New Chaplains Lead Several Programs

Chaplaincy looks to expand outreach

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Three new chaplains are providing renewed leadership to several University Chaplaincy programs and are allowing the office to look toward expanding its outreach efforts.

"All of them have taken off terrifically," said University Chaplain Richard Cleary, SJ, of the new hires, who joined the University in time for the start of the academic year. "I have high hopes for the work coming out of the Chaplaincy.

"There's a lot of activity and they're showing a lot of initiative. We'll be able to do some things we weren't able to do before," partly because one of the positions is a new one created to address a chronic staffing shortage, Fr. Cleary said.

Like all their colleagues in the Chaplaincy, the new chaplains will have general responsibilities, but each will also have a particular focus, Fr. Cleary said.
New chaplains John Savard, SJ, Sr. Joan Mahoney, CND, and Daniel Leahy. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Sr. Joan Mahoney, CND, is developing new retreat programs, both on campus and off, he said. For a year before arriving at BC, Sr. Mahoney was director of A Lay Invitation to a Visitation Experience at the Congregation de Notre Dame in Providence, RI. Previously, she had been regional counselor for her order in Connecticut, coordinator of campus ministry and Catholic chaplain at Sage College in Troy, NY, University Chaplain in the Catholic Center of the University of Rhode Island, and a teacher.

She holds a 1967 bachelor's degree in biology from Notre Dame College of Staten Island, NY, and a 1975 master's degree in religious studies from Boston College.

Daniel Leahy heads up local service programs administered through the Chaplaincy, such as Urban Immersion and 4 Boston. He holds two Boston College degrees: a 1982 bachelor's degree in philosophy and theology and a 1990 master's degree in religious education.

He served as assistant director of campus ministry at St. Anselm College from 1990 until he returned to BC. Previously, he had been a high school religious studies teacher and a bilingual protective caseworker for the Massachusetts Society for the Protection of Children.

Leahy is a founding board member of Celebration of Life, a non-profit organization which has provided relief efforts to the poor of Jamaica since 1984.

John Savard, SJ, joins the Chaplaincy after serving for a year as associate pastor for social and pastoral ministries at nearby St. Ignatius Parish. He also lived in Walsh Hall as a Jesuit-in-residence. As a chaplain, he will assist with the coordination of liturgies and Christian life programs and will serve as a liaison with St. Ignatius.

In addition, said Fr. Savard, he is leading a new Christian Life Communities program, where a group of eight to 10 students gather once a week for prayer and discussion of Ignatian spirituality.

Before his arrival at St. Ignatius, Fr. Savard provided pastoral care and taught at a parish in Honduras and a school in Guatemala, and worked at the Jesuit Urban Center in Boston, where he directed a number of spiritual activities, including a monthly dinner ministry for people living with HIV and AIDS. He also taught art at Boston College High School.

Fr. Savard holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Fairfield University (1978), a master's degree in art and education from Columbia University (1985), masters' of divinity and theology degrees from the Jesuit School of Theology (1990 and 1991, respectively), and a master's degree in broadcasting from Boston University (1995).

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