Good evening, Fr. President: Q&A with Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR

BY LAUREN RAMSEYER
STAFF WRITER

frsean fixedAs the Rev. Sean Sheridan’s inauguration day approaches, he met with The Troubadour to answer questions concerning his past few months as president of Franciscan University.

How do you view your role as president of the University?

I see myself as the pastor and shepherd of the University. Not only fulfilling the administrative responsibilities at the desk, but being the sacramental minister for the students and staff as well.

Did you want to be president?

As friars we are called to not aspire to anything. We follow the will of God and believe that He speaks to us through other people. I am happy to be the president, but I was very happy teaching in the theology department as well.

What is your favorite part of being president?

I think it is being the shepherd of the University community; it overshadows everything that I do. Whether administrator, sacramental minister or professor, it is my job to be the shepherd to the people that God has entrusted to my care.

What have the past four months been like for you?

There has been a lot of activity. I have been wearing a lot of different hats and trying to do many different things at the same time. However, I have had a tremendous amount of support and it has been very good and has gone by quickly.

What does a typical day look like for you, or do you even have a typical day?

I read somewhere that the role of the president is to be interrupted frequently and it has proved to be very wise.

We begin with Morning Prayer in the friary at 7:15. I am here at my desk most of the time for various meetings aside from teaching one theology class.

I try to get to the noon Mass as often as I can to be able to be there with the students. I’ve been eating in the cafeteria occasionally, hearing confessions, and giving spiritual direction as often as I am able.

About twice a month I have been celebrating Mass with the different residence halls, which gives me a chance to celebrate Mass with the students in their homes.

After the inauguration I will be over at the Austrian campus for a week of meetings while the majority of my traveling goes on to reach out to benefactors, alumni and trustees.

What are you most looking forward to on Homecoming Weekend?

I know I should be looking forward to the Mass for the celebration of the feast of St. Francis, but in all honesty, the thing I am looking forward to the most is the talent competition on Friday night. I went last year and it was one of the highlights of the whole weekend.

Is there a certain saint to whom you have a particular devotion?

Saints Therese and Francis certainly give me the inspiration to try to do whatever God asks. They both discuss remaining child-like, trusting and humble, allowing God to work through us and preventing us from getting in the way of what God’s plan is for each one of us.

Is there anything you would like to say to the student body as your inauguration day approaches?

I ask for the prayers of the people. The students are the main reason why I and the other teachers are here. We need your prayers and support to be able to do what we do. Pray for us, pray for the university, and pray for me especially. 

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