Campus Ministry has a new director this year in Mary Sue Callan-Farley, previously the director of campus ministry at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J. With 20 years of expertise in ministry and campus ministry, including 11 years at St. Peter’s, Callan-Farley said she is excited to start her job here at Marquette.
“My job for my first year is to listen,” she said. “Our programs, like the retreats and Ignatius projects, evolve on a year to year basis. I make sure they keep evolving.”
Callan-Farley graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has her master’s degree in theological studies from the Maryknoll School of Theology. She decided she would like to come to Marquette when the position of director of campus ministry opened up.
“I feel that sometimes it’s good to stretch yourself,” Callan-Farley said. “I have many colleagues who said Marquette is great, and I’ve heard Milwaukee is a great city.”
Stephanie Russell, vice president of mission and ministry, was part of the committee that selected Callan-Farley for the position.
“Mary Sue Callan-Farley is a tremendously gifted woman,” Russell said. “Everyone (the committee) talked to mentioned her compassion, competence in campus ministry and ability to work with diversity.”
One of the ideas that Callan-Farley stresses is that while Marquette is a Catholic, Jesuit school, there is room for all faiths and cultures.
“All are welcome here at Campus Ministry,” Callan-Farley said. “It doesn’t matter where they are from or what they believe in.”
Callan-Farley said she wanted to stress that community is also a major part in what she wants to do at Marquette. Those plans started with an open house Tuesday morning where students could come into Campus Ministry and have light refreshments while getting to know the staff.
“The open house was really for relationship building,” Callan-Farley said. “I’m new here, and not everybody knows everyone on staff or even in Campus Ministry. I wanted to introduce myself to the community.”
Lisa Cathelyn, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she’s excited to see what Callan-Farley can do in Campus Ministry.
“I think it’s pretty crucial that those who work in Campus Ministry continue to be visible on campus at events both directly related to their office but also programs that are not necessarily affiliated with Campus Ministry,” Cathelyn said. “That way, they can continue their welcoming, open-minded presence on campus and live out the University’s Catholic, Jesuit mission.”
Callen-Farley said she thinks the work of Campus Ministry can improve the university.
“We feel that if people reflect and pray, then Marquette will be much better off,” Callan-Farley said.