Saint Joseph's University is pleased to announce the dedication of the Campus Commons on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus in honor of the late Cardinal John P. Foley. The Commons, which will be renamed the Cardinal John P. Foley Campus Center, thanks to a generous gift from Michael J. Morris ’56, is integral to the University's recruitment efforts, and is a vital center for student life and other campus-wide activities.
A formal dedication ceremony will be held on April 16.
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CARDINAL JOHN P. FOLEY
Cardinal Foley was the former President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Cardinal in November 2007; he is the first Saint Joseph’s graduate to achieve this distinction.
His roots in the Philadelphia area, where he was born in 1935 and which he always considered his home, were deep. The only child of John Edward and Regina (Vogt) Foley, he was raised in Sharon Hill, Pa., and attended Holy Spirit School there, graduating in 1953 from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. He briefly considered a Jesuit vocation, but left the Jesuit novitiate in Wernersville, Pa., and entered St. Joseph’s College in 1954.
While a student, he was the President of Student Council and Alpha Sigma Nu, a staff member of The Hawk and Greatonian, and he participated in many student activities, including the Villiger Debating Society. He considered his experiences in Sodality important to his vocation. He received a B.A. in history and political science in 1957, and entered Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary that year. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 19, 1962.
Cardinal Foley was then assigned to further studies, earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University. He also received a Licentiate degree in philosophy from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome, and earned his doctorate in philosophy from the same institution, after completing the required coursework in only one year. During his time in Rome, he also served as assistant editor and Vatican correspondent for Philadelphia’s archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard & Times
He returned to Philadelphia as co-producer and co-host of a Catholic radio program for eight years while he was assistant pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Havertown, Pa. He then served as the editor of The Catholic Standard & Times prior to being called to the Vatican in 1984, when Blessed Pope John Paul II named him Archbishop.
After his appointment as Cardinal, in the spring of 2008, he celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Chapel of St. Joseph, Michael J. Smith, S.J., Memorial. During his tenure of more than 20 years at the Vatican as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Cardinal Foley served two popes: Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
Saint Joseph’s University is extremely proud to call Cardinal Foley one of its own. He received an honorary degree from Saint Joseph’s in 1985, and received the University’s highest honor, the Shield of Loyola, in 1997.
More on Cardinal Foley: 1985 Honorary Degree Citation | 2007 Commencement Benediction | 2011 Letter to President-Elect Fr. Gillespie