Archbishop of Seattle to address Saint Martin’s 2013 graduates

May 6, 2013

LACEY, Wash. – Archbishop of Seattle J. Peter Sartain, D.D., S.T.L, will deliver the 2013 commencement address at Saint Martin’s University on Saturday, May 11, at Marcus Pavilion on the Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way S.E. The archbishop, who is celebrating 35 years in the priesthood this year, will also receive an honorary degree in humane letters from the University.

commencementspeaker Sartain, whose education includes degrees from two Benedictine institutions, was appointed archbishop of Seattle on Sept. 16, 2010 and was installed on Dec. 1, 2010. Sartain has been recognized for his ability to listen carefully and respectfully to the views of others – an ability that reflects the opening line of the Rule of Benedict, “Listen…with the ear of your heart.”

“Archbishop Sartain has dedicated his life to upholding the values of the Catholic faith and serving his community,” says Saint Martin’s President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “It is an honor to have him join us for our commencement ceremony, which is, at its essence, a celebration of Benedictine wisdom and the Catholic intellectual tradition — both of which are reflected in Archbishop Sartain’s leadership. As we formally send our graduates into the world, the Archbishop will provide an inspirational voice that reaffirms the values of a Saint Martin’s education.”

Sartain serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs and the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was recently elected secretary of the conference, and his three-year term began in November 2012.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Sartain was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Memphis on July 15, 1978. He attended Memphis State University from 1970 to 1971 before earning his bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Meinrad College, a Benedictine seminary and school of theology in Indiana, in 1974.

Sartain graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas in Rome in 1977. Two years later, he earned a licentiate of sacred theology with specialization in sacramental theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum San Anselmo, a Benedictine institution in Rome.

From 1979 to 1981, Sartain served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Memphis and, from 1992 to 2000, as pastor of St. Louis Church. He held numerous positions in the Diocese of Memphis over the course of nearly 20 years, including director of vocations, chancellor, moderator of the curia, vicar for clergy and vicar general. He was the diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Memphis from Sept. 9, 1992 to May 5, 1993, while the See of Memphis was vacant.

Pope John Paul II appointed Sartain bishop of Little Rock, Ark., on January 4, 2000. He was ordained March 6, 2000 and took as his episcopal motto, “Of You My Heart Has Spoken” (Psalm 27:8). He was appointed bishop of Joliet, Ill., by Pope Benedict XVI on May 16, 2006, and was installed on June 27.

The Saint Martin’s University 2013 Commencement Exercises will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at Marcus Pavilion on the University’s Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way S.E. Tickets are required for attendance.

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The ceremony will be streamed online at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

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