Share how much the "Louvain experience" has meant for the 50th celebration.

March 23, 2018

Dear American College Alumni.

As you may know, the Faculty of Theology of KU Leuven will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the English-language program on April 30, 2018. Details about the celebration can be found on their website at:

Dean Mathijs Lamberigts has invited myself and six other alumni of the program to offer brief reflections as part of the day’s celebrations; we have been asked to share in not just reminisces from our time studying in Leuven, but more importantly, what the experience has meant to us in the years since. Of course, I have some ideas of what might be said, but I’d also like to invite you to share with me some of your thoughts because I know how much the “Louvain experience” has meant to all of us. Your own brief reflections, I believe, would deepen and extend my own and it would be an honor to share not just my experience, but yours as well.

Please feel free to contact me by email at I will be traveling in Guatemala for a couple of weeks prior to heading over to Belgium and may have limited access to the internet while there, so I’d appreciate hearing from you before April 9th, if possible.

Blessings in these late days of Lent and those of Easter to come!

O Sodales!

Kevin Codd

Bishop-elect J. Mark Spalding named 12th Bishop of Nashville

November 21, 2017

by Rick Musacchio, Director of Communications, Diocese of Nashville

Pope Francis has named Father J. Mark Spalding, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, to be the 12th Bishop of Nashville. The appointment was publicized at noon in Rome, 5 a.m. central time, on Tuesday November 21, 2017.

Bishop-elect Spalding will be ordained a bishop and installed as the Bishop of Nashville on February 2, 2018 at Sagrado Corazon at the Catholic Pastoral Center on McGavock Pike.

Bishop-elect Spalding, 52, a native of Fredericktown, KY and a member of a large extended family with roots dating to the earliest days of Catholic life west of the Appalachian Mountains, was ordained to the priesthood on August 3, 1991 at the St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, KY.  He is a graduate of Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, KY, and St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Indiana. He received a master of religious studies and a licentiate in canon law from American University in Louvain, Belgium.

He is currently pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and Holy Name Parish in Louisville. He has also served as a vicar general for the archdiocese since 2011. He has served a number of other assignments including associate pastor at St. Joseph and chaplain at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, associate pastor at St. Augustine in Lebanon, KY, associate pastor at St. Margaret Mary in Louisville, pastor of Immaculate Conception in LaGrange, KY. He has served as a judge, judicial vicar, and director of the tribunal for the archdiocese.

The entire state of Tennessee was established as the Diocese of Nashville on July 28, 1837 from the territory of the Diocese of Bardstown, KY by Pope Gregory XVI. In 1971 the western third of the state was established as the Diocese of Memphis. In 1988 the eastern third of the state was established as the Diocese of Knoxville. The Diocese of Nashville now covers 38 counties of Middle Tennessee and includes about 76,000 registered Catholics in 53 parishes and three missions. Masses are offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Latin, and Korean.

The See of Nashville has been vacant since Bishop David Choby died on June 3, 2017. Father Michael Johnston was elected administrator by the priests of the diocese’s College of Consultors. Father Johnston will continue as administrator until Bishop-elect Spalding is ordained bishop and takes possession of the diocese.

The ordination date will be February 2, 2018.

Link to press release on the Diocese of Nashville website.

KU Leuven in top 5 of world's most innovative universities

27 Sep 2017

KU Leuven ranks fifth in the Reuters world ranking of most innovative universities, which was published today. KU Leuven is the highest ranked non-American institution in the list. The podium places are for Stanford University, MIT, and Harvard.

In May, Reuters had already announced that KU Leuven gets to call itself Europe’s most innovative university for the second time in a row. A new Reuters ranking now shows that the university belongs to the European as well as the global elite.  KU Leuven ranks fifth – four places higher than last year. Only the following American universities have a better reputation for innovation: Stanford University, MIT, Harvard, and University of Pennsylvania. 

Reuters describes KU Leuven as follows: 

“The highest ranked university outside the US, Belgium’s KU Leuven (#5), is a nearly 600-year-old institution that maintains one of the largest independent research and development organisations on the planet.” 

The ranking takes into account ten parameters related to research output. These include articles in scientific journals as well as patent applications, which a university can use to protect and commercialise its research results. 

“This result is an incentive,” says Rector Luc Sels. “It indicates that our university is not just a place for intellectual debate, research-driven education and ground-breaking fundamental research, but that we also contribute a great deal to innovation and valorisation, and, as such, to the socioeconomic development of our society. 

Making up the top 5 together with Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and University of Pennsylvania motivates us to focus on our strengths even more: the combination of fundamental and applied research, supported by KU Leuven Research & Development – a world-class tech transfer office.”


