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Gregorian University Foundation





Gregorian University Foundation - Report from Rome


Report from Rome is a publication sent to friends, benefactors and alumni/ae of the Gregorian University, the Biblical Institute and the Oriental Institute. Here are a few highlights from previous issues. For more archived issues, please click here.

(Because the news stories in the current issue appeared on this website in advance of publication, they are no longer archived separately.)


The New Cardinals from the Gregorian

April 2012: Contents


14 of 22 New Cardinals Named Are From Consortium Schools


Chairman Emeritus Peter Mullen Passes Away


2011 Colloquium & Pilgrimage


Former Vice President Tom Trott Passes Away


William R. Grant Award to Mary Higgins Clark and John Conheeney


McDonald Named Vice Rector at the Gregorian


A Word from the President . . .


14 of 22 New Cardinals Named Are From Consortium Schools


On January 6, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, a former visting professor at the Gregorian University, announced for February 18, 2012 a consistory in which 22 new cardinals will be elevated. Among them are 14 former students and/or teachers of the Gregorian University Consortium schools. (Click on the headline to see the full story.)

Chairman Emeritus Peter Mullen Passes Away


The Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Gre­gorian University Foundation, Peter P. Mullen went home to God on October 15, 2011, after a long struggle with cardiac is­sues. Mr. Mullen was chairman of the Foundation from 1987 to 2010, when he stepped down and became chairman emeritus.

Foundation Chairman Emeritus Peter P. Mullen

Regarding Mr. Mullen’s 23 years as Chair of the Gregorian University Foundation Board, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Adolfo Nicolás, S.J. wrote to Mr. Mullen at the time he stepped down, “Not only as Superior General of the Society, but also as a graduate myself of the Gregorian, I hold this Papal mission close to my heart, and I am so very touched by how your leadership has made more fruitful the service these institutions can render to the Church of Christ.”

Rev. Robert F. O’Toole, S.J., the Founda­tion’s President, said, “In fundraising ones runs into many impressive people; however, Peter Mullen was truly exceptional in his love of God, his wife Billie, his family and friends, his deep faith and keen intelligence, his remarkable ability to appreciate others and lead them by word and example and his extraordi­nary generosity. Yet, we have no doubt that God will be even more generous with him.”

Mr. Mullen was an accomplished man: He graduated cum laude from Georgetown Uni­versity in 1948 and earned his LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1951, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He joined the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom in 1961. He served formally as Skad­den’s executive partner from 1981 to 1994 (and informally prior to 1981), becoming a key architect of Skadden’s growth globally. He was instrumental in establishing the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.

Guided always by his Catholic faith, he championed many charitable causes. He served on Georgetown’s board from 1982 to 1998 and was its chairman from 1985 to 1992. He was also once chairman of Orbis International, which provides eye care in developing countries. He was President of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Other organizations he served included The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Advisory Committee of The Southwest Legal Foundation, The Legal Aid Society, Volunteers of Legal Services, The United Way, The Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity and the Vatican Observatory.

He felt his greatest accomplishment was his family and the life he built on the shores of Lake Waramaug in Litchfield County, CT. He was happiest when he was surrounded by his loving wife of 56 years, Billie; his children, Peter, Kirby, Elaine, Lucy and Jeff and their spouses; and his nine grandchildren. He was an avid sailor, skier, golfer, tennis player, gardener, birdwatcher, bush-hogger and neighbor. He was a friend and advisor to all. Like Jesus, he went around doing good.

Guests of the 2011 Colloquium in the Biblicum courtyard.
Guests of the Gregorian’s 2011 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

2011 Colloquium & Pilgrimage


Gregorian University Foundation Chairman Eugene C. Rainis and President Rev. Robert F. O'Toole, S.J., led trips in October to Rome and the Holy Land.


While in Rome, Colloquium guests had a chance to meet the Most Rev. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Father General of the Society of Jesus, as well as the rectors of all of the Gregorian University Consor­tium institutions: François-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Rev. James M. McCann, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute; and Rev. José Maria Abrego de Lacy, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.


In addition to academic programs at all three schools, the Eucah­rist was celebrated at each institution and at the Church of the Gesù, the rooms of St. Ignatius Loyola, and the Pius V Chapel at the Holy Office. There were also private tours of the Sistine Chapel and the Borghese Gallery. And, of course, attendance at the Papal Audience.


In the Holy Land, the pilgrims in Galilee visited Nazareth, Capernaum, Cana, where many renewed their marriage vows, the Mount of the Transfiguration and Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed him as the Christ. Other sights like the Dead Sea, the Qumran scrolls, the Wailing Wall and walking through the Jew­ish Quarter put us in touch with the geography and history of the Jewish people and Jerusalem; and Fr. David Neuhaus, S.J., Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew Speaking Catholics, gave a brilliant presentation about the religious and political situation in Israel.


