Bethlehem University Foundation Board Members Promote Foundation in Rome
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News Release
Bethlehem University Foundation Board Members Promote Foundation in Rome
A delegation of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation recently completed a week-long trip to Rome, during which time they represented and promoted Bethlehem University and the Foundation to an international community of Catholic philanthropists who had gathered in The Eternal City. They held a number of meetings with supporters of major Catholic institutions and shared the story of Bethlehem University and its work of promoting peace in the Holy Land through quality Catholic and Lasallian education.
The delegation is pictured together at the Annual Rector's Dinner at the Pontifical North American College. From left to right are: (front) Mrs. Breda Shelton, Patron and Board member; Mrs. Mary Clare Starshak, Patron; Her Excellency Vicki Downey, Patron and Board member; Dr. Suava Salameh, Patron and Member of the Bethlehem University International Board of Regents; (second row) Mr. Hani Abu Dayyeh, member of the Bethlehem University Board of Trustees; Mr. George Shelton, Patron; Mr. Michael Warsaw, Board member; Ms. Katherine Acuff, Board member; Monsignor Walter Rossi, Board member; Mr. John Shelton, son of George and Breda; Mr. Joseph Starshak, Patron and Board Member; and Mr. John Schlageter, Executive Director of the Bethlehem University Foundation.
His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O'Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, hosted the group for a private reception at the Palace of the Order in Rome. Also present were Professor Agostino Borromeo, Lieutenant General of the Order; and Count Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, Governor General of the Order, as well as other friends of Bethlehem University. The Order is the largest financial contributor to Bethlehem University, with a number of Lieutenancies and their Knights and Dames supporting the University in its mission of providing quality higher education in the Holy Land. During the reception, John Schlageter thanked the Cardinal for his friendship and reminded those present of the Order's beneficence. John also noted that many of the endowed funds of the Foundation were created and are sustained by the Order. John stated that "endowed funds are a perpetual investment into the future of Bethlehem University," and again affirmed the unique relationship that exists between the Order and Bethlehem University in creating that future. Cardinal O'Brien thanked those in attendance for their generous support of Bethlehem University and the Foundation and encouraged all present to continue in their work of building peace through education.
The following day, the delegation was honored to attend an audience with His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect for the Congregation for the Oriental Churches at the Congregation's office in Rome. The Prefect is one of two Corporate Members of the Foundation. During the visit, His Eminence spoke about the Congregation's work of supporting Christian communities in the Middle East, and of his particular affection for the community at Bethlehem University. The visit with Cardinal Sandri reaffirmed the work of Bethlehem University as part of the global ministry of the Church in promoting peace through education. The group is photographed with Cardinal Sandri touring the main hall of the Congregation.
Bethlehem University graduate and Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Holy See (Vatican), His Excellency Issa Kassissieh, welcomed the delegation for an audience at the Embassy. He spoke extensively about the importance of promoting peace, and how Bethlehem University was working at the forefront to educate the next generation of leaders and peacemakers in the Holy Land. The group is shown with Ambassador Kassissieh in his personal office.
On Friday, Board member Mr. Michael Warsaw, Chairman and CEO of EWTN Global Catholic Network, welcomed the group to EWTN's Rome Bureau for a Mass and reception. Joseph Starshak and John Schlageter are shown on the platform where EWTN films its Vatican broadcasts. EWTN will host two Bethlehem University students this summer as part of the Sir John McGuckin Mentoring and Internship Program.
On May 8th, the delegation attended a concert performed by the Choir of the Washington, DC Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome. The concert was in celebration of the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Holy See. Monsignor Walter Rossi, Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and Foundation Board member, was among the members of the delegation. The Honorable Callista Gingrich, Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See and Patron of the Bethlehem University Foundation, addressed those in attendance. Click here to learn more about the concert .
Among other destinations, the group visited the Venerable English College and was welcomed to lunch by its Rector, Reverend Monsignor Philip Whitmore. Her Excellency Vicki Downey is shown speaking with Monsignor Whitmore. In addition to her service on the Foundation Board and her work with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Vicki is a founding member of the American Friends of the Venerable English College.
The Foundation is grateful for all who promote and share the story of Bethlehem University, whether it is in the heart of Rome or at home with your friends, family, colleagues, and faith community members. Thank you for your continued support. To learn more and spread the word about the Foundation, please visit our Facebook page and share this story with your friends !
About Bethlehem University:
Jointly founded by the Vatican and the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Bethlehem University annually enrolls more than 3,200 students in bachelor, master, and professional diploma programs. A Catholic co-educational institution, the University is the only Catholic/Christian university in the Holy Land. The University's mission is to provide quality higher education to the people of the Holy Land and to serve them in its role as a center for the advancement, sharing, and use of knowledge.

About Bethlehem University Foundation:
The Bethlehem University Foundation is the U.S. registered not-for-profit organization entrusted with the sole mission of supporting and promoting Bethlehem University. The Foundation is a means for United States citizens to make a tax deductible donation in support of Bethlehem University.

To learn more about the Foundation, visit   
or like the Foundation's Facebook page " Bethlehem University Foundation "