The following address was delivered by Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas at the annual gathering of the Association for Catholic Colleges and Universities Jan. 30.
Catholic colleges and universities matter much. Your work makes Christ's mission come alive and flourish. Through you the faith is handed on to others. My respect for you and what you do every day could not be greater.
I esteem the challenge you give your students to live not for themselves but for others, preparing them to contribute selflessly to their community. One of the core characteristics of a Catholic college or university identified by Pope John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae is "an instituional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family" (Ex Corde, 13,3) You live out this commitment in exceptional ways.
I value the scholarship of your faculties, women and men for whom being Catholic means a grand curiosity about life and a willingness to question and explore, always with the blessed assurance of revelation and Church teaching as guide.