Friday, October 23, was a momentous, historic day for St. Catharine College, Kentucky, when Dr. Cindy Gnadinger was inaugurated as its eighth President. The day began with a formal liturgy in St. Catharine Hall and included an academic procession of faculty, board of trustee members, and the members of the Congregation, Dominican Sisters of Peace Pat Twohill (Prioress), OP; Gemma Doll (Leadership Team), OP; and Anne Lythgoe (Leadership Team), OP. The Inaugural Mass celebrant was Fr. Joseph Fowler, a life-long family friend of Dr. Gnadinger. Her parents, spouse, three sons and several other family members were also in attendance. Sr. Pat proclaimed the Gospel and preached based on the first reading addressing wisdom (Proverb 4:7-13). A beautiful rendition of “For the Beauty of the Earth” was sung by the campus a capella group Patriot Keys.
After a delicious luncheon, the Inauguration took place in St. Catharine Hall. The ceremony opened with an impressive procession of students carrying flags of the US, Kentucky and others representative of the students’ home countries and states. Others in the academic procession were the Presidents and representatives of other nearby academic institutions and former presidents of St. Catharine including Sr. Catherine Mahady, OP, and past president William Huston. (Other living presidents include Srs. Margaret Marie Hofstetter, OP, and Marina Gibbons, OP). Also participating, and currently serving on the Board of Trustees as Dominican Sisters of Peace appointees are: Srs. Judy Morris, Barbara Rapp, Barbara Sullivan and Maria Ciriello along with Srs. Paula Kleine-Kracht, OSU, and Barbara Joseph Lammers, SCN.
At the Inauguration Ceremony, Sr. Maria Ciriello, OP, offered the opening invocation. Teresa Tedder, musician in residence, presented a moving original score written especially for St. Catharine College and Dr. Gnadinger on the occasion of her inauguration. The central moment of the ceremony was the robing of the new president in her lavender presidential gown, deep purple hood and bestowing of the official presidential medallion. The medallion bears the names of Dominican Saints, college founders, previous presidents, Seal of the College and the name of Dr. Cindy Gnadinger.