The house at 1753 North Decatur Road was purchased by the Archdiocese of Atlanta under Archbishop Paul Hallinan in response to the petition of a group of faculty and staff at Emory University who desired a Catholic presence on campus. The building was named the Newman House and served well to meet the needs of the 30 members who formed the Catholic population at both at Emory University and at Agnes Scott College. Fr. Plasid Pierson, OSB was the Director of the Newman House for a short time. The emphasis of the ministry at that time was draft counseling. He was succeeded by Fr. Bill Hoffman, a Diocesan priest. Rooms in the House were rented to graduate students at that time.
1968 - 1977
Fr. Joseph Geniesse, CSC, was the Director of Catholic Campus Ministries during this period. He was a Holy Cross priest and other members of the Holy Cross community joined nun in living at the House. Masses were held at Newman House during the beginning of this period but as the size of the Catholic community grew it was necessary to seek a larger place for Sunday Mass. The auditorium in the Law School was used for several years. The campus minister continued to serve both Emory and Agnes Scott.
1977 - 1981
Fr. Joseph Cavallo, a Diocesan priest, served as the campus minister and Georgia State University became the third college to be served by the ministers of the Newman House. As the Catholic population continued to grow a second person was added to the staff. Ms. Susan Sendlebach, a lay minister, served from 1979 -1983. Liturgical celebrations moved to White Hall on campus and were held in either the auditorium or in the large foyer facing the quadrangle depending on the season of the year and the availability of the space. The Catholic population grew to about 300 registered members.
1981 - 1983
The Dominican order agreed to provide ministers for the Catholic ministry on campus. Fr. George Reynolds, O.P. played an important role in overseeing major renovations of the Newman House which converted it from an ordinary house into a more open space to accommodate the needs of the growing number of Catholic students. The House was renamed the Catholic Center and was used by both undergraduate and graduate students for both spiritual renewal and social activities. Fr. Reynolds resided in the newly renovated living quarters on the second floor of the Center. Sunday Masses were moved to Cannon Chapel when it was completed.
1983 - 1984
Fr. Victor Brown, O.P. and Fr. Mark Geary, O.P. served as campus ministers during this time and were responsible for Emory University, Agnes Scott College, Georgia State University, and Oxford College of Emory University. Sunday Masses were held in Cannon Chapel.
1984 - 1988
Fr. Martin Iott, O.P. was appointed as Catholic campus minister and was joined by Sr. Mary Ann Ennis, O.P. in 1985. Georgia State University was no longer in need of assistance since responsibility for students hi that institution was assigned to Fr. Roch Coogan in 1986. Under the leadership of Fr. Marty and Sr. Mary Ann a Mission statement and a constitution and by-laws were developed and a Community Council was formed. Outreach peace and justice activities were initiated during this time. Neither of the ministers lived at the Catholic center and the upstairs rooms were rented out.
1988 - 1990
Fr. Jim Campbell, O.P. and Sr. Mary Sue Kennedy served at the Catholic campus ministers during this time. Oxford College began to be served by its local parish while the Catholic Center on campus continued to serve Emory University and Agnes Scott. College. The Catholic community assumed responsibility for preparation and serving of one meal a month at a local women and children's shelter.
1990 - 1991
Fr. Campbell continued and Sr. Terri Bolotin, O.P. replaced Sr. Kennedy.
1991 - 1992
Fr. Chris Eggleton, O.P.was appointed as Catholic campus minister but served for only a few months. He was replaced by Fr. Paul Watkins, O.P. who served the remainder of the year along with Sr. Terri Bolotin. The Mission statement and the role of the Community Council underwent review with the intent to revise as needed to reflect changing needs of the membership.
1992 - 1993
Due to budgetary constraints Fr. Paul Watkins, O.P. serves alone as the Catholic campus minister for both Emory University and Agnes Scott College. The size of the non-student membership of the community reduced and the size of the student population increased during this year. Fr. Watkins resigned his position in spring term.
1993 - 1995
Fr, Bob Keller, O.P. served as campus minister for this two year period. The size of the non-student membership remained stable. Students became more involved in leadership hi the community. The Diocese elected to resume responsibility for the Catholic Center effective summer of 1995.
1995 - 2002
Fr. James Schillinger, S.T.L, a diocesian priest with prior experience in campus ministry was appointed. Fr. Schillinger occupied the residence apartment at the Catholic Center. Both the non-student and student membership in the community began to increase under his guidance and leadership. A Community Council was formed with Committees to provide advisement to the clergy and functioned for about three years. Ms.Louanne Bachner was appointed as an associate minister; her area of expressed expertise was liturgy. Mr. Tom Burke was appointed as music minister at about the same time.Decisions about liturgy, music, scheduling of events, and the physical arrangements of Cannon Chapel were made by the paid staff. In summer 2001 Tom Burke resigned his position as music minister and Ms. Maire Lang-was appointed. The Catholic Center underwent additional renovations and improvements during the spring and summer of 2001 including a complete redesign of the small chapel area that was originally a screened in porch. Stained glass windows were added and furnishings for the chapel were commissioned. Members of the community contributed funds to support the remodeling.
September 8, 2001
The newly remodeled and refurnished Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan chapel was consecrated by Rev. Father Dom M. Basil Pennington O.C.S.O., Abbot of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia.
Fr. Schillinger was reassigned to IHM parish as pastor.
8/2002 - 1/2003
Fr. Tim Gadziela was appointed by the archdiocese to the Catholic Campus Minister. His position was part time as he also served as a Canon lawyer for the Tribunal of the Archdiocese. Louanne Bachner resigned her position and Deacon Mike Mobley was hired to serve as pastoral assisant. Fr. Gadziela was assigned full time to the Archdiocesan Tribunal office.
1/2003 - 6/2006
Fr. Tim Hepburn served as Director of the University Catholic Center and also as the Assistant Vocations Director for the Archdiocese. He came to the Catholic Center after serving as pastor in two different parishes, and then two years as Chaplain at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell. In May 2003, Deacon Mike Mobley was assigned to St. Stephen the Martyr parish in Lawrenceville. In July 2003, Michael Tigue was hired as Campus Minister. Michael, a native of Peoria, IL, attended Catholic University of America and then Franciscan Univeristy in Steubenville, OH., where he earned a B.A. in Theology. Michael taught Scripture, Morality, and Sacraments for two years at Notre Dame High School in Peoria, Illinois before coming to the Catholic Center as Campus Minister. In July 2006, Fr. Tim left to earn a Licentiate Degree in Sacred Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.
7/2006 - 9/2011
Fr. Bryan Small was appointed as Director of the Catholic Center and Michael Tigue continued as Campus Minister. Fr. Bryan had served in parish ministry at All Saints in Dunwoody and St. Catherine of Siena in Kennesaw before coming to the Catholic Center. He is an Atlanta native and he graduated from St. Meinrad College in 1997 with a degree in Psychology. Between 1998 and 2002 he attended St. Vincent's Seminary in Latrobe, PA where he earned an M.A. in Systematic Theology as well as an Masters of Divinity. In September 2011, Fr. Bryan was appointed as pastor to the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Decatur, GA.
09/2011 - 11/2013
Fr. Diosmar Natad was appointed to the Catholic Center after serving at a parochial vicar at St. Brigid Catholic Church in John's Creek, GA. In November 2012, Michael Zauche was hired as Campus Minister. In November 2013, Fr. Diosmar was appointed as the pastor of Saint Mary Mother of God Catholic Church.
11/2013 - 8/2014
Msgr. Frank Giusta was appointed as Director of the Catholic Center and Michael Zauche continued as Campus Minister. Msgr. Giusta continued his position as the Catholic chaplain for the Emory Healthcare network. In August 2014, Msgr. Giusta was appointed to serve the Georgia State University community as chaplain.
8/2014 - Present
The Dominican order once again agreed to provide a minister for the Catholic Center. Fr. John Boll, O.P., was appointed by the Southern Dominican Province as Director at the Catholic Center in August 2014, bringing over 20 years of campus ministry experience with him.
Compiled by Helen S. O'Shea