The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Vice Chancellor Professor Celia Hammond congratulated the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney George Pell on his appointment as Prefect to the new Secretariat for the Economy at the Vatican, earlier this week.
The Secretariat for the Economy was one of several important initiatives which the Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced on Wednesday, February 25.
It is evident that the Cardinal’s role as Prefect is an extremely important new position, integral to the initiatives being introduced by the Holy Father to reform aspects of the administration of the Holy See, a media statement on behalf of Professor Hammond said earlier this week.
“The Cardinal’s new role will undoubtedly be a challenging one, but one for which he is eminently suited, with his great wisdom, expertise, common sense, drive, ‘no nonsense approach’ and love for the Church,” Professor Hammond said.
“Cardinal Pell has made a huge contribution to the Church in Australia throughout his time in both Melbourne and Sydney and it would be virtually impossible to quantify the significance of his service and his leadership.
“Here at Notre Dame, we have been inspired and encouraged by his incredible commitment to and passion for Catholic Education at all levels. It was because of Cardinal Pell’s invitation, encouragement and strong support, that Notre Dame opened its campus in Sydney.
“Our Sydney campus, starting with 400 students in 2006 has now grown to one which has an enrolment of over 5000 students in a wide range of disciplines including seminarians, future teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses and accountants.
“Hand in hand with His Eminence’s passion and commitment for Catholic Education has been his strong affinity for youth, illustrated in the joy and beauty of World Youth Day in 2008, and his commitment to the provision of services for the poor and disadvantaged.
“I think it is also worth noting that for every ‘big’ or lauded achievement of Cardinal Pell, he has undertaken so much more good work and given incredible service which has been ‘unsung’, happening behind the scenes, but nonetheless impacting on the lives of many.
“While we are delighted for Cardinal Pell, and believe that this appointment is enormously good for the Church, we will miss him dearly when he leaves the Archdiocese of Sydney to move to Rome,” Professor Hammond said.