Walsh Celebrates 2014 Summer and Fall Graduates During Commencement, Dec. 14


School News

Monsignor Robert J. Siffrin to be Honored during Ceremony

Walsh University will honor its 2014 summer and fall graduates during a special Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, December 14, at 1:30 p.m., in the Gaetano M. Cecchini Family Health and Wellness Complex on the North Canton campus of Walsh University.

During the formal ceremony, more than 290 graduates will be awarded their respective associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. The ceremony will also include a special address by Monsignor Robert J. Siffrin who will also be honored with the Walsh University Distinguished Service Medal.  The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to those who have rendered distinguished professional or voluntary service to others within the national, regional or local Walsh University community. Those who are awarded this honor reflect the University’s steadfast commitment to the strength of noble character.

Commencement weekend activities will also include the Baccalaureate Mass on Sunday, December 14, at 10 a.m., in the Gaetano M. Cecchini Family Health and Wellness Complex.

Msgr. Siffrin, a native of Massillon, OH, graduated from Central High School in 1971.  He attended St. Gregory College Seminary in Cincinnati, OH, where he majored in Philosophy and English and received his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts in 1975. He earned his Master of Arts in Sacred Scripture Studies from Mt. St. Mary Seminary in 1975 while tutoring and working part-time at St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati. On June 23, 1979, he was ordained as a priest in Youngstown by Bishop James W. Malone.

His first assignment after his ordination was at Ursuline High School, and later he served as associate principal at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, OH.  In 1987, Msgr. Siffrin was appointed Director of Planning for the Diocese of Youngstown and then Chancellor/Vicar for Clergy. In 1996, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin appointed him to his present position of Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia. In this position, Msgr. Siffrin works closely with the Bishop on matters of diocesan governance and oversees all aspects of the operation of the diocesan Chancery. He also serves as an administrator of St. Edward Church in Youngstown. In June 2004, Msgr. Siffrin was named prelate of honor by Pope John Paul II.

In June 2005, Bishop Tobin was reassigned to the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, and Msgr. Siffrin was elected interim leader of the Diocese of Youngstown until a new Bishop could be appointed.  Msgr. Siffrin served as Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Youngstown until the Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., was appointed as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown by Pope Benedict XVI in early 2007.

During his appointment as Diocesan Administrator, Msgr. Siffrin served as celebrant of the dedication ceremony of Walsh University’s first free-standing Chapel, the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel on September 8, 2006, named in honor of the patroness of Walsh’s Founders, the Brothers of Christian Instruction.  The ceremony marked a significant moment in Walsh’s legacy as a Catholic University of Distinction.                                                       

Msgr. Siffrin is involved in numerous Church and civic organizations, including Faithful Friar of Ohio District 1 Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club of Youngstown, the Youngstown Symphony Board, and St. Joseph Care Center in Louisville, Ohio. For many years he served as Chaplain for the hearing impaired, State Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and currently serves as a Chaplain for the Youngstown Police Department.  He is a member of the college of consultors, the Board of Trustees of Catholic Cemeteries, Diocesan Foundation Advisory Board and the Diocesan Finance Council.