Colin B. Donovan, Vice President of Theology at EWTN Global Catholic Network and a well-known on-air theologian, was named a member of the Vatican’s prestigious Pontifical International Marian Academy at a televised ceremony on August 9. The appointment recognizes Donovan’s dedication to the field of Mariology and zeal for promoting the honor and love of Our Lady worldwide. Birmingham Bishop Steven J. Raica presented Donovan with the Marian Academy’s Letter of Appointment and Diploma during a Mass, which broadcast around the world.
“Colin has been an integral part of EWTN for nearly 27 years, serving as a theologian and expert commentator on matters of the Catholic faith and doctrine,” said EWTN Chairman & CEO Michael P. Warsaw. “The Network and its viewers have greatly benefited from the breadth of Colin’s knowledge and his love for Our Lady.”
The Marian Academy was established in 1946, under the reign of Pope Pius XII, to promote Mariology, which is the serious study of the Blessed Virgin Mary and true devotion to her through consecrations and popular piety. The Academy is also responsible for organizing scientific debates and conferences and for publishing a journal of their work called Marianum. On Dec. 8, 1959, Pope John XXIII gave the title “pontifical” to the Academy; its statutes were later approved by Pope Paul VI; and more recently, were revised under the reign of Pope St. John Paul II, who was also a member of the Academy. Pope Francis has placed the Academy under the Dicastery of Culture and Catholic Education.
Donovan, who expressed deep gratitude at being chosen for this prestigious honor, said his passion for Marian studies began at an early age and was fostered by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, who instilled in him a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother and the significance of her messages at Fatima.
“The Sisters taught us about the Miraculous Medal, Fatima, and the Rosary beginning in kindergarten,” Donovan said. “This community was founded by Alphonse Ratisbonne, an atheist who was famously converted to the Faith by Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. My interest in Mariology never left me and has been elevated over time by formal theological study in Canada and Rome, by a year lived in Fatima, and through my theological duties here at EWTN, answering Marian questions on and off-air, and providing commentary for EWTN’s May and October coverage of the Fatima anniversaries.”
Donovan’s journey with the Pontifical Marian Academy began when he was invited to speak at the Fatima 100th Anniversary conference in Ireland in 2017. The invitation was extended by Dr. William A. Thomas, STD, President of the Irish Mariological Society, a member of PAMI, and a former classmate of Donovan’s at Rome’s Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum. Other conferences followed. Despite the challenging circumstances brought about by the pandemic, Donovan also had the opportunity to participate in PAMI’s 2021 Mariological Congress in Rome via Zoom, followed some weeks later by a Zoom conference with the Mariological Society of America.
These events further solidified Donovan’s connection with the esteemed academy, which has recognized Donovan’s dedication to theological teaching and writing about Our Lady through various media platforms with this prestigious award.
Donovan is humbled and grateful for this honor, and excited about going to events like the above in person. He also says: “I will continue to promote Marian devotion and scholarship as long as the good Lord allows.”
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