‘Father Charlie’ shares future plans with Catholic Community

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    TCU Catholic Community’s long time leader gave his personal remarks and talked about his future Wednesday afternoon in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium.

    The Rev. Charles Calabrese used the last minutes of the reception hosted by TCU Office of Religious and Spiritual Life in his honor to talk to the Catholic community he helped to build.

    “FYI, I am not retiring,” said Calabrese. “Three Fort Worth bishops have allowed me to be here for 30 years.
     
    He said that Michael Olson, the bishop of Fort Worth Diocese, thanked him for his service at TCU Catholic Community and has started the process for other job opportunities. 
     
    “If I reach retirement age, I’d like to be a hospice chaplain,” Calabrese said. “To be even considered it’s called CPE, clinical pastoral education and I don’t have that. Harris has a twelve month residency in CPE and it’s full time.”
     
    He said that serving 13 years at an organization devoted to AIDS outreach was an enriching experience for him. Calabrese has applied for a position at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

    “To be even considered, it’s called CPE, clinical pastoral education and I don’t have that,” Calabrese said. “Harris has a twelve-month residency in CPE and it’s full time.”

    Calabrese has been called in for a second interview for the position and is hoping that he will be accepted into the program.

    Members of the TCU Catholic Community were able to reflect on Calabrese at the reception after he announced his departure on April 12.

    “When our daughter got married, we had him marry our daughter,” said one non-student member. “So he’s kind of been a part of our life for quite a long time.”

    “I just finished reading the story of Pope Francis’ life story and it’s so similar to Father Charlie in the compassion, the love for people, acknowledging that we have differences and still work together for the good of mankind,” said one non-student member that has known Calabrese for 42 years. “Father Charlie is everything that Pope Francis represents and that’s what Father Charlie represents.”

    During his reception, Kathy Cavins-Tull, the vice chancellor for student affairs, encouraged members to thank Calabrese in the form of an “open mic.”

    “Thank you for showing that Catholic means universal not just denomination,” said another Catholic Community member.

    “Thank you for showing us how to love the Church and be critical of it in a very gentle way,” one member said.

    “You’re being eulogized and didn’t even have to die,” another member said. “Thank you for your message of love and acceptance each week.”

    Nikki Howard, the co-president of TCU Catholic Community and Rev. Angela Kaufman, the minister to the university, made remarks during the reception.

    “He’s like a friend — just go talk to him whenever, crack jokes, tell stories,” said Howard, a junior speech-language pathology major. “Just have a conversation with him, he’ll comfort you and make you feel better.”

    The entirety of Calabrese’s statement can be viewed below: