Chaplaincies

Rev. Gina M. Finocchiaro, Dr. Mary Kantor and Rabbi Michael Swarttz

Catholic Chaplaincy

On creating a community of faith – “a place where all would be known, all would be loved.”
–St. Therese of Ávila, 16th c. Spanish mystic, teacher, founder of religious communities

The Catholic Chaplaincy, led by Dr. Mary Kantor, provides vibrant and welcoming worship; space for cultivating informed faith and spirituality; and a place to participate in the global Church’s life and mission of promoting social justice. But first and foremost, it is a ministry focused on creating a community where students feel at home, a space of familiarity, comfort, and grounding in their spiritual identities and histories, as well as a safe and respectful environment for exploring, deepening, and questioning one’s faith. And it is always a setting for instilling hope, upholding joy, and resting in one’s belonging with and for each other.

Emails from recent alumni:

I’m going to miss seeing you and the Catholic community every Sunday because it was a family on campus that I could rely on for spiritual guidance and faith. M. ‘20

You’ve really built such a spectacular faith community on campus and I’m so happy to be a part of it. Whether it was before Mass, during fellowship time, or during knitting time, you’ve always made me feel so welcome and cared for….” A. ‘22

A diverse community, Catholics residing on campus come from around the globe. This universal Church, its gifts and arts, is richly reflected in the Sunday Mass, in the sacramental preparation programs, in the educational offerings, social gatherings, as well as in foods served by ethnic communities and families in the area.

The Catholic Chaplaincy oversees outreach and community engagement opportunities and fundraising for international relief efforts. Catholics and any interested students are welcome to be a part of the events of the Catholic community at PA.

CATHOLIC MASSES

Sundays @ 6:15 p.m. Kemper Chapel (lower level of Cochran Chapel)

(NOTE: This is a time-change from previous years.)

Services are held during the academic year when school is in session.

Presiders: Fr. John O’Brien; priests of the Archdiocese of Boston
Chaplain: Dr. Mary Kantor

The celebration of Sunday evening Mass is the heart of the Catholic community at PA. Dorm and day students, faculty/staff and their children, local parents and families, and alumni gather each week for prayer, fellowship, and hospitality. Visiting families are always welcome to join us. This event provides a space for worship and reflection, some quiet and calm to start each week, and a place for students to meet and get to know each other and those of the extended Catholic community.

Students have roles in all of the liturgical ministries of music, reading scripture, distributing communion, hospitality, greeting and ushering. Recognizing the many cultures of Catholicism represented at PA, the Masses have a wide offering of worship resources, musical styles, languages, arts, as well as international snacks and desserts in the hospitality time after Mass.

HOLY DAY MASSES

With limited availability of priests during weekdays, Holy Day Masses are not available on campus. Arrangements can be made for attendance at our local Catholic parish, St. Augustine Church.

SACRAMENTS

Baptism and Eucharist

Student preparation for the initiation sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist may be arranged through Dr. Mary Kantor at 978.749.4137. These events are celebrated at Masses with the Catholic community during the school year.

Rite of Reconciliation (Confession)

This sacrament is available to students at the local Catholic parish, St. Augustine Church, on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or by appointment by calling the parish office at 978.475.0050 x10. The sacrament can also be available by appointment with the priest on campus for Sunday Mass, scheduled through Dr. Mary Kantor at 978.749.4137.

Confirmation

The Catholic Confirmation program, running from late September through May, is available to PA high school students in any grade. Classes are held most weeks on Sunday evening with a communal dinner provided at 4:45 p.m., and class held until 6:00 p.m. followed by Sunday Mass at 6:15 p.m. (NOTE: This is a time-change from previous years.) As Catholic students at PA come from all points of the globe, and have varied formation in and experiences of Catholicism, Dr. Kantor has designed a unique curriculum for Confirmation preparation. An intensive Catholic foundations program, it covers the frameworks of belief, the creed, faith and science, the sacraments, the liturgy, as well as Catholic social teaching and ethics, faith lived in the world, theology of the body, ecumenical and interfaith teachings, Catholic environmental and bioethics, and the cultural and ethnic expressions of Catholicism around the world.

