Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley slated to offer commencement address at Regis College

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is expected to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at the Regis College graduation ceremony in May, the school announced Thursday.

Regis President Antoinette M. Hays announced that the school confirmed the invitation with the archdiocese of Boston in December and that the cardinal “is very happy to have received the invitation and is very much looking forward to the occasion,” the school said.

O’Malley is currently in the Vatican preparing for the impending conclave to elect a new Pope.

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“After Pope Benedict XVI resigned, we held back our commencement announcement even on campus out of respect for him and the unfolding process, including Cardinal Seán’s participation in the conclave to select a new Pope,” Hays said in a statement. “But with regional universities announcing their commencement speakers today, we thought we had better announce before we have to arrange to bring the Cardinal in by Skype.”

Regis expects to graduate 500 students with associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees, the school said. There are a total of about 2,000 students enrolled at the liberal arts college in Weston.

O’Malley has spoken at the college before, including the October 2011 inauguration of Hays.

“Regis congratulates Cardinal Sean for persevering in re-building trust within our Boston Church, preparing this great ecclesial community for the challenges of the 21st century, and keeping major issues out in front,” Hays said in the statement. “We consider him a friend, and Regis College alumni, staff, and faculty have supported him in the past decade in various ways on his journey to repair and console a Church wounded by clerical sexual abuse.”