With heavy hearts, Thomas Aquinas College must say goodbye to its head chaplain on the California campus, Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., who will conclude his chaplaincy at the end of July, bidding farewell to the College after a cumulative 14 years of service.
“Next up for me is an assignment to Holy Rosary Parish in Portland, Oregon, a great parish where I had the privilege of serving in the late 1990s,” reports Fr. Paul. “I’ll be assistant pastor, with various apostolates ranging from the substantial confessional ministry of the parish, offering Dominican Rite Masses at Holy Rosary as well as Extraordinary Form at a local parish, working with our Third Order, and undoubtedly hiking with parishioners and even brewing beer.
In 2006 Fr. Paul brought his extensive experience to Thomas Aquinas College, where he served as a chaplain on the California campus from 2006 to 2012. Then, following a two-year assignment in Anchorage, Alaska, he returned to the College in 2014, and has since served as the head chaplain and assistant to the dean for religious affairs.
In those 14 years of service, Fr. Paul has been — as Louis de Wohl once described St. Thomas Aquinas — “a quiet light.” Far from restricting his ministry to the altar and the confessional, he is a regular presence in the dining commons and campus events, and generously offers spiritual direction to all who seek it. He is especially known for leading hikes and camping trips. “I like to get together with some students,” he explains, “and walk down a trail so I can just be in their presence and share in their lives.”
Full story at thomasaquinas.edu.