STEUBENVILLE, OHIO — Franciscan University of Steubenville Chancellor Father Terence Henry, TOR, will receive Christendom College’s Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country at the school’s commencement exercises on Saturday, May 17.
The medal acknowledges key individuals who have given outstanding service to God, the Church, and the country, and who have taken their faith and have lived it concretely in the public square.
Christendom College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said Father Henry has been “a great champion” of defending and explaining Catholic social teaching, and has always brought the Catholic faith to important social questions.
“He has always been a very strong voice in the public square,” said O’Donnell. “In a very difficult time for the Church, Father Henry has stood up with courage, humility and intellectual acumen. He is a great example of a strong priest and leader.”
Past recipients of the medal include Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, president of Franciscan University, 1974-2000; Nellie Gray; Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; J. Francis Cardinal Stafford; and Father Frank Pavone.
During his tenure as president of Franciscan University (2000-2013), Father Henry promoted Pope John Paul II’s call, echoed by Pope Benedict XVI, for Catholics to influence every aspect of the culture. He introduced new majors in catechetics, sacred music, and legal studies, and established the Franciscan University Institute of Bioethics to provide a solid Catholic response to secular assaults on the dignity of human life, marriage, and other human life issues.
In 2012, Father Henry directed Franciscan University’s filing of a lawsuit in opposition to the federal government’s mandate that sought to force the University to provide health insurance coverage for procedures and medications that violate its religious principles.
Father Henry will offer the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 16.
Father Henry was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. In June 2013, he was appointed chancellor of the University. In his new position, he assists the Alumni Relations Office, the Development Office, and other departments in advancing the mission of Franciscan University. Father Henry also serves as local minister of Holy Spirit Friary, located at Franciscan University, where he serves his brother friars.