Co-directors appointed to lead the Alibrandi Catholic Center
Co-directors appointed to lead the Alibrandi Catholic CenterAugust 21, 2001Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
When the Alibrandi Catholic Center (ACC) holds its annual pasta dinner on Aug. 23 for the University?s incoming freshmen, the center?s new co-directors will be among those offering their warm welcomes. Father Timothy Mulligan, OFM Conv., and Sister Patricia Larkin, OSF, were recently appointed as co-directors of the ACC, beginning a new chapter in the center?s history.
Mulligan and Larkin succeed Father Adam Keltos, OFM Conv., who has been assigned to a new ministry in the Syracuse area. Their appointments mark the first time the center has been under the leadership of two co-directors rather than one chaplain.
Mulligan and Larkin both bring a broad range of experience to their new ministries. A native of Parsippany, N.J., Mulligan graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., with a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation he went to New York City to work at Covenant House, an agency that provides shelter and service to homeless and runaway youth. Mulligan intended to give just a year of service to Covenant House and then return to the engineering profession, but it was there that he became acquainted with the Conventual Franciscan Friars. He joined the order in 1988 and was ordained as a priest in 1996. In the Syracuse area, he has served as associate pastor of St. Mary?s Church in Minoa, vocation director for the Franciscans and been involved in the Franciscan Northside Ministries, a collective effort of the Franciscan Friars and the Sisters of St. Francis to serve the neighborhoods on Syracuse?s north side.
Larkin, a native of Fulton, N.Y., has been a member of the Sisters of St. Francis for 36 years. She holds a bachelor?s in math from Catholic University and a M.S.W. from Hunter College. She was a teacher in Hoboken, N.J., Baldwinsville and Utica, N.Y., and worked at Covenant House in New York City for 14 years. For the past nine years, Larkin has served as formation director for the Sisters of St. Francis, helping to guide women through the journey towards making a permanent commitment to the order.
Jointly, the two will work to meet the spiritual needs of the Catholic students, faculty and staff who are part of the SU community. It?s a big job?approximately 40 percent of the SU student population identify themselves as Catholic?but it is one that they look forward to with great enthusiasm. Although neither ever imagined that they would be involved in campus ministry, they are brimming with ideas. One idea is to train students to offer retreats for high school students who are preparing to receive the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation.
“We want to enable students to be motivated Catholics who will work in their parishes,” says Larkin.
“We want to give them a real foundation of Christian community, a strong sense of worship and a deep sense of Catholic identity that will propel them into where they go from here,” Mulligan says.
Mass will be offered at 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Alibrandi Center, and at noon every weekday except Tuesday at Hendricks Chapel. The center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., offering students a quiet place to pray, work or study.
While Mulligan and Larkin plan to continue the successful programs that are already in place, such as the popular “Fettuccine With the Franciscans” and the annual Spring Cabaret, they also look towards implementing some new things, such as programs that cut across cultural boundaries or that are offered during school breaks. An online newsletter is also in the works, and both hope to create programs that will involve more faculty and staff members in the life of the center.
On Oct. 13 and 14, the masses at the Alibrandi Center, in conjunction with the Diocese of Syracuse, will have a special focus on persons with disabilities. A special speaker is planned. Mulligan and Larkin are also looking towards organizing a group of Alibrandi students to attend World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002.
Mulligan and Larkin will have the support of their respective Franciscan communities in their new ministries. When the Franciscans became involved with the center in 1997, both became acquainted with the center, and can count on the same from their fellow friars and sisters. FrancisCorps, a Franciscan volunteer program facilitated by Brother Jim Moore, OFM Conv., is based at the Alibrandi Center.
For more information on the Alibrandi Catholic Center, visit the Web at http://www.alibrandicatholiccenter.org.