Thomas More College of Liberal Arts will honor the graduating Class of 2023 during Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13. The College is pleased to welcome Rev. David Pignato as this year’s Baccalaureate Mass Celebrant and Sohrab Ahmari as the Commencement Speaker. At the ceremony, Mr. Ahmari will be awarded an honorary degree for his dedication to Faith and Reason.
Rev. David Pignato is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, MA. He is presently assigned as the Pastor of St. Julie Billiart Parish in Dartmouth and as the Vicar for Priests of the Diocese of Fall River.
He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Harvard Law School. After practicing law for a short time, Fr. Pignato entered the seminary and attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he earned his doctoral degree in theology at the Angelicum University.
Fr. Pignato has previously served as personal secretary for the Most Reverend George W. Coleman, Bishop of Fall River, and as a member of the faculty at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, MA. There, he taught courses in systematic theology, as well as on Faith and Reason, Church and State, Church History, and American Constitutional Law.
Sohrab Ahmari is a well-known Iranian American author, editor, and journalist. He is the founder and editor of Compact magazine. A graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law, Mr. Ahmari was previously the op-ed editor of the New York Post and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. His writing has appeared widely in diverse publications.
Born in Tehran, Mr. Ahmari and his mother immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager. Having previously decided that he was an atheist, he reacted against his conservative, religious surroundings in Utah by embracing Marxism. However, after participating in Teach for America as a young adult, Mr. Ahmari found himself grappling with the deficiencies of the ideologies he had adopted. His search for God eventually led him to Catholicism, a journey chronicled in From Fire, by Water (Ignatius, 2019) and “My journey from Tehran to Rome” (Catholic Herald, September 30, 2016).
Recent published works by Mr. Ahmari include The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos (Random House, 2021) and Tyranny, Inc.: How Private Power Crushed American Liberty—And What to Do about It (Random House, 2023).