A Message from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. – Visit to Notre Dame by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Conferral of Honorary Degree

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

On Thursday, October 28, we are honored to welcome to campus His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch. As those who were on campus then will remember, the Ecumenical Patriarch was scheduled to deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree from Notre Dame at our Commencement in 2020, but his visit—and, of course, our in-person Commencement ceremonies—were postponed due to the global pandemic. It is with great joy that we now welcome and bestow on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the long overdue honorary degree. As the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide and a great champion of environmental stewardship, care for migrants, and religious liberty, he is an inspiration for all humankind. His All-Holiness is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of his enthronement as the Ecumenical Patriarch, making him the longest-serving leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church in medieval and modern history. 

We will bestow the honorary degree on His All Holiness at an academic convocation to be held in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 5:15 p.m. on October 28, at which time he will deliver an address on care for our planet. The theme of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s address is especially fitting in a year when we are focused as a University community on issues of Just Transition. The convocation will also feature the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir performing “Creation: From Adam to Salvation” in honor of His All-Holiness.

I invite you to join us for this historic occasion. So that we might allocate available seating appropriately, please indicate your plans to attend the convocation here. As is our custom, we will begin the convocation with an academic procession. Those faculty wishing to be part of the procession are asked to line up in academic garb between 4:45 p.m. and 5:05 p.m. on the Ground Floor of the Main Building. You can find information about ordering academic regalia here. We will also live stream the academic convocation.

For those not participating in the academic procession, seating in the Basilica will be ticketed, with first priority given to Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff as well as special guests of the Ecumenical Patriarch. If you would like to reserve group tickets for your students, please complete the request form here.

I am, as always, deeply grateful for all you do in service of Notre Dame and our students. Please know that you and your loved ones are in my prayers.

In Notre Dame,

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.