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Patrick J. Reilly, founder and president of The Cardinal Newman Society, will receive an honorary degree from Benedictine College during its annual Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 14. Reilly, who has a son graduating from Benedictine, will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. The Most Reverend Robert E. Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, will be the Commencement Speaker for 2022 and will also receive an honorary degree.
“Patrick Reilly, like Benedictine College, believes in truth in advertising,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “We are excited to honor him for the great work he has done in celebrating faithful Catholic colleges and giving so many families the opportunity to find colleges that will teach their daughters and sons what the Church truly believes about the Catholic faith.”
Reilly was a member of Benedictine College’s committee on academia in its Transforming Culture in America meetings which produced the college’s new strategic plan. His committee helped produce the strategic plan’s language which says: “To form students in scholarship, the college will strengthen its commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition.”
Prior to establishing the Cardinal Newman Society, Reilly served as editor and research fellow at Capital Research Center, executive director of Citizens for Educational Freedom, higher education analyst at the U.S. House of Representatives, program analyst at the U.S. Department of Education, media consultant for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and chairman of American Collegians for Life. He has authored and edited many articles, reports, studies, and other publications on Catholic education for the Newman Society and national media and has appeared on EWTN, FOX News, MSNBC, and numerous radio programs.
He develops and teaches courses in logic, rhetoric, and philosophy for the Aquinas Learning homeschool program, founded by his wife Rosario. He is an advocate of faithful Catholic Scouting, serving as committee chairman and former scoutmaster of his sons’ Boy Scout troop. He and his wife have five children.
Reilly was awarded the Lumen Vitae Medal (2018) from the University of Mary, the Miles Militantis Ecclesiae Award (2011) from the Brent Society of the Diocese of Arlington, the Hall of Fame Award (2009) from the Catholic Education Foundation, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (2008) from Holy Apostles College & Seminary, and the Spes Nostra Award (2003) from the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools.
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.