Brescia University is pleased to welcome Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. as our 2014 Commencement speaker. Archbishop Kurtz will also receive an honorary degree from Brescia: Doctor of Humane Letters.
His Holiness Benedict XVI appointed Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. as the fourth Archbishop and ninth bishop of the Archdiocese of Louisville on June 12, 2007. He was installed as Archbishop of Louisville on August 15, 2007. Before coming to Louisville, Archbishop Kurtz served as Bishop of Knoxville from 1999 to 2007.
Born on August 18, 1946 in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz earned bachelor (1968) and master of divinity (1972) degrees from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and a master’s degree in social work from the Marywood School of Social Work in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1976. Archbishop Kurtz was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown on March 18, 1972.
Archbishop Kurtz has served on numerous boards, including service on the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, as the president of the board of directors of the Catholic Social Agency, and in Knoxville, as a member of the Association of Christian Denominational Leaders. He was a member of the 2002 class of Leadership Knoxville, and he served as Vice President of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops until last year.
Elected President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on November 12, 2013, Archbishop Kurtz serves on the executive and administrative committees of that body. He is the vice chancellor of the board of the Catholic Extension Society. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America and on the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He also serves on the boards of St. Charles Seminary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Leadership Louisville, and on the Advisory Board to the Cause for Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s beatification.
The oldest Roman Catholic Archdiocese west of the Appalachians, the Archdiocese of Louisville was founded as the Diocese of Bardstown in 1808, transferred to Louisville in 1841, and elevated to Archdiocese in 1937. The Archdiocese covers 24 counties and hosts a Catholic population of more than 200,000 individuals.
Brescia welcomes Archbishop Kurtz as he addresses the graduating class of 2014 on Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m. at the RiverPark Center. Commencement is open to the public and seating is based on first come, first served basis.