Spartans in the News
IMMACULATA NOW HAS A FULL-TIME CHAPLAIN
Immaculata High School is pleased to announce that it will have its first full-time chaplain. Last year Father Mauricio Tabera served in a part-time role at the school, while also handling parish responsibilities at Immaculate Conception Church in Somerville. Over the last few decades, a host of other priests have shared that part-time status, tending to the spiritual needs of the Immaculata students and faculty.
The decision to make this a full-time position came from the Most Rev. James Checchio, the Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, when his office created the position of Director of Catholic Identity at the diocesan high schools last year. As such, Father Mauricio is responsible for sanctifying, teaching, and leading the school community to a deeper faith in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.
Father Mauricio, a native of Colombia, was ordained in the Diocese of Metuchen in 2016. With his full-time status, he will say daily Mass in the Immaculata chapel each morning, work closely with the Theology Department and Campus Ministry to coordinate liturgical, devotional, prayer, and retreat experiences, as well as meet the sacramental needs of the Immaculata community.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the teacher, Father Mauricio will be teaching three classes this fall and four classes next semester. He hopes to cultivate a culture of vocations at the school, serve as a resource on issues of faith and morality, and help to promote Catholic values throughout the school.
In addition, through his example of working with students through the school's very ambitious Campus Ministry programs, helping the poor, elderly, the disadvantaged, and the homeless, Father Mauricio hopes to build the faith of all of the students and imbue them with a strong sense of social justice.
"I loved my first year at Immaculata, although I was not here everyday," says Father Mauricio. "There is such a spirit here among our students and parents. I spent a lot of time working with our incredible Campus Ministry staff and was so impressed by the amazing spiritual and service opportunities that Immaculata offers. Even more inspiring was the commitment of our students to participate in retreats, community projects, and prayerful experiences.
Father Mauricio continues, "For me the most astounding was witnessing the Campus Ministry Garage Sale. Nearly our whole student body and many volunteer parents worked tirelessly at this gigantic fundraiser. This event not only helps the school, it provides gently used goods at very reasonable prices and helps so many local families. What a beautiful lesson in social justice."
In his new role Father Mauricio hopes to help lead the students and faculty in their journey of embracing the life of Jesus Christ. He also offers his pastoral services to any Immaculata alumni, who need spiritual guidance or blessings. "What a gift I have received as a priest to be able to work full-time with the future stewards of the Church. I am very excited about this opportunity."