World Leaders at Montfort
The Montfort Academy is blessed with a distinguished faculty of accomplished, caring, and generous teachers. We are also blessed to have guest speakers who are truly distinguished in their respective professional fields. These Distinguished Speakers are "successful" not so much for the material success they have achieved such as professional status, earthly wealth, and admiration from their fellow man, but more for their strength of character and virtue. At Montfort, we believe that by exposing our students early on to leaders who exhibit such strength of character and who live both virtuously and prosperously, the more such values will be instilled in them.
Our Distinguished Speakers come and spend an intimate hour or two with our students speaking about their lives and their subject matter expertise, followed by a question and answer session. Often, we also invite members of the wider Montfort community to attend, but only after each speaker has had time exclusively with our students. They have included, among others:
Acclaimed as one of the most gifted musicians of her generation, Italian-born pianist Cristiana Pegoraro has consistently entertained and enlightened audiences with her inspired performances and original programming. Her skills display great technical and interpretative abilities. She began her career in music as a piano prodigy receiving countless national and international awards, including the 1989 Prague Best of the Year for Classical Music Award “for her great personality, strong musical temperament, mastery of phrasing and expressive artistry.” The New York Times called her “an artist of the highest caliber” following her stunning 1996 debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. A gold medal winner at the 2016 Global Music Awards, Ms. Pegoraro has performed in some of the major venues in Europe, United States, South America, Asia and Australia, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, the Guggenheim Museum (New York); the Sydney Opera House; Festspielhaus (Salzburg); Musikverein (Vienna); Royal College of Music (London); Auditorium Parco della Musica, Casa del Jazz (Rome); Amici del Loggione del Teatro alla Scala, Serate Musicali (Milan); Centro Cultural de Belem (Lisbon); Theatro Municipal (São Paulo); Theatro Municipal (Rio de Janeiro), the Opera House (Manaus), and such music festivals as: Budapest Spring Festival, Umbria Jazz, Umbria Jazz Winter, Sorrento Jazz Festival, S. Petersburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr (Germany), Shabyt Festival Astana (Kazakhstan), Aichi World Expo (Japan) and Saragoza World Expo (Spain), among others.
Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B.
Founding Prior of Monks of Norcia
Fr. Cassian is the founding prior of the Order of St. Benedict, also known as the Monks of Norcia, a group of Benedictine monks who live in Norcia, the birthplace of the great Saint Benedict. The monks of Norcia have a special devotion to Gregorian Chant and have just released an album. See the link below for details. The monks also have a special zeal for beer, and they run their own brewery in Norcia. The beer that they produce was served to the College of Cardinals as they elected His Holiness Pope Francis. And Pope Benedict before him visited Norcia as a commemoration of St. Benedict's feast day. Montfort founder and President Richard Greco visited Norcia in April of this year and was struck by the beauty and simplicity of the monks, also noting the great impact the the monks are having on the town of Norcia and wider Italy.
United States Senator from pennsylvania
Rick Santorum served in the United States Senate from January of 1995 to . He has been elected to a second term as Republican Conference Chairman, the party's third-ranking leadership position in the Senate. As Conference Chairman, Senator Santorum directs the communications operations of Senate Republicans and is a frequent party spokesman. He is the youngest member of the leadership and the first Pennsylvanian of such a prominent position since Senator Hugh Scott was Republican Leader in the 1970's.
national security adviser to presidents george h.w. bush and gerald ford
Leading Expert on american foreign policy
As President of The Scowcroft Group and one of the country's leading experts on international policy, Brent Scowcroft provides clients with unparalleled strategic advice and assistance in dealing in the international arena.
Brent Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. In this capacity, he advised and assisted a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global joint venture opportunities, strategic planning, and risk assessment.
In 1991, General Scowcroft was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President George H.W. Bush, and in 1993 was awarded an honorary knighthood - a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) - by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was presented the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Fr. Stanley L. Jaki
Physicist, Philosopher, and Theologian
Father Jaki, a Hungarian-born Catholic priest of the Benedictine Order, is Distinguished University Professor at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. With doctorates in theology and physics, he has for the past forty years specialized in the history and philosophy of science. He is the author of almost forty books and over a hundred articles, and he served as Gifford Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and as Fremantle Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford (England). He has lectured at major universities in the United States, Europe, and Australia. He is honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Rome), membre correspondant of the Acadamie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts (Bordeaux), and the recipient of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize for 1970 and of the Templeton Prize for 1987.
Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs (International),
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs
Mr. Hormats served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs from 1981 to 1982, Ambassador and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative from 1979 to 1981, and as Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State from 1977 to 1979. He served as a Senior Staff Member for International Economic Affairs on the National Security Council from 1969 to 1977 during which time he was Senior Economic Advisor to Dr. Henry Kissinger, General Brent Scowcroft and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski. Mr. Hormats was a recipient of the French Legion of Honor in 1982 and Arthur Fleming Award in 1974.
Mr. Hormats publications include: Abraham Lincoln and the Global Economy; American Albatross: The Foreign Debt Dilemma; and Reforming the International Monetary System. Other publications include articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, American Banker, and The Financial Times.
Tony Lo Bianco
The career of actor Tony Lo Bianco is distinguished as much by its depth and variety, as by the skills and gifts Mr. Lo Bianco has brought to his work. He has appeared in numerous films, television programs, and stage performances, both on-screen and off as a writer, director, and producer. Throughout his career, Mr. Lo Bianco has collaborated with many of the brightest creative minds in the performing arts, both past and present.
