
President Garvey: For nearly 25 years beginning in 1926, Venerable Fulton Sheen (then Monsignor Sheen) taught in room 112 in McMahon Hall, prayed daily in Caldwell Chapel, and studied in Mullen Library. During those years, The Tower, Catholic University’s student newspaper, published more than 180 articles about Monsignor Sheen — his speeches, debates, books, and radio programs. Today, there is a plaque at room 112 to commemorate those years and the University hosts a website about the life of Fulton Sheen and his cause for sainthood.