Wanted: Catholic Chaplain

We are hiring!

Since its inception, one of the Saint Benedict Institute's major goals has been to bring a Catholic priest chaplain to serve Hope College and its 600+ Catholic students. We are overjoyed to announce that we are now looking to hire for the 2017-2018 academic year!

Hope College, located in Holland, MI, was founded over 150 years ago in partnership with the Reformed Church in America. Hope is known for its rigorous academics, dynamic Christian community life, and commitment to ecumenism. The Saint Benedict Institute is an apostolate of the local Catholic parish, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, and the chaplain will be an employee of St. Francis de Sales in service to Hope College and the broader West Michigan community.

To download a copy of the job prospectus, click here. The position description is also included below (scroll down). Those wishing to support this mission financially may click here for more information. We thank you for your interest!

Campus Chaplain

Position Description

Mission

The Saint Benedict Institute seeks to promote and nurture intellectual work done from the heart of the Catholic Church, to foster an ecumenical community of Catholic Christians and friends committed to the renewal of culture, and to aid in the formation of intellectually and spiritually mature Christians by making available the riches of the Catholic tradition to Hope College and the wider community.

Background

The Saint Benedict Institute has a threefold mission which is intellectual, spiritual, and ecumenical. We are an apostolate of the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Holland, Michigan, and we serve Hope College and the broader West Michigan community.  We sponsor a variety of programs aimed at cultivating intellectually serious Christians, forming students in the Catholic tradition, contributing to the ecumenical mission of the College, and nurturing the hearts of students so that they might learn to love God and their neighbors more deeply. Currently, we host a Catholic Speaker Series, a Catholic-Reformed Dialogue, spiritual retreats, a vocation discernment program for students considering religious life, spring break immersion trips to Haiti and inner-city Chicago, and an annual day of study.  We work closely with Hope College’s Campus Ministries and other academic departments to provide a faithful Catholic witness.  Please explore our website to see the kinds of things we do.

Description

We are seeking a priest chaplain to help establish and build the Catholic campus ministry at Hope College.  On average, twenty percent of the students at Hope College are Catholic, roughly 650 students.  Of these 650, we estimate that about 85% do not attend Mass—this is confirmed by the national average (Pew Research) and our own observations.  The priest chaplain will be responsible for building a credible Catholic witness on Hope’s campus, one which strengthens the faithful Catholic students, draws in the lapsed Catholics, and embraces the non-Catholic students in ecumenical friendship. This priest would be responsible for forming Catholic students as faithful Catholic witnesses in an ecumenical environment and would work closely with the local Catholic parish and Hope College’s Protestant campus ministers to deepen the commitment of all students to the faith we hold in common.  The Catholic chaplain would work to foster a Catholic spiritual rhythm that works in harmony with the ecumenical character of Hope College.  Start date would be August 1, 2017

Responsibilities    

  • Celebrate daily and weekend Mass, train altar servers, and cultivate a love of reverent liturgy
  • Encourage and offer regular Confession
  • Provide opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration
  • Lead Bible studies and Catholic devotions (e.g., rosary, Divine Office, processions, etc.)
  • Lead the Vocation Discernment Program, including weekly prayer and direction
  • Offer spiritual direction and informal counseling to students
  • Foster a sense of Catholic community
  • Bear robust witness to the joy of being Catholic and the beauty of Catholic traditions
  • Engage in formal and informal ecumenical dialogue on campus and in the community
  • Train students to engage in peer-to-peer ministry
  • Organize service opportunities
  • Supervise lay Catholic volunteers and missionaries (e.g., FOCUS)
  • Participate in and bless Saint Benedict Institute events
  • Collaborate with Catholic priests at St. Francis de Sales Church
  • Partner with Hope College’s Campus Ministry to coordinate efforts
  • Preach occasionally at Hope College’s chapel services
  • Partner in Saint Benedict Institute fundraising initiatives

Qualifications

  • A Catholic priest in good standing
  • A pastoral vision guided by Evangelii Gaudium
  • A theological vision that accords with Ex Corde Ecclesiae
  • A deep love of Scripture and fluency in it (see Verbum Domini)
  • Solid understanding of faith development and the spiritual needs of emerging adults
  • Experience working in ecumenical environments and a commitment to the receptive ecumenism St. John Paul II articulates in Ut Unum Sint
  • Ability to preach well and connect to large and small audiences
  • Ability to present the faith in a winsome and irenic manner
  • Fluency in Spanish, while not required, is a bonus

Application

Open applications accepted until the position is filled. Please send all materials to the Executive Director, Dr. Jared Ortiz, at jared.ortiz@saintbenedictinstitute.org.  Please provide:

  • a curriculum vitae,
  • a list of three references with contact information (one reference should be a superior; another should be a student or parishioner you have worked with),
  • a list of the five most important books you’ve read with a brief explanation of why,
  • an answer to the following:

In light of the mission of the Saint Benedict Institute and the unique ecumenical environment of Hope College, how would you help build a Catholic culture that ministers to a community with a wide range of faith commitments? (Please answer in 500 +/- words.)