Mr. Lo Bianco served as the National Spokesperson for the Order Sons of Italy. His many humanitarian efforts have earned multiple awards, including the Eleanora Duse Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts; Man of the Year for Outstanding Contributions to the Italian-American Community from the Police Society of New Jersey; a Man of the Year Award from the State of New Jersey Senate; a Lifetime Entertainment Award from the Columbus Day Parade Committee; the 1997 Golden Lion Award; and the Humanitarian Award of the Boys' Town of Italy, the Ellis Island Medal of honor and is a member of the Italian American National Hall of Fame.
Professor Joseph Tusiani
Internationally Renowned Latin Poet, Author, and Scholar
Professor Tusiani's most representative English poems were collected in volumes. He has also published two novels, one in Italian and one in English (later translated into Italian). In his poetic activity Tusiani has also employed the Latin language, starting from 1955. His Latin lyrics, published in several volumes and translated into several languages, establish Tusiani as the greatest living neo-Latin poet. He has authored 7 volumes of poetry in his Gargano dialect. After his retirement from teaching, he has written and published a three-volume autobiography, commonly referred to as his autobiographical trilogy.
Another fundamental activity of Tusiani is that of translator. The list of his translations is, indeed, enormous. The Tusiani family has lived, after the first residence on 188th Street, on Tomlinson Avenue (also in the Bronx) where his father died, Oct. 1977. At the beginning of 1997, after fifty years in the Bronx, Joseph Tusiani moved to Manhattan, at East 72nd Street, only a few blocks away from the residence of his brother Michael, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of one of the most prestigious international companies of oil mediation. His mother, so large a part of Joseph Tusiani's singular life, died on September 16, 1998.
Joseph Tusiani is still active in all the languages that he has used. His literary production has been the subject of many doctoral dissertations at several Italian Universities.
Former New York City Police Commissioner, Chairman and CEO of SafirRosetti
Howard Safir was appointed 39th Police Commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on April 15, 1996. In his four years as Police Commissioner, he achieved a 38% reduction in major crime and reduced homicides by 44%, bringing the total number of murders in New York to 667, the lowest level in three decades. To obtain these results, Commissioner Safir implemented a comprehensive Fugitive Strategy and established thirty-nine major anti-drug initiatives throughout the city including the Northern Manhattan Initiative. He created model blocks in each borough to prevent eradicated drug dealing from returning and he introduced closed circuit television to ensure the safety of housing development residents, park visitors and subway riders. Concerned for officer and public safety, he expanded firearms training and introduced Firearms Training Simulators. Under his leadership, firearms discharge incidents have decreased from 344 in 1995 to 155 in 1999. He has also been the country's leading voice in calling for the expansion of DNA use in policing. He developed and implemented Operation Condor, a creative use of personnel resources, that continues to be a centerpiece of current NYPD crime reduction strategy.
George Sim Johnston
George Sim Johnston is a native of New York City. He graduated from Harvard with a B. A. in English literature. He was an investment banker with Salomon Brothers in the seventies and early eighties. Since then he has been a free-lance writer, publishing with The Wall Street Journal, Harper's, Commentary, Harvard Business Review, National Catholic Register, World Catholic Report, and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Journalism Award from the Catholic Press Association. His book Did Darwin Get It Right? is published by Our Sunday Visitor. He teaches marriage preparation for the Archdiocese of New York and teaches CCD. He is currently working on a book covering "hot button" issues in Church history, such as the Inquisition and the Galileo affair.
Sr. Margherita Marchione
Author and scholar
Sister Margherita Marchione is Professor Emerita of Italian Language and Literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and an internationally known author of more than fifty books on Clemente Rebora, Giuseppe Prezzolini, Philip Mazzei, Peter and Sally Sammartino, Pope Pius XII and others. She participates in radio and television programs in Europe and in the United States. Besides honorary citizenship in Poggio a Caiano (Prato) and Pontecagnano (Salerno), among her numerous honors, she is a Knight of the Star of Solidarity of the Republic of Italy and a member of the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame. Sister Margherita received the papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross, for her work in promoting the truth about Pope Pius XII. Among the first to answer the modern critics of Pius XII, Sister Margherita declares her unambiguous support for Pius XII at the outset of all her books. In her judgment, not only has the wartime Pontiff been defamed, but there is more than enough evidence to prove that he was a genuine saint.
Member of the Religious Teachers Filippini, Sister Margherita is Treasurer at Villa Walsh in Morristown, New Jersey, where she resides. She is among the best-known—and passionate—supporters of Pope Pius XII. Sister Margherita has published several books in defense of Pius XII: Yours Is a Precious Witness: Memoirs of Jews and Catholics in Wartime Italy (1997), Pius XII: Architect for Peace (2000), Consensus and Controversy: Defending Pius XII (2002), and Crusade of Charity: Pius XII and POWs (1939-1945) (2006), all published by Paulist Press (New York/Mahwah, NJ), as well as Shepherd of Souls: A Pictorial Life of Pius XII (2002) containing over 260 photographs and sketches of the wartime Pontiff. The stated purpose of these books is to provide “definitive, conclusive and inspirational proof of Pius XII’s efforts to protect the victims of Nazism.” In The Fighting Nun: My Story, Chapter Eleven, “Defending Pius XII” (Cornwall Press, London/ Cranbury, NJ, 2000), Sister Margherita refutes John Cornwell and defends the honor of the Pontiff. Her books collect first-hand eyewitness accounts of Pius XII’s contemporaries, English translations of primary material (from diplomatic and Vatican sources) available nowhere else, and reveal the utter hatred the Nazis had for Pius XII because of his defense of persecuted Jews and uncompromising stand on behalf of Christian principles. These books have drawn considerable attention from historians and religious leaders of many faiths.