June 12, 2016
It is with heartfelt gratitude that I conclude my tenth year as chaplain of University Catholic. It has been a privilege to serve as spiritual father to the thousands of college students that I have encountered during the last decade.
I am happy to inform you that Fr. Michael Fye has been named the new full-time chaplain of University Catholic.
Bishop David Choby has given me a new assignment that will begin in August. I will be moving to Columbus, Ohio to join the staff at Pontifical College Josephinum, where many of our Diocese’s seminarians are preparing for the priesthood. I will serve as a spiritual director for the seminarians, among other duties. I am honored by this assignment, and look forward to returning to the Josephinum, where I went to seminary.
Fr. Fye served a duel assignment this past year as associate chaplain at University Catholic and associate pastor at St. Mary’s Church, so the students know him well. He is a wonderful priest with a wealth of knowledge and boundless, youthful energy which will serve him well in this role! He also happens to be a very good friend of mine – I’ve known him since he served as altar boy when I was pastor of his parish.
I could not have picked a better replacement for UCat’s Chaplain. Fr. Fye has built a strong rapport with the students. He is an excellent homilist, a compassionate confessor, and he takes his role as spiritual father very seriously. He will be greatly assisted by Courtney Barnes, our director of campus ministry, and Kathleen Cordell, our administrative assistant. I am confident that I am leaving our campus ministry in very capable hands.
Of course, I will miss University Catholic, St. Mary’s and indeed Nashville itself. It has been exciting and challenging to serve these two assignments, but I am happy that a full-time priest has been assigned to both. The transition will take place later in the summer.
I am very proud of what we have built at University Catholic over the past ten years. Fr. Fye is excited to carry on what we have started, and he will have much to add to University Catholic's future success in bringing Jesus Christ to college students.
Fundraising is the hardest part of this job. As a legacy, I would like to leave that load lighter for my successors. It is more important now, during this time of transition, to have monthly donors that we can rely on. I ask for your support so that we can leave a strong legacy at University Catholic and let Fr. Fye focus on ministering to the students!
Please pray for me in this new assignment, and be assured of my prayers for you.
Fr. John Sims Baker
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