Sunday, November 10, 2013

Father Romanus Cessario, O.P., Sacrae Theologiae Magister

This afternoon I had the privilege to join Fathers O’Connor and Scorzello in witnessing the conferral of the degree of Master of Sacred Theology on Father Romanus Cessario, O.P. by the Dominican Order.  The Degree is given by the Order of Preachers to its most distinguished scholars and with the reception of this honor, he is henceforth known as the Very Reverend Romanus Cessario, O.P.

The conferral of this Degree is a great blessing to Saint John’s Seminary, where Father Cessario has taught generations of Priests for nearly twenty years.  The entire Saint John’s community is grateful for this well deserved recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments which Father Cessario has achieved as a priest, a scholar, and a faithful son of Saint Dominic. 

In the course of a celebration of Vespers at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington D.C., the following degree was proclaimed:

As it has been commended by the laws of the Church, our Order has always held in great esteem its brothers who, for the defense and explication of the Catholic faith, labor unceasingly and with distinction, by their devout studies and religious efforts, for the understanding of Holy Scripture and the discipline of Sacred Theology. This is has done by honoring them with the degree and tittle of Master.

Since, therefore, we have learned that you are engaged in doctrinal reflection and research, with the Master Saint Thomas Aquinas as your guide and example, and that your works are considered even outside the Order to have great value, and with our own legislation having been observed, we, by the authority of our office make you, Brother Michael Romanus Cessario, OP, a Master in Sacred Theology and, before the entire Order, we inscribe you in the company of Masters.

Given at Rome, from the General Curia of the Order at Santa Sabina, on the 3 day of June in the year of our Lord 2013.

Father Bruno Cadoré, OP, Master of the Order.


Father Cessario was then presented with the S.T.M. ring by the Provincial with these words: “As you have called Wisdom your friend, and you have become a lover of her beauty, you have asked that she become your spouse: Behold. God give her to you as spouse, that she be with you always and possess your heart.  Receive on your hand this ring. Father Bruno Cadoré, Master of the Order of Preachers, in response to the petition to do so from over two-thirds of the delegates in the 2010 Provincial Chapter, has created you and made you a Master in Sacred Theology. And he has given you the power and faculty of publicly presenting, teaching, interpreting, expounding, and defining Sacred Theology. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

After the Provincial seated Father Cessario in the S.T.M. Cathedra he then declared: “You have been promoted to the rank of Master of Sacred Theology, numbering you in the community of teachers and Masters of that discipline. May the Lord so place you there also, and seat you with princes, that you might have a throne of glory.”

This was followed by the presentation of the S.T.M. biretta, which was given with these words: “Receive this biretta, the black cap that is distinctive of Masters: may God so adorn you with a crown of glory.”

After the exchange of a Sign of Peace, the Provincial prayed: “May the Lord cause you to increase by thousands, and may he bless you for all eternity. Amen.”