Arrangements for Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.

by Dennis Brown

Father Hesburgh in his office (Nov 2011)

A funeral Mass for Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Wednesday (March 4) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus. Rev. Thomas O’Hara, C.S.C., provincial superior of the U.S. Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross, will preside, and Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, will deliver the homily.

Father Hesburgh died at age 97 late Thursday night at Holy Cross House at Notre Dame.

The Mass will be for invited family, Holy Cross religious, University Trustees, administrators and select advisory council members, faculty, staff and students. It will be streamed on the University home page.

Visitation for Father Hesburgh will be open to faculty, staff, students, alumni and the general public and will begin at noon Tuesday (March 3) in the Basilica and continue until 6 p.m. A wake will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, again for invited guests. Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., who succeeded Father Hesburgh as president, will preside and deliver the homily. The wake also will be streamed on the home page.

Visitation will resume after the wake at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday and continue through the night, concluding at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Following the funeral, a procession will proceed from the Basilica to the Holy Cross Community Cemetery, where Father Hesburgh will be laid to rest. The campus community and public are invited to line the procession route.

A tribute in celebration of Father Hesburgh’s remarkable life will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Purcell Pavilion of the Joyce Center on campus. Speakers will reflect upon his contributions to the Catholic Church, higher education, the University and national and international affairs. Music will be provided by a variety of Notre Dame student groups. The public is invited; information on acquiring free credentials to attend is forthcoming.

The public also is invited to view the wake, funeral and tribute at the Compton Family Ice Arena on campus. Information on on-campus viewing locations for faculty, staff, students and alumni will be provided separately.

Classes beginning after noon on Wednesday have been canceled.

Over the past 60 years, Father Hesburgh stood as one of the seminal figures in this country and around the world. As Notre Dame’s 15th president, he transformed the University into one of the leading institutions for higher learning in the nation — appointing world-class faculty, expanding research initiatives, turning over governance to a two-tiered, mixed board of lay and religious trustees and fellows, and admitting women as undergraduates.

On the national and world stage, he served four popes, three as the permanent Vatican City representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and held 16 presidential appointments involving most of the major social issues of our time, including civil rights, the peaceful uses of atomic energy, campus unrest and immigration reform. The work of he and his colleagues on the Commission on Civil Rights led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In recognition of his contributions, he was the first person from higher education to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. He received the Medal of Freedom, our country’s highest civilian honor, in 1964 and was the recipient of 150 honorary degrees, more than any other individual.