Community Building at the Core of New Ministry Center

Community Building at the Core of New Ministry Center

Thursday’s opening of the University of San Diego’s new Ministry Center, located behind Founders Hall, showed off its multi-purpose room, artist John Nava’s beautiful wall tapestries with 32 inspirational and international figures, and new office spaces for Mission and Ministry administrators and staff.

It also instilled a keen sense of pride and hope that it can become a major meeting place for campus community participation and involvement.

“This is a wonderful space that we’ll use as much as we possibly can, I anticipate we’ll have all kinds of events here, especially gathering after and before Mass,” said Michael Lovette-Colyer, PhD, assistant vice president and director for University Ministry. “I can’t wait to see all of the different ways that students will gather here and other constituents at the university as well. I hope many people will come, be with us, see it and discover the goodness of community. That is at the essence of who we are at USD.”

The year-long construction and the long-term plans for such a center, which finished in early June, has joyfully been realized by the university and by Vice President of Mission and Ministry, Monsignor Daniel J. Dillabough ’70.

“This (center) captures the vision, especially in the tapestries … that this is a very special place this university,” he said. “A place where we do experience God’s love in community and as a place of really compassionate care besides an excellent education.”

Dillabough thanked many people for their help in seeing the center project to fruition. USD President James T. Harris paid respects to the foundational Religious of the Sacred Heart women — there is a beautiful wall of recognition just outside the center — and to donors big and small who believed in it. He also credited Monsignor Dillabough for his determination to see the project through.

"Without his vision, without his drive, without his love for this institution that’s now at 50 years, he’s someone who has really become a living embodiment of our university and mission,” Harris said.

Dillabough’s most personal contribution to the center was his pursuit of John Nava, artist of the elegant, eye-catching tapestries displayed on the west wall of the Ministry Center. The stunning artwork depicts figures such as Pope Francis, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. The 32 images also include Catholic saints, USD’s co-founders Bishop Charles Francis Buddy and Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill and more. Nava, whose biggest tapestries project before this one is the display at Los Angeles’ Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, will provide additional tapestries for the center within the next year.

The latter is something to look forward to in the future, meanwhile, the Ministry Center is here now and is open for community building.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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Degheri Alumni Center 228
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 260-4724
Fax: (619) 260-4790

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