University of Notre Dame Mourns Death of Former President

Funeral Mass for Fr. Theodore Hesburgh To Be Held At University’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart

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The well-known former president of University of Notre Dame, Father Theodore Hesburgh, has died.

At the age of 97, Fr. Hesburgh died Feb. 26 at the Holy Cross House in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Born in Syracuse, New York on May 25, 1917, Theodore would go on to study at the University of Notre Dame and at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1939.

In June 1943, he was ordained a priest for the Congregation of Holy Cross at Sacred Heart Church on the university campus. At the Catholic University of America in 1945, he received a doctorate in sacred theology.

That same year, he joined the Notre Dame’s religion department. He also served as a chaplain for war veterans on campus.

In 1948, the priest became head of the religion department and was named executive vice president for Notre Dame.

In June 1952, at the age of 35, he became the university’s president.

The university held a public visitation at Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart which began today.

Tomorrow 2 p.m. at the basilica will be the funeral Mass for Fr. Hesburgh. It will be made available via a live video feed at the website 

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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