Proposing Jesus Christ and Forming His Disciples
Priest Assignments Announced for UCat
Bishop Mark Spalding has asked Fr. Gervan Menezes to take on two new assignments. Fr. Gervan has been named to a new position – Diocesan Director of Campus Ministries — to oversee all the college campus ministries throughout the Diocese of Nashville. He has also been named pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Cookeville.
Fr. Rhodes Bolster has been named the new chaplain of UCat/Nashville.
Cookeville is also home to Tennessee Technological University, where Fr. Gervan will directly oversee the college campus ministry there in addition to his other duties as pastor.
Fr. Bolster was born and raised in Nashville and is excited to be 10 minutes away from the house he grew up in. He was the Associate Pastor at St. Philip parish in Franklin for the past two years. Fr. Bolster attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC before entering seminary at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio, where he earned his B.A. in philosophy. He attended seminary in Rome at the Pontifical North American College and earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a License of Sacred Theology in Liturgical Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2019. In addition to serving as Chaplain of University Catholic, he will serve as an Episcopal Master of Ceremonies.
“Fr. Bolster will put his many gifts to use in carrying on the mission of UCat that Fr. John Sims Baker began 16 years ago and that was handed on to Fr. Michael Fye and then to me,” said Fr. Gervan. “The students will love him and learn so much from him.”
“Fr. Gervan has given innumerable blessings to the University Catholic Community,” said Nick Aguirre, VU’14, Director of Campus Ministry for UCat/Nashville. “We will miss him daily, but we are so grateful for his leadership and vision that will continue in his new role.”
Reverend Pachomius Walker, OP, (Micah Walker, VU ’11) was ordained to the priesthood on May 22 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Reverend Alex Wyvill (VU’16) was ordained on June 18 for the Archdiocese of Washington. We offer prayers of thanksgiving for their vocations and ask for God’s graces to flow from their priesthood.
One Mission, One Branding, One Direction
As Diocesan Director of Campus Ministries, the goal is for Fr. Gervan to bring the model of University Catholic/Nashville to other campuses to benefit students at all middle Tennessee colleges.
“UCat has a 16-year tried and true model, and my new job will be to ensure one mission, one branding and one direction of proposing Jesus Christ and forming His disciples throughout many campuses,” says Fr. Gervan.
What began at Vanderbilt University in 2006 and has grown to encompass all Nashville area colleges will now expand to every end of the Diocese of Nashville. Students will have easy access to the sacraments and local opportunities to grow in their faith and build a strong Catholic community while in college. They will also have opportunities to join with other Catholic college students throughout middle Tennessee for retreats, pilgrimages and service opportunities.
“Other campus ministries won’t have to start from scratch, they can follow our model and hit the ground running,” he explained.
“Doing nothing or simply maintaining the status quo would have a devastating impact on our Church for generations to come. Our young people are the Church. We must actively engage them, continue to form them into faithful followers of Christ and equip them to bring the Good News to their peers.”
Become a Mission Partner
I boldly ask for your financial support for University Catholic once again! Fundraising is the hardest part of our job. Please become a partner in mission by signing on as a monthly donor! Your support is vital in Proposing Jesus Christ and Forming His Disciples. –Fr. Gervan
UCAT to me is home, and everyone is like family.
UCat is a Church family that forms, supports, and inspires me daily. UCat’s lifelong bond of community reminds me of God’s pursuit of me and the urgent need (and wonderful adventure) of seeking sainthood together.
As we look at what He has given us and this community, it is hard to discount the value of what UCAT has done to foster and inspire thousands of Holy Souls, including our own, to reach for our best, to live our vocations, to become Saints and bring as many Saints as we can with us.
Because of my formation through University Catholic, I have been able to abandon my “bare minimum” motto. Before I saw Catholicism as a set of rules. Now, I've come to realize I was on top of a gold mine all along. I found the treasure hidden in the field.
I have seen University Catholic transform into a ministry that loves and cares for its students well. At the heart of this ministry is a group of students who love Jesus and allow Him to lead them. I am honored to work here and look forward to see what else the Holy Spirit has in store.
A community that supports, inspires, and forms college students to become the saints they’re made to be.
First, let me thank you for your ministry and dedication to helping sustain and grow faith formation in college Catholics in the Nashville area. I know Emma Kate is leaving college stronger and more active in her faith than ever. As much as we provided a Catholic upbringing, University Catholic is responsible for nurturing and transforming Emma Kate into living an active, Catholic faith-centered life. As parents of four children, John and I are so grateful to you and your ministry. What her father and I desire more than an excellent education or amazing career, is knowing and living with the purpose that our life is for Him -- for His will to be our will. How grateful we are to support and witness Emma Kate dedicate her next two years to helping other young college adults with their faith journey.