New vice president for mission and identity named at Fairfield University

New vice president for mission and identity named at Fairfield University

Rev. Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., currently chaplain at Fairfield University, has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president for mission and identity at the institution. University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., announced the appointment, noting that Fr. Blaszczak will begin his new responsibilities on July 1.

President von Arx, said this position is essential to the identity of Jesuit institutions like Fairfield University, and in his new administrative role, Fr. Blaszczak will spearhead efforts to strengthen and forward the mission as a Catholic and Jesuit institution. He will also be responsible for communicating to all constituents the history and traditions of a Jesuit education. Fr. Blaszczak will continue with his responsibilities as the university's chaplain. He said, "Thanks to the efforts of so many for so long, the Jesuit, Catholic identity of Fairfield is woven into the fabric of our institution. I am glad to have the chance to collaborate with people from every area of the university to continue to see how we can draw inspiration and take direction from our rich Jesuit heritage."

Fr. Blaszczak succeeds Rev. James Bowler, who served as the university's facilitator for Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity for 11 years. "While I am saddened that the university is losing Fr. Bowler, I am pleased that Fr. Blaszczak has agreed to accept this new position, and I know he will benefit greatly from the accomplishments of his predecessor," said Fr. von Arx.

At Fairfield, Fr. Blaszczak will serve on the university's senior management team, represent the university in its collaborations with religious leaders within the community, collaborate in fund raising efforts, and act as a liaison with the board of trustees. As university chaplain, he will continue to ensure that pastoral care and opportunities for spiritual development are available to all members of the university community.

A graduate of Harvard University, Fr. Blaszczak earned his doctorate degree in New Testament and early church history, with a secondary field of Islamic studies. Previous to his service at Fairfield, he taught at Le Moyne College and Fordham University. From 1991-1997, he served as rector of St. Andrew Hall and the novitiate for the New York and Maryland Provinces of the Jesuits. Fr. Blaszczak was also the rector of the Jesuit community, university chaplain, and vice president for mission and ministry at Fordham from 1998 to 2005. Prior to joining Fairfield University, he was named pastor of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York.

Fr. Blaszczak is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Danforth Fellow. He currently serves on the board of trustees at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, the Nativity Mission schools of New York, and the board of Operation Hope in Fairfield, Conn. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1967 and was ordained in 1979.

Posted On: 02-15-2011 10:02 AM

Volume: 43 Number: 199