Baltimore native is installed as Catholic University president


The newly installed president of Catholic University, Christian Brother who grew up in Baltimore, has pledged to work against rising tuition rates, pare program duplications and tackle the special educational needs of a new wave of immigrants.

Brother Patrick Ellis, 64, became the 13th president of the Roman Catholic university in ceremonies on its Northeast Washington campus Tuesday. He succeeds the Rev. William J. Byron, who held the position for 10 years.

Born in Baltimore, Brother Patrick received his high school education at Calvert Hall College before attending Catholic University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his doctorate in English in 1960.

From 1977 to this year, Brother Patrick was president of La Salle University in Philadelphia. Today, he says, his priorities include making university curricula more challenging and helping students master new technologies, languages, habits and values they prepare for the work world.

While attending Calvert Hall, he was a clerk in the library of The Baltimore Sun, where he remembers helping H. L. Mencken find background information on Theodore Dreiser. Brother Patrick recalls that his decision to join his religious order was made despite the tempting offer of a college scholarship and the promise of a full-time job at the newspaper. "I didn't make the decision by default," he explains.

He is a man of many talents, including music and drawing. He sang the national anthem this summer at an Orioles-Oakland A's game at the Camden Yards stadium and his pen-and-ink sketches illustrate Catholic University's 1993 calendar.

Former students praise his talent as a teacher in the classroom. Of his goal to educate and inspire for public service, Brother Patrick says, "The nation needs people trained to think through American society's problems."

Established in 1887 by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops, Catholic University has nine schools and an enrollment of 6,700.

Zionists' awards

Popular television and radio talk-show host Larry King will address an expected audience of 2,000 and receive the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award Sunday evening during the annual reception and dinner of the Baltimore District of the Zionist Organization of America at the Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Inner Harbor.

Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg of Pikesville's Beth Tfiloh Congregation will be honored by the Zionists with their Humanitarian Award.

The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more information: call 602-1200.

Music, drama, dance

John Milton's "Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity" will be narrated as part of a dramatic production by Timonium Presbyterian Church, 303 W. Timonium Road, at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and Dec. 20.

There will be brass, handbell, harp and sung music -- including selections from Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols" -- and an original interpretive dance by Nicole Civitarese and Joyella Sackett. Direction is by Michael Martin, Vernon Horn and Linda Civitarese. The harpist is Elaine Bryant.

Milton's Christmas classic celebrates God's triumph over the powers of unbelief. Although the two performances are free, a free-will offering will be accepted.

Hispanic commemoration

An outdoor procession of Spanish-speaking people in colorful national garb, beginning at 2:15 p.m., will precede the annual Mass celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St.

The Rev. Jose Samoza, pastor of Our Lady of the Americas Church in Washington, will preach at the Mass, to be concelebrated by Baltimore Archbishop William H. Keeler and Auxiliary Bishop John H. Ricard.

Organizers include the Hispanic Apostolate, 10 S. Wolfe St. For more information: 522-2668.

The festival commemorates a miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary as an Indian woman described by Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian, 39 years after the voyage of Christopher Columbus. Millions of pilgrims annually visit the basilica associated with the event near Mexico City.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Jeanette Rodriguez, a Seattle University theologian, will deliver a free, public lecture on the traditions of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Mercy High School, 1300 E. Northern Parkway. For more information: 433-8880.

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