His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Ph.D.
Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Ph.D., is a 1954 alumnus of Fordham College at Rose Hill.
As a boy, Theodore McCarrick would tell anyone who asked that he hailed from Incarnation Parish—not New York City or even Washington Heights, his childhood neighborhood. Incarnation was his where he first learned the importance of working in and for the world. It is no surprise then that so much of his later pastoral mission, while international in scope, has remained focused on the urgent needs of local communities, even if those communities just so happen to be spread out around the world.
Ordained a priest in 1958 by Fordham graduate Francis Cardinal Spellman, archbishop of New York, McCarrick served as assistant chaplain of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, where he later was dean of students, director of development and, eventually, president of the university. In 1977, Pope Paul VI named McCarrick auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York. Pope John Paul II appointed him the first bishop of Metuchen, N.J., four years later. He became the fourth archbishop of Newark in 1986, and was appointed archbishop of Washington in 2000.
Along with Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., former longtime Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham, McCarrick was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2001.
As archbishop of Washington, McCarrick supported educational, vocational and social service programs in and around the nation’s capital without losing sight of the wider world. Whether traveling to flood-racked Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami, piloting social and economic relief programs in El Salvador and Rwanda, or reaching out to the unemployed parishioners in Washington, D.C., McCarrick embodied faith in action.
In December 2000, President Clinton presented McCarrick with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.
Recently, Cardinal McCarrick was the featured speaker at the Fordham College’s campaign kickoff dinner, which was held in Duane Library.
With the college’s $25 million portion of Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham within reach, the cardinal challenged the attendees to surpass it.
“Fordham is not perfect,” McCarrick said, “but Fordham knows where it’s going. It’s known that for 170 years, and it’s not afraid to go there. It’s not afraid to continue on the road that it has decided to walk, and that is the road of strong, principled, Catholic, Jesuit education that has been tried for more than 500 years and hasn’t been found wanting.
“It’s still the best way to prepare leaders for our country and our church and our world.”