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Rev. James Erps, SJ, to head campus ministry

(5-1-2000) Boston College has named Rev. James D. Erps, SJ, director of campus ministry at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, as its new director of campus ministry.

Fr. Erps, who will assume his position on Aug. 1, succeeds Rev. Richard Cleary, SJ, who announced his retirement after 11 years as University chaplain.

A member of the California Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Erps had previously served as Newman chaplain and director of Catholic campus ministry at Stanford University.

In announcing the appointment of Fr. Erps, who is credited with enhancing liturgical worship at both Loyola Marymount and Stanford, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, praised him as a person of great faith, character and energy.

"Fr. Erps has a wonderful pastoral sense, and helping people to grow in their faith has long been important to him," said Fr. Leahy. "I am delighted that he will be coming to BC."

Vice President for Mission and Ministry Joseph Appleyard, SJ, offered similar praise: `I've known Fr. Erps for several years and have always admired the work he has done at Loyola Marymount, especially the first-rate liturgies that he has organized for the undergraduate community. He'll be a great addition to Boston College."

Rev. William Neenan, SJ, who serves as vice president and special assistant to the president, and chaired the search committee which brought Fr. Erps to BC, calls the new director of campus ministry an "ideal fit" for a position that plays an integral role in the mission of any Jesuit university.

"Fr. Erps comes to Boston College with notable experience in campus ministry, having distinguished himself at Loyola Law School and at Stanford," he said. "I am pleased that we will have such an experienced and dedicated leader in that effort."

Fr. Erps, whose contributions outside of Loyola Marymount have ranged from coordinating the annual Red Mass for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to founding law clinics focusing on immigration and family law at LA inner-city parishes, said he is eager to begin his work at Boston College after witnessing the energy and enthusiasm of BC students during his campus interview.

"Boston College is an exciting place," said Fr. Erps. "The tradition of St. Ignatius Loyola is alive and well here. I look forward to being part of a ministry that seeks to help people explore and deepen their faith, a ministry that calls them to find new ways of putting that faith into practice in their lives and in service to the world."

A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Fr. Erps holds a master's degree in philosophy from Gonzaga University and a master's degree in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Santa Barbara in 1969 and was ordained a priest in San Francisco in 1980. In addition to his work as director of campus ministry at Loyola Law School and Stanford, he has also served as province promoter and regional chaplain of Christian Life Communities for the California Province of the Society of Jesus, campus minister at Santa Clara University, and as teacher and counselor at St.Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco.

While at Loyola, Fr Erps was coordinator of resident chaplains for student housing, and also helped select and train the university's resident directors and resident assistants. He also inaugurated the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit at Loyola Law School. While at Stanford, he coordinated the university's Christian Life Communities as well as supervising its student-run community service program.

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