Chaminade welcomes new Campus Ministry director

Chaminade welcomes new Campus Ministry director

Jordan Zizzi

New Campus Ministry director Danny O'Regan, who took over Kay Stone's position in August.

Sometimes life doesn’t work out as planned. Other times the career one chooses doesn’t stray too far from how one was raised. Both can be said about the new Campus Ministry director Danny O’Regan.

Born and raised in England, he grew up in an Irish Catholic household. Though he thinks his mother wanted him to become a priest, as he says all Irish Catholic mothers want their sons to be priests, O’Regan had no intention of doing so. Regardless of his choice in a future career, his parents supported him as he received his bachelors degree in Urban Planning at the University of Sheffield.

He then moved to San Francisco where he lived for five years and received his masters in Multicultural Theology from the Franciscan School of Theology in order to be the campus minister at the University of San Diego.

While at USD, his main role was being in charge of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. He had also started the Theology on Tap graduate program to work with law school students. He had done such a good job with creating the program that the school created a new job to maintain it. Though he loved working at USD, he felt like he needed to continue his work elsewhere.

So he packed up and moved to Hawai`i about three years ago where he worked at the Newman Center at the University of Hawai`I, which meant having to adjust to living in a new state. When he moved here, he found Hawaii, especially the breeze, to be very spiritual.

“I think looking back, I think it [adjusting] was probably harder than I was willing to admit,” O’Regan said. “… There is a difference from being on the mainland that I wasn’t quite sure how to articulate.”

But his time at the Newman Center was different from what he did at USD. While there, he was in charge of retreats, spirituality, mass, liturgies, social justice, socials, feedings and Wednesday night readings. Though he did enjoy the challenges the position offered, he found it unrewarding in the long run.

It was around that time when he heard about position for the Campus Ministry director at Chaminade through an e-mail from the diocese and thought he would give it a try.

“I missed being in a catholic university,” O’Regan said. “At USD I was at a catholic university. I missed that environment. I wanted to be a little more connected to the students.”

During the two months he has been in Chaminade’s Campus Ministry director position, he noted that his position is a combination of what his role at USD and the Newman Center.

Like his position at USD, his office location gives him more accessibility to the students where he is able to engage with the students in being more involved in social justice issues and their faith.

Jessika-lyn Garcia, a senior and who has been a student worker at campus ministry since January 2011, has noticed a change in involvement between Kay Stone and O’Regan.

“He has a lot of new projects that were there last year but Mama Kay would do it and he gives it to us to do,” Garcia said, who wrote her first article for the Hawaii Catholic Herald about the Prayer, Praise and BBQ on Sept 11. “We were always in there, Mama Kay would put in the submissions herself … and I’ve never done that before.”

One major difference O’Regan saw was as Chaminade’s Campus Ministry director is he has to attend a lot more meetings than his previous jobs. Yet that doesn’t put a damper on him. O’Regan is one of those people with a lot of thoughts going through his head on how he wants Campus Ministry to be run and being in the position to put them into action.

With O’Regan putting his best foot forward, he doesn’t feel any pressure being the new director, especially since Stone was his predecessor. Wanting to create his own chapter, he does not want to imitate what Stone created as he would like to be successful in what he does and will do.

“I think that over time I think people will recognize that I’m not the new Kay,” O’Regan said. “I’m the new director.”