Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis has recently been appointed the Archbishop of the Newark Archdiocese and will be attending a special Mass on campus on March 23 at 5 p.m. as part of a six-month tour of the diocese.
Rev. Brian Needles, director of Campus Ministry, said in an email interview, “Our hope is that he will feel at home at Seton Hall and will feel free to visit with our students on a regular basis.”
Jenna Leis, a junior diplomacy major, said she thinks it’s a good thing that Tobin is coming to campus. “Students are often overlooked when it comes to a lot of religious things. The fact that he is reaching out to us is really cool.”
Leis added that it is important for Tobin to meet the people he is in charge of. “It is important that the community sees that he is there for us,” she said.
As Tobin is the chair of Seton Hall’s Board of Trustees and president of the Board of Regents, Needles said that Tobin has had a lot of influence on campus already. As for rumors that Tobin may be taking on a larger role here on campus, those are still just speculation.
Jim Goodness, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Newark said, “[Tobin] is looking out for those studying the faith in the seminary and lay people interested in theology as well. His presence on campus is a given.”
Thomas Kraft, a senior philosophy and political science major, serves as sacristan for Campus Ministry and Financial Chair for the Student Government Association (SGA). He said he is excited to be attending the upcoming mass. “I think that he (Tobin) has a sincere passion about our Archdiocese and all that it encompasses,” Kraft said.
Tobin is the first cardinal in history to be selected from the Indianapolis Archdiocese and is now the first cardinal Archbishop of Newark, according to the National Catholic Reporter. He replaced Archbishop John Myers, 75, who has received criticism for his handling of sexual abuse and for his spending on his own retirement residence.
“I have many hopes for Cardinal Tobin’s time as our Archbishop,” Needles said, “including that he will be a visible and present shepherd to the people he has been called to serve.”
Brynne Connolly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.