University statement on Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J. sabbatical announcement

University statement on Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J. sabbatical announcement

Following is a statement from Fairfield University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. to the Fairfield University Community:

During his recent visitation of the Fairfield Jesuit Community, our Provincial, Rev. Thomas Regan, S.J., informed Fr. Paul Carrier and myself that he wished Fr. Carrier to begin a sabbatical at the conclusion of the current academic year in anticipation of a new assignment.

Father Carrier has served Fairfield University and its extended family for 20 years, first as an instructor in religious studies from 1977 to 1979, returning in 1988 to begin a long and distinguished tenure as University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry. He has been instrumental in initiatives to further develop the spiritual and religious life of the community. His devotion to expanding campus ministry activities fueled the decision to build Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Campus Ministry Center. The establishment and rapid growth of the Mission Volunteer Program under Father Carrier's leadership have transformed the lives of hundreds of students who have journeyed on these service and spiritual pilgrimages in nearby neighborhoods in Bridgeport, the mountain areas of Appalachia, and the underdeveloped and poverty-stricken communities in Mexico, Jamaica, Belize, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Haiti.

One must not forget to mention Father Carrier's homilies. His vibrant, passionate and lively messages live on in the hearts and minds of students, alumni, parents and friends of Fairfield University.

While at Fairfield, Paul advocated for and helped create, as he called it, 'a strategy for an education for compassion' - the elements of which he described as "awareness, empathetic imagination, and, finally, action." It is an approach to life full of mercy and compassion - one he not only wanted for our students, but an approach that he has himself embraced with extraordinary passion. This community has been blessed by his presence.

Fr. Carrier's impending sabbatical coincides, as many of you know, with the decision of Fr. Terry Devino to accept the position of Assistant Vice President of University Ministries (Director of Campus Ministry) at the University of Scranton. This means that both of these priests who have served this community so well over the years will be leaving during the course of the summer. I want to assure you all that the university administration and I personally will work to identify and recruit a new Director of Campus Ministry. We will be very conscious of the needs of this community and the extended chapel community in looking for the new director. I am particularly aware of the need for continuity in support of the outreach programs that have characterized the apostolic commitments of this worshipping community, especially our programs in Haiti, and I will be working with Fr. Carrier to assure that continuity.

There will be appropriate occasions in the coming months to say farewell and to honor Fr. Carrier and Fr. Devino, and I'm sure you join me in praying in thanksgiving for their service and in blessing for their futures.

Posted On: 04-02-2006 10:04 AM

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