Prefect of Secretariat for the Economy encourages University of Mary students to be living witnesses of truth and faith

Bismarck, ND — Students and faculty at the University of Mary’s Rome campus were treated to a special visit from Cardinal George Pell, prefect of Secretariat for the Economy and archbishop emeritus of Sydney, Australia. Celebrating Mass on June 1, the feast of St. Justin Martyr, Cardinal Pell encouraged University of Mary students to follow the example of the great apologist in serving as living witnesses to the truth.

In his homily to the University of Mary students Cardinal Pell spoke of St. Justin the Martyr, and, quoting St. Paul, he called on students to utilize the knowledge and wisdom they gain in the classroom in service to the world. “For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have… bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”

Thomas Schulzetenberg, director of the University of Mary’s Rome campus

Thomas Schulzetenberg, director of the University of Mary’s Rome campus

Cardinal Pell further stressed that the life of the mind is an extraordinarily important aspect of who we are but that it is the life of the mind in action—in service to others—that constitutes our ultimate calling.

Cardinal Pell’s visit was nearly two years in the making and was arranged by Father Michael Gallagher, a priest from the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia who previously served as chaplain of the University of Mary’s Rome campus.

For University of Mary President Monsignor James P. Shea, Cardinal Pell’s homily could not have been more timely.

“Too many today think that adulthood follows our college or university experience,” said Shea. “What Cardinal Pell reminded us is that college and university are the beginning of adulthood and that students have a place, indeed a duty, to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

Following a campus tour and Mass, Cardinal Pell enjoyed dinner with University of Mary students, discussing a wide variety of topics including his faith, family and modern issues in the Church and world.

“Cardinal Pell insisted on sitting with our students and continued his discussion with them for quite some time. The impact of his visit on our students will be a lifetime in the making,” said University of Mary Chaplain, Father Daniel Hess.

Thomas Schulzetenberg, director of the University of Mary’s Rome campus agrees.

“It is extraordinary that one of the busiest and most prestigious of cardinals in the Church would take the time out of his schedule to visit our humble campus and spend the evening with 24 students,” said Schulzetenberg. “His delight in, and great hope for, the next generation of leaders is very evident. It was an inspiring evening that everyone will long remember.”

According to Dr. Matthew Gerlach, assistant professor of Theology and Catholic Studies at the University of Mary, experiences like this are not out of the ordinary for University of Mary students.

“We are very intentional with offerings such as our Rome campus and our Catholic Studies, Global Studies, and Honors programs,” said Gerlach. “We want to ensure that our students are immersed in the finest learning environments possible—those that bring the best in theory and practice together in the ‘everyday’ settings where we live, work and study.”

University of Mary students studying on the school’s Rome campus this semester are:


Ryan Baumgartner

Paige Becker

Victoria Behan

Kari Bernhardt

Gabriel Boehne

Rosemary Clark

Sarah Clark

Erin Crawford

Miriah Deichert

Emily Eliason

Dominick Goettle

Julia Hansen

Annie Hill

Mary Kampa

Abbegayle Kisrow

Therese Kulas

Michael Loes

Jacqueline Meier

Blake Murphy

Mary O’Donnell

Genevieve Say

Grace Schindler

Victoria Schindler

Samantha Steiner


For more information about the University of Mary, including its Rome Campus and study abroad options visit