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A Cabrini student presenting about Malnutrition in Haiti

Mother UrsulaMother Ursula Lecture

The Mother Ursula Lecture honors the birthday of Cabrini’s founder, Sister Ursula Infante, MSC (1897‑2001).  

This year, the day will be celebrated with the inaugural Cor Jesu Award, presented to a scholar or activist who embodies the Cabrinian legacy of making God visible through active social justice work. The recipient of the Cor Jesu Award will also be invited to give the Mother Ursula Lecture.

BELONGING: Gospel Call for Accompaniment as Global Citizens
Joseph Cornelius Donelly, Permanent Delegate to the United Nations, Caritas Internationalis

Monday, February 20th, 2017

  • 5:00pm, Mansion Dining Room
    Pre-Lecture Reception
  • 6:00pm, Mansion Foyer
    Mother Ursula Lecture, followed by a toast to Mother Ursula

Joseph Cornelius Donnelly, a native New Yorker, is the Head of International Delegation to the United Nations for Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations operating in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, working to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed.

Donnelly has served in that position since 2001, when he set up Caritas’ office with the United Nations, Economic and Social Council. He has served as Chair of the Nongovernmental Working Group on the Security Council and as a steering committee member of the Central Africa Policy Forum, Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and the World Bank’s Moral Imperative Initiative, among others. A leading voice on the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, he is an advisor to the United Nations, Department for Economic and Social Affairs, and an advocate on food security, hunger, nutrition, agriculture, right to food, the illegal exploration of natural resources, conflict minerals, migration and indigenous communities, and international impediments to peace and security.

In Rome, Donnelly is a member of Caritas Internationalis’ Senior Management Team. Prior to his time at the United Nations, Donnelly was living in Jerusalem and the Middle East region for more than a decade, working with
Catholic Relief Services and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem/Diocese. His professional and vocational humanitarian duties have called him to Toronto, New Orleans, Houston, New Jersey, Gaza, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Japan, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan.

He received an honorary doctorate from Misericordia and is a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. He is an advisor to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for economic and social policy in the Middle East and a frequent speaker and pilgrimage leader to the Holy Land. Personally, Donnelly has a keen interest in writing, poetry, cinema, nature, music, photography, hockey, and global citizenship.

This annual event is sponsored by the Wolfington Center and the Center for Global Learning.

Previous Founder’s Day Presenters 

  • Dr. Carolyn Woo, former President & CEO, Catholic Relief Services
  • Chandreyee Banerje, country director Catholic Relief Services
  • Dr. Richard Miller, Creighton University
  • Bishop Ramirez, CSB, the first Bishop of Las Cruces and member of the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad
  • Sister Helen Prejean, death-penalty abolitionist and author of Dead Man Walking
  • Immigration-rights activist Jim Claffey
  • Rev. Fred Kammer, Catholic social-justice expert and author of Doing Faithjustice
  • Dr. Robert Bullard, widely regarded as the “father of environmental justice”

Vision. Impact. Growth.

Discover Cabrini University's strategic plan for diversification, sustainable growth, and expanded outreach.