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Ad Multos Annos: To Many More Years


On Saturday, May 4, 2024, the University of St. Thomas will host several hundred guests for its annual Scholarship Gala in honor of His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, in celebration of his 75th birthday. The event will transform the ballroom at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston into a grand Italian piazza, including an Italian-inspired menu and an exclusive concert by special guest Matteo Bocelli. 

Community generosity in support of the Scholarship Gala quite literally changes lives. In just one evening, the UST community comes together to provide essential scholarships and funding for innovative programs that fuel academic excellence, allowing our incredible students to feel God’s True Presence while simultaneously gaining a life-changing college education at Houston’s only Catholic university. 


Daniel DiNardo was particularly young when he heard God’s call to serve Him in the world—only seven years old.  

DiNardo and his twin sister Peg Riesmeyer were born on May 23, 1949, in Steubenville, Ohio, to devout Catholic Italian and Irish parents Nicholas and Jane (Green) DiNardo. The twins had two siblings and grew up in Castle Shannon near Pittsburgh. 

“People receive their vocations at different times, but Dan knew his calling as early as the first grade,” Peg fondly recalled of her twin brother. “He has always been a good person. Even at that young age when boys can be rambunctious, he and one of his best friends would dress up in homemade vestments and play Mass. It was precious!” The family was so delighted to share in the young boy’s joy that their mother went on to sew him vestments in every color and their father built him an altar for his pretend liturgies complete with a tabernacle. 

Thus began his journey of fulfilling the call to become a priest and share his profound elation in celebrating the Sacraments with the world. 


DiNardo would enroll in St. Paul Seminary and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He received his master’s degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. and degrees in Sacred Theology from both the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome. 

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Pittsburgh on July 16, 1977, and served as a parish pastor, seminary professor, spiritual director, and in the chancery. 

Later, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, and ordained there as a bishop in October 1997. 

In January of 2004, he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Galveston-Houston. The green field in his coat of arms honors his mother whose maiden name was Green. Though she did not live to see Daniel elevated to the College of Cardinals in November of 2007 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, he felt her spirit with him all the while. 

Peg reflected on that momentous occasion, “Our parents were always so supportive of my brother’s dream to serve the Church. We always thought that if Dan doesn’t become a priest, no one will! From serving in the Vatican at the Congregation of Bishops not long after being ordained to eventually returning to Pittsburgh as the founding pastor of Saints John and Paul Parish, and then rising to Bishop and now Cardinal, we have been so proud of him at every step of his journey. He was truly born for this and has been living his calling for all of his 75 years.” 


From November 2016 to November 2019, His Eminence served as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Today, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and shepherd Daniel Cardinal DiNardo serve more than 1.7 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the fifth largest in the United States. 

While Cardinal DiNardo has many responsibilities to the Church and to the Archdiocese, we are perhaps most grateful for his service to shepherd our University forward as a member of the UST Board of Directors. We are excited to honor his great work and support of our mission at the upcoming Scholarship Gala. 


The Cardinal’s motto is “Ave Crux Spes Unica” or “Hail, O Cross, Our Only Hope,” taken from the beginning of the 3rd verse of the Latin Hymn “Vexilla Regis” by Venantius Fortunatus (d 609), and translates to express the deep and profound Christian belief that the Cross of Christ is the standard that we must follow.   

About the Author — Sandra Soliz, MLA '01 Soliz

AvatarSandra Soliz, director of Communications for University of St. Thomas, has served the University for 20 years in Marketing Communications Department. In her position, she handles media relations and serves as the editor of the Encounter Magazine.

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