WYNNEWOOD – The Religious Studies spanision of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary held its annual commencement May 20. Cardinal Justin Rigali presided at the ceremony, where 21 students received master’s degrees in theology. Graduates included Anne Barr, Drexel Hill; Anne Broussard, Swarthmore; Fernando Cartagena, Scaggsville, Md.; James Garvey, Doylestown; John Myers, Hatfield; Susan Naab Gallen, King of Prussia; Gerald Rankin, Thornton; William Torrence, Drexel Hill; Joseph Veight, Bridgeton, N.J.; Brittanie Weber, King of Prussia; and Elizabeth Ann White, Falls Church, Va.

Several religious sisters also received degrees, including Sister Danielle Teti, I.H.M. of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata; Sister Mary Celeste D’Souza, O.P., and Sister Marie Caritas St. Louis, O.P., of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia, Nashville, Tenn.; Sister Mary Elizabeth Boede, I.H.M., Sister Marie Therese Callea, I.H.M., Sister Cecilia Marie Hammersley, I.H.M., and Sister Mary Margaret Miller, I.H.M., of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Wichita, Kan.; Sister Maria Raphael Tran, O.P., of the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate, Houston, Texas; Sister Arlene Magnaye, F.M.I.J., of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Infant Jesus, Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Sister Alice Strogen, S.S.J., of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Anne Broussard of Swarthmore reflected on her studies at St. Charles. “Being at St. Charles was like a taste of heaven on earth: classmates eager to know Our Lord more deeply, engaging faculty, beaming seminarians. What I learned opened my eyes to the extraordinary truth, mystery and wonder of our faith. As a result of this deepening awareness, I have found myself drawn more often to holy Communion and reconciliation, adoration and prayer. I can say without a doubt that my classes at St. Charles have helped me to be a more loving wife, mother, daughter and friend.”

Msgr. Joseph Prior conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Janet Smith, who gave the commencement address. She received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, in recognition of her contributions to the intellectual life of the Church on the nature and dignity of the human person and the holiness of sacramental marriage.

Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She is the author of “Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later,” and is editor of “Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader.” She has published numerous articles on ethical issues, including “Conscience and Uncontroversial Truths: May we insist that health care professionals violate their deepest beliefs?” and “Responsible Parenthood as Conscious Parenthood.” Over a million copies of her talk, “Contraception: Why Not” have been distributed.

Carmina Chapp, academic dean of the Religious Studies spanision, announced the names of each graduate as they received their diplomas from the Cardinal. Father David E. Diamond, vice rector of the seminary, gave the opening and closing prayers, and Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas was also in attendance.

The Religious Studies spanision offers a master’s degree in theology and undergraduate programs in Catholic theology, liturgical studies and pastoral ministry to African-American Catholics. Course offerings and registration information can be found on the web site at www.studycatholictheology.com. Summer session begin June 22.