by Brigitta Sanchez-O’Brien
In the wake of Chase Crouse’s recent departure, Student Life plans to hire a new Campus Minister by the end of June. In the meantime, the Dean of Students has assumed all tasks previously belonging to Chase, and a new position has been conceived to manage some of those tasks from here on out.
Julia Carrano, as Dean of Students, oversees Residential Life, Career Services, and Campus Ministry. Chase was the third Campus Minister she hired in her time at JPCatholic, and Julia remains responsible for the current hiring of a new director of Campus Ministry. The position demands one to be heavily engaged with the student body, organizing groups and events, from adoration, SOUL (campus apostolate), and Households. Julia said, “I’d love to fill the position soon. It’d be great, but realistically, I care more about doing it correctly and not just placing someone there.” She has personally taken on various responsibilities until it is filled, such as meeting with core SOUL members on a weekly basis.
Households were a different story. Chase’s announced departure came immediately after the University’s chaplain, Fr. Eleuterio, was called away for a quarter. Being two-down so to speak, Julia met with Chase and together they came up with a game-plan moving forward. Julia said, “SOUL is pretty self-autonomous at this point…and Fr. Ankido is coming in and doing liturgy, but the need that we had was someone to coordinate households.” While secular colleges are typically home to a number of fraternities and sororities, styled after a similar model developed at Franciscan University of Steubenville, “Households [at JPCatholic] are Christ-centered communities of 3 or more students of the same sex who seek community in order to help them impact culture for Christ” as outlined in the Household manual. Identifying the need to coordinate specifically with household heads, a new job was created, Assistant Household Coordinator—one that Julia was determined to fill with a student.
Together, Chase and Julia agreed upon Business student and Junior at JPCatholic, Kyle Lavin. “Kyle is a very amazing student leader and he’s been in a household. We were interested as we always are in student leaders and how to help them and promote them…” Julia commented. Since his Freshman year, Kyle has contributed to the SOUL band and participated in different teams within the apostolate. For the last three quarters, he and fellow classmate, Josiah Lerman, have acted as co-heads of the St. Philip Neri household—a men’s community whose charism is joy. “I was approached [by Chase saying] that a position had been created so that attention and focus could be given from one person to the men and women’s households at school.” There was one caveat, however: Kyle needed to leave Neri if he was going to become the Assistant Household Coordinator. He was given a week to make his decision. “I was pretty sure that I was going to take the job. I’m really passionate about it and that aspect of ministry here, and I want to help the school grow in those ways.” His household was very supportive of his new position, and he officially begins work on May 1st.
Although the position was designed during an acute period of need, Julia shared, “Our hope is that a student can continue to do [Household Coordinating], even as we hire a new campus minister. I think [peer mentoring is] a valuable thing, and how SOUL has been effective…and often just a better way to do it.” Kyle ended saying, “Households are not for everyone, so whether someone is in a household or not, I want to let people know that households are good and there’s a community they can be a part of.”