Campus Ministries Welcomes New Vice President

Campus Ministries Welcomes New Vice President

By Kyra Krzywicki – Staff Writer

Dan Cosacchi hopes to draw as many students as possible into the world of Campus Ministries through his role as the new vice president for Mission and Ministry. 

The role was previously occupied by the Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J. before he returned to Scranton Preparatory School as a theology department faculty member this past summer according to an email sent by the University of Scranton’s president, the Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J, in June 2021.  

Cosacchi, who has a doctorate in Catholic theology, is new to the University of Scranton, but this school is his sixth experience in Jesuit education. 

For Cosacchi, Scranton has a unique Jesuit spirit. 

“One thing that stands out to me is how seriously and . . . explicitly we take the mission of the University. For example, all you have to do is walk around campus, and you’ll see quotes either from Scripture or from great spiritual masters sort of on buildings or on the ground . . . It’s a constant reminder of where we are and what we’re supposed to be about,” Cosacchi said. 

As students settle into the fall semester, Cosacchi and his team at Campus Ministries are conducting focus groups and collecting surveys to gauge interest in worship services, retreats and faith on campus.  

“We’ve had two already, and in the dozen or so students we’ve spoken to at these focus groups, they are sort of chock full of ideas, and events, and ideas for events and programming that we can do in addition to what we already do,” Cosacchi said.  

One of the challenges facing Cosacchi is low Mass attendance since the coronavirus pandemic.  

“We know that being in person is really important so that there’s something tangible about being a member of a community where you can see your friends, and family, and neighbors and the people who believe the same things that you do . . . So my hope is that, as we get further and further into doing things that we had been doing pre-COVID here at the University, that people will start coming back,” Cosacchi said.  

Charles Sylvester, a junior environmental science major, has worked at Campus Ministries for two years and encourages fellow students to attend Mass.   

“I would say just try it and see if you like it. You might like it, and if you don’t like it, it’s only an hour of your time. You can always go again if you do like it . . . I think that anybody has a place here. I would encourage anybody to see what we have to offer,” Sylvester said. 

Matthew Duffy, a junior business analytics and philosophy major, also works at Campus Ministries and says the coronavirus made it difficult to create this community.  

“Mass is semi-engaging as a construct. We’ve tried to do programs after like have some kind of food . . . so we can have a little bit of a sense of community past just what the Mass offers, so we’ve been trying our best,” Duffy said.  

Cosacchi said Campus Ministries is a great place to find this community.  

“There are so many different clubs and extracurricular opportunities for folks on campus, and we like to think that we offer some of the best ones because they really provide a foundation for people to get to know one another, for people to ask big questions about their faith, and about life and love. These are not just questions that are contained in a single day, week, year of college or even an entire college career, but these are questions for our entire lives,” Cosacchi said.   

To find your own sense of community through Campus Ministries, attend their upcoming events such as the Oct. 25 screening of the 2020 Pope Francis documentary, “Francesco,” stop by the office at DeNaples 200 to check out upcoming retreats or attend Mass in Madonna Della Strada Chapel.  

Cosacchi will even take you there, himself. 

“If you don’t know where it is, grab a friend, find somebody, come to my office, and I’ll walk you over there,” Cosacchi said.   

Worship Schedule  

Sunday: Mass in Madonna Della Strada Chapel 11 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

Monday through Saturday: Mass in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart 12:05 p.m. 

Wednesday: Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy in Ciszek Hall 4:40 p.m. 

Friday: Jum’ah Service at the Campus Mosque 1 p.m.