In North America over the last three decades, no one has thought as long and hard about the nature of the Catholic university, has been so passionate in its avowal, so visionary in its conception, and so persistent in reminding all who would listen that the university is a specifically Catholic achievement and the Catholic university an enduring legacy, as John Cavadini.
As the long-time chair of the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and the even longer-serving McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, John C. Cavadini has provided a vision for leadership in Catholic higher education and especially the Catholic university’s call to serve the Church with unparalleled creativity, industriousness, and hope. The breadth and wisdom of Cavadini’s distinctive leadership is a model for guiding the Catholic university along its unique mission, both within higher education and for the life of the Church. This vision is captured in Cavadini’s person and, by extension, in the initiatives, projects, and institutional activities that he has designed and executed. The vision is difficult to see all at once because of its comprehensiveness but, once glimpsed, it shines as a standard by which leadership in Catholic higher education may be measured.
This leadership has never been more necessary for the life of the Catholic university and its service to the Church.