During my 13 years as president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, I delighted in sharing with students the wisdom of the great English Catholic apologist, G. K. Chesterton. And for good reason! So much of what Chesterton said applies to life at Franciscan University.
Consider what Chesterton once said of St. Francis, “. . . from the pope to the beggar, from the Sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those brown burning eyes without being certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him . . . that he himself was being valued and taken seriously.”
You will find the essence of that same spirit of St. Francis here at our university, where each student is valued as a unique, unrepeatable gift of the Creator.
This may not fully come through on our web site, but I can testify to the Christ-centered character of our students, faculty, and staff. And I’m not the only one. Parents at orientation and other functions often told me they wished they could enroll along with their children!
They all see, as I have, that Franciscan University helps students develop their gifts and knowledge while deepening their love for Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Be assured, our students apply themselves diligently to their studies and much is demanded of them by their professors. Then, inspired by the example and teaching of St. Francis of Assisi, they go forth to transform the culture through their vocations and careers.
In my duties as chancellor and local minister at Holy Spirit Friary, I am honored to continue my active association with our students, alumni, and the University’s many friends. I look forward to meeting you and all new members of our Franciscan family, and I pray you will be greatly blessed by your friendship with Franciscan University.
Yours in Christ,
Father Terence Henry, TORChancellorFranciscan University of Steubenville
Father Terence Henry, TOR, served as the fifth president of Franciscan University of Steubenville from August 2000 to May 2013. In June 2013, he was appointed chancellor of the University. In his new position, he assists the Alumni Relations Office, the Development Office, and other departments in advancing the mission of Franciscan University. Father Terence also serves as local minister of Holy Spirit Friary, located at Franciscan University, where he serves his brother friars.
During his tenure as president of Franciscan University, Father Terence promoted Pope John Paul II’s call, echoed by Pope Benedict XVI, for Catholics to influence every aspect of the culture. He introduced new majors in catechetics, sacred music, legal studies, and a concentration in bioethics for the MA Philosophy Program, among other majors. He also established the Franciscan University Institute of Bioethics to provide a solid Catholic response to secular assaults on the dignity of human life, marriage, and other human life issues.
In 2012, Father Terence directed Franciscan University’s filing of a lawsuit in opposition to the federal government’s mandate that would force the University to provide health insurance coverage that violates its religious principles.
“Franciscan University’s mission is and always has been to teach from the heart of the Church,” he stated. “The [Health and Human Services Mandate] is a grave threat to our ability to carry out that mission. It makes it impossible for us to operate freely as a Catholic institution without overbearing and invasive governmental interference.”
Another example of his commitment to the life issues: Father Terence made it a point, no matter what the weather, to attend every March for Life in Washington, D.C., while president, walking with Franciscan students, alumni, and friends under the green Franciscan banner.
Another hallmark of his presidency was his leadership in the University's re-entry into intercollegiate sports. In 2007, the Barons became members of NCAA Division III and gained entry into the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. These affiliations give student-athletes the opportunity to transform the secular sports culture with the light of Christ as players and later as parents and coaches.
Father Terence undertook the most ambitious capital campaign in the University's history, with a $25 million goal earmarked for student scholarships, a new friary, and chairs in bioethics and catechetics among the top needs. In 2010, the campaign concluded, having raised $31 million.
Father Terence is an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys taking in the grandeur of God’s creation. Each summer, he plans a group expedition to a U.S. national park, where he challenges the students and alumni who join him to keep up with him on the hiking trail.
A Philadelphia-area native, Father Terence Henry, TOR, entered the novitiate of the TOR Franciscans in 1967, professed his first vows on July 1, 1968, and professed solemn vows on June 1, 1972. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1976. Also in 1976, Father Terence earned a master's degree in history from Indiana State University and a master of divinity from St. Francis Seminary.
Throughout his more than 30 years in education, Father Terence has established a strong rapport with both students and faculty, gaining their trust and respect. Father Terence taught history at Bishop Egan High School from 1976 to 1991. He became Bishop Egan High School's principal in 1992 and oversaw its merger into Conwell-Egan High School, serving as its first president from 1993 until 1996 when he transferred to St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. There, he served as vice president of Mission and Ministry and taught in the Continuing Education Department. While in Loretto, Father Terence was also postulant director for the TOR Franciscan community from 1996 to 2000. He served on the Franciscan University's Board of Trustees from 1993-2000.
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