OP University Chaplains Gather in the US

Capellanes universitarios de la OP se reúnen en EE.UU.

For the first time in the region, friars from the four Provinces of the USA working in the university chaplaincy gathered together on May 28 to 31, 2024, at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Long Island, New York.

Gathering a total of 33 friars, the assembly was an event one year in the making by a team composed of the Socius for the USA, fr. Jordan Turano, the Socius for the Apostolic Life, fr. Florentino Bolo, and the four Provincial Promoters for Campus Ministry: fr. Edmund McCullough (Province of St. Joseph); fr. John Paul Forte (Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus); fr. Benjamin Keller (Province of St. Albert the Great); and fr. Cristobal Torres (Province of St. Martin de Porres) who has since become the General Promoter for the Laity.

Guided by the provision of the General Chapter of Trogir (ACG 2013 n. 109), they shared their experiences in the ministry following the presentations given by the friars: fr. Timothy Danaher on trends in campus ministry; fr. Edmund McCullough on the Dominican way of the apostolate; fr. John Paul Forte on the challenges and needs of the students; and fr. Gabriel Gillen on actual ongoing collaboration especially with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).

The gathering was made especially significant with the presence of the Master of the Order, fr. Gerard Timoner, who delivered the opening keynote address. In his presentation, he highlighted the paradigm of the preachers as “fishers of men” which offered rich meaning that goes beyond the symbol of the shepherd. He likewise gave a brief overview of the Order’s apostolic profile with a particular focus on the region. Also present were fr. Christopher Fadok, Prior Provincial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, and fr. Allen Moran, Provincial of the host Province of St. Joseph.

Among the possibilities raised by the friars include more regular encounters both at the provincial and regional levels, strengthening the network of campus ministers through ongoing communication, sharing of resources, and collaboration in common events. The Master also recognized the valuable role that the Thomistic Institute could play in collaborating with the campus ministers across the US and even overseas. With the positive feedback from the gathering, the friars have already set their sights on repeating the same experience in the coming years.


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