Friar Welcomes Students to the Catholic Faith
Friars all around the nation have been called to minister to University Newman Centers. Father Gerry Waterman, is the chaplain and administrator at Syracuse University and The State University of New York’s School of Environmental Science and Forestry. He celebrates and shares the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, Baptism, and Confirmation regularly and works with five student leaders to guide retreats, bible study and small-faith sharing groups. Father Gerry encourages his campus ministry group to engage in service opportunities each week by gutting and rebuilding houses in the Northside of Syracuse and making sandwiches for the homeless. He incorporated diversity in his campus ministry by sharing dinner on a regular basis with their neighboring Jewish sisters and brother on campus.
Father Gerry celebrated this previous Lent season by hosting two Lent retreats and presiding Ash Wednesday Mass on campus where 31% of the campus students attended. He celebrated two Easter Masses with nearly 1000 students. During the Easter Vigil celebration, Father Gerry said he was privileged to baptize one Muslim student and three students received their first Holy Communion and were Confirmed. On Divine Mercy Sunday, four more students were confirmed. Father Gerry continues to spread the faith amongst all students.
Father Gerry expressed that just as St. Francis of Assisi was an itinerant and someone who found great joy in the simplest things. Walking with the college students, faculty, and staff on their faith journey brings him hope. He enjoys sharing the Gospel, breaking bread, and listening to their stories. His mission is to evangelize the many Catholics who are there and find a way to get them involved in their faith.