Dominican priest named CUA’s first vice president of ministry and mission

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Dominican Father Aquinas Guilbeau, pictured Aug. 8, 2022, has been named The Catholic University of America's first vice president of ministry and mission. The university announced the appointment Oct. 10, 2023. (OSV News photo/Patrick G. Ryan, courtesy CUA)

(OSV News) — A Dominican priest and specialist in moral theology will become The Catholic University of America‘s first vice president of ministry and mission, giving him a seat on the school’s presidential cabinet.

Dominican Father Aquinas Guilbeau currently serves as the university’s chaplain and director of campus ministry.

The appointment “makes formal what has long been our practice — to consult our head of campus ministry on matters of faith, morals and Catholic identity, and to integrate his advice into the important decisions of the university,” said Catholic University President Peter K. Kilpatrick in an Oct. 10 news release announcing the decision.

Father Guilbeau will continue in his current positions while assuming new responsibilities, which will include assisting the university president in “animating the Catholic character” of the school, according to the news release.

“He will help to articulate and promote the university’s Catholic mission, spirituality, ministry, ideals, principles and charisms to all members” of the university community, the news release said.

In addition, Father Guilbeau “will review and offer advice regarding university policies to ensure compliance and compatibility with Catholic teaching, in order to help faculty and staff members integrate faith and charity into their service to the university,” it said. “He will also advise on university hiring practices to ensure it hires individuals who best embody the spirit, mission and ideals of the university.”

‘Humbled’ by the appointment

Father Guilbeau said he was “humbled” by the appointment.

“Catholic University has a special mission as an institution of higher learning, which is to deepen faith and charity in students as it develops their knowledge and skills,” he said in Catholic University’s news release. “Along with my colleagues, I look forward to advancing the university’s mission of helping students, faculty, and staff to grow in love of and service to God and neighbor.”

Father Guilbeau, a Louisiana native, entered the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in 2005. After several years of pastoral work in New York City, he began doctoral studies in theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, where he completed a dissertation on St. Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine of the common good.

Prior to his arrival at Catholic University in Washington, Father Guilbeau taught moral theology at the adjacent Dominican House of Studies, where he also served as prior of the community.

Catholic University is a national research university with more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1887, it is the only Catholic college founded by the U.S. bishops and is considered the national university of the Catholic Church.

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