  • Stanford University (US)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT (US)
  • Harvard University (US)
  • University of Pennsylvania (US)
  • KU Leuven (Belgium)
  • KAIST (South Korea)
  • University of Washington (US)
  • University of Michigan System (US)
  • University of Texas System (US)
  • Vanderbilt University (US)

Read more

Forty-five Years of Washing Feet - David J. Norris, Fresno, CA (AC ’72)

Each year on my priesthood ordination anniversary, I take out the book of memorabilia of that day: photos, ordination program, scratchy audio recording (cassette tape from 1974!) and recall the joy and blessing of that day.  I do the same on the anniversary of my diaconate ordination, March 30, 1972, in Louvain.  That special day marked not only my entrance into ordained ministry but also the nearing end of my studies at the American College and that significant phase of my formation in education, spirituality and humanity in that wonderful environment. It also initiated my impending return to my home diocese of Providence for diaconal ministry a few months later. May I presume to share a few reflections on this year’s 45th anniversary of my class’s ( ’72/’73) diaconal ordination.

The liturgy of ordination took place at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on that late March day, which was Holy Thursday in 1972. Archbishop Eugenio Cardinale, Papal Nuncio to Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, ordained us in the Kliniek Chapel across Naamsestraat since the large number of ordinands (14) and other seminarians, families and guestscould not be accommodated in our College chapel. In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the order of Sub-diaconate had been suppressed but, since the formal notification had not been relayed to the American dioceses at that time, we underwent the ordination to the Sub-diaconate during the same ceremony (to fulfill all righteousness!), before the second reading. We would remain Sub-deacons for all of twenty minutes, as the rite of Diaconate ordination followed after the Liturgy of the Word concluded.

Archbishop Cardinale, as I recall a very genial and friendly bishop, who had often visited the American College, performed the Washing of the Feet of the newly ordained. Though most of the liturgy and the rest of that day are mostly a blur, the humble rite of this distinguished prelate kneeling before us young and inexperienced clerics proved to be a moment I wouldremember and value. In the many ups and downs of my ministry since, this memory calls me back to the reason and purpose of my vocation: “I have not come to be served, but to serve.”

As I prepare to return to Louvain this summer for our reunion, I remember with great joy and gratitude that long ago day and those who shared in it: the entire theology class, the deacons and sub-deacons, family, friends, guests, the American College staff and university faculty who participated.  I commend to God’s great love those still living and “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith”: Clem Pribil, Sister Jean Whitley, Frank Sokol, Ross Legere, Hugh Crean and others in this great cloud of witnesses.  O Sodales!

~March 30, 2017

Mark Moitoza Receives National Award for Outstanding Contribution to Youth Ministry

The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, posted the following news release on December 2, 2016 - Mark, AC'94, served on the ACAA board from 2012-2016:

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Dr. Mark Moitoza, Vice-Chancellor for Evangelization of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), accepted a national award Thursday night for his outstanding contribution to youth ministry to families in the U.S. Military.  The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) presented its National Youth Ministry Award to Dr. Moitoza at the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in San Jose, California. 

Read the full release on the website of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.


Watch the Christmas Choral Concert live from St. Benedict and St. John, CSB/SJU - Dec 2 and 3.

Listen and watch the annual CSB/SJU choral concert live from The Great Hall in the comfort of your home. The tradition continues for the 30th inspiring year of sacred music for the season! SJU was the site of the 2016 ACAA alumni reunion.

To livestream, visit: at the following times:
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3

Register now for the 2016 ACAA Alumni Reunion

The reunion planning committee has been working hard to welcome you to Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota for the 2016 annual alumni association reunion and business meeting. Visit the Gatherings tab of the ACAA website for the following information:

  • Letter of Invitation
  • Tentative Schedule
  • Registration Form to download and mail in
  • Schedule for Executive Express tansporation
  • Pictures

Note that there are two parts to registration.

1) First a registration form must be completed and mailed with the reunion registration fee.

2) Each participant needs to contact the St John's Guesthouse to make reservations for their accommodation.

Details for both parts of registration are posted on the ACAA website. See you soon in Collegeville, Minnesota!

Guide to Reunion Planning - Information Sought

Dave Norris, Immediate PastPresident, has been tasked to put together a “Guide to Reunion Planning” for future committees planning our ACAA reunions. He’s collaborating with another Fresno diocese alum, John Griesbach, who planned the California Central Valley reunion a few years back (before all the trees burned up!). John has a binder of info and, with the help of other alums, we’ll be putting together a guide to  sequence of planning, scheduling, study day(s), travel info, budget, registration, etc. Anyone who can help is welcome to contact Dave at or write to him at St. Paul Catholic Newman Center,1572 E. Barstow Ave, Fresno, CA93710, with documents, materials or suggestions. Thank you.