Fostering a community gathered for the sake of the mission

Mission and Ministry puts heightened emphasis on faculty and staff leadership for mission

St. Vincent's circle
(DePaul University/Josh Woo)
Known by the initials C.M. after their names, Vincentian priests and brothers have served as the primary leaders and interpreters of the institution’s mission since DePaul’s founding in 1898. The initials designate their membership in the religious congregation founded by St. Vincent de Paul, the Congregation of the Mission. Until 2017, DePaul’s presidents always have had C.M. after their names.  Now, with the institution’s first lay president, the new strategic plan, “Grounded in Mission,” reflects the university community’s acute awareness of the importance of preparing DePaul’s faculty and staff to shoulder more ownership for sustaining the university’s Vincentian mission.  

Rev. Ed Udovic, C.M., vice president for Mission and Ministry, has frequently reinterpreted the meaning of the initials, C.M., Congregatio Missionis, as “a community gathered together for the sake of the mission.”  This translation opens the door for everyone in the DePaul community to identify themselves as “Vincentians” carrying forth the legacy and mission of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac in service to our students.

This emphasis on the collective responsibility for mission has led to a renewed focus on faculty and staff engagement, or FASE, in the new Division of Mission and Ministry. The new division formed this past summer​ when the Office of Mission and Values joined with University Ministry, formerly in the Division of Student Affairs.

Led by Mark Laboe, associate vice president, Mission and Ministry’s FASE team will focus on building an extended ladder of mission engagement opportunities for faculty and staff at all levels of the institution. These new programmatic opportunities will include enhanced mission orientation modules for new staff and faculty, the expansion of some existing programs, such as the Vincentian Heritage Tours, and the growth of new programs, such as a planned Vincentian Mission Certificate program. Additionally, new efforts will address the need for ongoing mission formation for DePaul’s senior leaders and administrators, as well as board members. 
 
“We are beginning by doing interviews and focus groups with a  range of faculty and staff from across the institution, as a way to listen to diverse perspectives and gain a fuller picture of needs and opportunities related to mission engagement,” Laboe says. “The results of these efforts will determine our future programming.”  

“Our overall vision and charge is to expand and deepen mission engagement among faculty and staff by giving them the resources and the confidence to connect mission to their day to day work and life at DePaul,” adds Siobhan O’Donoghue, director for Faculty and Staff Engagement in Mission and Ministry.

Sharing stories of how mission is integrated into work and life at DePaul will be one of the key strategies of the FASE team.  

“We want to hear these kinds of stories so that we can help to highlight best practices through our work with others. Concrete examples of how mission is made real can foster the creativity of others and build affinity to the mission,” says Mike Van Dorpe, program manager in Mission and Ministry. 

Faculty and staff can sign up to receive more information and event invitations from Mission and Ministry programs through the Mission and Ministry website or faculty and staff interest form

Tom Judge, a Chaplain in Mission and Ministry, sees an important connection between faculty and staff mission engagement and the experience of students.

“I see through my interaction with students that what they receive at DePaul is in large part a result of the kind of community we build together,” he says.

“Students can’t help but pick up on the respect and care we show each other, and on our focus on service and justice,” adds Abdul-Malik Ryan, DePaul’s Muslim Chaplain. “All of this goes back to our mission. It’s a manifestation of living out our mission commitment to human dignity and Vincentian personalism.” 

An upcoming example of such care for others is Mission and Ministry’s seventh annual Gathering of Remembrance, a memorial service for those in the DePaul community who have lost loved ones over the past year. The event will take place next Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4:30 p.m. at Cortelyou Commons. Faculty and Staff are encouraged to RSVP or provides the name of loved ones for remembrance at the service.   

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