The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Taliah Carmona, class of 24
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Recent Campus Ministry Changes Make Waves within Le Moyne Community

Within the last couple weeks, there have been several changes within Le Moyne’s Campus Ministry. Most notably, Tom Andino, the Director of Liturgy, Music, and Campus Ministry, recently resigned. The announcement came in an October 11th Dolphin Digest, which stated that Andino’s last day would be on October 13th, only two days later.

Following Andino, several other members of Campus Ministry left the school, including Sister Ann Kenyon, O.S.F., who served as the Campus Minister for Faith Formation, Joshua Corcoran, who played piano at almost every Sunday evening mass, Matthew Wojak, and Alice Zicari-Grant, a Campus Minister. Out of the seven-person Campus Ministry staff, six left the school.

The College did not comment on why these individuals left, as director of communications at Le Moyne, Joe Della Posta, notes, “As a general policy, the College does not comment on personnel matters.” Andino and Kenyon refused to comment on the situation as well.

This change comes as a tremendous loss to the campus community, several students said, especially current and former students who attend weekly mass. Andino has been involved in the Le Moyne College community for the past two decades, as he has been working here since 2003. Aside from organizing large-scale events like Lessons and Carols even amidst Covid, or gathering Joyful Noise, Campus Ministry’s music group, every Sunday to sing hymns at mass, Andino took time to get to know students.

Brian Pompa, a 2022 Le Moyne graduate, says that the heart of this connection was individual meetings with students. “Tom met with me and several other students once a week for a while to connect, talk, chat, anything really,” Pompa says. “He was a great resource for students to go to because of how much he cared about us.” He notes that “this great place to connect with others” is now “gone.”

Sabina Muradova, a senior at Le Moyne states that these resignations “left a large gap, as they helped build a beautiful and tight community for students.” She adds that, “right now it feels like retreats, mass, clubs, and Christmas will never be the same.”

Many alumni who attend weekly mass are also upset at hearing the news. Victoria Breslin (21’) is one such student:

“The church is a place where I was able to connect with alumni, athletes & friends on a weekly basis. Not only was the chapel a spiritual place where I was able to form a deeper connection to the Lord through song & praise, but also a chance for me to start the week off strong by building deeper relationships with those around me, especially the Campus Ministry staff. Since Tom, Ann and Alice’s departure, things have not been the same. The chapel feels empty. Mass is quiet & dull with the lack of instrumental worship, making it harder for me to feel an increased investment in the Catholic mass Le Moyne provides.”

Despite these changes, many students remain hopeful that Le Moyne’s Campus Ministry will remain a safe space in which they can grow in their faith. Daniel Kelly, a senior and regular eucharistic minister, states that “Tom Andino and Sister Ann are big losses” to Campus Ministry, but “Father Jason has done a great job since he took over as Director,” providing “lots of opportunities for students to get engaged with Campus Ministry and ultimately strengthen their faiths.” Muradova remains confident that “everyone will adapt,” and that “this ‘home away from home’ will still be standing strong” due to the efforts of “other wonderful individuals working there now” and “students who value ministry.”

On the other hand, Breslin is not so optimistic about the future of Campus Ministry, as she remarks that “the Panasci Family Chapel doesn’t feel like home anymore,” so she is “actively looking at other churches to attend” in hopes of finding “the sense of community” she once had here.

As for the future of Campus Ministry, Father Patrick Rogers, S.J.,who took over Rev. Charles Oduke’s role as Vice President for Mission Integration in July 2022, states that “searches for open positions” will begin in early 2024, as Brian Linnane, S.J., leads “the search for a new director of Campus Ministry” with a committee that will include students.

In the meantime, Father Jason Downer, S.J., will serve as interim director, according to the Dolphin Digest that announced Andino’s departure from the school. Rogers plans to continue Lessons and Carols, and the event is currently scheduled for the evening of December 3rd. The event will be live-streamed, and will “feature prominently” Joyful Noise and Patricia Dela Cruz, the student music director and president of Joyful Noise, who will conduct some of the event’s music. Rogers also remarks that “Joyful Noise has continued uninterrupted,” as “they regularly sing every Sunday at the 7 p.m. mass,” and “has even added some singers from last year.”

Given the close relationship many had to the Campus Ministry staff, as well as the staff’s longevity at Le Moyne, students and alumni appear to agree that that the months ahead will be a difficult adjustment for those involved with Campus Ministry.

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