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Sheil Center Opens in Chicago

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September 22, 2004
Rev. Randy Knauf

Rev. Randy Knauf

The Sheil Catholic Center has expanded its campus ministry to the Chicago campus.

The new service began Sept. 1 with the appointment of Rev. Randy Knauf as chaplain to serve Chicago campus students, faculty and staff.

Rev. Knauf was welcomed to the new post at a reception and program attended by Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, and Rev. Kenneth Simpson, director of the Sheil Catholic Center based on the Evanston campus.

The Chicago campus ministry was made possible by a generous gift from the Shaw Family Supporting Organization.

Rev. Knauf, who has an office in Abbott Hall, will provide pastoral care and ethics-based discussions. He is available for individual and group conversations in a variety of topics related to church and spirituality.

He joins Sheil with more than 20 years of ministerial experience in a variety of settings -- schools and parishes, retreat centers and jails, and ministries on a university campus and on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana.

Rev. Knauf in 1983 became a friar with the Capuchin-Franciscans, a community of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic tradition, and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1991.

He holds a master’s of divinity from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, a master’s of arts in Christian spirituality from Creighton University and a bachelor of arts from Madonna University.

The Sheil Catholic Center is a community of students, faculty, staff and associates. The Sheil Center provides worship, religious education and community activities as well as a haven for personal prayer, meditation, study, spiritual direction and pastoral counseling. The Sheil Chapel and Center are open daily for the use of the students.

Masses in the Chapel are held Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m. and 5 and 9 p.m. and Monday through Friday at 4:30 p.m. Special services are also planned for Holy Days and special events.

Among the programs offered at Sheil are Catholic undergrad prayer and discussion; social activities; lectures, inquirers, and classes to prepare becoming a Catholic; Bible study; Graduate Student/Young Adult fellowship; women's spirituality; quarterly retreat, Taize prayer, faithsharing groups; Pre-Cana classes; soup kitchen and other outreach and volunteer opportunities; and fundraising events.

Rev. Simpson has been the director since 1992 and has worked in college ministry since 1982.

Mary Deeley is the Pastoral Associate. Her experience is in liturgy, music, counseling, spiritual direction and scriptures.

Tim Higgins is the campus minister. His experience is in community outreach and peace and justice.

The Sheil Catholic Center now serves more than 1,000 students and 300 families. The Sheil Center is owned and staffed by the Archdiocese of Chicago.