Fr. Campbell, VP for Mission, to Depart Holy Cross

Jackie Cannon ’20


In a March 13 letter to the campus community, President of the College Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. announced that Rev. William R. Campbell, S.J., ’87, Vice President for Mission, would be leaving Holy Cross. Campbell has been appointed as the director of the Eastern Point Retreat House, an ecumenical ministry run by the Society of Jesus in Gloucester, MA.

Fr. Campbell began as Vice President for Mission in 2015 and was involved in expanding the annual Lenten Reflection Series, chairing the Mulledy/Healy Legacy Committee and leading the Mission Priority Examen Steering Committee, which recently published its final Visiting Team Report and Executive Summary.

Reflecting on his tenure at Holy Cross, Fr. Campbell shared, “I have come to realize the projects I have been involved with that have most excited me are those grounded specifically in the dynamics of Ignatian Spirituality. I think of the opportunities I have had each year to accompany faculty, staff, and students making various ‘Ignatian’ retreats or to engage them in spiritual conversations and how humbled I am that they have allowed me to join them on their faith journeys.”

Fr. Campbell expressed excitement for several aspects of his new position as director of the Eastern Point Retreat House, which he begins on August 1: “Three aspects of this new position really excite me. The first is the opportunity to work full-time in a Jesuit ministry that is devoted exclusively to offering month-long and week-long retreats of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.”

He also cited enthusiasm for drawing on his background as an administrator for this new position, as well as the opportunity to return to the coast of Massachusetts, as he grew up along Cape Cod Bay.

“When I arrived at Holy Cross as a student in the fall of 1983, I was homesick those first few weeks. I felt land-locked living in Worcester and being so far away from the shore,” said Campbell. “A family friend made a cassette tape of ocean sounds for me. I listened to them on my Walkman each night as I fell asleep! So, I am really looking forward to living near the ocean again.”

In addition to the Holy Cross Community, Fr. Campbell stated he would most miss St. Joseph Memorial Chapel, which was one of the main reasons he first came to Holy Cross as a student in 1983, and where he became an ordained priest in 1998.

Before assuming his current position at Holy Cross, Fr. Campbell served as an assistant chaplain at the College, interim principal at Nativity School of Worcester, executive director at Nativity Preparatory School in Boston, and president at Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine. Campbell additionally worked at the Pedro Arrupe Spirituality Center in India and taught at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, according to a 2014 article on the Holy Cross website.

Fr. Campbell shared a final piece of advice for the Holy Cross community by recommending participation in a retreat: “As a good friend of mine is fond of saying, when you’re too busy to make a retreat is probably the very time when you need to make a retreat! Holy Cross is blessed with the resource of the ‘new’ Joyce Contemplative Center. Into the future, no one should feel proud about graduating from Holy Cross who has not taken advantage of what that holy site has to offer – especially the Spiritual Exercises retreats.”

Speaking on Fr. Campbell’s departure, Fr. Boroughs wrote, “As grateful as we are for the impact he has had, we will miss him as much for his friendship, his generosity of time and spirit, and his sense of humor.” Boroughs concluded by stating that Fr. Campbell will leave Holy Cross on June 30, and that a transition plan will be developed in the meantime.

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