Students, faculty, Jesuits and members of the Fairfield community gathered yesterday to rename and dedicate the residence hall at 42 Bellarmine Road to Faber Hall in honor of St. Peter Faber, S.J.
Students have been residing in Bellarmine’s suite-style rooms as part of the Creative Life Residential College since 2009, when Fairfield’s Jesuit community moved out of the building and into the newly built Jesuit Community Center.
Fr. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. opened the ceremony, speaking about Faber’s life and history. He noted that Faber, St. Francis Xavier, S.J. and St. Ignatius of Loyola, S.J. all lived and studied together at the University of Paris, later co-founding the Society of Jesus.
“It’s fair to say that the Society of Jesus was formed in a student residence hall,” said von Arx.
Faber was canonized by Pope Francis this December and is the most recent Jesuit saint to be canonized.
Von Arx also touched upon Faber’s notable qualities such as his modesty, charm and gentle nature.
“In naming this residence after St. Peter Faber, S.J., we hope and pray that the gentleness, openness and love of community … will inform all of those who come to live, study and befriend one another inside these walls,” said von Arx.
Fr. Mark Scalese, S.J., resident Jesuit of the now Faber Hall, and four current residents of the dorm then led a group of about 30 people in prayer.
“May all who live and work here follow his example of spiritual depth, intellectual rigor, vocational discernment, personal integrity and openness to friendship,” said Scalese.
Scalese, who has lived among students in Faber Hall since 2009, later elaborated about why Faber is an “appropriate patron for [the] building.”
“I think it’s an aspirational name in that the qualities that Fr. von Arx talked about, that we would hope would be true of the students who live here,” said Scalese.
Area Coordinator Meredith Smith expressed her excitement about the renaming, and mentioned that the new name gives Faber Hall “some identity.”
Faber Hall resident and event speaker Allison Kopp ‘16 demonstrated a similar enthusiasm.
“Well, a lot of students will now have their pizza delivered to the correct place, which is great. But I think it distinguishes it more as a building, you know, with the whole Bellarmine-Bellarmine situation I feel like there was a lot of confusion. It’ll have more of its own identity.”