On Wednesday, March 10, Neumann University will celebrate its 45th anniversary with the seventh annual Dr. Dorothy A.P. Leunissen Lecture, delivered by Bishop Timothy C. Senior, D.D., V.G., Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and vicar for administration. The lecture will be held at 2 p.m. in the Fred P. Meagher Theatre in the Thomas A. Bruder Jr., Life Center.
The lecture is inspired by Pope Benedict designating this year as “the year of the priest.” The Holy Father’s call to pray for priests and for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood has served as a catalyst for much reflection in the church regarding the value of the Priesthood and has also heighted the awareness of the gift of vocation to the Consecrated Life in the church as well. According to the Vatican, men and women come to know that God has called them to a religious vocation because they have come to know and to love Jesus Christ and to understand the personal implications of his challenging invitation.
Bishop Senior has been auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and vicar for administration since July 2009. He functions as a moderator for the Curia and assists the Archbishop in the governance of the Archdiocese. Bishop Senior was ordained a priest in 1985 and earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1988. Bishop Senior was consecrated as Bishop, appointed by Titular Bishop of Floriana by Pope Benedict XVI, and ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia in 2009 by Cardinal Justin Regali. Bishop Senior will be honored with the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, for his commitment to health care and social services.
Sr. Esther Anderson, OSF, will also be recognized. Sr. Anderson, OSF, is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Aston, Pennsylvania. She currently serves as Congregational Minister and president of the Corporation of Neumann University. Sr. Anderson has served as chair of the academic affairs committee on the Neumann Board of Trustees and a member and vice president of the Corporation of Neumann University. For her exemplary service to her congregation and to Neumann, for her dedicated ministry to health care and education, and her excellence in leadership of all the organizations with which she is involved, she will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa.
The lecture is named after Dr. Dorothy A. Piatnek-Leunissen, Ph.D., M.D., who died in 2003 after a long illness. She held degrees from Seton Hill College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital and in private practice with her husband, R.L. Abraham Leunissen, M.D. at Riddle Memorial Hospital. While attending St. Anastasia Church in Newtown Square she came to know the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and through them, Neumann University.