After nine years as the university’s chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, Father Erich Rutten will be accepting a new position from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Rutten’s new position has not yet been determined, but an announcement is expected in late April or early May with a June start date.
“I have always felt it’s a privilege to do this kind of ministry,” Rutten said. “While I’m sad to be leaving, it’s time for me to try something new and time for someone new to come into that leadership. It’s a good time for a change.”
Rutten will be on sabbatical in Jerusalem from Jan. 25-April 9, returning to wrap up the final weeks of his tenure at St. Thomas and assist in the transition toward new leadership.
Since arriving in 2007 Rutten has overseen a wide range of Campus Ministry efforts, including new initiatives such as Peer Ministry and Tommie Catholic, a popular Tuesday gathering. As well as gathering a strong staff in Campus Ministry, Vice President for Mission Father Larry Snyder said Rutten was especially effective in his role of pastoral care.
“Most obvious has been whenever there’s been a crisis on campus, especially student’s health, Father Rutten has been one of the first there with the student, with the family, to provide pastoral care. That’s a critical role in any community, especially a university community,” Snyder said. “He’s also been very faithful to the regular routine of Masses every day, weekends, and always being accessible to students. We’re very grateful to him for those nine years and all that he has done.”
Further details – including Rutten’s new appointment and plans for a farewell gathering – will be announced as they become available.