The University of St. Thomas

Distinguished Alumni (2012)

Mary Hart and Bishop John LeVoir

This year, as we celebrate the Year of Faith, we chose to honor those who have profoundly defended and promoted the Catholic faith. On the Feast of All Saints Day, November 1, 2012, The Saint Paul Seminary honored two individuals who are exceptional friends of the Seminary and we are humbled by their example of faith.

In the mid 1980's, Mary Hart was instrumental in starting the very first Perpetual Eucharist Adoration chapel in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Today, there are more than 40 parishes that offer Adoration. Thankfully, her prayers, persistence and vision set a course that so many others followed. Mary continues to coordinate the adoration schedule at St. Mary's in Shakopee, often filling in for others 3 or 4 times a week. It has been said that it would take 20 people to do what Mary does!

In addition to coordinating adoration, Mary organizes communion services and liturgies at a nursing home, serves at Loaves & Fishes, volunteers as a sacristan, and is a great friend of the Franciscans in Prior Lake. When she isn’t helping with one of these tasks, Mary is driving people wherever they need to go.

For her exceptional commitment to fostering and promoting the Catholic faith through Eucharistic Adoration, it was an honor to present the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to Mary Hart.

Our second Distinguished Alumni Award recipient was Bishop John LeVoir from the Diocese of New Ulm. The contributions that Bishop LeVoir has made in defense and promotion of the faith can’t be counted.

Since his ordination from The Saint Paul Seminary in 1981, he has dedicated himself to leading the faithful into deeper communion with the Church through his writings and catechesis, especially in the areas of marriage, family, and faith formation.

He has co-authored of one of the first books on Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body entitled Covenant of Love, and Faith for Today: Pope John Paul II's Catechetical Teachings. Most recently he wrote a wonderful pastoral letter on marriage for the people of his diocese of New Ulm. He also co-authored a religious education curriculum used throughout the country for pre-K through 8th grade students. According to Fr. Andrew Cozzens, "Bishop LeVoir has distinguished himself as a patient and loving teacher of the truth of the faith. The Church in Minnesota is better off for it."

In addition to serving as a dedicated member of The Saint Paul Seminary Board of Trustees, Bishop LeVoir serves on several boards, including the Episcopal Board of Advisors for the Cause of Beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who is also an alumnus of our seminary.

For his innovation in exceptional catechesis and dedication to the promotion of the Catholic Faith, it was an honor to present the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to Bishop John LeVoir.