Former Loyola Law School administrator to direct campus ministry

Former Loyola Law School administrator to direct campus ministry

By Jack Dunn
Director of Public Affairs

After a national search that brought several distinguished candidates to the University, Boston College has appointed Rev. James D. Erps, SJ, director of campus ministry at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, as BC's new director of campus ministry effective Aug. 1.

Fr. Erps 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.

Fr. Erps, who is credited with enhancing liturgical worship at both Loyola Marymount and Stanford, was praised by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, 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."

Vice President and Assistant to the President William Neenan, SJ, who chaired the search committee which brought Fr. Erps to BC, called 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," 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 included coordinating the annual Red Mass for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 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.

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.  

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