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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

An Interview with Anthony Cernera, Ph.D

Gordon: When id you attend Fordham University, what degrees did you earn, what was your favorite course, and why was it your  favorite?

Tony: I was at Fordham College from 1968 to 1972 as an undergraduate and then got my Masters degree in 1974 and my Ph.D. in theology in 1988. I had so many classes in philosophy and theology and history that I loved as an undergraduate that it would be impossible to pick just one. I had many of the greatest teachers and thinkers of that era.


Gordon: When did you serve as Executive Director Bread for the World and what their mission?


Tony: I started as a volunteer with Bread for the World in 1973 and joined the staff of Bread for the World Education Fund in 1977. I was with the Education Fund from 1977 to 1981. Our mission was to do education and research regarding international and domestic hunger


Gordon: When did you serve as President Sacred Heart University and what is one of your favorite memories when you were there?


Tony: I was president of Sacred Heart University from 1988 to 2010.  Among the hundreds of favorite memories I had during those years was the dedication of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in 2009.


Gordon:  When did you serve as President International Federation of Catholic Universities and what were your primary responsibilities?


Tony: I was a vice president from 2000 to 2006 and president from 2006 to 2012. IFCU is an association of catholic universities.  The president is equivalent to the chairperson of the board of directors.


Gordon:  You founded The Global Virus Network .What is the their mission?


Tony: I helped in the founding of the Global virus Network with several other people. The GVN is a network of research institutes on various viral diseases. 


Gordon:  When did you serve as President Center for Inter-Religious Understanding and what is their mission?


Tony: I have been president of the CIU from 2015  to the present.   It’s mission to foster greater understanding and dialogue between the major religions. 


Gordon: When did you serve as President Be the Blessing Foundation and what is their mission?


Tony: I am one of the two founders of Being the Blessing Foundation in 2015 and continue to the present to serve as its president. Its primary mission is to encourage people to practice daily acts of kindness and compassion as well as to work on a number of social justice issues.


Gordon: When and why did you co-found Refugee & Migrant Education Network and what is their mission?


Tony: The Network was born out of a desire of a group of university people to fulfill the mission of universities regarding the education of and about human migration.  Its mission is to foster greater cooperation between universities and NGO’s  in expanding educational opportunities for migrants and refugees.


Gordon: What steps would you advise the federal government take to reduce the number of migrants seeking asylum?


Tony: It is important to understand why people leave their countries and seek asylum.  Those root causes need to be addressed


Gordon: As President of the Refugee & Migrant Education Network, What is your mission?


Tony: Through the institutional members of the Network we are offering educational opportunities in 23 countries and touch the lives of tens of thousands of refugees at all levels of education.


Gordon: How can our readers provide a donation to support the work of Refugee & Migrant Education Network?


Tony: If someone is interested in making a donation to support the work of the Network they can make a donation to Being in the Blessing Foundation and restrict it for use by the Network. The Foundation is the fiscal agent for the Network,  The Foundation’s address is: 857 Post Road, Suite 211, Fairfield, CT 06824


Gordon: Thank you for an inspiring interview.

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