The pilgrims traveled to Bethlehem, and in Jerusalem, spent time on the Mount of Olives, visited the Upper Room, the place of the Last Supper and of Pentecost, and followed the way of the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which stands over Calvary and Jesus’ tomb and which was packed with numerous Christians. Our pilgrimage ended with Mass at the Church of the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.




Former Vice President Tom Trott Passes Away


Tom Trott

Tom Trott, who was the Gregorian Uni­versity Foundation’s very capable vice president for 17 years, was called home to God in August 2011. He died from complications of Parkinson’s, which he had struggled valiantly with for many years.


Mr. Trott, who received his BA at Duquesne University, was hired as Foundation vice president Frank Mazza’s assistant in 1993. When Mr. Mazza departed in 1994, Mr. Trott was named vice president and as­sistant treasurer, running the business side of the Foundation, planning events, and facilitating public relations. He served under four Foundation presidents: Rev. M. Delmar Skillingstad, S.J.; Rev. Eugene J. O’Brien, S.J.; Rev. George R. Sullivan, S.J.; and Rev. Robert F. O’Toole, S.J. Mr. Trott managed thirteen Roman Colloquia as well as many Foundation events at the New York Yacht Club, the New York Athletic Club, and the University Club.


Prior to coming to the Foundation, Mr. Trott was the Di­rector of Develop­ment at the Queens Council on the Arts, and before that he worked at the Gen­eral Services Admin­istration for sixteen years. Mr. Trott was a longtime volunteer at Starlight Children’s Foundation and also was the President of PROS (Public Relations Officers Society), 1990-1991.


Geoff Loftus, who became vice president upon Mr. Trott’s retirement, said, “Tom was a tireless worker who made a friend in everyone he worked with. He was the embodiment of a Christian gentleman.”


William R. Grant Award to Mary Higgins Clark and John Conheeney


The Board of Trustees of the Gregorian University Foundation is delighted and honored to name as the recipients of 2011 William R. Grant Award for Exceptionally Generous Leadership Mrs. Mary Higgins Clark and her husband and partner in faith Mr. John J. Conheeney. The recipients of this award must have distinguished themselves through lives that exemplify Ignatian spirituality, that is, shown themselves to be men and women for others. Through their lives of faith and charity, Mary and John have shown concern and rendered loving assistance for their fellow human beings. (Click on the headline to see the full story.)


McDonald Named Vice Rector at the Gregorian


Rev. François-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, announced that the Most Rev. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Father General of the Society of Jesus and Vice Chancellor of the University, has named Rev. Daniel McDonald, S.J., as the new Vice Rector at the Greg.


In September 2011, Fr. McDonald replaced the ever-efficient and welcoming Rev. Francisco Javier Egaña, S.J. Prior to that Fr. McDonald was the Vice Rector for Financial Matters. Fr. Dumortier said in his announcement letter: “I want to thank Father Daniel McDonald for the immense work he has done so far. He has served in a challenging mission as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, filled with an energy and a smile.”

Rev. Robert O'Toole, S.J.

A Word from the President . . .


Dear Friends,


In the name of the Chair of our Board of Trustees, Eugene C. Rainis, and of everyone associated with the Gregorian University Foundation, let me congratulate the twenty-two priests and bishops elevated on Feb. 18th to the College of Cardinals, especially the fourteen graduates, professors and visiting professors of the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute. May God give all of them every grace needed for this important ministry and their new responsibilities.


The elevation of the above cardinals, many of whom studied or taught at our institutions, witnesses once again to the truth of our claim that the distinguished schools we are helping form Church leaders. So, please be encouraged to continue your wonderfully generous support of such highly qualified and dedicated students.


Our present Holy Father, Benedict XVI has best stated the importance of what you and I have been doing; in his 2006 visit to the Gregorian University among other positive things he said that the Gregorian University qualifies as one of the greatest services the Society of Jesus renders the universal Church. He went on and praised it as a work, “so important for the universal Church and for many particular churches. It has always been a priority among the priorities of the apostolates of the Society of Jesus.” These words obviously apply to her sister institutions, the Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, since together they make up the Gregorian University Consortium.


Please accept my most grateful thanks for your truly generous support of this principal Jesuit apostolate. There are actually very few other worthy causes where one can make such a significant difference with his or her charitable support and promote their personal religious values and so truly benefit others.


Please take the time and generously include the Gregorian University Foundation in your will. Surely you want to remember all your loved ones; but after you have done that good deed, go one better and benefit our students who have committed themselves to the service of the Church we all rightly love. Thus, in another way you will manifest your caring interest and concerned support of the tremendous good the above institutions are doing. May God reward you and bless your Lenten observance and make it a spiritually profitable time for you and all your loves ones and a true preparation for uniting yourselves the more with Jesus in his death and resurrection.


Signature: Robert O'Toole, S.J.

If you're interested in highlights from our previous issues, please click here.