Bismarck, ND - As students mature, finding out who they are and who they want to be becomes increasingly important to them. Helping them discover if they are on the right path in life and, perhaps most importantly, who they are in their relationship with God, is a critical part of their development and college education.
To facilitate this discovery process the University of Mary, America's Leadership University, is creating two new residence halls - the Saint Joseph's Hall for Men and Saint Scholastica's Hall for Women, - dedicated to fostering the exploration of life and faith in a nurturing, Christian environment. Each hall, located on a separate level in the west wing of the Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership overlooking the Missouri River, will house approximately 30 single rooms for students. Designed for students at the University of Mary who have the desire to live in community and grow in faith, character and holiness, Saint Joseph's Hall will also be home to the retiring Bishop Paul A. Zipfel and Father Thomas Richter, vocations director for the Diocese of Bismarck.
"The University of Mary is deeply pleased to be able to offer students this unique opportunity for living and learning about their faith," says President Father James Shea. "It is not uncommon for a college to offer special interest living accommodations, and what could be more appropriate for a Catholic university than to offer residences focusing on God and faith?"
Father Shea made this announcement at a celebratory dinner today at 6 p.m. in the University Dining Hall. Bishop Zipfel and Father Richter were two of the many special guests that joined Father Shea at the event for this announcement.
Bishop Zipfel submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Benedict XVI in September of 2010, a requirement of the Catholic Church once a bishop turns 75 years of age. When the Pope appoints a new bishop and he is installed, Bishop Zipfel's retirement and his residency at Saint Joseph's Hall will begin. Zipfel will regularly celebrate Mass in the hall's chapel and provide spiritual guidance to students committed to growing in a life of virtue. Just last year, the university named its new Catholic Studies Program in honor of Bishop Zipfel.
"As Bishop Zipfel has graciously extended his pastoral care to this university over the years, now, in the spirit of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, hospitality is extended to him," commented Sister Thomas Welder, president emerita at the University of Mary. "Grateful for Bishop Zipfel's gift as teacher and homilist, we rejoice in the nourishing words that will draw students, teachers and guests ever closer to You."
Father Richter will continue his position as vocations director for the Diocese of Bismarck as a resident of St. Joseph's Hall for Men, as soon as it is completed this fall. Both he and Zipfel will provide guidance in matters of morality and life for students wanting to grow closer to God as faithful men.