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Source:  The Washington Post

In fractious and bellicose times, it’s tough out there for conciliators.  Which makes “Hesburgh,” Patrick Creadon’s lively and inspiring portrait of one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century, more welcome than ever.

Father Theodore M. Hesburgh was most famous as the president of the University of Notre Dame, an institution he led for 35 years.

During Father Ted’s tenure, Notre Dame went from being a football school to being not just academically respected but a bastion of intellectual freedom and ideological pluralism, sometimes at the consternation of Vatican officials.

If only as a principled educator and beloved paterfamilias, Father Ted is worthy of admiration.  But as Creadon makes clear in this swiftly moving chronicle, his biggest role was that of civil rights pioneer and transcendent public figure.

As one of the first members and later chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he helped create the underpinnings of what would become landmark civil rights legislation in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Hesburgh” opens tomorrow in select theaters.

Read the story at The Washington Post.

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