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Work on the new ministry center at St. Bonaventure University is progressing quickly.
Construction of the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministries began last August. The new ministry center, besides housing the offices within University Mission and Ministries, will contain a state-of-the-art conference room, meeting rooms, a full kitchen, a great room for larger assemblies and an Interfaith Prayer Tower.
University officials, including president Dr. Andrew Roth, and president emeritus Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., toured the McGinley-Carney Center recently as contractors continued work on the interior of the building.
The building is expected to receive a certificate of occupancy in mid-March and staff members expect to begin moving into the building the first week of April from their temporary offices in the Murphy Building. Exterior landscaping and other work will continue this spring.
A variety of events are being planned to celebrate the grand opening during Easter week, said Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries. The blessing and dedication of the building will be in held in the fall.
“This is an exciting time for St. Bonaventure University. The new McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry will be a wonderful home for the university’s mission and ministries offices and activities. It is centered in the heart of the campus to be the heart of the campus,” he said.
New Faces on UMin Team
As the ministry center is being built, University Ministries also found itself in a rebuilding year. There are a few new staff members that have joined the UMin team in recent months.
Amanda Naujoks is the associate director of University Ministries, Jeff Sved is the director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, and Marcia Wymer is coordinator of Liturgy and Music Ministry. They join coordinator of operations Kate Dillon Hogan, receptionist/secretary Debby Mooney, Fr. Francis, and Fr. Dan Riley, Br. Kevin Kriso, and Michael Fenn from Mt. Ireneaus.
Naujoks is a St. Bonaventure alumna, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in pastoral counseling and social work. She has also earned a master’s degree in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and Graduate School in Cleveland, Ohio. Before joining University Ministries, Naujoks spent 15 years as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at St. Ladislas and St. Bernadette Catholic Churches in Cleveland.
In her position as associate director of University Ministries, Naujoks will provide pastoral leadership for groups and organizations through faith formation and spiritual growth for the SBU family. Naujoks will work with groups such as the SEARCH Retreat Team, Parish In-turn Ministries, Ministers-In-Residence, and Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
“I loved campus ministry when I was a student at SBU. I always wanted to come back because I thought SBU was such a great place,” she said. “I really like working with young people. It’s exciting to be part of discussions about faith, discernment and spiritual development.”
Sved comes to St. Bonaventure after serving for four years as a lay missioner in Bolivian prisons through Franciscan Mission Service.
He is a graduate of Villanova University, where he majored in engineering. Since graduating, Sved has worked with a variety of social justice based groups focused on mass incarceration, hunger, immigration, and homelessness. As the director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, Sved is responsible for the Warming House, Bona Buddies, Silver Wolves, Fair Trade, sustainability, service trips and other concerns and issues consistent with Catholic Social Teaching and the Franciscan commitment to social justice.
“I’m involved with how Catholic Social Thought (teaching) is put into practice on campus and integrated into the educational experience we offer our students at Bonaventure,” Sved said.
Wymer is a resident of Olean and brings to University Ministries more than 30 years of experience in liturgical music. She also serves as the coordinator for Music Ministry at the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany Motherhouse. At St. Bonaventure, Wymer provides leadership for the liturgical ministers and is responsible for weekly Mass and special liturgical celebrations on campus.
Wymer said her philosophy is about putting God front and center.
“Every week before Mass I always pray with the choir and say, ‘don’t let anyone see us — only let them see God through what we do.’ And that’s my goal. I don’t think (liturgy) should ever be about the person who is performing the task. It should only be about God,” she said.
Dillon Hogan joined the University Ministry team as the coordinator of operations in January 2016. She has career experience in higher education administration and brings this expertise to help manage the day-to-day operations of the department. An alumna of St. Bonaventure, she had been previously employed at the university.
“The role of coordinator of operations is aligned with my experience and skills, but the opportunity to work with University Ministries is aligned with my heart and soul. I am grateful for this time at the university,” Dillon Hogan said.
The new UMin team is excited about moving into the new ministry center. Praising this new addition to campus, Fr. Francis affirms that it will continue to be that place where all people are welcome to explore the questions of faith, to offer prayer and praise, or simply to hang out, relax and catch up with friends.
The new ministry center will, as in the past, have 24 hour access. It will now be accessible with a St. Bonaventure ID card.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #6 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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