"Over the years I have been most impressed with
generosity in offering their time to work in Campus Ministry even
though they are carrying a full course load and working a number of
jobs. I can see that they recognize the importance of giving back to
society in their voluntary efforts in community service."
Father Joseph Flynn, OFM CAP
The College of New Rochelle
Father Joe, tell us a little about your background, where you are from,
and how long you have been at CNR.
My parents were Irish
Catholic immigrants, and we lived in St. Theresa’s parish in Woodside,
Queens. After elementary school I went to St. Mary’s High School in
Garrison, New York, the Preparatory Seminary for the
Capuchin-Franciscans for the New York-New England Province of St. Mary.
Thus I began my life-long relationship with the Capuchin-Franciscans.
After 13 years of education
culminating in a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Theology, Solemn
Profession of Vows and Ordination to the Priesthood in 1966, I was
assigned briefly to Our Lady Queens of Angels, East Harlem, New York
and then for three years to Sacred Heart Parish & High School in
Yonkers, New York. This was followed by a six-year assignment to St.
Michael’s Parish and High School in East New York, Brooklyn. At this
time I also completed my Masters of Education in Pastoral Counseling at
Following nine years in
pastoral ministry in 1976 I was asked to join our Formation Staff at
Garrison, New York to teach and work with our friars preparing for
Priesthood. During these years I attended Princeton Theological
Seminary and Received a Doctoral of Ministry.
In 1994, I interviewed at
Manhattanville College for the position of Director of Campus Ministry.
I was presented with the Eleanor Kearns Simon Chair of Campus Ministry
at Manhattanville, a position I held until 1999. At this time Father
Jack Rathschmidt, OFM Cap. moved onto campus here at The College of New
Rochelle and invited me to join him in sharing the residence.
In September 2002, after
Father Rathschmidt became the Director of our Post-Novitiate Formation
Program in Boston, I became The College of New Rochelle College
What are your main duties
As Chaplain my
responsibilities center primarily on pastoral ministry to the College
Community. I preside at the Sunday Mass in Holy Family Chapel
throughout the year. I am also pastorally responsible for coordinating
Chapel activities, offering catechetical instructions and presiding at
the Liturgies for The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA),
and, when completed, I am responsible for recording the Sacraments of
the Records at Blessed Sacrament Parish; this is true for weddings as
well. In order to encourage student participation as Liturgical
Ministers, I coordinate the Fall and Spring Liturgical Training and
Commissioning of Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers.
What are some of the major
programs that Campus Ministry provides for the College Community?
In conjunction with pastoral
and spiritual programs, Campus Ministry attempts to fulfill the Mission
and the objectives of The College of New Rochelle and the Ursuline
Spirit imbued within the Catholic Social Justice Tradition by
coordinating a number of community service projects including The
Midnight Run, The Adult Learning Center, Hope Soup Kitchen, The Lord’s
Pantry, New Rochelle Humane Society, and the Sound Shore Medical Center.
International, Domestic and
Urban Plunges are community service events that are offered to the
students during the Christmas and Spring break holidays. These are
week-long volunteer efforts by our students.
Peacebuilders (our title for
Pax Christi) is coordinated through Campus Ministry. This year we have
a special focus – Human Trafficking. On Founders Day, along with
the Liturgy and the Celebration of the Serviam Awards, Campus Ministry
hosted an opening program on Human Trafficking, with follow-up programs
on Human Trafficking throughout the year.
Campus Ministry also sponsors
a Gospel Choir and a Chapel Choir, and members are drawn from the
students and staff. One of the major programs coordinated through
Campus Ministry is Peer Ministry, which invites students to join in the
efforts of Campus Ministry as expressed in its various programs.
What program and/or services are available for students of other
religions at CNR?
Besides the purely Catholic
worship services the programs of Campus Ministry are intended to
welcome all students of whatever ethnic or religious background.
What impresses you the most about the students at CNR?
Over the years I have been
most impressed with the students’ generosity in offering their time to
work in Campus Ministry even though they are carrying a full course
load and working a number of jobs. I can see that they recognize the
importance of giving back to society in their voluntary efforts in
community service. It is encouraging to see their commitment to social
justice issues, such as the problem of Human Trafficking which has
become the focus of Campus Ministry’s Peacebuilders this year. I am
also enlivened by their religious commitments to be involved in their
various faith traditions, celebrating and worshipping in their own
particular way. And I admire their ability to come together in prayer
and praise of God through the Gospel and chapel choirs and liturgical