U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will be this year’s commencement speaker at the University of Notre Dame, it was announced Thursday.
This will mark the first time a sitting vice president delivers the commencement address at the university. Pence will also receive an honorary degree at the May 21 ceremony.
“It is fitting that in the 175th year of our founding on Indiana soil that Notre Dame recognize a native son who served our state and now the nation with quiet earnestness, moral conviction and a dedication to the common good characteristic of true statesmen,” said Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. in a statement.
Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, and served as governor of the state before becoming vice president.
Raised Catholic, he identified in 1994 as a “born-again, evangelical Catholic.” He started attending an evangelical megachurch with his family in the 1990s. It is unclear which church Pence attends now.
Known for his adamant pro-life stance, Pence stressed during the vice presidential debate that his Christian faith hinges upon upholding the “sanctity of life.”
“It all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life,” Pence said on the debate stage. “For me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that ancient principle that where God says before you were formed in the womb I knew you.”
Earlier this year, Pence became the first sitting vice president to address the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Pence is known for his support of traditional marriage – he favored passage of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Pence also had a public disagreement with the Archbishop of Indianapolis Joseph Tobin over the archdiocese’s role in resettling Syrian refugees.
After it was alleged that a terrorist posing as a Syrian refugee was responsible in part for the Paris terror attacks last November, the governor asked for a temporary halt to resettlement programs in the state for Syrians.
Full story from Catholic News Agency.