Newman Center Staff Changes

By Jambar Contributor

Dan Genaro

The Newman Center at Youngstown State University is in the process of reassigning staff positions. The church is currently in need of a new director and chaplain after some recent resignations.

Thom Brozich was appointed director of the Newman Center at the beginning of the year.

He spoke of difficulty in finding a new priest after the Rev. Kevin Peters, the former priest, resigned his chaplaincy to focus on his primary ministry at the St. Angela Merici parish.

“Clergy have been shrinking in numbers the past several decades,” Brozich said. “That issue has caused more demand on the priests we do have and some have several ministries they attend.”

Bishop George Murry of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown assigned the Rev. Bernard Timothy to the Newman Center in place of Peters in early September.

Timothy is a Dominican priest whose primary ministry is at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the St. Dominic Parish of Youngstown. However, the busy chaplain still makes time for mass at the Newman Center 7 p.m. every Sunday.

Timothy offers confession, adoration and benediction, spiritual guidance, programming from his main parish and networks for young adults such as the Frassati Fellowship.

Hannah Pavalko, president of the Catholic Student Association at YSU, said Peters could not have resigned at a better time. Though it took time to find his replacement, Pavalko said those who attended the Newman Center appreciated Peters’ constant presence.

“At the end of the spring semester Father Kevin announced that he would be stepping down as chaplain. However, he did so only after he completed all his duties as a chaplain and at a time when no student programming was happening,” Pavalko said. “This ensured a smooth and nearly unnoticeable transition.”

The former chaplain offered holy mass and sacraments. He also participated in various events held by the Newman Center such as Pester-a-Priest, retreats and the weekly Table of Plenty.

“Father Kevin’s presence never offered us any challenges but only expanded our programming,” Pavalko said.

The Newman Center is prepared to try new things with their new staff.

Brozich and the director of the Diocesan Office of Campus Ministry, Carmen Roebke, stress the importance of integrating spiritual life into daily activities.

Roebke said studies have shown those whose spiritual life is well integrated into their day to day tasks become more productive members of the community.

“[This is why] the Catholic Church believes that our mission in campus ministry of helping students to develop their faith to the same depth as their pursuit of their educational and vocational training is so important,” Roebke said.

The Newman Center continues to uphold their practices and values established in 1938 as they integrate the fresh techniques and ideas of their new staff, Roebke said.