By Samantha Smith
Bishop David J. Bonnar appointed a new director of campus ministry at Youngstown State University in July. The Rev. Norbert Keliher has replaced Joseph Frango, who left to pursue teaching.
Keliher is a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph, which serves the eastern part of the United States. He lives with the Dominican community at St. Dominic Church.
Originally from the Seattle area, he went to Harvard University to study classical language and was a student leader in the campus ministry and a member of the college Knights of Columbus while attending. There, Keliher was introduced to the Dominicans at a vocation event.
He entered the Dominican notiviative in Cincinnati in 2012 and went on to begin his training for the priesthood in Washington DC. He was ordained a priest in 2019 by Bishop Robert Barron at the National Shrine in Washington.
He explained what his experience at the Newman Center has been for him so far.
“The student officers … for the Catholic Student Association have been very hardworking, and at the Activities Fair and our initial local events, we’ve been able to get over 50 new people signed up,” he said. “It’s really been fun just getting to know them, getting to know the campus and Youngstown and seeing what kinds of programs and talks people are excited about.”
Keliher explained why this experience is exciting to him.
“The Dominicans — the order that I’m part of — have been around universities our whole existence, that’s over 800 years now,” he said. “So in many ways, it’s natural for us to be at a university environment. So I’m excited to be able to represent our order and especially St. Thomas Aquinas.”
The Catholic Newman Center at YSU provides a place for those seeking to grow their faith.
For more information about the Catholic Newman Center, call 330-747-9202 or email the Chaplain at [email protected]