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La Salle News

September 24, 2015

Cardinal Tagle of Manila Receives Honorary Degree from La Salle at Honors Convocation

Cardinal Tagle Addressed La Salle University Students in Preparation for Pope Francis’ Visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families

Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, D.D., S.T.D., Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, visited La Salle University this past Friday, Sept. 18, to deliver a guest lecture as part of La Salle’s Diplomat-in-Residence program and participate in the Honors Convocation. As part of the Convocation, Cardinal Tagle received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his devotion to a life in service to those who might otherwise be forgotten.

Cardinal Tagle, one of the Church’s most dynamic and highly respected leaders, engaged with students about faith, compassion, and promoting love around the world. Cardinal Tagle is visiting Philadelphia this week to attend the World Meeting of Families where he will deliver a keynote speech and witness Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia.

“Cardinal Tagle’s values are the same values that we, as a Lasallian institution, also hold dear – faith, service, and community,” said La Salle University President Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D. “It is fitting that someone who has traveled the globe to share a message of peace and hope can now, in receiving an honorary degree from La Salle University, officially be known as an Explorer.”

Born in Manila, Cardinal Tagle was raised in a devout Catholic family. As a child, he considered a career as a doctor, but, after a visit with his parish priest during which he witnessed the needs of the poor of the parish, he felt called to religious life. Cardinal Tagle attended San Jose Major Seminary and was ordained a priest at age 24. He earned bachelor’s degrees in pre-divinity and sacred theology from Atenio de Manila University and Loyola School of Theology, respectively. In 1991, he completed a doctorate in sacred theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“Cardinal Tagle is a man of great faith, who has put that faith into action to be an ambassador for peace, justice, and hope around the world,” said La Salle Trustee Brother Dennis Malloy, F.S.C., ’74, M.A. ’83, Provincial/Visitor for the District of Eastern North America of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. “Care for the poor is central to his ministry.”

During the papacy of Pope Francis I, Cardinal Tagle has continued his work on behalf of the poor, a concern that aligns with Pope Francis’ mission. In May 2015, he was elected President of Caritas Internationalis, becoming the first Asian to head the confederation of global charities. Pope Francis also recently selected Cardinal Tagle to be a member of the Pontifical Cor Unum, which manages the Church’s charitable and humanitarian activities around the globe, and confirmed his election as President of the Catholic Bible Federation, a fellowship of organizations committed to biblical-pastoral ministry.

Cardinal Tagle hosted Pope Francis during his January 2015 visit to the Philippines, when more than six million people turned out for a public Mass celebrated by the pontiff.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. In a national survey, Money magazine ranked La Salle as a top five college in the Philadelphia region for educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings, and cited the University as a “Value All-Star.” Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.