STEUBENVILLE -The Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, has announced the creation of a new administrative department to further strengthen the university's evangelistic and pastoral care programs.
"I am pleased to announce the new pastoral care and evangelization department," Sheridan said. "The department will be led by the Rev. Nathan Malavolti, TOR, who will serve as our first vice president of pastoral care and evangelization."
The new position unites the office of chapel ministry, the priestly discernment program, the office of evangelization and the Christian outreach office under one administrative department, Sheridan said, noting recent growth at Franciscan University made the restructuring necessary and desirable.
The Rev. Nathan Malavolti
"We have seen continued growth in our pastoral care of students and in our internal and external evangelization programs. Bringing together these programs, which impact thousands of lives on campus and off, will strengthen our ability to bring Christ and to be Christ to our students and to our culture," Sheridan said. He added that students, staff, faculty, and friars also confirmed the importance and growing need for this administrative change.
Malavolti, who came to the university last summer as vice president of community relations, said he will draw inspiration for his new role from the words and actions of Pope Francis, especially his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, "The Joy of the Gospel."
"Pope Francis is showing us that ongoing conversion is about bringing Christ to the people we live with and seek to serve. My role is to help Father Sheridan kindle the flames of evangelization in all of us and create a team that will provide the best pastoral care possible for our students and inspirational programming for the tens of thousands we reach through our summer conferences, as well as other forms of spiritual support for every member of our university family."
Effective June 1, Malavolti will direct the work of the many ministries and programs.
Malavolti completed his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986.
While working as a research chemist, he discerned a call to the priesthood and the Third Order Regular Franciscans in 2000. He was ordained in 2005 and served as a chemistry professor and chaplain at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa., before coming to Franciscan University.
The community relations office will continue to serve the greater Ohio Valley under the leadership of Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement.