Jonathan Roumie of ‘The Chosen’ to be Catholic University’s 2024 commencement speaker — By: Catholic News Agency

Catholic actor Jonathan Roumie during a visit to Unbound’s headquarters in Nov. 2023. / Danika Wolf/Unbound

CNA Staff, Mar 20, 2024 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus in the popular television series “The Chosen,” will speak at the spring 2024 commencement at the Catholic University of America (CUA), the school announced Wednesday. 

“Countless numbers of people have had their lives changed for the better by Jonathan Roumie through his portrayal of Jesus Christ,” CUA president Peter Kilpatrick said in a March 20 press release

“Jonathan’s work is a testament to how Catholics can use their God-given talents to deliver messages of hope and to bring people closer to God,” Kilpatrick continued. “I look forward to welcoming him to The Catholic University of America.”

Besides playing Jesus Christ in “The Chosen,” which is now in its fourth season, Roumie has been featured on the Hallow prayer and meditation app, and has served as a ministry leader. He was also a keynote speaker at the annual March for Life in 2023 in Washington, D.C., and has more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram. 

“Speaking at The Catholic University of America’s commencement is such an honor because I will be among those who not only value a quality education but a college experience formed by the Catholic faith,” Roumie said in the press release. 

“I so look forward to celebrating with these graduates and sharing some insights into how one can live an inspired, fulfilling, and faithful life using the skills, talents, and intellect given to them by God,” he continued. 

Roumie will speak at commencement on May 11 and receive an honorary doctoral degree, along with four others.

Rabbi Jack Bemporad, an interfaith leader, will also receive an honorary doctorate. Having fled the fascist takeover of Italy when he was 5 years old, Bemporad has since dedicated himself to improving relations among Christians, Muslims, and Jews across the world. He has authored several books about Christian and Jewish relations and is the founding director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding. 

John Finnis, professor emeritus of University of Oxford and University of Notre Dame Law School and a Catholic legal and political thinker and renowned philosopher, will be receiving an honorary doctorate, along with speaker and writer Teresa Pitt Green, advocate, speaker, and co-founder of The Healing Voices magazine. 

Father Piotr Nawrot, a Roman Catholic priest of the Divine World Ministries known for rediscovering and reconstructing 13,000 pages of music held by members of the Moxo and Chiquito tribes, among others, will also receive an honorary doctorate. 

The commencement ceremony will take place on the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, with about 1,300 graduating students.  

CUA, established in 1887, just announced the launch of its “Lead with Light” brand platform, which Kilpatrick said “encapsulates who we are as an institution.” 

The platform, he said, highlights “our dedication to academic excellence” as well as the “warm and welcoming community” at CUA, “where Christ is at the center of everything we do.”

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