This faith formation for the sacrament is fit into the school calendar year, and not extended over an entire year or two as in most parishes. Because of the intensive and truncated nature of this program, regular attendance–with limited absences allowed–is expected at the scheduled classes. (Classes are not held on the Sundays before exams or on Parents/Family Weekend.)

Drawing upon the rich opportunities locally, on-line, and through the school’s Community Engagement Office, Confirmation preparation provides a reflective and spiritual element for students as they participate in service and outreach projects on and off campus. A day-long retreat–a required element of the Archdiocese of Boston–culminates the year. This year’s Confirmation Retreat, held at the school’s Log Cabin, is Sunday, May 7, 2023.

The Confirmation Mass, held in the main Cochran Chapel, will be presided over by Bishop Robert Hennessey of the Merrimack Region of the Archdiocese of Boston. A highlight of the Catholic community’s year, this Mass and brunch reception is Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, or to enroll in the 2022-23 Confirmation program, contact Dr. Mary Kantor at 978.749.4137

Jewish Chaplaincy

Under the watchful eye of Rabbi Michael Swarttz, the Jewish Chaplaincy offers those in the Jewish community an opportunity for prayer, fellowship, and spiritual growth.

With this broad goal in mind, the Jewish Chaplaincy has been responsible for bringing various speakers and performances to campus, including “Unorthodox” podcast host Mark Oppenheimer, poet Robert Pinsky, author Daniel Goldhagen, Sarah Hurwitz (chief speechwriter for former First Lady Michelle Obama), alumnus Leo Ullman ’57, speaking on his own personal experience as a Holocaust survivor, and PA alum Ben Gundersheimer, a Latin Grammy winning singer-songwriter.

In addition to the weekly Shabbat gathering, the Jewish Student Union also sponsors a special Shabbat dinner each term.

Our Jewish Chaplaincy facilitates the observance of Jewish holidays for our students. For the holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the Chapel facilitates all interested boarding students in attending services at local synagogues. Commemoration and celebration of other holidays occurs on campus.

SHABBAT SERVICES

Fridays @ 5:30 p.m., Paul’s Room (2nd Floor of Paresky Commons)

Services are held during the academic year when school is in session.

Protestant Chaplaincy

The Rev. Gina M. Finocchiaro serves as Protestant chaplain to the community. She offers regular worship on Sunday evenings, as well as occasional special services throughout the year. All are welcome.

Worship services include reading of scripture, a reflection from Rev. Gina, prayers and hymns. Occasionally, we are joined by Michael Belcher and Andover’s Gospel Choir. Communion is celebrated once a month, or by request.

Sundays evening sometimes make space for creative forms of worship instead including dinner church, prayer vigils, or exclusively a service of a music.

Andover students come from a diaspora of Christian traditions and denominations within Protestantism. Knowing that one worship service can never capture all the styles and rhythms of church, Rev. Gina is happy to help students connect with local churches that worship in an expression of faith that feels most familiar and meaningful.

In December, we look forward to collaborating with the music department for Lessons and Carols, putting Andover’s spin on the festival of the Word and Music that comes to us from King’s College in England.

Additionally, Rev. Gina advises two student groups: Andover Christian Fellowship (ACF), where there is opportunity for students to fellowship in a small group, consider the Bible and pray together; Culture, Philosophy, and Religion (CPR) invites students from any and all religious or spiritual background to turn over issues of moral and ethical weight together in conversation from a variety of perspectives.

Rev. Gina offers one-on-one pastoral care and grief support. She is also eager to be in conversation with those who are seeking, searching, questioning or doubting their beliefs and traditions. She is also available for baptisms, weddings, memorial services and funerals on request.

WORSHIP SERVICES

Sundays @ 6 p.m., Main Floor, Cochran Chapel (unless otherwise noted).

Services are held during the academic year when school is in session.

Officiant: The Reverend Gina Finocchiaro