The Rev. James Spera, vice rector of St. Andrew’s College, the Seminary for Undergraduates, and director of Campus Ministry at Seton Hall, has been reassigned as a pastor to the Church of the Assumption in Roselle Park, N.J. and will be leaving Seton Hall at the end of the spring semester.
“Father Spera has been at Seton Hall for 14 years,” sophomore Juliet Hughes said. “He is a caring priest who tirelessly serves the university through his efforts to improve Campus Ministry. “
As the director of Campus Ministry, Spera works with the sacristans, such as Hughes, to maintain and clean the chapels, and set up for masses, baptisms and weddings. Spera also works as the director of Campus Ministry groups such as the FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.
“He is also the director of the Campus Ministry groups I am a part of, such as Fellowship of Catholic University Students, which has small Bible studies and social events, and Saint Paul’s Outreach, which has prayer nights and social events.”
According to sophomore Cameron Hahne, Spera is not only his boss as a sacristan, but plays the role of a mentor, a good friend and one of the biggest inspirations for his wanting to be a priest.
“He’s someone who is full of life and clearly in love with God,” Hahn said. “I see him as someone I can always get a good answer from. I’ve learned so much from him about Catholicism and about being human. I really see him as role model he is my biggest inspiration for wanting to be a priest.”
There will be a farewell Mass for Spera on Sunday, May 9 at 8:00 pm at the Immaculate Conception Chapel. After Mass, there will be a reception in the Campus Ministry Lounge.
“Everyone must RSVP via e-mail with Michelle Peterson if they want to go to the reception,” Hughes said.
Junior Gary La Spisa knew Spera through his confirmation process as a freshman.
“Shortly after the confirmation Mass was over, he took me to the side and blessed the crucifix that my parents bought me,” La Spisa said. “He was always very nice to me, we always had very pleasant conversations when we saw each other.”
Spera was out of the office this week and not available for comment.
Jacqueline DeBenedetto can be reached at email@example.com.