March 20, 2024

Dear University Community,

I am pleased to announce that Jonathan Roumie will deliver this year’s commencement address to The Catholic University of America’s Class of 2024. Click here for a video from Jonathan.

Jonathan, a professional actor and voice artist, is most widely known for his portrayal of Jesus in the television series “The Chosen.” Heading into its fourth season, the series has been highly praised as an authentic, accessible, and very human depiction of Jesus and his followers. And the show has a global following, having been translated into 62 languages.

Through his work and his example, Jonathan exemplifies the importance of struggle and practicing your faith in the workplace. In an interview, he revealed that in 2018 he had all but given up on acting. He then decided to “completely and utterly” surrender to God and within months, he landed the role of Jesus on “The Chosen.” He reflected later that if he hadn’t gone through that struggle, he wouldn’t be able to play the part of Jesus with the same depth.

In his new Amazon Prime documentary series “Chosen Docuseries: Jonathan and Jesus”, Jonathan’s sister Olivia says that he has “always been seeking Jesus.” He has also been very open about his personal journey of seeking Christ. In his work we see him expressing his own faith, and it’s making an impact. Countless people have had their lives changed for the better by Jonathan through his portrayal of Jesus Christ.

Jonathan’s work is a testament to how Catholics can use their God-given talents to deliver messages of hope, and to bring people closer to God. I look forward to welcoming him to The Catholic University of America and listening to his words for our graduates.

I also look forward to recognizing four other distinguished individuals who will receive honorary degrees from the University. I encourage you to read more about Jonathan and these other individuals in the press release below.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024. I look forward to celebrating with all of you on May 11.


Peter Kilpatrick
The Catholic University of America

FOR RELEASE: March 20, 2024

Jonathan Roumie of “The Chosen” to be Catholic University’s 2024 Commencement Speaker

Four additional people will receive honorary degrees

Washington, D.C. – Award-winning actor Jonathan Roumie of “The Chosen,” will serve as the commencement speaker for The Catholic University of America’s 2024 graduation ceremony held on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

“Countless numbers of people have had their lives changed for the better by Jonathan Roumie through his portrayal of Jesus Christ,” said President Peter Kilpatrick. “Jonathan’s work is a testament to how Catholics can use their God-given talents to deliver messages of hope, and to bring people closer to God. I look forward to welcoming him to The Catholic University of America.”

Roumie, who will also receive an honorary degree from the University, is best known for his role as Jesus in “The Chosen,” a television series about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. He is a contributor to the Hallow prayer and meditation app where he reads the Gospels as Jesus and leads prayers as himself. Roumie also starred in the 2023 movie, “Jesus Revolution.”

In addition to his work as an actor, Roumie is actively involved with his Catholic faith. A strong advocate of the sacraments, he has been a ministry leader and an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. Catholic media have recognized him as a leader of the faith, with Our Sunday Visitor naming Roumie to a list of Catholics of the Year in 2022. In 2023 he was the keynote speaker at the annual March for Life. And on Super Bowl Sunday this year, an advertisement for Hallow during the game featured Roumie and Mark Wahlberg reached millions of people, sparking interest in the Catholic faith as evidenced by a spike in downloads of the app.

“Speaking at The Catholic University of America’s Commencement is such an honor because I will be among those who not only value a quality education, but a college experience formed by the Catholic faith,” said Roumie. “I so look forward to celebrating with these graduates and sharing some insights into how one can live an inspired, fulfilling and faithful life using the skills, talents, and intellect given to them by God.”

The University expects to bestow nearly 1,300 degrees. The Commencement ceremony will be held on the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It will be live streamed and recorded. More information about the program can be found here.

These additional four individuals will also receive honorary doctoral degrees:

Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Interfaith Leader

Fleeing the fascist takeover in Italy prior to WWII, Rabbi Bemporad and his family traveled to the U.S. when he was five years old. Thus, having personally suffered as the result of persecution and prejudice, he has dedicated his career to improving relations among Christians, Muslims, and Jews worldwide. The Rabbi is recognized internationally for his diplomatic skill and leadership in matters of religious understanding and reconciliation.

The author of several books about Christian and Jewish understanding, Rabbi Bemporad is the director of the nonprofit Center for Interreligious Understanding (CIU), which he founded in 1992. Its aim is to bring people of all religious faiths together to promote open dialogue, mutual respect, and theological understanding of the common foundations shared by the world’s religions. Rabbi Jack Bemporad began teaching at Vatican universities in 1998 and has been Director of the John Paul II Center and Professor of Interreligious Studies, both at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), in Rome since 2009. He is one of the rare Jewish leaders to have had a personal audience with Pope John XXIII, numerous personal audiences with Pope John Paul II, and was one of three Rabbis to have blessed him shortly before his death. Most recently, he met with Pope Francis at the conclusion of the “Refugees and Migrants” conference, co-sponsored by the CIU in Rome this past November.

John Finnis, Professor Emeritus, University of Oxford and University of Notre Dame Law School

John Finnis is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oxford and the University of Notre Dame (Law School). Professor Finnis is recognized by fellow academics as one of the two or three greatest living philosophers of law and perhaps the most important Catholic legal and political thinker of the last half-century. His work has had a massive influence on legal thought, particularly with how he returned the notion of natural law to the world of legal philosophy in his 1980 book, “Natural Law and Natural Rights.” He is the author of countless other books and academic articles.

In addition to his academic work, Professor Finnis has made important contributions to ethics and moral theology, having served as a member of the International Theological Commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life. In 2023 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his legal scholarship. His former students include Robert George from Princeton and Supreme Court Justice Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Teresa Pitt Green, Advocate, Speaker and Writer

Teresa Pitt Green is an internationally known writer and speaker who promotes healing from abuse and trauma for survivors, families, parishes, clergy and leadership in the Catholic Church. She is co-founder of Spirit Fire and vice president of Healing and Recovery Ministries at St. Edmund's Retreat on Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut.

Green is one of several founders of The Healing Voices Magazine, which was launched in 2014 and first published in 2015. She served for ten years on a diocesan advisory board and currently serves in the leadership of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Her work includes collaborations with all those wounded by abuse in the Church, including survivors, family members, clergy and ministries, leadership and laity. She shares wisdom with those in other faiths and traditions seeking to promote the same healing and works with survivors and ministries worldwide.

Father Piotr Nawrot, Roman Catholic Priest of the Divine World Ministries

Father Piotr Nawrot is a Roman Catholic priest of the Divine Word Missionaries. He is an illustrious alumnus of Catholic University, where he received both a Masters in Liturgical Music in 1988 and a doctorate in musicology in 1993. He is a member of the theology faculty of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland.

Receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1998 for his musicological work, he is renowned for his discovery and research of music left behind by Jesuit priests in Bolivia. His work led him to discover 13,000 pages of music held by members of the Moxo and Chiquito tribes, among others. Over the course of his career, he has sought to bring to life the music he has discovered, publishing more than thirty volumes he has reconstructed and edited from 17th and 18th century Jesuit priests. The music he has discovered continues to be performed with the assistance of the Church.

Media contact: Daniel F. Drummond, University Communications,, 202-243-8621 (Mobile)

About: The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and more than 30 research facilities and is home to approximately 5,700 undergraduate and graduate students.

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