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Rev. Thomas R. McCarthy, OSA, ’87 Named to Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization

A 1987 Villanova graduate, Fr. McCarthy is an Augustinian priest and advisor in Villanova University’s Office of First and Second Year Initiatives

Fr. Thomas McCarthy meeting Pope Francis in 2013
Fr. Thomas McCarthy meeting Pope Francis in 2013

VILLANOVA, Pa.—The Rev. Thomas R. McCarthy, OSA, ’87 CLAS, an Augustinian priest and advisor in Villanova University’s Office of First and Second Year Initiatives has been named to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Fr. McCarthy, a 1987 graduate of Villanova, will serve as the next English-language Official of the Council, which was founded by Pope Benedict to spread the Gospel through modern and innovative forms of communication.

A native of Chicago, Fr. McCarthy has served as an Augustinian priest for over 23 years, including nine years as Vocation Director for the Midwest Province and five years as Vocation Director for the Eastern Province, during which time he helped foster a surge in young vocations to the Order.

Fr. McCarthy has been dedicated to leading retreats and parish missions, delivering over 200 missions in 14 states over the last 19 years. Currently, Fr. McCarthy resides on the campus of Villanova University, where he works as an Augustinian Advisor in the Office for First and Second Year Initiatives. The new position will require Fr. McCarthy to relocate to the Council Office in Rome.

“It was with great humility and shock that I received the news of my appointment,” said Fr. McCarthy. “I feel blessed that my preaching ministry over the past 19 years has opened this door for me. I believe wholeheartedly in the approach Pope Francis is taking in reaching out to everyone and helping them encounter Christ.”

“I will miss Villanova very much, but I look forward to joining a team dedicated to kindling the flame of faith in individuals across the world. This will not only take place in an office, but by speaking to people directly about Christ and listening to their own journeys,” Fr. McCarthy added.

For more information about the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, click here.

Fr. McCarthy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Villanova in 1987.  While at the University, he entered the pre-novitiate formation program, and he made his first profession of vows in 1988. Five years later he made his solemn profession and he was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. He earned his M. Div. from Catholic Theological Union in 1993 and his MA in Education Administration from Lewis University.

Fr. McCarthy served as chaplain at St. Rita in Chicago from 1994 to 2000. In 2000, he was appointed President of St. Rita, and served in this position until July, 2012, when he became Chairman of the Board of the school. In 2012, he took on the role as full-time Director of Vocations for Eastern and Midwest Provinces. While he resided at Villanova, he made frequent trips back to St. Rita of Cascia High School, where he still serves as the Director of the Shrine of St. Rita.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit