June 30, 2022

Dear Fellow Cardinals,

On my first day as President of The Catholic University of America, I would like to thank the entire University community for your warm welcome. I am honored to join your ranks as a Cardinal at this historic moment in the life of the University, our nation, and the Church.

Catholic University strives to be a place where faith and reason together guide our instruction, our research, and our campus life. We welcome open, lively conversations about the issues before us, in an atmosphere of trust, respect, and charity. In the words of Pope Francis, “Education cannot be neutral. It is either positive or negative; either it enriches or it impoverishes; either it enables a person to grow or it lessens, even corrupts him.” I am confident that as we engage in a truly Catholic educational experience, we equip ourselves to meet the collective challenges we face today and those that await us.

I wish to sincerely thank outgoing President Garvey and his family for leading Catholic University so gracefully for 12 years.  He has definitely left a strong legacy upon which we can build. As we chart our new course together, I will rely on counsel and input from the entire Cardinal community. I have already had the opportunity to meet with many of you, the University’s exceptional faculty and staff, members of the Board of Trustees and other members of our donor community, as well as some of the outstanding students we are here to serve.

After much prayer and consultation, the broad mission we will undertake at the University is to:

  1. Inspire knowledge and understanding of oneself in light of truth revealed in the world around us. To know oneself in light of truth enables us to grow in communion with God and community and to truly love and serve our neighbor.
  2. Invite students to engage in learning from world-class experts and in a vibrant campus culture that fosters intellectual discovery and growth, rooted in and guided by our faith.
  3. Integrate disciplines through contextualized knowledge. Our disciplines must be truly integrated in the tradition of Catholic liberal education in order to prepare students to think critically about and identify solutions to the complex, pressing challenges facing humanity.

We will be intentional about welcoming new students, meeting them at that point in their lives where they are and being inviting and welcoming to all. We must engage students from all religious traditions, backgrounds, and stages in life. We must also continue to strive to inspire students to seek greater theological depth in their instruction that expands their understanding of the precious gift of our faith. Our goal is to enrich the learning experience, the pursuit of knowledge and discovery of truth, for everyone in service to the common good. This is a truly Catholic, Universal approach. 

I look forward to getting to know each of you better in the days ahead. Until then, please accept my best wishes for you, your families, and friends as you celebrate this holiday weekend.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to The Catholic University of America.

In Faithful Service, 

Dr. Peter K. Kilpatrick 
The Catholic University of America