The Catholic University of America has appointed Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P., as its first Vice President of Ministry and Mission, a position that places him in the president’s cabinet alongside other University vice presidents.
"I am delighted to announce the appointment of our University chaplain as the new vice president of ministry and mission and a member of our leadership team. This makes formal what has long been our practice - to consult our head of campus ministry on matters of faith, morals, and Catholic identity, and to integrate his advice into the important decisions of the University,” said Catholic University President Peter K. Kilpatrick. “Every member of our community helps to carry out the University's mission, but the new title and leadership structure help us all to keep uppermost in our minds all matters relating to the University mission. Finally, we are especially blessed to have Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P., as the first person to hold this position. I trust his judgment and I rely on his counsel."
In his new position, Father Aquinas will assist the President in animating the Catholic character of the University. With the President, he will help to articulate and promote the University’s Catholic mission, spirituality, ministry, ideals, principles, and charisms to all members of the community, including students, faculty, staff, administration, trustees, and alumni.
Additionally, Father Aquinas will review and offer advice regarding University policies to ensure compliance and compatibility with Catholic teaching, in order to help faculty and staff members integrate faith and charity into their service to the University. He will also advise on University hiring practices to ensure it hires individuals who best embody the spirit, mission, and ideals of the University.
“I am humbled to be called to this new role,” said Father Aquinas. “Catholic University has a special mission as an institution of higher learning, which is to deepen faith and charity in students as it develops their knowledge and skills. Along with my colleagues, I look forward to advancing the University’s mission of helping students, faculty, and staff to grow in love of and service to God and neighbor.”
Father Aquinas will remain the University Chaplain, overseeing the University’s Chaplaincy and Campus Ministry programs. In that role, he will continue to ensure the catechetical and sacramental life of the Catholic University community, as well as its outreach to the poor and marginalized.
A native of Louisiana, Father Aquinas entered the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in 2005. After several years of pastoral work in New York City, he began doctoral studies in theology at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), where he completed a dissertation on St. Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of the common good. Before arriving at Catholic University, Father Aquinas taught moral theology at the nearby Dominican House of Studies, where he also served for a time as prior of the community.