Fairfield University Announces Leadership Changes for Mission and Ministry

Fairfield University Announces Leadership Changes for Mission and Ministry

Three new appointments will reinforce and enhance the Jesuit and Catholic character and mission of our University.

In a message to the Fairfield University community, President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, recently announced three new appointments that will strengthen all aspects of the spiritual life of Fairfield: the Rev. Gerry Blaszczak, S.J., will be appointed to the role of assistant to the President and alumni chaplain, a post most recently held by the Rev. Charles Allen, S.J.; the Rev. Paul Rourke, S.J., will assume the post of vice president for Mission and Ministry; and the Rev. Keith A. Maczkiewicz, S.J., will be joining the University to assume the role of director of Campus Ministry and University chaplain. These appointments will take effect on July 1, 2021.

Rev. Gerry Blaszczak, S.J. headshot

Currently vice president for Mission and Ministry, “Fr. Gerry is held in the warmest regard throughout our community,” said President Nemec. “He has tirelessly reached out to our alumni, faculty, and staff in their hours of need and celebration over many years, and has been of great assistance to me in my efforts to spread the good news of our continued strength and ascendancy as a University to our alumni around the country. His new role will allow him to continue and expand this work, and I am deeply grateful that he has agreed to serve in this capacity.”

Fr. Gerry has been on the faculty of Le Moyne College, Fordham University, and Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya. He has served as Secretary for the Service of Faith at the Jesuit General Headquarters in Rome, as novice director for the Maryland and New York Provinces of the Jesuits, superior of the Fordham Jesuit community, parochial vicar at St. Raphael’s Church in Raleigh, N.C., and pastor of St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan, among other posts. 

In 1967 Fr. Gerry entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1979. He holds a PhD in New Testament and Early Church History with a secondary field of Islamic Studies from Harvard University. He earned a B.Phil. from Philosophische Hochschule Berchmanskolleg in Pullach, Germany and a BA, summa cum laude, in classics from Fordham University. 

Rev. Paul Rourke, S.J. headshot

To fill the vital role of overseeing the work of ministry on our campus, Fr. Paul Rourke, currently the director of Campus Ministry will assume the post of vice president for Mission and Ministry. In this capacity he will oversee Campus Ministry, the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality, and other dimensions of spiritual life on campus, and will serve as a member of Fairfield’s senior leadership team.

Acknowledging Fr. Paul’s leadership since joining Fairfield in 2018 — after serving as the director of Campus Ministry at Georgetown University’s Law Center — President Nemec said, “Fr. Paul has led the work of Campus Ministry and our Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola with great care, enthusiasm, and energy, and I know he has been of great encouragement to so many during the significant challenges we have faced during the past year. I am grateful that he will assume this important office, and look forward to his contributions in leadership as we chart out the next leg of our course as a University, and continue to deepen our mission to serve the greater community.”

Fr. Paul joined the Society of Jesus in 2000, and was ordained a priest in 2010. A 1994 graduate of Georgetown University, he received his JD from the Washington University School of Law in 1997, and worked at a think-tank before joining the Society. His studies include an STB degree from the Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome, and licentiate studies in canon law at the same university. He was also a teacher at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, and an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown, among other posts.

Rev. Keith A. Maczkiewicz '04, S.J. headshot

Returning to Fairfield to assume the role of director of Campus Ministry and University chaplain, is Fr. Keith A. Maczkiewicz '04, a Fairfield alumnus. Fr. Keith has most recently served as assistant chaplain at the College of the Holy Cross. There, he worked in the college chapels, leading the liturgical formation of student ministers and coordinating liturgy. Other ministries included student and alumni retreats, international immersions, directing communications strategy, and developing new initiatives and programs in the Office of the College Chaplains. Fr. Keith served as a Student Mission and Diversity Ambassador trainer at Holy Cross, and on several committees including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Implementation Committee; the Sexual Respect and Conduct Planning Group; and other efforts.

Following his studies at Fairfield, Fr. Keith earned an M.Ed. at Providence College, an MA in social philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, and master of theology and divinity degrees as well as a License in Sacred Theology (STL) at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. He was ordained a priest in 2018 at Fordham University.

On behalf of the University, President Nemec extended a warm welcome-back to Fr. Keith. “We are delighted that a graduate of Fairfield will be returning to assume this vital role within our community, and grateful to the Society of Jesus for its unflagging support of our collaborative mission as the modern, Jesuit Catholic University.”

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