In appointing Fr. Chuck, the Archdiocese of Louisville expanded the job from part-time to full-time, which will allow the new chaplain more time to spend with students as well as staff.
“Being a full time chaplain here, hopefully, will help me be out on the campus more, and thus get more students and staff involved in their faith more,” Fr. Chuck said. “I want folks to know that I’m here for them and that if they need me they can drop in, call, text, email or message me.”
He writes a blog, “Walker’s Wonderings,” and is active on social media, including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter (@frchuck) and Instagram, Viber, Hangout and Tumblr.
A priest for 33 years, Fr. Chuck has served as associate pastor and pastor at several churches in the Archdiocese. He has a booming voice, an easy smile and an infectious laugh, and said one thing he’s learned is that people respond “when they see that the minister walks with them, laughs with them, cries and is pain with them, and doesn’t try to put on airs.”
“I take God seriously but not myself,” he added. “I’ve learned very well that God loves, forgives and teaches people in unexpected ways; sometimes with my help but most times in spite of me. I hope that God has a sense of humor. If not, I’m in big trouble.”
Fr. Chuck said the Catholic Campus Ministry works best when students make up the agenda, but that he does hope to add more Masses. He is available for private conversations and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and will on campus most weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except for Wednesdays, when he is off). He will also be around evenings for special discussions, formation events or worship opportunities.
“On the weekends and on some evenings I hope we get a lot of service and outreach things going, especially on days when there may be few or no conflicts with UofL’s sports calendar,” he said. “We are already looking at continuing the Alternative Spring Break mission trip. We’ll decide soon about where we want to go and maybe offer other trips (domestic and international) during times when students are on vacation from school.”
Fr. Chuck said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Archdiocesan Chancellor Brian Reynold have asked him to visit other campus ministries across the state with Sarah Fellows, the university’s campus minister.
“They want Sarah, the students and me to build the UofL Catholic Campus Ministry into a place where students and staff can grow their faith while they are preparing for their future. I’m honored that I was asked to work with Sarah and on this campus,” he said.
Sarah said she is excited to work with Fr. Chuck.
He will be–and has already been–an incredible pastoral resource for the students and others on campus. His is particularly gifted at forming relationships and helping others feel welcomed and valued – all gifts that are essential to campus ministry, she said.
Fr. Chuck, 62, a native of Loretto, has been a diehard UofL sports fan for 40 years. “I used to get free tickets to the football games when Lee Corso was our coach, for selling newspaper subscriptions. I started buying basketball tickets right before I was ordained when the Griff and Bobby Turner were sophomores,” he said. Fr. Chuck also goes to baseball and women’s basketball games. “I have the fall sports schedules in my phone and will be as faithful to it as is reasonably possible,” he said.