Special Honorary Degree Ceremony

*Please note that this special honorary degree ceremony, originally scheduled for October 29, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 31 in the Villanova Room*

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

On Monday, October 29, Villanova University will confer an Honorary Degree on His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. He will be awarded an honorary doctorate in sacred theology for his work in building inter-church relations between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

The Honorary Degree Ceremony is part of the University’s celebration of the special ecumenical Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. Villanova is also commemorating the Year of Faith with an exhibit in the Art Gallery entitled, “Icon: The Way to the Kingdom.” It features sacred icons, vestments, chalices, Gospel books, and other liturgical artifacts that represent two millennia of prayer and faith traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

A prayer service is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Villanova University Art Gallery located in The Connelly Center. The Honorary Degree Ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. in the Villanova Room and will include a lecture from Metropolitan Hilarion. The entire community is invited to participate. Faculty will not process and do not need to wear academic attire.

I hope that you can join me on Monday as we honor on His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk.

Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.

Brief Biography of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk

Metropolitan Hilarion is presently the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He is also a noted theologian, church historian and composer, who has published books on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history as well as numerous compositions for choir and orchestra.

Metropolitan Hilarion is a member of the Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches, of the Presidium of ‘Faith and Order’ Commission, as well as of numerous bilateral theological dialogues. In 1998, he headed the five-member Moscow Patriarchate delegation to the 8th World Council of Churches Assembly in Harare. He is a permanent member of the Joint International Commissions for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church; between the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church; and the Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Metropolitan Hilarion also participates in interfaith dialogue among all major world religions, and currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute.