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Archbishop Coakley to Preside at Convocation 2017

Posted: August 11, 2017

On August 21 some 102 freshmen from across the United States and abroad — the Class of 2021 — will begin their four years of study at Thomas Aquinas College. Welcoming the students for the start of the academic year will be the Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, S.T.L., D.D., Archbishop of Oklahoma City, who will offer the Convocation Mass of the Holy Spirit and preside over the matriculation ceremony.

Archbishop Coakley is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he majored in English and Classical Antiquities. At KU he was a student in the university’s Integrated Humanities Program, studying under John Senior, Dennis Quinn, and Frank Nelick. Upon completing university studies, Archbishop Coakley traveled in Europe and briefly considered a monastic vocation at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fontgombault in France. He returned in 1978 to begin seminary studies for the Diocese of Wichita in 1978.

After completing studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, he was ordained a priest on May 21, 1983. He served as a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 21 years until his appointment on October 21, 2004 as Bishop of Salina, Kansas, where he was ordained and installed on December 28, 2004. On December 16, 2010, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Coakley the fourth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. His Excellency was installed as Metropolitan Archbishop on February 11, 2011.

When he visits campus on August 21, Archbishop Coakley will begin the day by offering the Mass of the Holy Spirit in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. At the following Matriculation ceremony, he will formally welcome the new students and offer them words of encouragement. Convocation 2017 will mark the start of the College’s 46th academic year.