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A Ministry of Presence

Those white robes on campus continue to provide a true ministry of presence. On campus for 2022-23, some new Norbertine faces as well as familiar names in new positions:

The Rev. Jonathan Turba (pictured right), the new vocation director at St. Norbert Abbey, currently spends two days on campus as a resource to students. Turba also assists with liturgical life at the college parish. He has celebrated Masses at Old St. Joe’s and blessed residence halls on campus. Turba says that he appreciates the energy of the college environment: “The students are at a big and beautiful juncture in their lives, learning more about themselves and where the Lord is calling them. It is an honor, a privilege and a blessing for me to get to walk with these students on their faith journeys, and to help them discern their own calling.”

Frater Bernard Brodeur (center) works with the parish’s RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and Generations of Faith programs as part of his apostolic year – the second year in a two-year novitiate. “My hope this year is to forge connections and build relationships with and between students here at St. Norbert College,” he says. “Relationships are central to our Catholic faith and an integral part of the Norbertine charism.”

The Rev. Matthew Dougherty ’09 (Biology) assists at the college parish as well as teaching. He also invites students to join him in recreation: “I hope to get students out fishing on the Fox below the De Pere Dam, perhaps start a fishing club. St. Norbert is blessed to be situated on a world-class walleye fishery.”

The Rev. Patrick LaPacz ’09 is the program coordinator at the Center for Norbertine Studies. His role includes supporting daily activities at the center, planning programs and events, giving presentations on Norbertine identity and teaching the “Communio and the Norbertines” class. He views presence as an important ministry: “Simply by wearing the white Norbertine habit when I’m on campus, I am witness to the Norbertine and Catholic identity of the college.”

The Rev. Onwu Akpa (Economics), enjoys sharing more than one of his passions with students: “I like teaching and talking with students on academic and non-academic things, especially soccer and neuroeconomics,” he says. Akpa also assists at the parish, where the Rev. Michael Brennan ’99 is the new pastor. Brennan, chaplain for the National Shrine of St. Joseph, is also a member of the college’s board of trustees.

Oct. 31, 2022