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Office of News & Public Affairs

Jack Butler, S.J., Named Mission & Ministry VP

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass (5-6-10)--John T. “Jack” Butler, SJ, a well known Boston College Jesuit who has served as director of Manresa House at BC and director of vocations for the New England Province of the Society of Jesus since 2007, has been named vice president for university mission and ministry. He succeeds Joseph A. Appleyard, SJ, who has been named assistant and advisor to the N.E. provincial, Myles Sheehan, S.J.

Rev. Jack Butler, S.J. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Fr. Butler, who has worked at Boston College since becoming a campus minister in 2002, said that while he found the prospect of following in the footsteps of Fr. Appleyard daunting, he is excited about the position and the challenges that await him.

“Prior to coming to BC, I had worked in prison ministry with violent offenders and I never thought of higher education as a career option, but I have fallen in love with BC and the higher education apostolate,” said Fr. Butler.  “I believe in this ministry, in our faith and our commitment to Jesuit, Catholic education. To help articulate and proclaim that belief is exciting to me.”

Fr. Butler said that he is committed to building on the foundations laid by Fr. Appleyard, and is in the process of developing his own goals for the future of Mission and Ministry.  “I believe that Mission and Ministry can be a department that helps to set the tone for the larger University, where people are challenged to be caring, to be excited and to be free to be the people God has chosen them to be,” said Fr. Butler. “Ultimately, the goal is to become a University where, through our academics, service programs and personal reflection, men and women can find their deepest desire, which is at the heart of Ignatian spirituality.”

Rev. Terrence Devino, S.J.

The University has also named Terrence Devino, S.J., vice president for university ministries at the University of Scranton, as special assistant to the president and the new director of Manresa House, which provides information and guidance for students who are considering a vocation to the priesthood and religious life.

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, praised Butler as a talented and energetic individual who is deeply involved at Boston College. “Fr. Butler is a Jesuit who is widely known on campus, and someone who cares deeply about the University’s mission, especially the intellectual and religious dimension,” said Fr. Leahy.  “I look forward to working with him in strengthening Boston College.”

In his role as inaugural director of Manresa House, Fr. Butler helped to create an effective resource for men and women, both at Boston College and at other area colleges and universities, interested in exploring the possibility of priesthood and religious life.

“Since Manresa House was established in 2007, Boston College has become the place for people to come and talk about their vocations.  During that time, many people have come here to talk about serving God, with three entering the Society of Jesus and several others entering diocesan seminaries,” said Fr. Butler. “While I was one of many who was involved in these conversations, I am proud of what we have accomplished, and pleased that Fr. Devino, who is tremendously gifted and energetic, will now lead this effort.”

A graduate of St. Thomas University with a degree in theology and philosophy, Fr. Butler received a master’s degree in systematic theology from Providence College before entering the Society of Jesus in 1991. He studied at Fordham University and then at Loyola University Maryland, where he received both a master’s and a PhD in pastoral counseling. He also holds an STL in spiritual theology from the former Weston Jesuit School of Theology.

During his years at the University of Scranton, Fr. Devino has been responsible for the Division of University Ministries, which includes Campus Ministry, the International Service Program and the Office of Community Outreach.  He was also a member of the University Leadership Team.  A New England Province Jesuit, he had previously served as an associate chaplain in Campus Ministry at Fairfield University and as an assistant director of the Jesuit Urban Center in Boston.

“I am thrilled to be coming back to Boston College to serve as special assistant to the president and to continue the good work Fr. Jack Butler has done at Manresa House in supporting and encouraging vocations," said Fr. Devino. “To engage in conversations with people interested in religious life and, in particular, the Society of Jesus, and to take part in pastoral activities on the BC campus is an honor.”

“Terry Devino brings many years of experience as a priest and has served with great effectiveness at both Fairfield and the University of Scranton,” said Fr. Leahy. “I am confident he will continue doing great work at Boston College.”

Fr. Devino holds a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State College and a master’s of divinity degree from the School of Theology & Pastoral Ministry at Seton Hall University.

Both Jesuits will begin their appointments during the summer months.

--Jack Dunn is director of BC's Office of News & Public Affairs;