|Margot VanEtten, Director|
Margot has been at Newman since 2000, and before that has been involved in teaching, campus life, and ministry for more than thirty years.
In fact, she and her husband Deacon Larry met and were married at RIT in the Newman Campus Ministry there in 1978—so Camus Ministry has always been an important part of both their lives!
Margot has also served on the Diocese of Rochester’s Public Policy Commission, the Diocesan Deaf Ministry Planning Group, the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Commission, and the Interfaith Campus Ministries Coalition. She started out her formal ministry in the early 1980’s as the Pastoral Associate for what was then called St. Mary’s Church of the Deaf (now Emmanuel Church of the Deaf). In fact, Margot was the very first Pastoral Associate in this Diocese who was not a Sister.
At RIT she was the coordinator of Religious Interpreters for the Deaf students there, through the Departments of Interpreting Services and Campus ministry. She trained interpreters for all the various faith traditions at the time, and published two articles on religious interpreting in Listening magazine.
She also worked with Deacon Larry on the RCIA at St. John the Evangelist in Spencerport and St. Charles Borromeo in Greece.
Margot has a Masters' Degree in Theology and is an ABD (“all but dissertation”) in English. Along with her husband Larry, she completed the Diocese of Rochester's Permanent Deacon Training Program.
She has studied at St. Barnard’s Institute of Theology and Ministry here in Rochester, where she received her masters’, at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Penn State (English), and at Hofstra University where she received her BA in Theatre.
Before coming to Brockport, Margot taught English at Finger Lakes Community College and (many years ago) at Penn State. At St. Bernard's Institute she taught “Introduction to Spirituality” and developed a course in what was then called Sacred Ecology (now care for Creation).
She also developed a course in Self Defense for Women which she has taught at FLCC, Nazareth College and at Harp Karate in Rochester, where she is an instructor. (Margot holds Black Belts in four Martial Arts, including a Fourth-Degree Black Belt in Karate, which she has been practicing and teaching for more than 25 years).
Margot feels a special affinity for our patron, blessed John Henry Newman. Like him, she is a convert from the Episcopal (in his case, Anglican) Church, having been received into the Catholic Church at RIT in 1979.
|Deacon Larry VanEtten|
Larry has been Newman’s Permanent Deacon for more than 10 years. Besides what you see him do at Mass, he is in charge of all Newman’s Social Justice Ministry and activities, working closely with the Social Justice Intern. Along with Margot he works with our Interns, and does many other vital (but often unseen) things at Newman. He likes to point out that at Newman he works for his wife—which makes Ministry Staff meetings pretty easy to schedule!
Larry also teaches a course on spirituality to the first-year candidates for the Permanent Diaconate at St. Bernard’s Institute of Theology and Ministry and is the Diocese of Rochester’s representative to the Greater Rochester Council of Churches. He is the moderator for the deaf Ministry Planning Group of the Diocese.
One of Larry’s favorite ministries is the Fully Alive Prison Ministry with members of Newman and other parishes in the area putting on quarterly retreats for the women in Albion State Correctional Facility.
Larry spent over 20 years in the Campus Parish at Rochester Institute of Technology and was ordained while serving there.
(For those who may not be familiar with the role of Deacon in the church, it is an unpaid volunteer activity given in service to the God and the Church. Deacons can also baptize and perform marriages. Like Priests, all Deacons are ordained by the Bishop of the Diocese they belong to and are assigned by him to various parishes or special ministries.)
Larry supports himself and his family by working for a consulting firm in Rochester, Idea Connections, where he is a vice president, and has been the business manager, and a senior consultant. His consulting work includes improving innovation capabilities, communication in companies, and culture change. He is currently involved in the development of various instruments to assess how people work and create most effectively.
Larry grew up on Cayuga Lake, and just loves anything to do with boats and sailing. He also loves to read, walk, travel, and be with family, friends, and be part of a vibrant and loving faith community!
Would it surprise you to know that Larry’s undergraduate degree was Math?
We are blessed to have two wonderful priests who celebrate Mass with us on alternate Sundays and offer other Sacraments as needed.
Fr. Joe McCaffrey is the Pastor of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport. here's his story:
I’m not from around here. That’s really an understatement, because I was born in Tokyo, Japan. My father was a career Army officer, so we moved every couple of years, sometimes even more often than that. By the time I graduated from High School, in the suburbs of Washington D.C., I had changed schools 12 times, including three different high schools in three different states. I went to college at Cornell, entered seminary from there, joining the diocese of Rochester. I was ordained 37 years ago, at St. Mary of the Lake in Ontario, and my first assignment as a priest was here in Brockport. I’ve worked mostly in parishes, but also as a chaplain for college students and for state prison inmates. I’ll leave you to make the comparisons between those two groups. I was a pastor for about 15 years, about half that time in rural areas and half in a downtown parish in Elmira, also teaching philosophy and religion at Elmira College for 5 years. Then I began working on an advanced degree at Syracuse University while providing sacramental services on Sundays. Seven years ago I became pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish in Wayne county. I have been pastor of Nativity BVM in Brockport since June of 2014. My mother lives in San Antonio, Texas, and my brother and his family live near Dallas.
Fr. Bill Spilly is the Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Hamlin.