This academic year, the Office of the College Chaplains welcomes two new staff members: Rev. Keith Maczkiewicz, S.J. and Andrew Omondi. Both offering rich education and faith experience, they are excited to join the Holy Cross community.
To many, Maczkiewicz is a familiar face; he worked on campus from 2013-2015 as a regent during his Jesuit formation. Some may remember him as the “Holla @ the Collar” Jesuit who, wearing his clerics, sat in Cool Beans once a week to talk with students.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Maczkiewicz returns to Holy Cross this year as assistant chaplain after being ordained in June. He looks forward to returning to campus with the gift of the priesthood, hoping to continue to form relationships through what he deems “casual ministry.”
His primary responsibility will be recruiting and training liturgical ministers — those who greet, lector and serve the Eucharist at Mass. One of the guiding questions Maczkiewicz will keep in mind for students as he begins this ministry: “How can we continue to form you in your role of service to this community?”
In addition to his liturgy work, Maczkiewicz says part of his role as chaplain will involve stopping whatever he is doing to listen to the experiences of students of all faith backgrounds. “Tangible results are less important to me than a student’s heart being broken open and having had an experience that changes their life,” he says.
Also joining the campus ministry staff is Andrew Omondi, a former Jesuit-in-training from Kenya. Omondi, who holds degrees in educational psychology and theology, arrives at Mount St. James with a wealth of experience, having lived in Nairobi, South Sudan, London and Indianapolis. Joining the Holy Cross community is one of the best ways to give back what he has learned through his time in education and his experiences traveling and encountering different cultures, he says.
As assistant chaplain, Omondi will work primarily with student-athletes, holding Bible studies, providing pastoral care and participating in immersion trips and retreats. As a former athlete himself, he is excited to help Holy Cross athletes use sports to examine their own spirituality. He views sports as another way to experience full community with God. “Having a gift is God’s way of speaking to us and trying to reveal himself in us,” he says.
In this new role, Omondi pictures himself as a walking stick for students, accompanying them in their struggles and joys. “If one wants to go far, he has to do it with others,” he explains.
Formed in Jesuit and Ignatian spirituality, Omondi holds these beliefs dear and hopes to integrate them into his new role. He believes that sharing Ignatian spirituality will help create a community rooted in God, not only at Holy Cross, but in the world.
Written by Mary Cunningham ’17 for the Fall 2018 issue of Holy Cross Magazine.
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