Fr. Dziak To Leave B.C.

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Theodore Dziak, SJ, who has overseen the expansion of the Ignacio Volunteer Program and was the first director of the Neighborhood Center, will leave BC later this year for a job in Jamaica.

Fr. Dziak, who also is the Athletics chaplain, said he will leave his position in June, then take a sabbatical at BC until the end of the year. In January, he will leave for an administrative post at St. George's College, a secondary school in Kingston.

"I've been going to Jamaica now for eight years as head of volunteer programs," said Fr. Dziak, referring to the student volunteer efforts he leads. "It's been sort of like dipping toes, but not jumping in. I feel the desire to jump into full-time ministry abroad. I've enjoyed my time here, but the need in Jamaica is great."

He said there are only about 10 active Jesuits in Jamaica. In his new job, he will help coordinate various American university-sponsored volunteer trips to the island, including those from BC.

When Fr. Dziak arrived at Boston College eight years ago, there was one student volunteer opportunity abroad, in Haiti. That program has ended, but six others have sprouted under Fr. Dziak's direction. The Ignacio Volunteer Program leads groups of students on Christmas break trips to Mexico and Belize, a spring break trip to Jamaica, and summer camps in Jamaica, Belize and, starting this year, the Dominican Republic. In all instances, the volunteers work with the poor in those countries.

Fr. Dziak also directed the Neighborhood Center during its first year of operation in 1995-96. "It's made Boston College more human in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood and more accessible. I feel very good about that."

Fr. Dziak noted he is not eager to leave BC and plans to retain contact with the Ignacio Volunteers and other organizations on campus.

"In as much as I feel really happy and excited about my new placement, I also have mixed feelings about leaving BC," he said. "This is the longest time I've spent in any one place in 20 years, so it's very sad to leave."

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