March 13, 2023

Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to Award Professor Helen M. Alvaré Honorary Degree During Seminary’s 2023 Concursus

Professor Alvaré will give the Concursus keynote address to seminary graduates

WYNNEWOOD, PA (March 13, 2022) – Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Professor Helen M. Alvaré on May 17, 2023. Alvaré, a native Philadelphian, is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Robert A. Levy Endowed Chair in Law and Liberty at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. She will be the first recipient of two honorary degrees from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. In 1993, she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Religious Studies Division.

Concursus is the Seminary’s annual graduation ceremony where academic degrees are awarded to seminarians, as well as religious and lay students, enrolled in its college and graduate college programs. Alvaré will also deliver the Concursus address to the graduates. The degree will be awarded by Saint Charles Seminary Board Chair and Archbishop of Philadelphia Nelson J. Pérez.

Father Keith J. Chylinski, the Seminary’s Rector, said, “It will be a tremendous privilege to honor a native daughter of the region and a distinguished scholar of the First Amendment, family law, and law and religion at our annual Concursus ceremony. Her professional accomplishments and courageous witness to the Faith will certainly serve as an inspiration to our graduates and to all who attend.”

Professor Alvaré will join a distinguished list of honorary degree recipients from the seminary, including Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers, Professor Andreas Widmer, Justice Samuel Alito, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta and former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Robert N. C. Nix. 

In addition to her roles as associate dean and professor, she has been faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a Member of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life (Vatican City), a board member of Catholic Relief Services, a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS’  Section on Law and Religion, and an ABC news consultant. She co

operates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the Organization of American States as an advisor especially respecting women and family. 

In addition to her books, and her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré publishes regularly in news outlets including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and the National Catholic Register. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Prior to joining the faculty of Scalia Law, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.

Professor Alvaré receive

d her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Villanova University.


Editor’s Note: About Saint Charles Seminary 

Founded in 1832, Sa

int Charles Borromeo Seminary has been forming men for priestly service in the Catholic Church for 191 years. It is the oldest Catholic institution of higher learning in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania. As of January 2023, its current enrollment is 136 seminarians, of which 68 are studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It is one of the largest seminaries in the country. With the generosity of many, it has been able to faithfully continue its mission in forming missionary disciples and shepherds after the Heart of Jesus Christ. For more information on Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, please call 610-667-3394 or visit

Attached is a photo for publication purposes with credit to George Mason University.



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