Saint Xavier University is pleased to announce that Holocaust survivor, speaker, and author Sidney Finkel will deliver the University’s 2011 Winter Commencement address on Sat., Dec. 17. Finkel and the Most Reverend Moses B. Anderson, S.S.E., ’68, retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, will receive honorary degrees at the ceremony, which will take place at 10 a.m. in the Shannon Center at the University’s Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St.
Finkel is one of the few living Holocaust survivors. At the age of seven in 1939, Finkel’s family was separated and he was taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp where he was forced to work as a slave laborer. He learned to survive on his own until his liberation in 1945, when he and 700 other Jewish children found refuge in England. He began speaking of his lost childhood to the horrors of the Holocaust only within the past 20 years. Once he began to share his testimony, he discovered telling the story brought healing. Finkel in 2006 published his memoir, “Sevek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die,” which is used in classrooms across the country. A full accounting of Finkel’s exceptional public service is located on his website, www.holocaustspeaker.com.
Bishop Anderson is a member of the Society of Saint Edmund and served as Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit from 1983 until he retired in 2004. He was appointed to serve Region One within the Archdiocese, which included 63 churches, 250 priests, three colleges, a university, a hospital, a boy’s home and several schools. In 1992, he also was appointed pastor of Precious Blood Parish in Detroit in addition to his other responsibilities.
Bishop Anderson began a landmark interracial tutorial program at Saint Catherine’s Parish in Elizabeth City, N.C., where he served as pastor from 1961 to 1964, and was an advocate of educational and civil rights issues for young African-Americans with the New York-Vermont Youth Project. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and an M.S. in sociology from Saint Michael’s College and an M.A. in theology from Saint Xavier University. He received the Shield of Saint Xavier, SXU’s highest honor, in 1997.