University celebrates minister’s 25 years of contribution

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    Students and faculty will show their appreciation today for a minister who has been with the university community for 25 years, an associate chaplain said.

    Associate Chaplain Jake Hofmeister said the focus of the event would be Father Charlie Calabrese, the Catholic minister at the university.

    Calabrese first came to the university in 1984. According to his staff biography, Calabrese was previously a campus minister at Ohio University for eight years.

    Cindy Rodriguez, administrative assistant for the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, said Calabrese did various things as Catholic minister including providing pastoral care for students, baptizing children and presiding over weddings.

    “I think it’s important that the university recognizes what all he gives to the students here,” Rodriguez said, adding that Calabrese is always smiling and has time to stop and talk to people who need him.

    According to his staff biography, Calabrese also volunteers at The WARM Place, a grief support center for children.

    Victoria Maranan, a senior broadcast journalism major and member of the TCU Catholic Community choir, said she met Calabrese during the first campus Mass of fall 2006. Calabrese puts his homilies in a context that is relatable to college students and lends an ear when students approach him with problems, she said.

    “You don’t feel intimidated by him,” Maranan said. “He listens to you. He doesn’t judge you.”

    Calabrese has also given a lot of support to TCU Catholic Community’s music ministry, Maranan said, adding that she did not see that type of involvement from the priest at her old parish in Irving, where she was also in the music ministry. Calabrese gets to Brown-Lupton University Union early before Mass to help musicians set up their equipment and give feedback on their work, she said.

    Maranan also said Calabrese once joined retreat attendants in an ice-breaker game that involved goofy dancing. Students expected him to just watch, but Calabrese did his own dance move, along with trying student moves, she said.

    Paul Petrie, a senior nursing major and member of the Catholic Community, said it is important for him to attend the event because Calabrese helped inspire a feeling of belonging and community. Calabrese is always willing to spend time with him and other students during retreats, he said.

    Calabrese said he preferred not to be interviewed.

    Editor-in-chief Julieta Chiquillo contributed to this report.


    Dessert reception for Father Charlie Calabrese

    When: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight

    Where: Brown-Lupton University Union