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Online university honors Fr. Spitzer, Chantilly parish

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Catholic Distance University, an online Catholic catechetical university, presented its Founders Award to Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer, president of the Magis Center for Science, Reason and Faith, at its annual gala at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel Nov. 4.

Father Spitzer, who served as Gonzaga University president from 1998 to 2009, is president of the Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership. The author of 10 books, he hosts a weekly show, “Father Spitzer’s Universe,” on EWTN. In accepting the award, he said he is looking forward to a partnership between CDU and the Magis Center. “CDU is going to be a very instrumental part” of our work, he said.

In his remarks, he talked about the reasons why people leave the church. He said there is a misconception that one reason is because faith and science are contradictory. “We have truth on our side,” he said. “Faith and science are in no way contradictory.”

The Bishop Thomas J. Welsh Parish Award went to both St. Veronica Church in Chantilly and St. James the Greater Church in Charles Town, W.Va. CDU moved its headquarters to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., in 2015 after being in the Arlington Diocese for more than 30 years.

Father Dennis W. Kleinmann, pastor of St. Veronica Church, accepted the award from Susan Malone, gala chairwoman.

Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge offered opening remarks, and Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde introduced the Founders Award and presented it to Father Spitzer with Marianne Evans Mount, CDU founder and president; Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Archdiocese; and Dr. Charles R. Wasaff, chairman of the CDU board.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017