BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Although the harsh winter postponed his speech nearly two months, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York was a star guest lecturer at Concordia College on Monday, June 2, as he became the latest figurehead to speak at the annual Jacobson Global Lecture.
Each year, Concordia honors the late David C. Jacobson, a former provost and professor at the school with its renowned guest speaker series. Dolan was originally scheduled to speak at the Meyer Athletic Center on Feb. 13, but winter weather warnings pushed his lecture into the spring.
Dolan joins a distinguished list of guests that includes New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Time magazine Senior Editor Bobby Ghosh and Karl Theodor Paschke, the formerunder secretary general of the United Nations for Internal Oversight Services.
The cardinal’s speech, titled “Soul, Head and Heart,” discussed the importance of spiritual and emotional health, while using the last three popes: St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis as examples of these human characteristics.
During his lecture, Dolan surprised many in the audience with his wit, sense of humor and engaging speaking style.
“I like to attend the big-time lectures, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect from such a high-ranking religious leader,” alumna and Eastchester resident Jeanne Burke said. “But he was funny and open and just really interesting to listen to.”
Dolan, who has been named as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, expressed his admiration for Pope Francis’ heart and keen sense of judgment, while praising Pope John Paul’s soul and resiliency after struggling through a difficult upbringing as a child in Poland during the Nazi occupation. Dolan also cited Pope Francis’ intellect, as he sought to protect the environment as well as his constituents.
Natasha Miller, a professional photographer that has covered countless events throughout Fairfield, Westchester County, and New York City, was intrigued by the way Dolan seamlessly incorporated the theme of his lecture with the three popes.
"As an event photographer, I was honored to be invited to photograph Cardinal Dolan’s visit,” she said. “It was very interesting to hear Dolan speak about the past three popes in relation to the subject of his speech. I’m lucky to have these photos to look back on.”
The night concluded with acclaimed portrait artist – and Concordia alumnus – Flladi Kulla presenting “His Eminence” with a portrait of the cardinal’s likeness. Dolan, a New York native, was also presented with a Yankee hat from Concordia College President Viji George.
“Pope Francis has captured the world’s imagination by shining the light on the church’s compassionate persona rather than the punitive and generated considerable interest in re-examining the role of faith in the public square,” George said in a statement before the speech. “As the leading voice representing the Catholic Church in America, Cardinal Dolan is eminently qualified and adept at articulating this vision.”