University of Mary President Monsignor Shea presents Patrick Reilly with prestigious Lumen Vitae Medal

BISMARCK, ND — Patrick Reilly,president and founder of The Cardinal Newman Society and one of the most highly regarded writers on Catholic education and teaching, received the University of Mary’s Lumen Vitaemedal.

The prestigious Lumen Vitae Medal, (Latin for “The Light of Life”) is bestowed upon those who are champions of Catholic education and who bring others closer to Christ and his Church. Past recipients of the Lumen Vitae Medal include: Bishop Robert Barron (2016), the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, and Catholic evangelist; and George Weigel (2017), internationally acclaimed Catholic columnist and Saint John Paul II biographer.

Patrick Reilly, second from right, poses with family and University Mary President Monsignor James Shea

“One of the manyreasons I appreciate this award is that it provides a welcome opportunity to consider all of God’s blessings to me and The Cardinal Newman Society over 25 years,” remarked Reilly in front of family and friends after receiving the medal from University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea at a ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, also attended by hundreds of faculty, staff, students, donors and friends of the university. “Although it’s the Newman Society’s 25thanniversary, we haven’t had much time to celebrate. So, this is our celebration. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with our good friends at the University of Mary.”

The University of Mary recognized Reilly for those 25 years of devoted service. His leadership and faithfulness to its mission, has propelled CNS to the forefront of addressing all issues concerning Catholic identity in higher education, and for becoming the authority on what good and bad is happening on campuses at all Catholic colleges and universities.

University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea shakes Patrick Reilly’s hand after presenting him with Lumen Vitae Medal

“A quarter century is a long time, a good stretch, a lot of work,” remarked Shea, before presenting Reilly with the Lumen Vitae Medal. “At a certain point, all of us have to ask the question Pope St. John Paul II asked himself: ‘Have I done enough, so that when the Son of Man comes, he will find faith on earth?’ Patrick, you and those who work with you have done so much for so many. You have done very much for the University of Mary, as evidenced by this stateroom full of students and professors who arrived here because in a moment of Providence they picked up the Newman Guide. And this is only a small tip of the iceberg, a legacy which extends beyond this campus, all across the country, and into Eternity. The University of Mary confers the Lumen Vitae Medal upon a watchman on the city walls, a defender of Catholic education, an exemplar of Faith and Reason.”

In his comments, Reilly pointed to the University of Mary as a bastion of hope and what Blessed John Henry Newman had in mind as a true, Catholic institution in higher education—one that parents can trust sending their children to, confident in the school’s Catholic teaching, and be proud of their son or daughter’s search for truth.

Patrick Reilly, poses with family, friends and University Mary President Monsignor James Shea.

“What the University of Mary has achieved in recent years is incredible, and the Newman Society has been compelled not only to recognize this success, but also to promote it to Catholic families across the country,” added Reilly. “The University of Mary today is an inspiring example for the renewal of faithful Catholic education and a beacon of light in the otherwise dark landscape of Catholic higher education that has been largely secularized. Our patron, Blessed John Henry Newman, was ultimately unable to see his splendid “idea” of an authentic Catholic university come to fruition in Dublin. But Msgr. Shea, leaders, and faculty of the University of Mary, you are truly building it right here in Bismarck.”

Reilly founded CNS in 1993, after graduating from Fordham University in New York. He’s written numerous articles on Catholic higher education and Catholic issues for Catholic World Report, Crisis, Legatus, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Lay Witness, the Los Angeles Times, National Catholic Registerand other publications. He has appeared on FOX News, MSNBC, EWTN and numerous radio programs to discuss the Cardinal Newman Society’s work. He is co-editor of Newman’s Idea of a University: The American Response(Newman House Press, 2002) and “The Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five Year Review” (Cardinal Newman Society, 2004). Reilly has served as executive director of Citizens for Educational Freedom; higher education analyst for the U.S. House of Representatives Education Committee; and Program Analyst for the Postsecondary Division of the U.S. Department of Education. He’s a Senior Fellow at the Capital Research Center, a Washington D.C. think tank that promotes responsible philanthropy and non-profit activity. Reilly is also the recipient of the 2003 Spes Nostra Award from National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS). He received a master’s degree in public administration from The American University (Washington, D.C.) in 1993.