Religious freedom to be topic of cardinal's address at Provo Freedom Festival

Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

OREM — Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will be the keynote speaker at America’s Freedom Festival at Provo Patriotic Service on June 30.

Freedom Festival Executive Director Paul Warner said the festival’s board of trustees chooses the speakers for the patriotic service.

“Cardinal Dolan’s name was presented as one that would be great to have come join us,” he said.

Festival officials originally requested the cardinal speak at last year’s event, but he was not available until this year, Warner said. “We were very pleased with that.”

As the festival has sent out its magazine advertising the event, response has been very positive about Cardinal Dolan’s participation, he said.

Cardinal Dolan will be introduced by Elder Quentin L. Cook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Cook and the cardinal have known each other for many years.

“They have worked closely on religious freedom efforts and to support the importance of faith in society; they have also participated in joint programs in support of the family,” said John Taylor, director of LDS Church Interfaith Relations. “They enjoy a cordial and good personal friendship. Elder Cook is honored to be able to introduce the cardinal at the Freedom Festival Patriotic Service.”  

“I have been asked to speak about religious freedom, a subject very close to my heart,” Cardinal Dolan told the Intermountain Catholic by email.

“I receive many invitations to speak throughout the course of the year, and I try to pick one or two that look promising, and don’t conflict with other commitments on my calendar or my responsibilities to the Archdiocese of New York.  This one fit the bill,” he said.

Cardinal Dolan was born Feb. 6, 1950 in St. Louis, Mo. He attended Catholic schools growing up and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 1976. He served as an associate pastor, secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C., vice-rector and professor of Church history at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

From 1994 to 2001, he was the rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was then named Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis and a year later was named Archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisc. In 2007, Cardinal Dolan was appointed as the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisc. In 2009, he was appointed Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI. In February 2012, he was named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.

This will be the cardinal’s first visit to Utah.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

The Patriotic Service, which is free and open to the public, also will include musical performances by the 23rd Army Band of the Utah National Guard and One Voice Children’s Choir. This year’s winner of the Freedom Festival Youth Speech Contest, Grayson Hardman, will participate as well.

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