In an email to students, faculty and staff on April 2, Fairfield President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. announced the appointment of Rev. Mark Scalese, S.J. as the new Director of Campus Ministry.

Scalese will be taking over for Rev. George E. Collins, S.J., who will take a new position as President of Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine. Scalese will begin this new role on July 1, reporting to Thomas C. Pellegrino ‘90, vice president for student affairs.

“I am delighted that [Scalese] has agreed to take on this critical role at this time, and am certain that his energy and enthusiasm will be of great benefit to the campus community in his new position,” said von Arx in the email.

Scalese, a member of the University community for 11 years and has been involved with students as well as the ministry, never foresaw himself as the successor of Collins as Director of Campus Ministry.

“I hadn’t really thought about it that much, but once the position was available and [Collins] asked, I thought, ‘Yeah, I could get pretty excited about this,’” said Scalese.

Scalese had served as an associate professor of Visual and Performing Arts up until this year, and is heavily involved with Fairfield’s film, television and media arts major at Xavier Hall.

According to Scalese, however, his main focus will be on his new position as Director of Campus Ministry in the fall. He will still be a part-time faculty member with the film department, and hopes to teach a couple of classes a year in the program.

With all that time, Scalese has much in mind as far as working to make campus ministry more recognizable and appreciated around campus.

“Part of what I’m very interested in is exploring how to reach out to students who might not think that campus ministry has anything to offer them, and try to encourage them to look at it in a new way,” said Scalese.

Aside from supervising masses, service trips and volunteer opportunities, he would like to meet with groups of students to get their views on what campus ministry is, and how to better reach out to them.

As both a long-time Fairfield professor and an instructor with a vast knowledge of the media, Scalese plans on using these skills to his advantage in his new position. As someone who knows a couple hundred students already thanks to his teaching experience, he hopes that they are encouraged to interact with campus ministry and spread it around campus.

According to Scalese, coordinating campus ministry events through other programs like residence life around campus will attract more students. Aside from that, he plans on making himself known around campus via eating meals with students in Barone and just being a relatable person.

“[Collins] has been great; he’s known for being approachable and very kind, and I think anybody who has had any dealings with him has come away with it being a positive experience,” said Scalese. “Those are going to be very big shoes to fill for sure.”

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