Catholicism's favorite muse to serve McCarthy residency

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February 8, 2019

Lino Ruli

Lino Rulli

In many ways, Lino Rulli became the person we know today while attending Saint John’s University and Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary.

As an undergraduate student at SJU, Rulli first worked in radio at campus station KJNB, ultimately majoring in communication and graduating in 1993. He discovered and deepened his faith life during this time and while attending the School of Theology and Seminary, receiving his master’s degree in theology in 1995.

And now, he’s returning to his roots. Rulli, a radio show host, author and TV producer will be in residence Feb. 18-21 at the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement.

Rulli will host a combined Theology on Tap and Politics and a Pint session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Brother Willie’s Pub, SJU (note date change). He will be interviewed by Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman, associate professor of theology and Ethics Common Seminar at the College of Saint Benedict and SJU.

The event, which is sponsored by the McCarthy Center and SJU Campus Ministry, is free and open to the public.

During the week, he will broadcast his weekday Sirius XM radio show “The Catholic Guy Show” from the SJU campus. Rulli will visit communication and theology classes, and dine with students from Johnnie-Bennie Media, campus ministries at the College of Saint Benedict and SJU and the McCarthy Center.

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Rulli worked for television stations WCCO and KMSP in the Twin Cities before starting “Generation Cross.”

Rulli acted as both executive producer and host of the television show "Generation Cross" from 1998-2004. As host, he received two back-to-back Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2002, making him the first person since Bishop Fulton Sheen to win an Emmy Award for Catholic broadcasting.

He also earned a third Emmy for producing the CBS documentary “The Last Flagraiser,” which honored the flag raisers at Iwo Jima during World War II.

Rulli has written two books: “Sinner: The Catholic Guy's Funny, Feeble Attempts to Be a Faithful Catholic” in 2011, and “Saint: Why I Should Be Canonized Right Away” in 2013.

He has been a frequent guest on both the radio and television talk circuit, appearing on such diverse shows as “Piers Morgan Live,” “Fox News Live,” and the Howard Stern and Jay Thomas radio shows

Rulli was invited to be the McCarthy Center Resident to honor the deep connection Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the namesake of the center, had to his faith and the Benedictine Values. McCarthy graduated from SJU in 1935, and later taught at SJU from 1940-43. In 1943, he became a Benedictine novice at Saint John's Abbey. After nine months as a monk, he left the monastery, destined for his career in politics and as a writer/poet.

The McCarthy Residency showcases the work and skills of someone who has a distinguished career in public service, policy, or politics through a week-long on-campus residency. Through visits to classes, cafeterias, practices, and public programs, the McCarthy resident engages a wide spectrum of the CSB/SJU community in addition to the general public.

The primary purpose of the residency is to give students extended access to someone with real knowledge and wisdom about policy, civic engagement and public life.