Determining the trajectory of your life

Dr. Peter Kilpatrick, the new president of The Catholic University of America, delivered remarks at the Mass of the Holy Spirit—a mass that marks the opening of the academic year—that took place yesterday in Washington, DC:

Peter Kilpatrick has a background in the hard sciences but on Thursday, the new president of The Catholic University of America spoke about matters of the soul.

Addressing students, faculty, and staff for the first time since assuming his new post on July 1, the 65-year-old chemical engineer discussed the importance of seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. …

“The Spirit will not prey upon your insecurities or make false and overblown promises. Nor will the Spirit shrink your soul to fit worldly purposes,” he said. 

“Instead, the Spirit of the Lord will show you your authentic worth and guide you toward true happiness.” 

He encouraged students to ask “life’s big questions.”

“Who are you? What is the meaning and purpose of your life? Where will your happiness lie? How do you become the person you most want to be?” he said.

“These questions will determine the trajectory of your life,” Kilpatrick said, adding his recommendation to “ask them of the Holy Spirit.”

The university’s 16th president, Kilpatrick, a Catholic convert, succeeds John Garvey, who led the school for 12 years.

Kilpatrick previously served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology from 2018 to 2022. Before that he was a professor and dean at the University of Notre Dame and was a longtime faculty member at North Carolina State University.

Meanwhile Catholic University’s brand-new Garvey Hall, named in honor of former President John Garvey, is a welcome addition to campus.