By Victoria Mescall
Circulation Manager & Staff Reporter
The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, the Bishop of Bridgeport, has been selected to be the 51st Undergraduate Commencement speaker for Sacred Heart University’s graduation on Sunday May 14, 2017.
Bishop Caggiano will deliver his remarks to the class of 2017 at the Webster Bank Arena this coming Mother’s Day.
During the ceremony, he will also be receiving an honorary Doctorate of Theology degree from Sacred Heart.
“I think it’s great that our commencement speaker is the Bishop of Bridgeport,” said senior Alicia Friscia, student government vice president of the class of 2017. “It’s nice that they picked a member of our local community to represent our graduating class as a Catholic school.”
Caggiano was installed as Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull, Conn.
“Our partnership with Sacred Heart University has grown tremendously since Bishop Frank Caggiano was installed as our Bishop,” said John Grosso, social media leader for the office of the Bishop of Bridgeport. “We’ve been very fortunate to partner with Sacred Heart many times this year. We’ve worked with the School of Communication to film videos, Bishop Caggiano spoke at the Inaugural Bergoglio Lecture Series, and we welcomed the Papal Nuncio to the United States.”
On March 29, 2017 Bishop Caggiano spoke on campus in a lecture titled, “Pope Francis and the Social Gospel: Where Do We Go from Here?” honoring The Pope’s spirit and vision in the twenty first century.
This speech inaugurated the Bergoglio Lecture Series, and students from all majors and faculty from all disciplines crowded the entire square footage of the Schine Auditorium, filling the aisles and the stage in order to hear Bishop Caggiano speak.
According to the Diocese of Bridgeport website, “On February 22, 2014, [Bishop Caggiano] formally convoked the 4th Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the first in 32 years, as an opportunity for renewal and pastoral planning for the future of the local Church.”
After a series of listening sessions with over 4,000 comments by laity, priests and religious across the diocese, the Bishop announced the Synod 2014 themes of empowering youth, building up the community of faith, fostering evangelical outreach, and promoting works of charity and justice.
“Given Bishop Caggiano’s commitment to the youth and young adults to the church and our important history with Sacred Heart, working together has been a natural fit, as is Bishop Frank as the Commencement speaker,” said Grosso.
Bishop Caggiano joins a legacy of renowned community scholars and leaders who have served as commencement speakers in past years.
The university’s 50th commencement speaker was Victoria Sweet, a former award-winning historian and associate professor of medicine at the University of California.
The year before, former United States Senator from Maine, George Mitchell, delivered the university’s 49th undergraduate commencement address.
“Since we’re a Catholic university, it’s nice to have the Bishop come speak during our classes commencement,” said senior class president Theresa (T) Fletcher. “As a university and community we are all rooted in Catholic values and it’s going to be a great experience to hear Bishop Caggiano speak.”
According to the Sacred Heart University magazine, the class of 2017 includes 890 undergraduates who will be receiving bachelor’s degrees during the commencement ceremony.
“Bishop Caggiano is the man,” said junior Katherine Seckler, campus ministry peer leadership team member. “He has such a way with words and I cannot wait to hear him speak at commencement.”