Image Courtesy of the Catholic University of America
By Zachary Lichter
Catholic University of America’s President Peter Kilpatrick named University Chaplain Father Aquinas Guilbeau as the first-ever Vice President of Ministry and Mission on October 10, 2023.
In this new role, Father Aquinas will help Kilpatrick work alongside the other Vice Presidents of the university to help bring the “Catholic character” to CUA, according to the University website.
“With the President, he will help to articulate and promote the University’s Catholic mission, spirituality, ministry, ideals, principles, and charisms to all members of the community, including students, faculty, staff, administration, trustees, and alumni,” the website wrote.
This means that Father Aquinas will assist Kilpatrick in developing and carrying out his vision for CUA by joining his leadership team. In addition, Father Aquinas is responsible for helping the Board of Trustees alongside the other vice presidents, if needed, in accomplishing their commitment to the university.
Upon receiving this new role, Father Aquinas expressed his gratitude and explained why he deemed it necessary.
“We hold a precious charge here at Catholic University, which Pope Leo XIII described when founding the university as giving ‘the Republic her best citizens.’ No one person can do this alone. A team effort is required for the university to fulfill its 136-year-old mandate,” Father Aquinas said.
As VP of Ministry and Mission, Father Aquinas has several other responsibilities to fulfill. In addition to working with President Kilpatrick, the Board of Trustees, and the other Vice Presidents, he will also advise the faculty and staff on Catholic teaching concerning University policies. Furthermore, he will oversee the University’s hiring process by ensuring that CUA is hiring people who reflect the spirit, goals, and charisms of the University.
While Father Aquinas takes on his new position, he will continue performing his current role as University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry.
Father Aquinas shared what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure as Vice President of Ministry and Mission.
“I hope to be a resource for anyone on campus who wishes to pursue the mission of Catholic University in attractive, creative, and innovative ways,” Father Aquinas said. “Like the faith itself, the mission of the university has to be taken up and advanced by every generation of faculty, staff, and students that calls Catholic University home.”
Michael Ellison, a junior philosophy major and theology minor, says that he hopes Father Aquinas’s new role will help show how faith can impact the campus community.
“Whether we are studying for midterms, researching new developments in our field, practicing sports, or working on a show or concert,” Ellison said. “Fr. Aquinas is perfect for this role because, in my experiences working with him, I know he has great wisdom, which can help advise and guide important decisions. In addition, he is also hard-working and dedicated, and he always has a pastoral heart, looking out for the needs and cares of the people around him.”